By Habster

    Look out Mr. Huet, that warm feeling you’re experiencing is Carey Price breathing down your neck. It was a great debut for Carey Price in a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Price made 26 saves on 28 shots he faced with some eye catching stops from close range. He even gave Cristobal Huet a lesson on how to handle the puck and help your defensemen when the puck is dumped into the defensive zone.

    The entire team played a solid game and even outshot Pittsburgh 35-28 with a 14-7 shot advantage in the third period. What has impressed me about the Canadiens performance this season is that they are taking the game to their opponents and not falling back with the “rope a dope” syndrome from last season. Here are some thoughts and points about the game:

    • Tomas Plekanec is our second line center!!! If you’re listening Guy!! PLEASE LEAVE “PLEKY” ON THE SECOND LINE!!!!! He had a strong game and wasn’t afraid to control the puck. Last year, there were times when he would always be looking to feed Kovalev and would not shot the puck,…..well, thank god!!! As we saw tonight, Tomas has a very good shot which he can get up high without much effort.
    • I thought the Koivu/Higgins/Ryder line had another strong game with Higgins having a least 4-5 good scoring chances. He could easily have 3 or 4 goals this season and look out when they do start going in because they will be in bunches!!!
    • Is it my imagination or does Marc-Andre Fleury look like a lesser version of Dominic Hasek, flopping all over the ice and at times guessing where the puck would be going. Don’t get me wrong, he played a good game but he certainly didn’t seem as composed as Carey Price was at the other end of the ice.
    • Kyle Chipchura had a shaky first period but settled down and placed a solid game with a couple scoring chance. He goes to the net with authority which you have to be impressed with. Chipchura was on the ice protecting the lead in the dying moments of the game so the coach must like what he sees. Let’s hope Carbonneau leaves him on the fourth line with Begin and Dandenault who both played strong forechecking games.
    • The Bouillon/Streit duo played a solid game and used their speed to clear the puck.
    • Question of the night: Why was Chris Higgins called for goalie interference against Toronto when he was pushed into Toskala and Crosby wasn’t called for the same infraction when he interfered with Price on Pittsburgh’s first goal? Could it be because Mr. Crosby would start crying to the referees like he usually does??!! hmmm???
    • Is it me or do you agree that Josh Gorge seems to lose a lot of battles along the boards for loose pucks? He just doesn’t seem strong enough to win these battle. I guess Brisebois will be back in the lineup against the Hurricane on Saturday.
    • Bryan Smolinski and Roman Hamrlik are the real deal and never seem to panic with the puck on their sticks. They will be a steady and calming influence on the younger players throughout the season.
    • I must admit that I was skeptical about Mathieu Dandenault playing forward. He certainly has made me eat my words so far with his strong forechecking play.
    • Guillaume Latendresse needs to understand that his spot in the lineup isn’t engraved in stone before every game. He needs to hustle and keep moving his feet on every shift of every game otherwise he will be enjoying popcorn in the press box next to Garth Murray or worst in Hamilton (with Maxim Lapierre taking his spot).

    The Canadiens have played well taking five of a possible six points on this three game road trip. We shouldn’t start the Stanley Cup parade route plan yet (we’ll let Toronto do that!!) but it has been a nice start to a promising and very intriguing season.