In part two of our look into the Habs, EOTP asked RDS's Chantal Machabee to offer her perspective of the Montreal Canadiens upcoming season.
Machabee is a seasoned veteran of the Montreal sports scene, having joined RDS in 1989. While RDS is a French language station, the multitude of English speaking fans are used to seeing her familiar face on Habs telecasts since 2004.
She is also rather active with her Facebook account, so we asked her opinions on the current social media situations, given recent developments in the blogger/MSM debate.
EOTP: Chantal, were you surprised at the suspension given to Mike Cammalleri? Too little, or appropriate?
Chantal: Not surprised at all, he deserved it! I would say appropriate suspension.
EOTP: Is this the year for Carey Price to prove he can be the undisputed No. 1 goalie in Montreal?
Chantal: Absolutely! This is the most important year of Carey's career. It's almost a "Do or Die" season with the Habs, but I sincerely think he will have a good season.
EOTP: Was Brian Gionta the right choice to wear the C?
Chantal: He was the only choice for me. Brian showed a lot of leadership in the playoffs, and I was impressed by the way he handled himself in crucial moments. He's a great player and a true leader!
EOTP: After watching training camp, who impressed you most?
Chantal: Tomas Plekanec was by far, the best player on the ice at the training camp. Offensively and defensively, he was solid and effective. He's ready for the season! As for the new comers, Lars Eller and Ryan White were impressive.
EOTP:. Which player, on last season's Habs roster, really needs to step up this season to keep his place on the roster?
EOTP: Who could really be the surprise player this season?
Chantal: Well, I think PK Subban will be the new superstar on the team! He is one of the best and fastest skaters on the team, and he is spectacular! Sometimes, he takes too many chances defensively but he seems to be a little bit quicker to recover this year.
EOTP: What is the best strength of the Canadiens?
Chantal: Offense. Gomez-Gionta-Cammalleri-Plekanec. All small players, but fast and talented. If they only can stay healthy.
EOTP: What is their weakness?
Chantal: Goaltending is the name of the game and there a lot of questions marks here. If Price can't do the job and be very very good, the Habs will be in serious trouble...
EOTP: Prediction: The Habs will finish where in the Eastern Conference?
EOTP: Having interviewed several sports personalities, who has surprised you the most? Best interview? Worst interview subject
Chantal: Luc Robitaille was the funniest. I like interviewing Alex Ovechkin. He's funny, always smiling and doesn't take himself seriously. Guy Lafleur is great. My first interview ever was golf legend Jack Nicklaus...a gentleman! I was really impressed with Rodger Federrer. He is brilliant and humble!
EOTP: In recent months, the involvement of "social media" has become a big interest. While some pro leagues, teams and mainstream media welcome it, some do not. How do you feel toward it, given one of the opponents to bloggers, who will go nameless, misreported the passing of a former NHL coach?
Chantal: You have to be very careful with social media, and always have in mind that you are a journalist, and take it as another media tool. But it's fun and I love the possibility to discuss with the fans and have their opinions.