TSN surveyed a group of 14 NHL coaches and general managers, representing seven Eastern Conference teams and seven Western Conference teams, to come up with a list of the top 50 NHL players heading into the 2013-2014 season. Only one Montreal Canadien made the list, which was 27th-ranked P.K. Subban. P.K. found himself ahead of Eric Staal and behind Martin St. Louis in the survey, apparently winning the Norris Trophy was only good to get P.K. ranked as the 6th best defenseman in the league, behind Ryan Suter, who's biggest career accomplishment is losing the Norris Trophy race to Subban. Carey Price just missed the list, coming in behind Mikko Koivu at 51.
Montreal Canadiens News and Analysis
Based on the score sheet and Mike Boone's account - I myself didn't see the game - last night's 5-2 blowout against Ottawa was kind of a shit show. Ryan White and Travis Moen accounted for 42 of Montreal's 59 (!) penalty minutes on the evening, which I guess is pretty cool. Meanwhile, Nathan Beaulieu led the team in ice time while Raphael Diaz led the team in shots (3 EV, 1 PP) and scored a goal.
Tonight's the last preseason game of the year, so expect Brian Gionta to join Tomas Plekanec and Rene Bourque on Montreal's tough-minutes top line.
USA Today reporter Kevin Allen picks Montreal to finish fourth in the Atlantic Division, ahead of Ottawa, Tampa, Buffalo and Florida, but behind Toronto, Detroit and Boston. Allen feels that development from the young core will allow Montreal to keep pace with the other strong teams in the division.
Former Montreal draft pick Danny Kristo will start the season with the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale, which means that the Ryan McDonagh comparisons should cease for the time being.
Sean Gentille of The Sporting News released his preview of the Flortheast (Atlantic) Division, and he has the Habs in playoff position.
General News and Analysis
It looks as though the Florida Panthers will have a new owner and new goalie within a very short period of time. Chairman and CEO of Virtu Financial, a financial services firm that specializes in "electronic market making", Vincent Viola is expected to close a (believed) $250 million deal for the club this week. The bid would see Viola assume sole ownership of the franchise. Meanwhile, Tim Thomas is expected to be added to the roster once Viola has officially taken control of the team. Here's reaction from the fine folks over at Litter Box Cats.
A lot has been said about the aesthetic choices made by Nike in the design of the Sochi Olympic sweaters. Andi D of Mile High Hockey reviews Team Canada, Team Russia, and Team U.S.A's jerseys, noting that they lack the classic feel hockey fans crave. Andi says the following: "They feel sterile. They feel foreign. They might work for football, basketball, or soccer, but they just aren't us. They just aren't hockey."
Daniel and Henrik Sedin are very good at a lot of things, including running away from an angry man. The twin Cancuks, who turn 33 today, were two of only three players to run John Tortorella's 2-mile sprint in under 12 minutes (which is better than 10 mile per hour pace). Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com sits down with the twins to talk Stanley, Sochi, and World Championship gold.
Do you know a recently cut Calgary Flames player? Is said player confused by the team's decision? If you answered yes to both of these questions, take a look at The Book of Loob's Guide to Getting Cut on Flames Nation.
Coyotes GM Don Maloney likes to sign defensemen. Jaime Eisner and Christopher Hair of Five for Howling like to write parody songs based on the Pokemon anime series. I like to link to awesome things. You do the math (and listen to the original for reference's sake)!
Lighthouse Hockey's Dan Saraceni has a brief summary of the NHL's preseason disciplinary actions.