The Brian Gionta era, as captain of the Montreal Canadiens, is off to a losing start, unofficially. I'm pretty sure the pre-season will not reflect on his legacy as on-ice leader of the Habs after the Buffalo Sabres beat them 5-3 Thursday night.
There was no Tomas Plekanec, no Andrei Markov, no Hal Gill, no Josh Gorges, no Roman Hamrlik and no Mike Cammalleri, and fortunately three sat out the game and the others will be back no later than late October.
So we have to remember, it's pre-season. There's no two points up for grabs. A prospect can be stellar one night and play his AHL game the next, so there's no need to get too analytical......
But how does Luke Adam, who will likely be in the AHL this season, pot a pair of goals in the second period? The first was a beer-league stick check off the boards from Ryan O'Byrne, who seems to be playing his way out of a roster spot. On the second goal, he skated in on the Habs and banked one off the far post.
Not exactly the defensive efforts that players who are looking to make the roster or, in O'Byrne's case, are fighting to keep on the roster want to make.
O'Byrne did get some redemption, in the second period when, a puck he forced towards the goal tipped of the stick of Steve Montador to beat Jhonas Enroth to the game up at two.
The Habs rear guard was quickly back into the bad book, when he took a delay of game call shortly after. Add in a P.K. Subban hooking call and the Sabres clicked at the end of a five-on-three power play when Tim Connolly went top shelf on Alex Auld.
Subban also had a rough night, taking a couple hooking calls that some feel he may have been forced to take. But through the pre-season, the young defender has been getting careless and that could be a deciding factor, for coach Jacques Martin, once Markov, Gill and Hamrlik return from injuries.
Despite a respectable first period from Auld, who made 13 save in the first period, the chants of "Carey..Carey" echoed the Bell Centre rafters during the remaining 40 minutes. The fifth Sabres goal was downright awful.
On the positive side, it was nice to see Maxim Lapierre drop the gloves with Mike Weber. It seems Lapierre's boxing lessons this summer have paid off, and will back up the chirping he is known for.
The Canadiens have one final game in the pre-season this Saturday against the New York Islanders. After that, we can take out the microscopes and prods and turning over all the stones.
You absolutely must watch this "essay" from SI/TSN's Michael Farber on the language issue with the Habs.
Guy Carbonneau talked to Toronto's Fan590 on Gionta being named captain.
Mike Cammalleri has signed a multi-year endorsement extension with Easton Sports.
Sheldon Souray was put on waivers by the Edmonton Oilers this morning.
Tweet from the Minnesota Star-Tribune's Michael Russo: "Sheldon Souray can be claimed for a mere $3,375." Hmmmm, iIsn't that what car dealers are offering to recycle your ride?
If nobody picks up the former Habs defenseman, he could wind up in the AHL or be traded. Then again, he could join Donald Brashear in the LNAH.