After Danny Briere suffered a concussion and Brandon Prust left the game with an apparent shoulder injury on Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens will be forced to call up a couple of players from their AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs. Unfortunately for the Habs, the most impressive player on the roster thus far hasn't been a forward, but defenseman Greg Pateryn.
One of the callups will surely be veteran go-between Michael Blunden, who has also had a solid start to the year with two goals and one assist in three games, but Blunden missed one game last week with an injury as well, so he may not be fully healthy. The second forward recalled is also less clear, although Patrick Holland was kept longest in training camp, he is not the best option available.
The best option is undeniably Louis Leblanc, who has played half an NHL season and contributed at a third line level, the exact role Briere has been asked to do. Yet Leblanc has looked lethargic in Hamilton, not reacting well to the early demotion by Marc Bergevin. But Leblanc was told that Bergevin wants to hear that he's the best player on the team, and Sylvain Lefebvre has been skating him with his goons instead of with players who compliment his skillset, can you really blame him for being discouraged?
We all like to say that athletes need to make the best of it and show what they've got, but different people need to be motivated in different ways, and it's clear that continually treating Leblanc like a failure isn't working. He has no points after 4 games, but he does lead all Bulldogs forwards in shots with 9. A little positive reinforcement can go a long way.
Montreal Canadiens Links
Chris Stevenson has taken notice of P.K. Subban's incredible start to the season, and notes that he's playing his way onto Team Canada for the upcoming Sochi Olympics. Duh.
Brendan Gallagher was extremely happy to stand out in Edmonton with family and friends in attendance.
Zachary Fucale has already learned the crucial skill of giving all the credit to his team, even when he's their star player.
Speaking of Fucale, Terry Jones wrote that Edmonton wanted him at the draft, so maybe the idea of including him in a package for Yakupov isn't so far fetched?
Magnus Nygren spoke about adjusting to life Hamilton and AHL hockey, but it's translated so take that into account.
Our own Olivier Bouchard is wrote his weekly column for NHL.com, en Français of course.
And now for some prospect videos, starting with the previously mentioned Pateryn:
Tim Bozon got in a fight:
Bozon also scored two goals earlier in the week, the first of which showed his elite speed:
Martin Reway scored a nice goal:
Jacob De La Rose also got in on the goal scoring, and since he's playing in Europe and not the CHL, the video doesn't look like it was filmed with a potato.
Dalton Thrower continues to thrive for the Giants, scoring Subban-style on a second chance slapper:
More from Eyes On The Prize:
- Retour sur le match Canadiens vs Predators
- 24CH episode 3 recap: Go West, young men
- No discipline from the NHL on Eric Nystrom's head shot on Daniel Briere
- Canadiens vs Predators - Game Recap - Head shots, rule bending, and poor performance ends the Habs' winning streak
- Does Sylvain Lefebvre know what he's doing?