No real introduction this morning, just some quality links from around the hockey world. Be sure to join us for tonight's tilt against the surprisingly dominant Minnesota Wild, who sit second in the NHL (i.e., ahead of San Jose!) in close CF%. Puck drop is at 8:00 ET on RDS, FS-WI, and FS-N+.
Montreal Canadiens News and Analysis
Max Pacioretty (hamstring), George Parros (head), and Alexei Emelin (knee) all skated with the team at yesterday's practice. Emelin was sporting a no-contact jersey while the two wingers participated fully. Look for George Parros to assume his spot as the fourth line RW tonight and Max Pacioretty, who is ahead of the three-week rehabilitation schedule set out for him on October 15, to play tonight or tomorrow. Speaking of ahead of schedule, the newly-extended Alexei Emelin is eyeballing a mid-November return, which is good news considering the state of the bottom pairing.
According to intelligence gathered by Darren Dreger, P.K. Subban is a "long shot" behind fellow right-handed defenders Dan Boyle and Kris Letang for a spot on Team Canada's blue line. I find this hard to believe, but I guess if Kevin Lowe can crack that executive team, anything is possible.
Speaking of Subban, I have some responses to Dreger's claims from people who write about Habs. Christopher Boucher goes to bat for P.K., noting that "any statement based on the assumption that PK Subban is a risk-taker and/or a liability in the defensive-zone is both without fact, and irresponsibly vague." To illustrate this point, Boucher charts P.K's 2013-2014 numbers relative to his Norris trophy winning season and the Montreal blueline as a whole.
Meanwhile, Guillaume Lefrançois gives his thoughts on P.K's Olympic aspirations, noting Canada's impressive depth on the right side. Kris Letang, Shea Weber, Drew Doughty, Brent Seabrook, Alex Pietrangelo and Dan Boyle are all righties who have their sights set on Sochi.
Sticking with Subban Pierre McGuire weighed in on the possibility of Subban not making Team Canada's Olympic team, calling it an absolute joke.
The Canadiens have organized a father-and-son weekend for the players, which will see the Montreal's cast of dads join their boys in Minnesota and Colorado this weekend. Although this is pretty cool, it's probably not a great birthday present for Tomas Plekanec, who turned 31 yesterday and lost his 58-year-old father in September. This is a bummer and I sincerely hope Pleks had a happy birthday.
General News and Analysis
Buffalo Sabres cinder block John Scott, who was suspended indefinitely last week and has missed Buffalo's last three matches, has been given an additional 7 games of supplementary discipline by the Department of Player Safety. Here's reaction from Die by the Blade and Stanley Cup of Chowder.
CBC's broadcast groupings for the Sochi Olympics have been announced, with some interesting moves. Cassie Campbell-Pascall will step away from the sidelines and up into the broadcast booth for men's and women's hockey. Meanwhile, we'll all be saved from the most awkward interviews in sports, as Scott Oake will calling other events at the games. Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Glenn Healy will remain the main broadcast team, likely calling the gold medal match, while Mark Lee and Kelly Hrudey will be the second team. Hopefully, P.J. Stock will be left at customs.
Lighthouse Hockey's Dan Saraceni has produced a handy Rick DiPietro owner's manual for the AHL's Charlotte Checkers, who just signed the perpetually injured goaltender to a professional tryout. It's great, as is most of the satire on Lighthouse.
Scott Reynolds' wonderful Best Players Ever tournament continues, with six men - Bobby Clarke, Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Hoowie Morenz, and Cyclone Taylor - up for elimination. Within his analysis, Reynolds has revealed that Alex Ovechkin is in Mike Bossy, Howie Morenz, and Guy Lafleur territory when it comes to scoring, while Bobby Clarke's time on the list should probably come to an end. Vote for who you think is undeserving of a spot among the ten greatest players ever.
Here's a French-language profile of Patrick Roy that Dave Stubbs says is well written. I'll take his word for it and pass the link on to you.
Fear the Fin's Jake Sundstrom compares the regular season save percentages of goalies that have played 65 games or more to their corresponding post season save percentages. The idea is to gauge the impact a large workload has on playoff performance and the test yields interesting results.
Karl Alzner put two very sad looking canines in hot dog costumes for Halloween. Check it out!
More from Eyes On The Prize:
- Alexei Emelin extended, 4 years, $16.4M
- How big of a gamble is Alexei Emelin's new deal?
- Emelin extended
- The EOTP Montreal meetup is set!
- Improving the NHL's "Real Time Stats"
- Varlamov arrested for domestic violence, kidnapping - Thursday Habs Links
- The EOTP Movember Movement
- Gallagher and Galchenyuk face off in pumpkin carving duel