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Friday Habs Links: Habs experimenting with the 1-3-1 powerplay

Here are your daily links, including the Habs' experiment with new powerplay ideas, our single digit goal differential, and the evolution of Lars Eller

Oct 18, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Lars Eller (81) before the game against Colorado Avalanche at Bell Centre.
Oct 18, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Lars Eller (81) before the game against Colorado Avalanche at Bell Centre.
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens Links

  • Eric Tangradi practiced on the fourth line with Manny Malhotra and Dale Weise on Wednesday. Cute fact: He had played with P.K. Subban in the OHL, and Subban gave him a lift the morning of practice. [Canadiens]
  • Nathan Beaulieu said he had a conversation with Bergevin before leaving for Hamilton, but would prefer to keep it private. Beaulieu reminds us that he's only 21 years old, and he knows he has a lot to learn. Tinordi repeats that he feels ready for the NHL, but he just needs to prove it. [Journal de Montreal]
  • Josh Gorges had circled the Sabres and Canadiens date on his calendar a long time ago, but a recent knee injury means he doesn't know if he'll be game-ready by Saturday. [Journal de Montreal]
  • In training on Thursday, the Habs experimented with the 1-3-1 setup: Subban staying at the point, Pacioretty - Desharnais - Sekac (or Eller) playing as forwards, and Parenteau switching between wing and defense. We might see it in action on Friday's game versus the Sabres. [La Presse, Montreal Gazette]

The scheme is referred to as a 1-3-1 because one player — generally the centre — is stationed behind the net, three position themselves midway between the blue line and the centre, while the only defenceman sits atop the formation. From a bird’s eye view, they appear to form a kind of diamond shape. [Montreal Gazette]

  • Melnick in the Afternoon discusses the Habs' new strategy, putting Lars Eller on the powerplay over David Desharnais, and assessing playoff teams by Thanksgiving. [TSN 690]
  • Lars Eller interview by Arpon Basu. Read the write up in French on, or Basu's English notes on Twitter (part 2, part 3, part 4, summary). [NHL]

Around the League and Elsewhere

  • Daniel Alfredsson will announce his retirement in Ottawa next Thursday. This man spent 17 seasons playing for the Senators, hope the city gives him the support he deserves. [CBC]
  • Columbus Blue Jackets player James Wisniewski and his wife, Nicole, hold an open Thanksgiving dinner to his team and their families every year. This is so gosh darn heartwarming. [The Columbus Dispatch]
  • If a team isn't in the playoff race by December, it doesn't bode well for the rest of the season. Puck Daddy looks at the end of November standings and predict next year's playoff race. By the way, Colorado Avalanche's Gabe Landeskog says "[he has] never been a huge believer in stats''. [Puck Daddy]
  • Quebecor Media has bought the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL. [Sportsnet]
  • Showing some support for our fellow SB Nation blogs: get to know Lighthouse Hockey, our sister New York Islanders site. [Lighthouse Hockey]
  • It had been a tumultuous couple of days for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here's the quick summary of Salutegate, for either sympathetic wincing or schadenfreude rejoicing. [SB Nation]
  • Excellent Mike Babcock moment from Elliotte Friedman, who notes that it's also bad news for Montreal. The Canadiens has a +4 goal differential right now, sitting at 13th in the league.  [Sportsnet]

17. During a Saturday morning chat, Mike Babcock was asked about the top teams in the league. He grabbed the daily stat sheet and circled the five with the best goal differential — Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis. "There you go," he said. Note to NHL: Babcock thinks that statistic should be on the front of the package. It’s on Page Two.