1. Marc Bergevin got a good return for Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise.
Let's talk about the deadline topics first.
Marc Bergevin had an opportunity to get some assets for players on expiring contracts, and he lived up his "savvy trader" reputation by selling Weise and Fleischmann. Weise was rumoured to go for a third-round pick and, to be honest with you, I thought Fleischmann was going to fetch a seventh at best.
The return was never going to blow any of us away but it's more than good for what the Habs gave up.
The 23-year-old Philip Danault has been the apple of Bergevin's eye for years. He looks like he could become a reliable checking forward with the ability to chip in here and there. Before you hit me with "not another one of those" comments consider the fact that Bergevin traded Weise for a better version of Weise. Younger, cheaper, better. That's a deal I'd make every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
In terms of that second-round pick? It's an interesting choice for Bergevin. It gives them some flexibility down the road in a number of ways. There is a chance that the Hawks drop off a bit in 2018. It will be tough for them to keep this pace up year after year after year. That pick becomes more attractive in that draft year.
He could also use it to buy when his team is in position to do so.
I like the trade. The Habs are better off after it than they were before it.
2. Mike Brown is a Hab. Stefan Matteau is a Hab. Devante Smith-Pelly isn't a Hab.
When the Habs picked up Mike Brown off waivers you knew something was up. After all the jokes were made and all the emotional reactions were deleted we were left with: Why?
We got that answer nearly four hours later when the Habs traded Smith-Pelly to the New Jersey Devils for Matteau.
Time to face the music: Smith-Pelly isn't good at being an NHL hockey player. His former GM sought after him due to his perceived size and skill combination. We saw a lot of the former and nearly none of the latter. DSP is big ... and that's about it. At his best he was an aggressive fourth-liner who created a good forecheck. We saw that like three times in a year-and-a-half.
Brown is a body to fill the fourth-line role, I doubt he plays much, I'm sure the Habs will call someone up to fill that spot at some point.
Matteau is an interesting case. Drafted 29th overall in 2012, all I have heard on the 23-year-old is that the Devils blew it big time with this kid.
He made the team out of camp as an 18-year-old, scored three points in 17 games before being sent back to junior, and that burned a year of his entry-level contract.
The following year he played nearly the whole year in the AHL, scoring 26 points in 67 games. He also went to the World Juniors and put up four points in five games.
Last year? Seven NHL games, one goal. 27 points in 61 AHL games.
This year? 20 NHL games. One goal.
This could be a good deal for Montreal. DSP is DSP; he isn't magically turning into a power forward. There could be a bit of potential for Matteau, but I wouldn't expect much out of him.
3. Everything Brendan Gallagher touches turns to gold.
He always finds success no matter who he plays with. He's the perfect player not only for the coach but for this league. He works hard, has the hard and accurate shot, and is brilliant on both sides of the puck. I really want to see what he can do on Alex Galchenyuk's right wing with Max Pacioretty on the left side. That's my ideal first line.
4. Bar-Bar struggled, it raises some questions.
Victor Bartley and Mark Barberio didn't have a good start. To be honest, I noticed Bartley was really having a rough one. It was rough for them on the road with the Sharks' strong attackers. They were hemmed in their own zone early and often. With all the injuries on the back end, I'm not sure what they can do other than overload P.K. Subban with minutes. I don't think they can rely on Alexei Emelin to carry a pairing. Greg Pateryn is finding his groove and has been impressive, but isn't quite there yet. Andrei Markov is hit-and-miss these days (more hits than misses to be fair).
I'd also definitely get Morgan Ellis in there to see what he can do.
What would you do?
5. Mike Condon was a roller coaster.
Last week's NHL third star was left alone by Bar-Bar early on, but he made some really key saves to keep it a contest. I've been noticing that it's all or nothing with Condon. Either he's lights out or he's a sieve, no in-between. The Burns goal was a hell of a shot but that's a save he has to make if the Habs are going to make any semblance of a run.
6. Some scoring from the bottom-six was a sight for sore eyes.
I think they might have two fourth lines.
For real. I kind of laughed when I realized it. Michel Therrien was moving them around too.
Torrey Mitchell's goal came after he was moved to flank Paul Byron and Danault. It was much welcomed because it was a bit painful to watch the Sharks going to town on the Habs' lower lines.
Jacob de la Rose, Mike McCarron, and Mike Brown made up the rest of the bottom six, which was iffy at best.
They will find their way out of it as they find out what Danault and McCarron can do.
McCarron has impressed me. He uses his size and can skate, which is a plus. As he continues to play and find his way he will earn more time. I don't think their plan for the hulking rookie is to be the fourth-line centre.
7. Mike Brown was as advertised.
North-South. Crash and bang. Nothing special.
8. A note on Bartley.
Bouillon was better. On the Sharks' fourth goal he was brutal. Just brutal.
9. Bergevin said something interesting today.
He said that the collapse "raised some eyebrows" about his team. What do you think he meant by that?
I hope he means he realized his coach is terrible and he should fire him as soon as the season ends.
10. If you had hopes at playoffs it may be time to abandon them.
The Penguins won. The Habs lost. The Habs are now seven points out and the Penguins have two games in hand. Nearly impossible to do.
I really thought the Habs were on to something. They went 3-0-1 after a blowout loss to the Arizona Coyotes. Looks like they're primed for another losing streak.