Carbonneau's Good Recipies
Translated in part from a column by Pierre Durocher in today's Journal de Montreal.
The streak that the Canadiens are currently on does not cease to be surprising. How does the team continously rack up wins while being spared the contributions of six regulars nursing injuries, specifically Carey Price, Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay, and Chris Higgins?
Over the course of the last 14 games, the Canadiens have an excellent record of 11 wins, 2 losses, and one overtime loss for 23 of a possible 28 points.
The turning point came on December 18, when the Canadiens hosted the Flyers at the Bell Centre. That night, the Canadiens ended a three game losing streak by beating Philadelphia 5-2.
Contrary to last season, Carbonneau has had to deal with the loss of key players, and he has done very well due to having exhibited great flair in putting together new forward lines. One could term them "discoveries of Carbonneau" just as there were discoveries of Clodine Desrocher's recipies on television a few seasons ago. (Yes, I had to Google! She must have some recipies!)
What great idea it was to unite Robert Lang with the Kostitsyn brothers! Lang is playing so well, that he made everyone forget that he is a well seasoned 38 year old. No one was expecting him to the lead the club in scoring with 36 points, including 16 goals, not to mention a plus 12 differential.
Over the last seven games, Lang has 5 goals and six assists. Andrei has seven goals and five assists. Little brother has 2 goals and five assists.
There is a very sweet complicity between the three players. Lang and Sergei are first and foremost excellent puck movers while Andrei is the team's best sniper. Expectations are that he could reach the 30 goal plateau this season.
"Yes, it's true that those three players complement each other well", says Carbonneau. "We were discussing this before the holidays. We knew that a veteran like Lang would be better in the second half when it becomes easier to concentrate on each games. It must also be mentioned that Andrei has brought his game up a notch over the last few weeks."
Carbonneau also pointed out that "Andrei has started to shoot more often on a regular basis, and the quality of his play has had benefits both Lang and Andrei. Lang is intelligent with the puck, and he needs to strong skaters at his side."