One of the best teams in the pre-season had its share of troubles the
past few games against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington to name a
few. Only Buffalo and Dominik Hasek proved to be an unworthy foe. That’s
when Captain Vinny Damphousse broke out of his usual early season drought.
The two goalies, Moog and Thibault, have both played well, but it seems
Moog has so far been the starter while Thibault is the backup. It seems
coaches Vigneault and King have really done wonders with Montreal’s
defensive system, which had been complete chaos under Mario Tremblay. Moog
has also been a calming influence on the blueliners, shouting instructions
to them during the game.
The Canadiens are not like the Bruins, Capitals, or Flames, who all have
a significant number of rookies or young’uns in the lineup — only C
Sebastien Bordeleau and D Brett Clark are with the team. Fortunately,
though, these are two good rookies — especially my boy Bordeleau!
Bordeleau can do it all. He’s got the offensive skills to dazzle the odd
time, and he’s good defensively for a rookie, too. He’s also good on
faceoffs, and can take important draws in his own zone. Again, he played
too many games last year to be considered a rookie and a Calder candidate.
Unfortunately, he’s playing on the fourth line right now with Thornton and
Bureau. Occasionally, he steps up to the third line to play with Brunet and
Stevenson or Richer.
Jose Theodore has indeed been sent down to Fredricton, along with Matt
Higgins and Brad Brown. Jason Ward has been returned to his junior club,
the OHL Erie Otters.
Saku Koivu, Mark Recchi, Benoit Brunet, and Sebastien Bordeleau have all
been very impressive this pre-season. I gotta tell you, I love Benoit
Brunet. He leads the team in scoring while being a sparkplug for the
Canadiens every night. He is so good. He doesn’t get top billing like
Koivu, Recchi, or Damphousse, but he’s at least as important as they are to
the team. Kinda like Martin Gelinas in Vancouver, except he’s a little less
blue-collar and grinding. Too bad he always gets injured! (He’s played only
65 games the past two years) Sebastien Bordeleau has been very impressive
this pre-season. He played 28 games last year, scoring 11 points. He was
pretty good last year for a rookie, but this year he has really come into
his own. He really looks like he belongs in the NHL. He could be the 2nd
line center if the Habs didn’t have so many of them. If and when Damphousse
leaves, Bordeleau would fit in nicely on that 2nd line playing with Benoit
Brunet, his current linemate. If Bordeleau gets sent down to the “A”, there
will be outrage here in Montreal because the fans just love him!
As for prospects that don’t have a roster spot locked down… Darcy
Tucker was Mario Tremblay’s pet last year, but Alain Vigneault is behind Read more»