Uggg, Friday morning. The longest of the weekday mornings, cause Friday afternoons never seem to arrive fast enough. At least that means the Habs play again tonight, but before getting to that we thought we'd take a look at what other people are saying about the Habs after their 8-1-1 start.
And now we're starting to worry about the expectations this Canadiens (100 Anniversary Edition) team is still getting, still a little to much hype for our liking. It's not quite last year's early season Senators type of attention - and we all know where that leads (sorry, don't mean to rub it in SLC) - but it's still more hype than Montreal has seen in 2 decades. Just like the Sens last year, all the top hockey rankings have the Habs at or near the top:
- TSN ranks the Habs first in their weekly Power Rankings, identifying the Habs PP as the only weakness/disappointment thus far.
- Meanwhile ESPN has jumped on the bandwagon big time, even devoting a special page to the Habs' 100 anniversary, which includes a look at the history of the third jerseys they're wearing, so finally HF29's can sleep again. John Buccigross thinks "It's good for the league when Montreal has a good vibe about it". It's good for Montreal, too.
- NHL Fanhouse over at AOL Sports dropped the Habs from the top spot down to second behind the Sharks after last Saturday's loss to the suddenly surging Ducks (about time too: Perry, Getzlaf and Giggy were killing my pools).
- Not everyone sees the Habs as the top team, but The Hockey News still has them in the top 3, after the Sharks and Detroit. Until the Habs learn to beat a powerhouse Western Conference team (hi there, Giggy), this sounds a bit more realistic - Markov's Norris nomination may not be. Hope I'm wrong, though.
Which is all to say: Let the collapse begin!
Even individual players are getting recognition, even on non-sports sites: LaRack is ranked 2nd in Forbes' list of the Top Top 5 Bang-for-the-buck fighters, losing out to Colton Orr and his near-league minimum paycheck - the story itself still called Georgy the "league's top heavyweight".
At the risk of being permanently banned from the interweb, I'd also like to refer you to the paper version of The Hockey News (which, if you call yourself a hockey fan, you should have a subscription to). Earlier this year, THN listed the Habs as having the most reliable goaltending tandem as well as the 5th best defence corps in the league. These are the ranking that really expose the bandwagon-ism at work here: how can you call a goaltending tandem with a combined 2 NHL seasons the most reliable in the league? They don't even have a track record to base that on. And despite some suggestions that the Habs need more scoring - although thankfully the Gaborik rumour seems to have been beaten to death - the real weakness on this team is at the 4th defence position. Mind you the rankings were made before Rhino decided to turn over the puck every third shift and Breezer effectively became our 4th D, so I'll cut THN some slack on that one.
That's enough of the past, we'll get to the future - specifically tonight's game preview and open thread for Columbus - later today.