You knew this poll was coming today. The Montreal Canadiens were eliminated last night, meaning that Canada’s Stanley Cup drought — no team has won it since the Habs in 1993 — will continue until at least next season.
Of the seven Canadian teams, there isn’t really one that screams Cup contender. Six of them missed the playoffs this season, and with all due respect to Montreal, there weren’t a ton of people picking the Habs to go as far as they did. Meanwhile…
— Calgary’s still in the early stages of a rebuild.
— Edmonton’s been rebuilding for what seems like forever. And based on last season, plenty of construction remains.
— Ottawa has Erik Karlsson…and financial limitations.
— Toronto still doesn’t have the kind of elite center that Cup-winning teams usually have. Not to mention the kind of stud defenseman.
Our vote? We’re giving it to Montreal. PK Subban and Carey Price are legitimate stars, and both of them are only in their mid-20s. Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller are still young. Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher are even younger.
It’s far from a perfect roster in Montreal. But then, in voting, one has to consider the competition.
Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.
It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.
His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:
These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”
Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo
It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.
Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.
You can see and hear his full comments below:
If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.
Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.
Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.
Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.
Slump busters: Simmonds, Couturier end long scoring droughts in win over Rangers