Tag: Lars Eller

Michael McCarron

Looking to make the leap: Michael McCarron

Michael McCarron will be playing professional hockey next year.

The question is where.

According to Habs GM Marc Bergevin, McCarron — Montreal’s first-round pick (25th overall) in 2013 — will likely start the season with the club’s AHL affiliate in St. John’s.

But in early July, he opened the door ever so slightly.

“There’s room for a young player [in Montreal] if they perform,” Bergevin explained, per the Gazette. “It’s up to them.”

There’s reason to believe McCarron could be that young player. At 20, he boasts tremendous size — 6-foot-6, 225 pounds — and is coming off a banner junior campaign, in which he scored 68 points in 56 games for OHL London and Oshawa, then another 18 in 21 playoff games, helping the Generals win the Memorial Cup while earning a spot on the tournament all-star team.

As for his NHL prospects… well, McCarron isn’t lacking confidence.

“The way I look at it is, nobody can stop me when I’m going full speed and nobody can take the puck off me. That’s the way I think,” he said, per NHL.com. “I don’t know if that’s being cocky or not, but I just want to hold the puck as long as I can and take pucks to the net and be strong on pucks.”

McCarron’s size, strength and skill set certainly makes him a candidate for an NHL gig this fall.

Also helping his cause? A position switch.

McCarron moved to center last season and proved to be a dynamic force, while also becoming a more well-rounded player. He prides himself on versatility — “I can play on the wing or at center,” he told the Globe and Mail back in May — but that ability to play down the middle could really be to his advantage.

Right now, Montreal has Tomas Plekanec, David Desharnais, Lars Eller and Torrey Mitchell at center — hardly a dynamic group, and not especially deep. What’s more, Bergevin has expressed doubt that Alex Galchenyuk — the No. 3 overall pick in 2012, once thought to be the top-line pivot of the future — will ever play there.

“[Galchenyuk] is not there yet,” Bergevin explained at Montreal’s end-of-year presser. “He might never be a centerman.”

So yeah, a few factors working in McCarron’s favor.

The reality, though, is that making the leap from junior to the NHL is a tall task, even for a tantalizing prospect. McCarron will have to show remarkably well in training camp and the preseason — probably at center and wing — just to crack the Canadiens’ opening-night roster.

Lars Eller was asked if he was happy with his role in Montreal, and gave a curious reply

Lars Eller

Lars Eller, who faced his fair share of scrutiny this season, took an interesting approach when answering a question about how happy he was with his role on the Canadiens this year.

Here’s the video from today’s end-of-year media availability.

And here’s the transcript:

Q: Were you happy with your role this year?

A: [Eight-second pause]


As a player, you always want more. You’re never satisfied. You always want to play more, you always want to take another step, and I’m still hungry to improve.

Eller (27 points) was something of a disappointment in the first of a four-year, $14 million deal signed last July. There were big things expected following the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign in which he scored 30 points in 48 games and last year’s playoffs, in which he led all Montreal forwards with 13 points in 17 games.

Instead of progressing, though, his production plateaued. Eller also sat as a healthy scratch at the beginning of the year and missed time with an upper-body injury in December, and never really seemed to find his groove. His deployment also became a topic of conversation in Montreal, as he averaged less than 16 minutes per game in both the regular season and playoffs.

Looking ahead, this could be a situation worth monitoring. Eller’s been a lineup fixture in Montreal over the last five years but it’s unclear how he’ll fit under head coach Michel Therrien moving forward. Also unclear? The status of their relationship.

Report: No fine for Cameron after threatening retaliation on Habs


Ottawa head coach Dave Cameron won’t be fined for his remarks following a contentious Game 1 of the Sens-Habs series, per Sportsnet.

Cameron, upset about the slash P.K. Subban delivered on Mark Stone during Montreal’s 4-3 win Wednesday night, ominously suggested that if Subban didn’t receive a suspension — which he didn’t — the Sens would have to take matters into their own hands.

“I think it’s an easy solution,” he said in his postgame remarks. “You either suspend him or one of their best players gets slashed and just give us five [major penalty].

“Not that complicated.”

Cameron, coaching in his first-ever playoff series, could’ve been subjected to a $25,000 fine for those remarks, per TSN. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has protocol in place that forbids teams to lobby the league for supplemental discipline 48 hours following a game and/or hearing and, as Bob McKenzie tweeted last night, that prohibition “extends to include formal team statements to the media.”

Like a postgame press conference, for example.

Per Sportsnet and ESPN, warnings have been issued to both Montreal and Ottawa about their conduct moving forward. Just don’t expect those warnings to do much — these two teams have a nasty history, stemming from the ’13 playoff series that included Eric Gryba’s devastating hit on Lars Eller, and the subsequent Player 61/bug eyed fat walrus stuff between the habs and then-Sens head coach Paul MacLean.

Habs survive Subban ejection, hang on vs. Sens


The Montreal Canadiens probably didn’t draw it up this way – who could, really? – but they got what they wanted with a 1-0 series lead, besting the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Wednesday.

The most eyebrow-raising stuff happened in the first 40 minutes. To start things off, the Senators managed a 1-0 lead after Andrei Markov’s unfortunate own-goal.

All bets were off in the second period, though, really. The wildest moment came when P.K. Subban received a game misconduct and five-minute major slashing penalty, but it really set the stage for a manic run of traded blows.

To start things off, Torrey Mitchell and Tomas Plekanec scored two goals less than 30 seconds apart to give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead.

Ottawa took advantage of the power-play opportunities afforded by the Subban call … to an extent. Kyle Turris tied it up a little more than two minutes into that PP, yet a wild Lars Eller shortie made it 3-2 again.

The Senators managed one more tie thanks to Mika Zibanejad, but Brian Flynn’s tally ended up being the game-winner.

To review, six of the game’s seven goals happened in about a 10-minute span in the second period. This box score view of that scoring run may help illustrate the point more clearly:


Yeah, pretty crazy.

Ultimately, the Atlantic Division-winning Canadiens took a 1-0 series lead against the magical Senators, even with Max Pacioretty out of the lineup because of his injury issues and Subban only playing half the game.

In other words, clearly how Michel Therrien drew things up.

Habs rule out leading scorer Pacioretty for Game 1

Colorado Avalanche  v Montreal Canadiens

Montreal will be without 37-goal man Max Pacioretty when they open their playoff series against Ottawa tonight at the Bell Centre.

Pacioretty, dealing with an upper-body injury suffered in Montreal’s third-last game of the season against Florida, was officially ruled out this morning, but could return for Game 2 on Friday night — that said, Habs head coach Michel Therrien wouldn’t commit to any potential comeback date.

“As I said, we’ll use him when he’s 100 per cent,” Therrien said, per the CP. “It’s not tonight obviously.

“It could be Friday, it could be Sunday. Once we get the okay from our medical team, we’ll be very glad to get him back in the lineup.”

With Pacioretty out, here’s what Montreal’s line rushes looked like this morning:

Alex Galchenyuk-Tomas Plekanec-Brendan Gallagher

Devante Smith-Pelly-David Desharnais-P.A. Parenteau

Jacob de la Rose-Lars Eller-Dale Weise

Brandon Prust-Torrey Mitchell-Brian Flynn