By Brian Monzo
The Montreal Canadiens are probably the best team in the league. I don’t love admitting that, but the facts are the facts.
Carey Price, who some say is the best goalie in the world, missed a few games early, but has come back and is 10-0-0 with two shutouts.
Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov have been wicked good, and while it has yet to be determined if they can stay at a point-per-game pace, the one thing that is all but guaranteed is the dominant play from defenseman Shea Weber will continue.
When the Habs traded P.K. Subban for Weber, a lot of people, myself included, were a little puzzled. So far, that trade has been a big win for Montreal. All that said, never forget that they lost to the Blue Jackets, 10-0, a few weeks ago. No, really, 10-0.
— We discussed earlier Auston Matthews and his emergence onto the big stage to start the season. Well, fellow rookie Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets has told Matthews to move over and make room for him. Laine has an NHL-leading 11 goals, and alongside Mark Scheifele has the Jets playing playoff-type hockey. I still think the Jets need to find themselves a goalie, but they are another young team moving in the right direction.
— It’s too early in the season to start discussing bad contracts, but the Vancouver Canucks were certainly looking for more from Loui Eriksson when they signed him in July. Eriksson has just two goals in 16 games, while the Canucks have lost eight of 10 and have no flow to their game. I’m not sure if the Canucks have enough to be a playoff team this season, but if they are to have any chance, Eriksson is going to have to be the best player on the team.
— I was rather complementary of what the New York Islanders did in the offseason. I wasn’t the biggest Kyle Okposo fan, so letting him walk didn’t seem like a big deal. I loved the Andrew Ladd signing as far as leadership and offense. Ladd has three points in 16 games.
The real need for this team is secondary scoring. It was apparent in the playoffs last spring and it’s a big need now. Outside of John Tavares and Brock Nelson, there is zero consistency offensively. They also let P.A. Parenteau go via waivers to the Devils, which made no sense whatsoever. I am not sure what GM Garth Snow has planned, but finding some guys that can fill the net should be the priority.
This Week’s Top 5:
1. Shea Weber — The main reason for the Habs’ emergence as the best team in the NHL, though I’d love to see what happens when they play that team at MSG.
2. Sidney Crosby — Even I can’t deny how good he has been. He has 10 goals in nine games and the Pens are playing well.
3. Patrik Laine — The NHL’s leader in goals with 11 is only a rookie. It’s terrifying what he can do out there.
4. Carey Price — Blah.
5. Tyler Seguin — Only 24 years old, Seguin continues to quietly have great season after great season. He has 20 points so far in 2016-17, and is closing in on 400 career points.
Read more columns by Brian and follow him on Twitter at @BMonzoWFAN