Gally and Chucky are a tad older now (although, on the downside, Andrei Markov and Mike Weaver are too), the Canadiens are coming off some postseason deepness and liking it, and sixteen skaters (counting newcomer Eric Tangradi), are at least six feet tall.
The size factor has zoomed up considerably with Brian Gionta, Daniel Briere, and most recently Francis Bouillon, no longer in the picture. In fact, the roster, as it stands now, lists 11 guys all at 6’2″, which in my eyes is darn close to the perfect hockey player size.
It’s not that small guys can’t be key contributors. They certainly can be and it would be nonsense to say otherwise. But when there’s an abundance of small guys on one team, the team will often get bounced around like Brad Marchand’s three brain cells when the going gets rough.
It seems the Canadiens also have a nice balance of guys of young and not-quite-so-young. In fact, unless something changes, it’s only Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Bournival, Beaulieu, Tinordi, and Jiri Sekac under 25 years old, and it’s only Weaver, 36, Markov, 35, and Manny Malhotra, 34, as the overly-wrinkled veterans.
Tweaks have been made (- http://dennis-kane.com/summer-notes-from-habsville/), and the Canadiens should be labeled a legitimate contender, which is a sensational feeling. Unless you hate them of course.
It begins on Wednesday when they play the worst sports franchise in North America.
Yes, against those wacky Leafs.
It was ESPN who named the Leafs the worst, with the decision based on affordability, coaching, fan relations, ownership (honesty and loyalty), players (effort and likability), stadium experience, bang for the buck (wins per fan dollars) and title track (championships won or expected).
Pretty sure it costs an arm and a leg to see the Laffs at the ACC. They’ve increased their ticket prices by 53% this year, with the average price being $423.65.
But at ticket outlet “Vivid Seats”, one can grab a pair to see them and the Habs battle from down low, centre ice for slightly more. Just $1213 a seat.
However, if you want to wait until, say January, when the Columbus Blue Jackets visit the ACC, you can get a great seat through Vivid for just $385.00!
Likeable players? Probably not on this year’s team. But Johnny Bower has always seemed likeable. King Clancy. Some of the usherettes. I’m sure there’s more.
Stadium experience? I dunno. Are the hot dogs good?
Wins per fan dollar? The team hasn’t won much of anything in four and a half decades, which makes the fan dollar so low that when I do the math, the team should be paying the fans.
You can lump “wins per fan dollars and championships won or expected” together if you want. However which way you slice it, with these two categories being part of the criteria, ESPN should just hand the award to the Leafs permanently and come up with something new.
“Championships expected”? Yes, any year now, the Leafs will win the Cup. Said Don Rickles.
I don’t pay attention to the coaching and ownership so I can’t comment. I suppose they’re trying, but it’s the Maple Leafs they own or coach. How much trying can one do?
Habs and Laffs finally set to go. A big night for sure, even if one team is the worst franchise in North America.