Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pac-Man should get his skies waxed

It might not be official, but the absence of Max Pacioretty from the lineup for Wednesday night’s pre-season tilt with the Boston Bruins all but assures he’ll be heading up to Mont Tremblant with the Canadiens.

Guy Carbonneau is supposed to make cuts either after the game Wednesday before leaving for Tremblant, and a bunch of bubble guys are in the lineup against the Bruins.

On defence, Yannick Weber is once again paired with Ryan O’Byrne, which is kind of cruel on Carbonneau’s part because he’s not giving the kid a real chance to shine in 5-on-5 situations. He basically has his two most mistake-prone defencemen on the same pairing. I’d be stunned to see Weber heading to Tremblant.

Up front, Guillaume Latendresse is playing left wing on a line with Robert Lang and Matt D’Agostini, and though many people may be looking at that as a tryout for D’Agostini, I think it’s far more important for Latendresse. He hasn’t played badly in camp so far, but he’s definitely been outplayed by Pacioretty and he needs to show Carbonneau something against the Bruins. He’s not in danger of missing the Tremblant trip, but Latendresse only has two games left to convince the coaching staff he warrants the confidence they have in him, and that process starts tonight. As far as D’Agostini goes, I think his already slim chances of making the team have been nullified by the mergence of Pacioretty.

Otherwise, Kyle Chipchura is playing with Gregory Stewart and Tom Kostopoulos, and Chipchura basically needs to improve on his solid effort from Tuesday night. Stewart, in my eyes, has no chance of heading to Tremblant with the team.

Another interesting twist is that Mathieu Dandenault is playing on defence with Francis Bouillon. In the Habs game in Roberval, Dandenault began the game up front but dropped back to defence when Roman Hamrlik got hurt. Dandenault played forward Tuesday and did reasonably well, other than constantly trying to score on the wraparound. If he can be a utility guy like this, he becomes far more valuable, either in terms of a potential trade or a spot as an extra forward/defenceman.

1 comment:

Habitant d'Ecosse said...

The peg on which Latendresse had his jacket hanging wasn't quite so shooogly as you suggest if you believe Carbenneau's comment today about bigger guys (Guys?) taking longer to get going. Sooner or later he should have a big breakthrough season, quite possibly when the Habs bring home Mug25. Let's hope Carbenneau's patience pays off this year.