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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

By JD Lagrange – The Canadiens have reached the 14 games mark and force is to admit that they have surprised many pundits in the hockey world so far. That includes many of their fans, and members of their wolf-like media pack, who thought that the team would be falling in the bottom-five of the NHL once again.

The season is still young and it’s way too early to celebrate, it’s true. After all, the team was in a similar position at this point last season before everything started crumbling due to the countless injuries to key players. But so far – knock on wood – the team has only lost one player long term in Kirby Dach, who is done for the season after having knee surgery to repair not one, but two torn ligaments. David Savard is also out for 6-8 weeks with a fractured left hand.

The team improved depth has been paying dividends so far, and it’s particularly noticeable at the center position. While the Alex Newhook experiment at center hasn’t been conclusive, the return of Christian Dvorak has provided a boost to this line-up. Savard’s loss is more difficult to replace as neither Johnathan Kovacevic or Jordan Harris have been able to face the tougher opposition on the top-4 so far.

A few hours from puck drop against the Vancouver Canucks, the Canadiens are two games above .500 and sit fifth in the Atlantic Division. They are only one point back of the Florida Panthers, two back of Toronto and Detroit. The Canadiens have a game in hand on every one of those teams except on the Panthers. Further, the Habs have won back to back games against their division rivals Red Wings and Bruins.

Today, I’ve decided to highlight a few players so far and the cowboy in me picked a good old classic Western to make my point. Here are The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for the first 12 games.

The Good

A few players have really stood out so far this season and I’ve picked

The Bad

Others have been up and down. In this case, the term “bad” might be a bit severe, I’ll be the first to admit. But these guys, in my opinion, can and should offer more.

The Ugly

Some stand out in the eyes of fans and media, but for the wrong reasons. Their production is not where it should be, for whatever reasons.

There you have it folks. Admittedly, I’m anticipating a lot of pushback on some of those. It’s all a matter of opinion, of course, and my list certainly isn’t the Bible of assessments. It’s simply based on what I, personally, was expecting from some of the Canadiens’ players. But rest assured that this is not meant as a player-bashing article. In fact, in spite of the struggles by some of the players listed above, the start of the season is, overall, quite positive.

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