I know. They're winning. And they're winning big. Even when they've lost they could have easily won. But still, while I'm all for a glass half full mentality, let's not let the glass overflow either.
One of the concerns I had heading into this 2021 season for Les Canadiens was the defense. The Canadiens are certainly blessed with the most defensive depth in the division (Mete, Fleury are two that would likely be in the top 6 of most of these other teams). But they lack a little foot speed. Which brings me to the Captain. The one referred to as the "Man Mountain". And his play thus far should be cause for worry.
Forget the fact he has the worst + - out of the group of defensemen. Weber has played hard minutes thus far against some of the game's best : Matthews, McDavid, Draisaitl, Pettersson etc so this was to be expected. But what I've seen are soft passes, a heavy shot that, well, doesn't look as threatening, and even more worrisome is his lack of physicality. Is his ability to set fear in opposing forwards with those big crunching, hits a thing of the past? Does his foot speed not allow him to catch opposing forwards and finish his checks? And why has there been more traffic than an LA freeway in front of Price's net in every single game thus far? Let's call a spade a spade: Captain Crunch is currently definitely lacking punch!
Don't get me wrong, Weber had a stellar performance in last summer's playoffs and he remains an invaluable part of this team. But what we've seen in the past couple of seasons is that he tends to wear down quite quickly. What will it be like this year given the extensive cross-country travel and the highly condensed schedule?
The solution certainly can't be to keep using him 24/25 minutes a game. Perhaps Romanov will be able to "eat" some of those hard minutes as he gains experience? The Canadiens have to hope so.
I suppose if we want to look at the silver lining here it would be that, contrary to just a couple of years ago, the Canadiens are no longer just Shea's and Carey's team. They have a very solid backup. They are also a team with incredible depth at all positions including on defense. A team with young, emerging players that are slowly but surely showing an ability to take on a bigger role and more responsibility. And I'll definitely raise a glass to that!