Montreal Canadiens defence is big and mean but are they the best?
Montreal Canadiens defence has been called into question in the past. A lot of nights during his entire career goaltender Carey Price has been excellent, but allows goals on golden scoring chances.
Simply put, the Canadiens defence has given up far too many chances of the Grade A quality in the past.
This was again a huge problem last season as the cross-ice slot passes seemed to be wide open for the Canadiens opponents on a nightly basis last season. Allowing teams to fire passes across the front of the net is bad enough when they have a power play, but it was a common occurrence for the Habs when playing at even strength as well.
This wasn’t as big of a problem when Shea Weber was on the ice. A healthy Weber eats up a lot of ice time and clears the crease of opponents so that Price has a better chance of making a save. Adding a few more defensively responsible blue liners to the team was necessary and general manager Marc Bergevin has certainly done that recently.
Before last season, he signed Ben Chiarot to a three year contract. This offseason saw him sign Joel Edmundson and get Russian defenceman Alexander Romanov under contract as well.
Chiarot played far above expectations last season and made the Habs much better defensively. It remains to be seen how Edmundson and Romanov will blend into the lineup, but there is no question they are both upgrades on Xavier Ouellet, who played all ten postseason games last summer.
It gives the Canadiens their best looking blue line in years, but how does it stack up against the six teams they will face this season?