When the Penguins and Canadiens meet, it always feels like it's going to be a lot of fun. Another thing that we have a lot of fun with is bringing in friends from our other SB Nation sites for a little Q&A to get some perspective on the opponent.
For tonight's Pens-Habs game, we have Laura from Eyes On The Prize, whose unofficial title at EOTP is Resident PK Subbanologist, but they won't let her put it on the masthead.
Without further ado, let's get it started (with my own responses italicized below Laura's answers)
1. How do you feel about Michel Therien at this exact moment?
Pessimistic. While the team is winning games, they're mostly doing so despite their gaping flaws. The defensive coverage is a mess, the power play only works against the Philadelphia Flyers, and while the forwards have been doing well as of late, for a good chunk of the games, the line combinations have been baffling. Whenever it looks like the systems are coming together, it all goes down the toilet as soon as he feels like "sending a message." I'm clearly not a huge fan of the coach, but as long as the Habs keep pulling wins out of their butts, I can't complain too loudly.
Right. That makes sense. It's a weird phenomenon, being a fan of a team that's winning games, but there are clearly underlying issues that you know can be exposed by a good team in a 7-game series. You feel like a jackass for not just appreciating what you're watching at the time.
2. Are there any flaws in PK Subban's game? He seems like the perfect human.
He does seem like the perfect human, doesn't he? If I had to nitpick I would say he's a little undisciplined, but some of the penalties called on him are definitely a matter of reputation. People like to go on and on and on about how he takes too many risks but that's kind of overblown. He's one of the few players fast enough and creative enough to take risks and clean up his own mistakes when that backfires. He is seriously the greatest.
He is great and anyone who says otherwise is flat out wrong. Players of his ilk that have the ridiculous skating speed as well as physical play and good shot, etc....you have to let them fly. Kris Letang, Drew Doughty, etc..it's a risk/reward type system.
3. What's the biggest issue that will keep the Habs from winning the Atlantic Division?
Barring any significant injuries, the Habs should be able to challenge for the division, on paper. But the coaching might get in the way.
Injuries can derail things quickly. I would even go as far as suggesting that the Habs can challenge for the division with any injuries other than Carey Price.
4. Who are your favorite Canadiens other than Subban? I love me some Brendan Gallagher and great American, Alex Galchenyuk
Depends on the day, really. I love both goalies, Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller are two of my favourites, but then I have days when the two Gallys are my favourites. Andrei Markov is practically perfect. I'm going to go with Brendan Gallagher as my favourite personality on the team and American Hero Max Pacioretty as my favourite to watch (other than Subban).
Brendan Gallagher is great. Max Pacioretty is a great American. Lots of likable players on the Canadiens roster. I love when these two teams get together.
5. What grade do you give Marc Bergevin since he took over as GM?
Solid B+ He's been pretty great but not perfect.
This is fair. I read yesterday that he publicly admitted he liked/wanted Rielly in the 2012 draft, but he trusted his scouts on the Galchenyuk pick. That takes some marbles to admit that on record. I also respect his call to waive Rene Bourque. Sometimes tough decisions pay off, sometimes they don't.
Bonus Question 6. If you were on death row and facing execution, what would your final meal choice be?
Can't beat a grilled cheese done right.
What kind of cheese? What kind of bread? Do you have soup with it? There are so many unanswered questions here.
Bonus Question. 7. Do you love Sergei Gonchar yet?
No, but I know he's doing well here so far. I just still haven't been able to stop thinking of him on two of my least favourite teams.
He is great. 2009 Stanley Cup run forever and ever. My life. I won't be bad if Gonchar scores a hat trick tonight.
We were happy to have Laura here for this, as she is one of my favorite people. It's always fun doing these kinds of things. Here's to looking forward to another entertaining Pens-Habs game tonight.