Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Anderson (W)
Habs goalscorers: Hamrlik, Plekanec
Opposition goalscorers: Hejduk, Cumiskey, O'Reilly
The Habs needed to get their PP going and, I felt, needed to get a lead in this one early. They did both those things 10 minutes into the game and it was all of a sudden looking good for us. The play started with some good work by Kostitsyn in the corner. He got the puck out to Pleks who then made a glorious pass to Hammer. Coming in from the point Hammer was now in prime shooting position with a lot of net to shoot at; he made no mistake as he potted his second of the year.
Tomas Plekanec - Game Puck
I am very happy with the way that Pleks played last night as, for once, he stepped out of the 1st line's shadow and was our best offensive player. This type of contribution is what we need to be a competitive club this year. He scored a goal, got an assist and was one of only 2 players with a positive rating.
This was a big bounce back game for Andrei. He was very involved all night and managed to pick up 2 assists. He, like Plekanec, ended the game with a positive rating which, to me, is reassuring after his defensive awareness was called into question last week against Edmonton.
Scott gets in here almost by default as he is the winner of the 'best of the rest' sweepstakes. I think that he created the most chances, other than the two players above, and was the best on his line again. I liked at the beginning how he wasn't on a line with Gionta and Cammalleri (just Gionta), but that, again, was short lived. This effort, combined with the solid play of the second line, should win us more than we lose this year.
I noticed Josh quite a bit today, but was also pretty happy with the minutes he played in which I didn't notice him. All in all our D was alright in this one, but there were some moments that left me shaking my head. Luckily for us, however, Josh did what we asked as he played like a true #2. I think that in an ideal world 20 minutes may be too much for him, but for now I say we get as much out of him as we can.
I can't say enough about Roman in this one; he, again played the role of top defender as well as anyone could really expect. He contributed offensively (1 goal) which is really quite useful when you are down a player like Markov and when your big point-man (Spacek) is fanning on all of his one-timers. At 25 minutes I wouldn't say he was over-used (he was great while on), but we must be very careful not to burn him out this year.
Carey played a solid enough game tonight that he probably should have got the win. He was a little weak on some (if not all) of the goals, but I can live with a couple of mistakes a night. I was very happy with his rebound control (except on the goals) and thought that he controlled his end of the ice quite well. I would still like to see Halak get a start soon, but am happy that Carey rebounded (for our sake and his) after 2 very questionable performances.
I am a bit indifferent after this game. It was exciting to see a home game, at last, and I thought the players put on a pretty good show. For one reason or another, however, we didn't get the job done. It seems to be a trend this year that we aren't getting the results for some reason. In Edmonton, Calgary and now tonight the effort has been there, but we have 0 points to show for it - it's too bad. Last night I thought to myself that we have the talent and, for the most part, have the grit and work-ethic down, but what we may be lacking, which is understandable, is the chemistry. I can't say that I am surprised about that, but can only hope, if we want to make the playoffs, that people start gelling more in the very near future.