Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Fleury (W)
Habs goalscorers: Pacioretty
Opposition goalscorers: Crosby, Guerin, Gonchar
Play of the game
Not much to report here and it's not like I had a tough choice. Price didn't make any real spectacular saves and the D didn't really do anything out of the ordinary, so it will be our goal then; pretty simple play really. It was Metropolit who broke out of his own end sending the puck up to Sergei. The younger Kostitsyn then fed Pacioretty who was able to continue his strong play with another goal (he now has 3). The pass also happened to be Sergei's 2nd point in as many games this year.
Glen Metrpolit - Game Puck
Glen was used in all different scenarios last night and even saw time on the first line. In all he played 18 1/2 minutes, was a +1, took a team-high 5 shots (3 more than anyone else and over 1/4 of our total) and picked up his 7th assist on the year.
Max quietly has 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 5 games. I am not sure exactly what has happened, but he is looking better and better all the time. The way he played in this one shows to me that maybe, after all, he can hack it in the NHL, but again we must be careful. If we don't want to lose him like we lost Gui we must be patient (more so than we already have been). Play him on a top-2 line when there are injuries, but ideally on the 3rd. He seems to be working well with Metro and the addition of Sergei to that line makes me very excited for what could turn out to be a permanent, quality 3rd line (2nd for the time being).
Travis is mainly in here in recognition for the work he did filling in on the first line. Sergei was definitely not up to the task of filling his brother's skates, but I felt that Moen did an admirable job. He may lack the hands to be more than a 4th-liner, but last night he worked hard, won battles and got the puck to his more talented linemates. He ended the game 1st on the team in hits (6), and 2nd in shots and blocked-shots (2).
Our D didn't look great in this game, but no one really stood out for bad play either. Bergeron, Leach and O'Byrne all looked quite capable at times, but did have bad moments too. Mara, however, played a pretty invisible game. He was on the ice for Sid's goal, but balanced it out by being on for ours. He led the team with 4 blocked-shots and clocked over 22 minutes of play.
Josh was invisible to good tonight. I didn't really notice him much and when I did it was because he was doing something responsible and/or solid out there. He, like Mara, played over 22 minutes and was our only D to not be on the ice for a goal-against. To top it off he was on the ice for our goal and, thus, was the only D man to end the night at +1.
Carey couldn't have really won this game for us. He did play a good game and looked good for the most part, but to hold a rested Penguin team to 1 goal or less in their building is not likely to happen. Once again he faced 30 shots and, once again, he let in 3 or less goals. So, he would have given a more competitive team a serious chance to win. It would have been nice if he stopped goals #2 and #3 as I think at his best he stops those, but he did make up for it by stopping some that should have gone in.
Right from the get-go Montreal looked tired and Pittsburgh didn't. Whether or not you think that NHL teams should be able to handle two games in two nights (I do) is beside the fact as what we now know is that the Habs will always have trouble at it (especially when travel is involved). It would, however, be nice if these professional athletes were able to exert themselves for 15-20 minutes over a 3-hour period two nights in a row, but I guess that is something that we must work our way up to. That said there were a couple of other things that bothered me. The first is that we can't seem to draw penalties. This was magnified last night as our hustle wasn't really there, but in general we do not do a very good job at this. All it takes is persistence, hard-work and effort and eventually you will get some calls. Being weak on the puck, afraid to go into corners and unwilling to get a little cheap/dirty yourself will likely hurt our chances at going on the PP. The other issue I had with last night's game was the fact that Price wasn't pulled. Why on earth, with the puck in their end and a minute to play, would you leave the goalie in? The fact is that there is nothing to lose by pulling him, who cares if you lose 4-1 or 5-1? I, like the rest of you, could recognize that we were probably not going to win the game, but why not at least take your best shot? Who knows maybe one last-minute win will be the difference at the end of the year. I can stomach this if it just happens this once, but if this repeats itself then I'll be quite upset at Martin's apparent lack of hope. After all, all you need is luck.