Opponent: Maple Leafs
Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Gustavsson (W), MacDonald
Habs goalscorers: None
Opposition goalscorers: Orr, Finger, Stajan
Geez. I could choose one of our 26 mediocre shots, a so-so defensive play or even the fact that Komisarek, once again, was booed every time that he touched the puck, without fail. I will, however, avoid all of those as they are weak. Well, this was a weak game so I'll go with something equally as weird anyway. It was during the pre-game, it was the reception that our crowd gave to the Alouettes. It was great to see them get some recognition for winning the Cup and it was also neat to see the Grey Cup and Stanley Cup in the same building at the same time - anyone know the last time that happened?
Picking this dome was a stretch as I really didn't think that any Habs played all that well; just some not as bad as others. Mike, as it should be on most nights, was better than most of his teammates. He had a few good chances and actually almost put one by the Leafs, which for him shouldn't have been so hard.
Scott Gomez - Game Puck
Scott played better than all of his teammates tonight, but this will go down as the least properly-earned game-puck of the year thus far. It was nice, however, to have him back as it seemed to give our attack some balance.
It is finally time to applaud the work that this kid has been doing. He is what Laraque could have been, what we hoped Stewart would have been and what Latendresse wasn't - he is energy. Each shift he seems to be playing for his NHL life and I for one am taking notice. In all he had 6 hits which was 3 more than any other player on the ice. I already see him ahead of a few of our other players such as D'Agostini, Stewart, Wyman, Laraque and Pyatt. I, thus, fully expect him on the 4th line of this team come February.
None of our D did so great tonight either, so this too is a least-bad of the bunch type scenario. First off Bergeron and O'Byrne, in my opinion were quite bad, so that leaves 4 choices. I chose Paul because he kept his game pretty clean. There were no giveaways and although he was there for Orr's goal I wouldn't call it his fault as much as either Gorges' or Metropolit's (as the centre of that line - Chips at that moment was on the wing).
Let's give Roman a rest tonight. In fact, Hammer didn't really do much tonight and I thought did indeed look worse than his countryman. Jaro did have 3 giveaways and was -2 however, so it shows what type of game our D had if he was #2. His dome inclusion is mostly due to the fact that he took 11 shots (4 more than anyone else) of which 3 went on net.
Could have Jaro stopped all of the shots tonight? No. Would he have given us a better chance to win? Probably not. I do, however, think that tonight was the night for him to see some action. After 8 straight starts I thought Carey could use a rest as December will be one hell of a busy month (both he and Huet have been injured, thanks to overplaying, in this month). Also, if Halak is our back-up, which I think we can all agree on now, he should play against the worse teams, that is what back-ups do.
I always talk about games that should have been won. Well, there are two types of those games. The first are games like Saturday where you had the lead, where you played a good game and where one or two little mistakes cost you. The second, like tonight, are games that you see on the schedule and basically pencil them in as wins. The second category, for the Habs, tends to be the most dangerous. Maybe not so much this year, but in recent memory we are generally more competitive against stronger teams and have always struggled against the basement-dwellers. Tonight was example of how we simply weren't prepared to win. We were weak in the offensive zone, weak on the puck and, worst of all, weak to respond to the Leafs' attacks. The game seemed to come and go with very little excitement or emotion (thank goodness I wasn't there) which seemed to suit Toronto just fine. I will call this game a blip and I'll move on; I just hope that the Habs can do the same. We have a big weekend ahead of us and it would be a shame to end our first 100 years with efforts as poor as that.