Habs Goalie: Halak (L)
Opposition Goalie: Rask (W)
Habs goalscorers: None
Opposition goalscorers: McQuaid, Sturm (2)
Nothing exciting here, just a save that I thought may have had implications, but didn't. It was in the third when we were down by two, but were pressuring enough to make a comeback very conceivable. The play ended with a puck coming to Ryder who was alone in the slot. Mike took a good, hard shot point-blank on Halak, but a quick glove-hand denied Boston a chance to triple their lead. At the time I thought it could be a turning point, but in the end all it was was a nice play in a game that lacked much of the same.
Same dome, different result. The same 6 played well tonight, but only represented the 6 best on a far less competitive team. Brian was good, better than most, but his 3 shots and -1 play was nothing to write home about (I hope this isn't being sent home).
Scott had the shots (7) and the face-offs (8-6) going tonight, but didn't seem to have much in the way of support from Moen which adversely affected his line. I felt that he did have some fight in him, more than most at least, and his team-high 2 take-aways are proof of that.
Tomas Plekanec - Game Puck
Pleks was on his own today as I felt his linemates failed to do much of anything positive. Tomas, however, never stopped looking for ways to score, but, despite putting 9 shots on net, was unable to beat the 'mighty' Rask.
Gill and O'Byrne were bad in their own ends tonight, so kudos to Gorges and Markov for limiting the damage and making them appear better than they were. Of the two, however, I felt Josh actually had a positive effect on the game and that was mostly due to his play in our end.
The one player that I really noticed trying to get some offence going from the back today was Roman. All game long he was carrying pucks, making good passes and putting pucks on net. His will to get something going was certainly appreciated and one only wishes that his teammates would have tried to mimic him.
This was probably Halak's worst game in a couple of weeks and that isn't solely due to the goals against. In fact 2 of the goals were bad deflections and the other was created from a scramble after the puck hit traffic in front. It would have, however, been nice to see 2 or less of those go in. What made it a bad game was in fact his stickhandling which may not have cost us, but certainly looked bad. Not a great game and I was hoping to have seen Price, but at the end of the day Jaro's play was not a major factor in this game and, thus, he retains his dome position.
While I was watching this game I certainly got the feeling that a loss was a certainty. That, however, didn't really get me down as I could look at yesterday's performance and remember all of those positives. The usual 'if you can beat Pittsburgh why can't you beat Boston' questions of course are out there right now, but that, folks, is the NHL. Pittsburgh is asking themselves how they lost to us, Boston is wondering how they just lost 10 in a row if a win was that easy. Each game is a new challenge and all 30 teams have the ability to beat all other 29 on any given night. So, this wasn't a great game for the Habs, but that is where I will leave it. At one game. It may not bode well for the Bruins that the best they have to offer to break their streak was that though. Sure they were alright tonight, but I didn't see much creativity, talent or desire. That, therefore bodes well for the Habs going forward as teams like Boston litter our conference and that means a playoff spot and even a round win aren't out of the question. On top of all of that I actually felt that goaltending was the big difference tonight - Rask played better than usual, Halak worse. The Habs took 36 shots, some of them quite decent ones, and could have easily had 2 or 3 goals. They didn't play great, but didn't play too bad either. The bottom line is that only one player shone today (Rask) and a lot played alright; not a great game to watch, but a result that I can stomach.