Opponent: Maple Leafs
Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Giguere (W)
Habs goalscorers: Boyd, Halpern
Opposition goalscorers: Brent, Kessel, MacArthur
Our first goal showed that our plumbers are at least better than Toronto's. We knew Komisarek was bad with the puck, but what we may not have known was that his partner, Gunnarsson was worse. The two had some exciting (for Habs fans) moments throughout the game; none better than on Boyd's goal. Our new winger stole the puck and seemed to put it in on Giggy with ease. Unfortunately, however, it was our D, not Toronto's that went on to be more embarrassed as the game went on.
Right where he left off. The new captain played with heart and passion and very nearly scored at the end to tie it up. It looks like he'll have a good season with Gomez, but who will be on the other wing? The experiment continued tonight with Darche and Moen (the definition of 4th-liners) seeing some serious time at that position.
Our best forward tonight was Pleks. He was alert and led his line on each presence. Cammalleri's return will be just what the doctor ordered, though as Eller was good, but certainly looked like a rookie. Look past the -2 in Tomas' case and try to forget the giveaway on the first goal as Kostitsyn, O'Byrne and Price all had a hand in that too.
Dustin is one of (the only?) the bottom-six forwards that I am pretty excited at seeing this year. Maybe that is because I don't know him that well and that I have a hope that he can provide some scoring from the area that we need it the most. So, tonight was a good audition as I thought he played well and I was encouraged to see him put one in. I hope that he can be at the heart of a competitive third line; something we lost the day we let Moore walk.
PK Subban - Game Puck
Thank goodness for PK. Can you imagine if Henry was in instead? Tonight Subban was our only really great defender as 4 of the others (Gill, Spacek, Picard, O'Byrne) all played as we expected. Rush after rush, spin after spin his true skills were on display and it was very exciting to watch. He will be a great player for us this year and for years to come; unless we trade him when he gets too good.
This is the regular season and that means Gill is back to his old self, which, of course, means that Josh is on clean-up duty for 81 more games. Tonight it was one mistake after another from the big man and a smooth, confident Gorges was there at each turn to take care of it. It looks like the partnership is set in stone which means we won't see Josh at his fullest until April 12th at the earliest.
An average game from Price after a shaky first few minutes. Not much he can do about defensive breakdowns in front of him, though, so it should be interesting to see what he does playing a whole season behind an average (at best) defence. Of course when Markov comes back things will change for us and for Price. I was very disappointed to see him handling the puck so much tonight as I had hoped he'd forgotten that he likes to do that over the summer. I counted 3 times where he made a mistake; 3 more than he would have made had he stayed in his net.
To me the big concern is our depth. With Markov and Hamrlik out we are really quite a weak group on the blue-line. Take out Gorges and Subban and we would be in some very serious trouble. So, let's hope we can be healthy this year (at least in the top-4), otherwise it may be more Bergeron-like (Bergeron is unsigned...) signings for us. Our offensive depth, to me, is even more alarming. Topham has made arguments for Pouliot and Kostitsyn and I can live with those, so, for me, the top-6 is good. But, take out Cammalleri (like tonight) and then things get interesting. All of a sudden you have a rookie on the the top line and are dressing a bottom-6 that has to be towards one of the worst groups in the league. We are very fragile in this area and that is why we need to be healthy and need good seasons from Eller, Boyd and Lapierre as we'd be fools to think we can win with 6 forwards alone. (Pyatt, Moen, Darche and Halpern aren't horrible, but they are true 4th-liners; something the best teams don't have a surplus of.)