Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Miller (L)
Habs goalscorers: Picard, Gorges
Opposition goalscorers: Roy
This isn't as easy as it seems as there were no spectacular goals, spectacular defensive efforts or spectacular saves. For this one I am going to go a bit different tonight. I had argued the other day that brutal NHL reffing would benefit us, well, tonight, it may have. With under 10 seconds to go Buffalo was attacking and may have had a chance at a goal. I wasn't too keen on waiting and hoping that that would pan out for us as we have been known (last year and last game) to let up late goals. So I was delighted when I heard the whistle blow. The whistle, it seems, was blown because the linesman thought there were too many Sabres on the ice. He did indeed count 6 skaters (demonstrating his superior counting skills), but the one detail he forgot was to check if Miller was still there. Since pulling the goalie when you are down by one and are in the offensive zone is so rare he can be forgiven this once. More quality from the world's best.
Andrei was our best forward tonight and maybe the only one who actually played quite well. He was aggressive and had a nose for the net. In all he took 5 shots; 1 more than the entire second line. Do you think people will remember this game when they point to it as a game in which he didn't get a point (thus, inevitably, he must have played badly)?
He only played 9:49, but I liked what I saw from him during that time. If those players more talented than him (from either team) would have played with as much energy and speed as he did this could have been a great came to watch.
Scott didn't play a bad game and seemed better than the rest on this night. He showed more life than Gionta or Travis 'anyone-know-what-these-hands-are-for?' Moen which helped make that line look not all that bad. Highlights for him, at least statistically, were the face-off percentage (57%) and being the player that passed to the player who passed to the player that floated one in.
Anytime the Habs let up 23 shots the D must have played well. Well, tonight it was a bit of that and a whole lot of Buffalo being bad. That said I thought that Spacek did his best to keep shots down as he led the D in shots-blocked and even blocked a certain goal.
I wanted to give this to Picard, but I couldn't think of much more than the flukey goal for him. So, as usual, Josh's sound play gets recognized. His goal was actually pretty decent and I was happy to see a one-timer on net, from anyone. He also led the team in ice-time, as it probably should be.
Carey Price - Game Puck
This could be labeled as 'another day at the office'. Carey came into the game focused and prepared and was rewarded for that. Buffalo never really offered much, but when they did he was ready. In all there were 22 saves and no major mistakes. He almost got himself into more trouble handling the puck, but by now he even seems prepared for that.
Wow, not much else to say really. The Habs rolled into town to face a Buffalo team that was celebrating a 40th anniversary and looking for their first home win of the year. What they saw was a very unemotional (borderline embarrassing) ceremony followed by a game against a team that lacked pretty much all emotion. Miller was strong, but got unlucky, so in a way we maybe stole points that may have been lost. I think that is Buffalo this year though - Miller or bust. It will likely actually result in the playoffs as Ryan is too good of a goalie to let luck or bad play of his team stop him in his quest. I am happy that we got the two points, handed them zero and then headed home. Tomorrow isn't as crucial as it would have been had we lost, but a win against another divisional rival would at least help us keep up with the Leafs. The Leafs! Are you kidding me?