Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Brodeur (W)
Habs goalscorers: None
Opposition goalscorers: Parise, Arnott, Taormina
From a Habs perspective there was one play that really stood out for me. With the game still within reach at 0-1 the Devils came in on a very fast 2-on-1 after Gorges made a rare mistake. I can't remember who shot (and have little desire to sit through highlights of that game to find out), but think it was Zajac. The 2-on-1 was textbook as the passer waited out the defender and got the puck to his right. The highlight for me was obviously the save which was spectacular; the speed with which Carey got across was very impressive indeed.
Gionta didn't really have a good game, but I felt that the effort was there. Considering that we didn't play that well at all I was actually only looking for players who tried in this one. He drew two penalties, both times hitting his buddy in the other net, not great, but at least we had someone around the net at some point; those penalties at least serve as proof of that. He also took a very impressive 8 shots.
Jeff stood out to me tonight, but, when looking at his stats, I am not too sure why. I did like how he fore-checked and how he played a tight game in his own end, but this is certainly the type of effort that gets forgotten when we actually score goals. He played more on the PK than any other forward and helped us go 4/4 in that department.
When no one played that well it is OK to give Moen a look. He is in here for getting beaten in a fight again. He dropped his gloves for a staged boxing match against a real fighter, again, which shows more heart than any of the 19 others tonight.
PK Subban - Game Puck
PK had moments tonight that I (and I am sure he) will try to forget. There were other moments, however, when I thought that he looked the best player on the ice, on either team. He controlled and passed the puck very well and I was happy to see so many spin-o-ramas. One may think that he is overusing that move, but when you realize how simple, relatively safe and effective it is you rest assured. He has that move down and it seems that no player out there knows how to stop him once he starts. With a burst of angular acceleration (too much?) he always comes out of those spins much better off that he started.
We all know that it can't be Hammer or Spacek (ouch, what are they doing out there?) and Gill and Gorges, at -3, looked off too, so I guess this is a unanimous choice. Just wish I had more to say than that he is in here because he wasn't as bad as the rest. I did actually notice him, though, and liked his team-leading 3 hits. He has had a decent start to the year and he is better than I thought he would be.
That first goal was weak and I felt it set the tone for the game. It was a mistake and can be forgiven, but against a team like New Jersey it isn't shocking that that one goal was enough. So, the moral is be very careful against Jersey until we have scored a goal because, at that point, it becomes a whole different game. Aside from that mistake he was pretty good. He made some fantastic saves, but also let in two more, one of them pretty soft.I wouldn't say he had a great game and, given the result and the two weak goals, it is debatable if you would say that he had a good game. One thing I do know, though, is that the comfort of a Price or a Halak on the bench no longer exists as Auld doesn't really instill confidence in this fan. All I can say is prepare yourselves to be bored as I expect Carey to get pretty much all of the domes this year barring any major catastrophes.
This was a typical New Jersey game. It was quick, short on chances and not very memorable at all. Brodeur played well, but you can see how he has piled up so many wins and shutouts over the years as their defence does such an excellent job of limiting both quality chances and sustained periods of pressure. They are happy to wait out teams until they make their own mistakes which is precisely what they did tonight. Let's just imagine we had 6 days off, but that it cost us 2 points for the luxury. After tonight, and a virtual week off, there will be no excuse to come out flat against a struggling Sens team in Ottawa on Saturday night. One good game and a win and we'll all be back in the right direction after this little, predictable, blip.