W: 3-2 (OT)
Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Bryzgalov (L)
Habs goalscorers: Plekanec, Cammalleri, Kostitsyn
Opposition goalscorers: Turris, Morris
I thought this was a very entertaining game. I thought there was plenty to choose from for the play of the game, goals, near goals, penalties drawn, saves, blocked shots, etc. I opt for the Canadiens first goal. Down against the run of play the Habs needed a goal to come back and the Plekanec line was going to will it in. Seldom do we see the Canadiens take three shots within a shift, so three dangerous shots and a well taken goal were impressive. Each forward in the play had his part and used exceptional control and quick release to make it happen. Plekanec scored in the end and it was his recovery from being barged on his first shot attempt to regain perfect position and ready his blade that made this play the winner.
Tomas Plekanec - Game Puck
With all due respect to the three star voting system, I thought this game was a tour de force from Plekanec. He once again led by example with the mere "A" on his shirt. He drew penalties, killed penalties, set up shots and looked the most threatening to me overall.
Cammalleri joined his linemates full of zip on the evening. His first period was amazing and his play on the unfulfilled powerplays would have won him a dome alone. Then he went and scored the goal that will launch a powerplay by walking in an pinpointing the open portion of the cage. Anyone who sees that goal will be quick to move coverage to that right side of the PP.
Andrei stole this dome. He started the game well, but I was liking Gomez. In the way we have become accustomed to, Andrei built and built and by the third was looking a power forward without question. His first shift in OT was written by a goalscorer in an exceptional vein of confidence. It's nice to see.
I thought Josh was the best defender overall on the evening. He skated well to cover and made good passes to get out of the zone. Most of all, I enjoy watching Josh take the responsibility for the puck in his zone, unafraid to carry until the danger passes. The scoresheet says 3 giveaways, but they didn't score my memory, I thought he was very sound.
Phoenix gets control, gains the zone, shoots or loses the puck. Montreal has it. Who is it? More often than not it was Hamrlik when I looked up tonight. From his first game back he has come a way to regain his former stature. While he still makes those scary backhanded clearances we'd rather not see, the safety that so often comes from his control puts him soundly in the dome for me.
Finding a way to win and finding a way to get these selections. There was nothing spectacular about what Carey did (apart perhaps for that stunning glove parry). 2 goals against on 29 shots for a win. He's discovering how the next tier up make their NHL living. 8 games in this constitutes either a nice surprise or an early return on faith. Whoever you are, you'll appreciate these points in March.
Not exactly a modern classic, but entertaining, I thought. The Habs came out this evening with intent. Throughout the first they outshone Phoenix and mostly made them look second-rate. The PPs were earned from hard work and looked good but for the lack of a goal. The Coyotes came back into the game, but it didn't completely halt the momentum. Thanks to the Pleanec line's energy, to go with Gomez/Gionta and #3 there was lot to like in the visitor's end. A win is a win is a win. To beat a team with stylish goals, sound enough D and a superb spirit must carry more benefit than a couple of points in the standings.
The powerplay was all the talk during the game from RDS and I have to insist that they are being a bit ridiculous. It's plain to see to anyone watching that good powerplay play does not always result in powerplay goals. The Canadiens set up some great plays this evening and weren't fully rewarded. however, that doesn't mean their PP is impotent. Let's not pretend that Josh Gorges floating shots in is really the way forward. We're better analysts than that Joel.
Next game is a completely different opponent. The Islanders are hot, they're offensive, they have centres and leave plenty of room at the back. If the Habs can find their pregame mix tape from this affair and replay it on Wednesday, I foresee another entertaining match-up midweek.