Opponent: Blue Jackets
Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Garon (W)
Habs goalscorers: None
Opposition goalscorers: Nash, Brassard, Wilson
Thank goodness for the poke-check; I love the poke-check. In the second period, when I still believed that we could turn it around Price made a very simple save (although it won't actually count as a save) by poke-checking a Blue Jacket who was on a partial break. A simple gesture, but sadly our best play all night.
Andrei was our most dangerous looking forward all night. After being the best player on his usual line he was tasked with jump-starting the Gomez-Gionta line for the last portion of the game. The results weren't flattering, however, as the only one who played well after the switch was Kostitsyn himself.
Energy on each and every shift. That, of course, is kind of useless on a night like tonight as you really need that from your third or fourth best lines, not your top-2 (of which Darche was once again a part of). He came close to scoring and was noticeable all game, but I do hope that I start noticing some of the bigger names soon.
Mike was the best of the rest. For me it was his positive play on the PP that earned him some recognition. It would be nice if he and his linemates could score every night, but goals won't always come. At least, however, we know that consistent, strong efforts are becoming the norm for that trio.
Andrei Markov - Game Puck
Markov, our best player, was our best player tonight. There was the odd time where he missed a pass or where his timing was off, but I thought that, overall, he played a very good game. He was very strong in the offensive zone (led the team with 5 shots) and played a decent enough game in his own end.
I didn't like PK tonight and Gorges/Gill were in on each and every goal, so it was Hammer or Spacek. Neither player played great and neither played that badly. Jaro, however, had a few more mistakes and while pretty steady most of the time wasn't as strong for the 60 minutes as Roman. I actually think that Hamrlik is having a very nice start to the season and has probably been our best (all games included) on the year. Subban has more highs, but also more lows and Gorges, almost unfairly, is on the ice for a lot of Gill's mistakes.
When you don't score goals it doesn't matter what your goalie does. Carey let in 3 on 24, which is worse than he would like, but at the root of each goal was a solid offensive play that came from a poor defensive one. The Habs have to start scoring and, when they do, they'll win. Carey is doing what it takes to win on a nightly basis so I am sure this skid will be short-lived.
Sitting through a 0-3 game against the Blue Jackets isn't great. I can't even imagine what the players feel like as they actually had to go there. That said, there is no real excuse for the way they played. They are 100% healthy (at least in terms of active personnel), they are rested and they had incentive (a loss on Saturday, slumps that need to be shaken). I would have liked a little more effort from all 19 players as, against a team like Columbus, it could have gone a log way. On Saturday we got unlucky and Vokoun played well, so there was a built-in excuse. Tonight, however, there is no real reason or explanation that I would care to hear for this performance. The Canadiens have 3 days to prepare for their next game, 3 days to ensure that they don't play like this again.