Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Boucher (W)
Habs goalscorers: Lapierre (2)
Opposition goalscorers: Leino, Giroux, van Riemsdyk
A compound play of the game. Price has Briere and Carter bearing down on him. The pass comes across to Carter and Price makes the save of the game on the PK. Meanwhile, the puck flies behind the net, our regular everyday assistant captain battles behind the net and wins the puck in time that Price can find his feet. So well he wins it, that the suddenly extremely dirty Daniel Briere pulls him back and negates a good chance to take an important PP. Let's never mind what happened on 4-on-4.
Maxim Lapierre - Game Puck
Maxim Lapierre got it this evening. Maybe he anticipated what his upcoming Quarter Pole review is going to say. He set the tone for the game early with decent shots on a very shaky goaltender. His first goal was no wimpy shot, even if it should have been saved, and his second goals was a well-prepared and taken one.
As the Canadiens led, Pouliot was impressing. I thought, dome in hand. The towards the end of the game, I wondered where he went, why his play had diminished to the point of being unrecognizable. Turns out it wasn't Ben, it was good old coach stacking the minutes of other forwards. On this night, martin made a tactical error in not identifying Pouliot's strong start. I'd have had him out there much more than his 11 minutes.
Tomas played a decent game by his standards. He actually did quite well against the tight coverage of Pronger, better than in the past. Several times, he was able to break inside instead of being forced outside. Tonight, he's really in here because he did another good job on the PK. Of the two forwards killing penalties, I always notice Plekanec as the thinker, the one who doesn't just go through the motions at the top of the box.
Please get Roman onto the number one PP unit. he hit the post tonight as he continues to show why an accurate wrist shot is better than 27 PK Subban backswing specials. On the back end, Roman had as good a game as a defender can have when in the process of allowing 42 shots.
As I've said before, we're learning each game that not all French Canadian last minute signings on D are equal. Picard is a much better defender than his 2 predecessors as he keeps things relatively simple. Tonight, I felt he had a good outing and actually covered quite a bit for what I thought was an off-game for the possibly distracted Subban.
Another great start from Price. His preparation for games this season is truly impressive, and more than his suddenly nimble arm, is the biggest reason for his gulf in statistical showing. He definitely gave his team the chance to win, even late, and for that he wins his 20th dome in 20 starts – an unprecedented feat on this blog. While Auld may never get a dome from Price's largesse, it's about time he gets chance to win one through play. Price is hot, and riding high and a game off won't change that. Auld hasn't played in a month, and it's not always wise to leave back-ups on the shelf for such long periods, as you never know when you might suddenly need an able alternative.
RDS left the broadcast tonight with the thought that the Flyers are the best team in the East. I am not far from agreeing with them on that. Though certainly not scary with the Boucher of the first period in goal, the Flyers do have 3 very exciting lines and 6 name defenders. The Canadiens ran into them tonight as they fired on many cylinders. 42 shots were not all dangerous, but told the story of the possession. When the Flyers weren't installed in the zone, they seemed a defensive zone steal away from an odd-man rush.
Considering how well the Flyers did play, Habs fans must again be encouraged by their team. To hold them so long, to keep shots outside, to take the lead and then hang in until the end, the Canadiens proved themselves to be true contenders. And this when not firing as fully themselves.
Wednesday is the Kings. The newly excellent Kings. I feel the Canadiens have a good chance as they line up well. Their goalie is off to a quick start, but as Mathman will attest, he'll not sustain over 0.930 forever. What's more, Montreal mustn't look at teams with 26 points from 20 as out of their league anymore.