Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Bernier (L)
Habs goalscorers: Kostitsyn, Cammalleri, Plekanec, Eller
Opposition goalscorers: Martinez
During the first 10 minutes we were playing well, but it seemed like one bad bounce would energize the Kings and the game could derail after that. So, I was very happy when Jack Johnson held a Hab behind the net and drew 2 minutes. We played well on the PP, but the Kings got a 2-on-1 and I thought that would be it. Subban, however, made an amazing diving play to ensure no scoring chance would be had. Hamrlik then put the puck into the corner and PK got it up to Darche, having just got back to his feet. Darche fluffed on a pass to Kostitsyn, but it was enough for Andrei to work with. With his head down and one thing on his mind a perfect shot came from AK46 and we had the lead that we needed.
Andrei Kostitsyn - Game Puck
The way that Brunet talks about Andrei would have you believe that he is Hamilton-bound. His failure to look beyond the scoresheet and see the player that has been one of our two best forwards for most of the season really makes TSN or CBC look that much more appealing. Well, if you were at the game or watched with no sound you probably wouldn't be surprised that Kostitsyn was the 1st Star and Game Puck winner tonight. His two points give him 16 and has him on pace for 60 on the year. I am very happy with his play and thought that he was at his best tonight. It seemed that every time he was on we could count on some sort of scoring chance.
Mike was the main reason that we took a 2-0 lead. There were nice passes from Hammer and Gomez on his goal, but it was really Camms who made that goal happen. Aside from that play he had a strong game as he and Gomez left Moen behind. Those two form a nice duo, but a winger who could score 10-20 a year (not 0-5) would help them in more ways than one.
Gionta is playing well with Pleks and Andrei and doesn't seem to need Scott after all. I wonder, however, if that is the best plan for our team? If Brian is the only player that can really work with Gomez then why not leave him there to get both lines truly going? Ah well, I'm not a coach and all I really care about is that we won. The third best forward tonight, therefore, was Gionta who peppered the net all game long with good shots. He also had a very nice assist on Plekanec's goal, a pass which demonstrated fantastic vision and patience.
A tired Roman on the the PP almost cost us a goal and was maybe the main factor that lost him serious Game Puck consideration. Beyond a few mistakes early on I felt that Hamrlik played a very strong game, the type of game you need from someone trying to fill in for Markov. Spacek also played a good game and it was their pairing that was our top tonight. When Roman plays so well in both zones he becomes a very hard player to play against and a very fun player to watch.
A great play by PK on the Play of the Game earned him this dome; his solid play beyond that ensured that he didn't lose it. I do think that we have to find more ways to get him on the ice, though, as 17 minutes of ice time just isn't enough. I can understand that playing with Picard will hurt your ice time, but I wouldn't mind seeing him take 2-4 minutes of Gill's time. Hal plays a solid game, but 2 penalties and 19 minutes of ES ice are too much for my liking.
It is amazing that Carey can make 24 saves and let in just 1 goal and we don't seem surprised, we in fact expect it. This was just another night at the office for Price who won his 13th of the season. At this pace he could play 78 games and win 48 - can you imagine! If he keeps playing like this I am interested to know what could stop us. Right now he is making it look easy and is, seemingly, making his teammates jobs easy too.
I like how the Habs are rebounding after losses this year. In fact 7 of their 8 losses have been followed up with wins which isn't something we are used to seeing. Can they keep this up? Are they for real? Well, it is still early, but the closer we get to 30 games and to Christmas time, the less and less we can play the early card. I think that this team is good and that is has a lot of good elements, but, unfortunately for all of us, there are a good 10 teams in the league that also fit that bill. What I do like, however, is that we can play a good team, like LA, and we can impose our style. For too many years we have played down to our opponents' level or we have let better teams dictate the play. That, thankfully, isn't the case this year and it is certainly showing in the standings. Our win tonight gives us 29 points with 60 games to play which is getting to be quite comforting. I am looking forward to when a .500 record in remaining games will ensure 90 points - a win in Atlanta will do it.