Win: 5-4 (OT)
Habs Goalie: Auld, Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Kiprusoff, Karlsson (L)
Habs goalscorers: Eller, Cammalleri, Kostitsyn, Halpern, Subban
Opposition goalscorers: Bourque, Bouwmeester, Kotalik, Tanguay
The best play (from a non-timing perspective) had to be the goal that put the Habs up by two. We had just killed off a Cammalleri penalty and it was he who ended up scoring the goal. It takes a few things to happen to get a breakaway out of the box. You need their D to forget about you, you need your team to be aware of the situation and you need to get yourself in a good position to get a pass. All of those happened and with a great pass from Halpern, Camms was in alone. The shot that came was the type of shot that we need Mike to be taking and need him to be scoring; it was simply blistering.
Andrei scored tonight and was probably unlucky to only get one. He was strong throughout the entire game whether it was helping out in his own end or making things happen in their end. He led the team in shots and hits and was one non-Subban OT winner away from a Game Puck.
This one was a toss-up between Jeff and Gomez. I really liked Gomez's offensive play tonight as there were a few great passes; especially his assist on the winner. Both players also did well in the face-off circle (JH: 7-4, SG: 13-2), but I gave it to Jeff as he scored what turned out to be a very crucial goal. His goal is a great lesson in why you should never, ever let up. He, like Scott, also made a great pass as it was Halpern that fed Camms with the long bomb when Mike was out of the box.
Early on in this one Pleks was by far our best player. He continued to play well throughout, but other players rose up too. He was such a force down low and in the corners as he was winning battles, creating chances and simply dominating those covering him. His whole line played well tonight and that is what you need from your top line when there are crucial games, like tonight's, on the line.
DefencemenPK Subban - Game Puck
Had Wisniewski not broken his stick, rushed to the bench and had the puck come to his feet then PK would have never jumped on the ice. Had that never happened then PK would have basically had the perfect game tonight. He was making great defensive plays all game, played well on the PK and PP and added an exclamation point with a thrilling OT winner. The goal, his fourth, is a highlight of what is becoming a very good season for the rookie. Points aside, if he plays like this from now on (27+ minutes tonight) then he'll have to be a favourite for the Calder.
Hal is playing better with PK beside of him and so is PK. It just shows that not every partnership (Gill-Gorges) is always the best fit, even if it is a very good fit. He did cough the puck up on Bouwmeester's goal, but like PK that was his one big mistake in an otherwise good game. He and PK both played 6+ minutes of shorthanded hockey and both did an excellent job of keeping the Flames at bay (0/4).
Auld was given what every goalie dreams about; a 4-goal lead and the sound of iron ringing in his ears. I would say that the Canadiens were lucky to be up by so much early and Auld's luck, unfortunately was the first to run out. 4 goals over a 9:30 span were enough for JM to watch and in came Price. Carey only faced 4 shots, but did what he had to. I think that Mr. Auld was lucky that we scored and that they kept hitting the post, but also that we won; people will be quick to forget this off-game. I hope.
Calgary showed tonight why they are in the basement over in the West (the Oilers are beneath the foundation...). It started with weak goaltending, but it quickly became apparent that their defence was weak too. Add that to the fact that they have a weak offence and all of a sudden it adds up. In fact it reminds me so much of what we have seen, at times, from the Habs over the past 20 years. Tonight's game will never be one that is remembered for its defensive tone or goaltending as both teams struggled to really impose any sort of system. It is, therefore, lucky that we did win in the end as the Habs, when forced to play another team's game, can sometimes lose the picture. It was certainly lost at times, but when Calgary scored that fourth goal it was almost like a blessing. With the tying goal they went to sleep and we woke up. In fact, I believe that had they scored that goal 5-10 minutes later we may have had a hard time re-taking control of the game.
In the end Subban put home a wonderful shot and we can all go home happy. The best part, of everything, for me has to be how we scored goals 2, 3 and 5. All of those were hard and precise shots that came from 3 of our top players. Those 3 players can all be huge difference makers and when they play like they did tonight they are just that. We'll next see Calgary in a month when we face-off outdoors and if, by that time, we are still on about these three players (for good reasons) then we should be right back to where we want to be in the standings.