Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Bobrovsky (W)
Habs goalscorers: Desharnais, Darche
Opposition goalscorers: Carter, Timonen, Carcillo, Giroux, Briere
This wasn't an easy choice tonight, so will just go with the obvious; our first goal. Hard work from Darche kept the play going and it was he who got the puck to Gill on the half-boards. Hal found Desharnais who was covering at the point and it was the kid's turn to show how well he can shoot. With Mat and Eller passing in front of Bobs it seemed that the puck just floated on, into the net.
Mathieu Darche - Game Puck
Darche was never expected to have 20 points before the All-Star break, be on the PP and see time on a scoring line, but thanks to hard work he has done all that. What he brings to the ice, and what he brought tonight, is hard work and a willingness to do jobs that others fear or don't want to do. He isn't a fancy player, but is still a very useful one. Tonight he chipped in with a goal and an assist and both were thanks to hard work.
I liked that he scored a goal tonight, but also liked the way in which he played. He, although tiny out there, doesn't seem to be afraid of anyone and when you can play that way against Philly that says something. I am not sure what the next few weeks/months hold for him, but if he can keep playing smart and keep putting up numbers I have no problem with him as our permanent 3rd or 4th centre.
RDS didn't like Scott tonight, but then again, when do they? After thinking about that I tried to think of positives and what I determined was that he was one of our best forwards tonight. It wasn't one of his best games, but he was still better than most. I felt that he created some good opportunities in the offensive zone and fed his linemates quite well. 16 minutes of ice is a little harsh, so I am hoping that was more as a rest. We'll need Gomez to preform well in the next 32 games, so I hope he enjoys his week off now before the big push.
I loved PK tonight for not backing down and for not being affected by the boos. When you can get under a team's skin like he has done you are doing something right (I mean, when was the last time Tom Pyatt got booed on the road?) and that will help us as we go forward. He played quite a sensible game and I felt that he was an asset throughout.
I am happy that Hammer finished the first half with a good game. The next few days will hopefully be rest time for the veteran as his coach hasn't been giving him much of that lately. With him playing well we look good. Subban and Gill are doing the job and Wis is certainly (although not so in the defensive end tonight) a quality player. Spacek and Weber are getting 5/6 duties and minutes and it is actually suiting them well. So, I think that Hammer has done a good job leading this group, but I hope he knows that his job is not nearly complete.
His teammates let him down a bit by taking so many penalties, but when you play a team like Philly these things happen. Yes, Price let in 4 and took the loss, but it wasn't his fault that we lost tonight. The dome is his because had his teammates played as well and as smart as he did we would have won.
A loss on the road to the best team in the league isn't that devastating; it is kind of expected. Positives have to be, however, that we tied them when the game wasn't 5-on-3, they have a good line-up, but are pretty much healthy, we are missing Camms and we proved again that size doesn't matter. Yes, they are bigger than us and yes, they are tougher than us, but that doesn't always mean that they'll win. We had some nice rushes where we used our speed and showed that their goalie is no Carey Price. In fact, there were two posts from us which, had they gone in, could have made this quite the interesting affair. The last thing to be happy about is that Philly consider us a rival and, because of that, are at their dirties against us. That (and this is a big, likely false assumption) means that over time they will take more penalties on us than we will on them. If this were ever the case, and could hold true, and if we could get our PP clicking again then I know that we could beat them. Don't forget that in Philly's case size only refers to the body size and not brain size. Talented players like Briere, Giroux and Zherdev will all go out of their way to slash, punch or hit a player and that will always be an advantage that we hold as we are a smart team, our good players go for the puck, not the body.