Loss: 3-4 (SO)
Habs Goalie: Auld (L)
Opposition Goalie: Koskinen (W)
Habs goalscorers: Pacioretty, Pouliot, Plekanec
Opposition goalscorers: Tavares, Grabner (2), (Okposo - SO)
I really liked Pouliot's goal. It wasn't, however, his shot or White's pass that stood out to me, but was instead the work that Ben did in the lead up to the goal. He had skated in, behind their net and had looked very dangerous with the puck, winning his battles. He then found himself at the point where he put the puck back behind the net. There White did well to find the puck and then to find Pou in the slot.
This was another good game from David. He didn't stand out too much, but played as well as one would expect a rookie on the 3rd line to play. He made a great pass to Patches on his goal which had the makings of a true play-maker. As he worked his way through New York's D you could tell that his focus was to get the puck to Max , who was open on the right, at the first possible chance.
Max Pacioretty - Game Puck
7 shots and a goal tonight for Max; he even led the team in hits. We are missing Camms, for sure, but it is nice to see a player stepping up lately in his absence as Max has done. It is still unclear if this is the real Pacioretty, but the more I see and the more he plays like this the more his, and our, confidence can only grow.
Gomez's line had a horrible game as it was bad pass after bad pass followed by mishandling of pucks all over the ice. That fact alone made our other top line look that much better. Tom added to that with a nice 2-on-1 goal. To be fair, though, Gomez's winger, Andrei, looked very good on that play as he burned up the ice with Pleks.
I wasn't left with many options tonight so again went with Weber. I saw good coverage in our own end and particularly liked two events. The first was similar to what he and Price did in New York. Tonight he backed Auld up on one of Alex's nice saves; had the puck gone through, Yan was there. The other was when he pushed Tavares into the goalie and, for the second straight game, got the call in his favour. I like players who push the limits, but also play smart hockey and this is the type of stuff that I look for.
Someone had to bite the bullet tonight and take some ice. With Gill gone and the fact that we were all tired from yesterday this wasn't the greatest job, but Hammer did his best. In all he played 27+ minutes and didn't seem to be making as many mistakes as his partner, the Wis, who was putting us in all types of trouble.
I didn't want to have to do this, but when I added it all up this was a bad game from Auld. Yes, the D was weak and under-staffed, but I just didn't like what I saw at the back end. There were too many chances other than the 4 goals that were getting through and were hitting posts or were just missing. That is 2 nights, 12 goals and two shaky looking goalies. I do hope that this was a blip and not a sign of fatigue or that our team's general luck/defence is running out.
That makes 3 losses in a row and, once again, we are settling to the middle of the pack. That is, however, where we should be, isn't it? We don't have that great of a team, have average coaching and management and are dealing with big injuries. To me we are an average (middle 1/3) team that is right where we should be. The thing about teams like that is that they lose games that they should have won. If they won all of their games that they should have won they wouldn't be in the middle third, but would be in the top third instead. Just remember that a bad team (New York) still picks up about 25-30 wins a year and that means that 25-30 times a year they beat a team that should have beaten them. So, it is disappointing and it shouldn't have happened, but at least we got one point and, unlike last night, didn't drain ourselves physically and emotionally. That means that we should be ready for Toronto in 2 days. A home game, Leafs, Saturday night, we're due, they aren't - it should be fun! As always.