Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Game #80

Thrilling Victory To Clinch Our Spot

Details



Date: 5/4/2011
Opponent: Blackhawks
Location: Montreal

Win:2-1

Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Crawford (L)

Habs goalscorers: Cammalleri, Subban
Opposition goalscorers: Kane



Play of the game


Price made two outstanding saves in the third period to preserve the tie and really had the play of the game wrapped up. But, how could I overlook that shot in OT that Subban took? The pass from Andrei was perfect and the shot was out of this world. It was one of the nicest ways to win a game and I am sure that it will give PK even more confidence as we head into the playoffs. Another great aspect of that play had to be the jump into Price and the way Subban tumbled to the ice - it was hilarious.



Dome hockey team

The 6 players we're playing in a no changes, do or die contest in the dome

Forwards

Mike Cammalleri
Mike had a goal and an assist tonight and seems to be rounding into his playoff form. He played with passion and determination all night and it could have been more than two points had Chicago not played so well.

Andrei Kostitsyn
Andrei made two amazing passes to pick up two assists tonight. Those 2 points give him 15 in his last 20 games to go with some very, very solid play. I no longer look to see who he can complement on a line, but instead who can compliment him.

Tomas Plekanec
Pleks centred our best line tonight, a line that matched the Cup Champions' best very well. This is a trio that I wasn't sure about, but I think that they may be getting hot at just the right time. Tom played a good game in his own right and very nearly won it late, but slapped one off of the top of the post instead.

Defencemen

PK Subban
He drew a penalty in OT and then made Chicago pay. I love a player that has those two talents - the tenacity to always fight for pucks and win battles, and one that can score big game goals. The rest of his game was solid too as he was our top defenceman wherever he was on the ice. When he is on he is one of the best in the league and, boy, tonight he was on.

Hal Gill
Hal quietly got the job done, again. I am very happy with where his game is at at this point in the season and can't wait to see him in the playoffs. Do you all remember how last year in the playoffs he surprised us with his playoff vs. regular season play? Well, I think that it will be more of the same because playoff rules (or lack thereof) suit him more than any other on our team.

Goaltender

Carey Price - Game Puck
Excellent! He was very, very good tonight. Aside from a very dangerous puck-handling episode (saved by Paul Mara at the last second) he played a perfect game. He has been our best player all year and gives us the same type of hope that Halak, Huet, Theodore and Roy have all given us - the belief that it could be our year. I would probably give Auld a start on Thursday and then finish up with Carey in Toronto now. We want wins, but Alex is capable and I think it will benefit the team more, and be a safer option, to give Price a well-deserved breather.


Comments


This was one of the best games of the year. It was not only exciting to watch, but was also a very sound game from the Habs perspective. Now, there were loads of chances for Chicago, but we had the type of goaltending that makes that almost a moot point. Their style of course meant that we also got an incredible amount of chances too. Both goalies played a strong game and were the only reasons that we went to OT at 1-1 and not 6-6. I saw the game slipping a bit once we started getting all of those penalties as it caused a major disruption in our flow of play. We did, however, make a nice recovery and had a stronger third period.

The win clinches us a spot and as we look elsewhere we see that Toronto is out. Of course that makes for a good night in Montreal, but it also reminds us all of something. Comebacks in the standings from 5-10 points back of a playoff spot just don't happen. The Habs did it right this year by starting well and never losing their spot. What is sometimes forgotten when we all look to teams crumbling or making an incredible run is that good teams lose games, even when they are playing well. They face hungrier teams, as good teams or they just have off nights. The same can be said of teams in slumps. Wins happen sometimes whether you like it or not and that means chasing playoff spots is a near impossible task. The Habs started the season so well and it has paid off now. Everyone says that 'had Toronto played like this all year', or 'had Atlanta kept it up' it would be different. Well, that is like saying that Pleks would be a 100-point man if he was always at his hottest or Kostitsyn would only score 4 goals because he went scorless in 20. A season is 82 games long and it requires good play throughout. Every non-playoff team, every year had a good stretch or two, but after 6 months of hockey it is the team, like Montreal, that can get get over their downs and find a way to play good hockey from October to April. The Habs aren't the best team out there, but they are only 5 wins off of it. I like our chances in the playoffs and I like the players that we are taking there.

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