Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Rask (L), Thomas
Habs goalscorers: Gionta, Eller, Desharnais, Plekanec
Opposition goalscorers: Lucic, Seguin
I didn't like where this one was going at the end of the third. There had been missed opportunities for the Habs and late pressure from the Bruins. So, when Pleks intercepted a pass in his own zone and carried it out I got out of my seat. With speed and patience he made it all the way down the ice and put it into the open cage to seal the deal.
Always involved, always looking dangerous in this one. He and Eller created quite the dynamic duo tonight and seemed to have the B's number. Between them they could have had two or three more goals, easily. Andrei's best play was a set-up for Eller which came right after one of the nicest dekes we'll see all season. Rask's save is the only thing that will keep Kostitsyn out of the season's top highlights.
Lars Eller - Game Puck
Just consider this; Eller is still the game puck recipient despite the missed open net, the cough-up on goal one and a penalty. So, if you didn't watch you can just imagine how good he was the rest of the time. To be fair, though, this was not his best game of the year, but he was the top Hab tonight. His goal was certainly the highlight of what was a very strong game, mostly in the offensive zone.
Pleks had a good week and capped it off with a very strong game tonight. He deliverred from the point on the PP in the first and picked up his second point with the empty-netter at the end. He was not only used more than any other forward, but was used more than any other Hab. A good Tomas Plekanec often means a good Habs team and good special teams; tonight couldn't have been a better example of that.
One of the things I like best about PK is how he doesn't get intimidated, he just doesn't seem to care about what the Bruins are saying and doing. That is a quality that is invaluable to this team. Boston think that if they cheat more than anyone and are dirtier than anyone they will get their way. Unfortunately, I suppose it worked for them once, but if more people act like Subban out there you can be certain that lightning won't strike twice. PK led the D tonight and played a good solid game, in every way possible.
Spacek isn't the reason that we are winning, but you can't deny that he is one of the reasons. We are steadier with him in the line-up, especially when he plays as he has done this week. With Jaro in the line-up we are 4-2, without him we are 0-5. It helps having experience on the ice and on the bench and I am sure that his return this week has been a positive for the team. Tonight he led the team with 7 blocked shots and was our second best defender out there. I am happy for him after this week and am glad that he is getting a bit of recognition.
Price was great tonight and stopped a Bruin team that threw a lot of good stuff at him. There were again a few posts, but let's not forget that those don't count. He made some great saves and gave his team the type of performance that will win them many games. Carey has been better this week as the wins against Boston could have easily been losses without good goaltending.
The Canadiens avoided taking minor penalties until the third period, while the Bruins couldn't avoid being themselves tonight. That opened the door for Montreal to play a good, solid 5-on-5 game and not worry about killing penalties for quite a while. Scoring on a power-play of our own in the first was a bonus as it was only our 5th goal of the year with extra man (we added our 6th later in the game). A disciplined team who can score on the PP and who get good goaltending will do well in this league; if the Habs can accomplish those three things the playoffs will almost be a certainty. The second period, other than the goal against, was one of the best periods of the year, a period in which we dominated play and didn't really allow the Bruins to get anything of their own going. We played a pretty conservative 2-goal lead type third period and it almost didn't work. It was good defensive play and good (and at times, lucky) goaltending that ended up being the difference in that period. Boston's late goal could have had more of an implication had it not been for the smart play of the unit (led by Pleks) on the ice at the end.
82 games in 6 months, about 3 games a week till April and for some reason we get the next 6 days off. I hope that the Habs get the most that they can out of those days whether it is rest, easy workouts or intense practice. The schedule will certainly pick up as of next Friday and we must be ready. We showed this week that we won't be bowing out anytime soon and reminded people what we are capable of. With 71 games to go, however, there is certainly a lot of work to do. It has been an interesting first month, a month with downs and an up. 10 points, however, isn't horrible, but won't be enough in the end. Which are the real Habs? Tune in in a week's time to find out.