Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Game #14

Oilers Slip by Listless Habs


Date: 8/11/2011
Opponent: Oilers
Location: Montreal

Loss: 1-3

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

Habs goalscorers: Pacioretty
Opposition goalscorers: Jones, Gilbert, Smyth

Play of the game

A nice pass from Plekanec into traffic and onto Pacioretty's tape as he moved through neutral ice didn't look like much. Neither did the shot that Pacioretty took from the outside. The knuckleball slipped under Khabibulin's blocker and provided a somewhat lacklustre play of the game in a somewhat lacklustre game, but it energized a frustrated Habs squad and made them think that maybe this goalie could be beaten tonight, and gave them a real shot at pulling a point out of a rather mediocre performance.

Dome hockey team

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


Max Pacioretty
I was glad to see him put that one in, given that he'd missed a big window of open net earlier in the third. Given that he was the only forward who could actually finish tonight, he makes the dome.

Mike Cammalleri
Once again anchored our most dangerous line with Eric Cole. The two combined for some amazing run-and-gun chances and exciting hockey. Hit the post at least once tonight and was probably even more surprised than me at Khabibulin's spectacular playing.

Erik Cole
Cole keeps impressing with his size, strength and speed. He helped create our best chances of the evening by using all three along with the excellent chemistry he's developing with Cammalleri to become a dangerous pair to have on the ice.


Hall Gill

Sometimes Gill makes it easy to forget that he's 6'7" and wears an "A" on his chest. Tonight was not one of those nights. Sometimes when you're that big, "pinching" means straight-arming an opponent at his own blue line and pushing both him and the puck back into the zone. Despite his bone-headed interference penalty in the first, Gill was solid in both ends and easily our best defenceman tonight.

P.K. Subban
It was tough picking a dome tonight, as we didn't have a lot going for us this game. Subban looks like he's getting back into the swing of things, though. He was one of the few players unafraid to shoot from the outside and blocked a couple shots as well. It wasn't a spectacular performance, but you didn't need one to make this dome...


Carey Price - Game Puck
It was hard picking a game puck tonight, and this was an impressive performance by Carey, and the official count of 13 shots against doesn't really give a good idea of the work he had to this evening. He didn't let himself get rattled by Jones' less-than-stellar breakaway goal, and made no mistake when Ryan Smyth tried exactly the same move only minutes later. Price kept us in this one until the end despite some good chances that might not have necessarily been recorded as shots.


A relatively fun game to watch with two fast teams that skate well and plenty of quick rushes, turnovers, and sudden chances. You have to give credit where credit is due, and the Oilers played a good hockey game. They did a great job of controlling the puck in their zone and never really let us develop much in the way of extended pressure. Their penalty killing was extremely disciplined and effective, and Khabibulin was in rare form.

That said, I don't think we played our best hockey tonight. We seemed flat through long stretches of the game, stifled by an Edmonton defence that allowed us to get a lot of transition chances and shots from the outside, but did a good job of controlling rebounds and recovering the puck. Kostitsyn was really noticeable in his absence tonight, and only dressing 11 forwards probably didn't help in that regard.

Given that we seem to want to be a run-and-gun team, we need to convert on more of those run-and-gun chances we keep getting and be more consistent on the power play. Complain all we want about the officiating in the Rangers game, but the fact remains that our power play simply isn't that dangerous - I would say we only looked even slightly dangerous on 2 of our 6 power plays tonight, and we lead the league in shorthanded goals against right now. The bottom line is that we need to find some finish on the ice, on the power play and at even-strength. Sooner would be better than later.

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