Saturday, November 19, 2011

Game #20

Habs Roundhouse Rangers


Date: 19/11/2011
Opponent: Rangers
Location: Montreal

Win: 4-0

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

Habs goalscorers: Cole, Gionta (2), Plekanec
Opposition goalscorers:

Play of the game

Showing his good hockey sense early in the first, Weber held up the play for a second in his end to clear the ice ahead of him a little and start out from the zone. He spotted a streaking Cole on the right wing and put a pass into his skates. Cole slipped past the defender on the outside and cut into the faceoff circle to unleash a blistering shot over Garon's Biron's right shoulder and pick the top corner. A key power play goal that set the pace for the Habs and established an early lead that they never let go.

Dome hockey team

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


Tomas Plekanec
It's nice putting Pleks back in the dome. I feel like the last couple times I've blogged the game haven't been his best performances. Tonight he was a force to be reckoned with—especially on special teams—and logged his 20th point in 20 games.

Brian Gionta
Another player I'm glad to put in the dome tonight, as I think our captain has also been all too quiet lately. Two beauty goals tonight earn him dome status, and
it's worth noting that both these goals came off passes from Gomez. Do we dare hope that this is the start of something good?

Erik Cole - Game Puck
Despite a slow start to the season, Cole has become a key piece of the offensive puzzle. He is a consistent source of offensive pressure and no slouch in his own end, either. Tonight was no exception and he set the tone early on for his teammates with a welcome PP goal, and continued a 5-game, 7-point streak with a goal and an assist tonight.


P.K. Subban
With so many of our defense corps injured, we relied on sophomore Subban to play the role of grizzled defensive veteran tonight. He ably shouldered the responsibility and logged workhorse minutes in his own end and on the penalty kill. He kept in the defensive mindset very well and was a key piece of Price's shutout tonight.

Yannick Weber
Weber was another unlikely "veteran" tonight, and it was clear that he was playing the role of puck-moving defender with a green light to shoot. He did that very well and is developing into a strong PP quarterback as well as showing good judgement and defensive sense.


Carey Price

Price wasn't tested as much as he could have been, as overall the team was very good at chasing pucks in their own end, controlling rebounds and keeping any extended pressure from developing. New York still managed some great chances on the run, and his cross-crease save on Gaborik early in the first was spectacular. A flurry of chances in the dying minutes were his toughest test this evening, and he weathered them easily to walk away with a second straight shutout.


An exciting game to watch, especially through the first period. The Canadiens dominated this one pretty decisively and never really allowed the Rangers to set up shop in the offensive zone.
Garon Biron didn't play badly and had some good saves, but ultimately New York couldn't stop us from playing to our strengths. We chased pucks hard and won a lot more than we lost, and we seemed to be able to walk into their zone at will all game. Some solid breakout passing from Diaz and Weber created goals out of nowhere twice tonight, and it was relieving to see our veteran forwards stepping up to take the spotlight off Pacioretty and Desharnais for what feels like the first time in a while.

For once, our power play didn't seem so pathetic as usual. We went 2/6 (compared to 10/72 before tonight) and had convincing offense during all of them (if only for the last 40 seconds on the 5th PP thanks to strong play from Cammalleri and Diaz). It was encouraging to see some sign of our previous dominance, and both Diaz and Weber are developing into able quarterbacks in the absence of Markov and with Subban being asked to play a more stay-at-home role while Gill, Spacek and Campoli are out. I'm impressed with their vision and patience, as frustrating as it can be sometimes during extended passing bouts on the power play.

Overall a solid showing from an offensively fired-up unit. New York let us have a fair amount of space this game, and that allowed us to use our speed and some smart passing from our young defensemen to play our kind of game. When we're given that space and allowed to play that kind of run-and-gun hockey I think this is a tough squad to beat.

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