Opponent: Blue Jackets
Loss: 3-2 (SO)
Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Sanford (W)
Habs goalscorers: Kostitsyn, Gionta
Opposition goalscorers: Prospal, Umberger (Nash - SO)
We'd been lucky once already this game with a last-second goal in a listless first period, so hoping for a second while trailing late in the third seemed like it might be asking a little much. Then, a shot from outside by Plekanec was actually followed to the net by a couple forwards for once, Gionta to one side and Cammalleri to the other. The captain ended up with a soft rebound and made no mistake in putting it home to send this one to overtime and absolutely stealing a point from Columbus.
His goal late in the first off a beautiful feed from Cammalleri was the only thing keeping us alive through the first 58:39 of the game. His defensive game wasn't up to scratch, and was on for both goals against. Still, he was one of the few that showed any offensive spark.
His late goal to salvage a point from a pretty uninspiring performance by most of the squad makes him a shoo-in. I love to see a captain that does exactly what a captain needs to do.
Poor Erik Cole couldn't buy a goal tonight. The fact that he had so many missed chances almost made me want to leave him out, but we know he's doing a lot of things right to get all those opportunities. Seems to magically create offense from nothing on a regular basis.
It's easy to sell Subban short these days with the expectations he has built for himself. He's played flashier games, but I like that he's been a little less flamboyant on the ice. He was on for almost 32 minutes and did his fair share of work to pitch in on offense while still being expected to be playing a more defensively responsible role.
9 hits. 9 hits, and all over the rink. At least 3 of them were real earth-shakers, too. He plastered guys at the blue line to make them pay the price for coming into the zone, and he rocked them on the boards to make them pay for being in his house. Played solid defense for over 22 minutes and picked up his first NHL assist, he should be proud of his work.
Carey Price - Game Puck
No question about this one tonight. Without the stunning work by Price throughout the game, we would have never had a chance. His absolute stoning of Umberger on the breakaway with just under a minute left in the second was a strong play of the game candidate, along with his huge save on Nash in the opening minutes of the third. Price was huge all night and was instrumental in getting that point for the standings.
Perhaps a little tired after a long road trip, the Habs started the night slowly and looked lethargic at times, especially early in the first. Columbus had a good game plan tonight, and they did a great job of clogging up the neutral zone and playing the body to prevent us from using our speed to play strong transition hockey. I haven't seen the team so completely and thoroughly stymied as this in any game I've blogged so far this season.
Worse than that, Colombus has some speedy players, and they created a shocking number of breakaways and odd-man rushes through breaking up plays in the neutral ice. Nash and Huselius looked particularly dangerous together, and I was reminded of how much I love watching Nash play hockey. Our power play woes continue, and we looked particularly pathetic in the third opportunity when another ridiculously slow line change stranded two lone Habs in the offensive zone while the forwards figured out who was supposed be doing what, and when. Oh, and when we went 0-for-3 on the shootout.
As I alluded to above, it seems to me that we got more a little lucky at times tonight. But given how unlucky some of our guys were (Cole fanned on some golden opportunities tonight), we deserved a little. Overall, though, we looked tired and weren't passing the puck well. It looked to me like we got outplayed by a Blue Jacket squad that really had their game together, and we should be pretty happy to take home a point.