Loss: 3-4 (SO)
Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Luongo (W)
Habs goalscorers: St. Denis, Diaz, Cole
Opposition goalscorers: Raymond, Hodgson (1, SO), Salo
The play of the game was going to be the Cole goal, that is until we got to OT. In my head it was then going to be the winner or a fantastic save. When neither of those happened I went back to the one play that made us look our best. Cole did very well at the blue-line to block a shot. The puck bounced favourably for him and he was off towards Luongo with Pacioretty on a 2-on-1. Cole made the right choice and Luongo guessed wrong. The goal gave us the dreaded 3-0 lead.
Andrei tied for the lead in shots and in hits tonight and that didn't come as a shock. He made things happen in the offensive zone and, unfortunately for him, ends the night with a -1 rating and no points. When he uses his size, strength and shot, as he did tonight, he is easily one of our best all-around players.
Erik Cole - Game Puck
Speed, size and more speed was Erik's game tonight. His goal was the pay-off for playing that way throughout the first two periods, for making the Canuck defence question themselves. He almost cost us the game in OT with a horrible giveaway, but Price bailed him out with a fantastic save and saved him game-puck honours.
Desharnais didn't pick up any points or have a great night in the face-off circle, but did a fine job in other categories. He centred our best line and contributed to quite a few of Cole and Pacioretty's chances. He also ended up being one of only three forwards (Cole, Camms) to improve their +/- tonight.
Scored a goal and logged huge minutes again. I was also pretty impressed with his confidence at both ends. His play and that of Emelin's vs. that of Weber's has me liking the playing-pro-in-Europe route quite a bit. Where else can you get 25 year-olds who are ready to play top-4 minutes?
I would have liked to have Gorges in here, but in the end I couldn't get over him being on the ice for two third period goals against. So, I went with Emelin, the obvious (how crazy is that?) choice. He logged close to 24 minutes, led the game in hits (tied with Kostitsyn) and is becoming the one Hab that you don't want to be skating in on with some speed.
I have Carey in, but it was close. I know that it isn't his fault that we always lose our leads, it is the team's. It would be great if we had a goalie who could hold-off the nightly third-period bombardment, but it shouldn't be expected. Price would have a lot more wins with a better team in front of him, but there are goalies, few as they are, who would have this team winning. He made some fabulous saves to even give us the chance at one point and then a couple in OT that gave us the chance for a shootout (or, realistically, a chance to win in OT). I would, however, have Budaj in for the shootout. I don't now how good or bad Peter is in the shootout, but I know that 9 goals on 17 shots (38th of 45 goalies) isn't good; I would give change a chance.
If you didn't see this game, but you saw the San Jose one, I think that you're good. The Habs couldn't hold their lead, sat back and gave it too little too late. The upsetting part is that when we are playing well (as we did in the first 40 minutes) we can keep up with any team, we can beat any team. We are too content, however, once we have the lead to see if we can hold on. Why anyone in their right mind would think that a defensive shell would be the best way to win or tie a period is beyond me. It seems pretty obvious that if we kept playing to score we could be winning games by more than 1 goal (generally the result when wins actually happen). This is the reason that so many of our games go to OT and so many of our other losses or other wins are by 1-goal margins. We allow the other team to catch-up, if they want, all the while being good enough ourselves to catch-up and keep a game close when we don't have the lead. Tonight's game is frustrating because it is one point lost. A point that we all know how we could have gotten, a point that the players know how to get, a point that the coaches should know how to get, but won't just do it. Until we change our gameplan it will always be a 50/50 toss-up. The playoff hope will remain alive, however, (not any old team can stay with Vancouver), but won't be a certainty (not any old team can keep it so close with Columbus).