Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Garon (W)
Habs goalscorers: Cammalleri, Desharnais, Cole
Opposition goalscorers: Stamkos, Wyman, Bergeron, Lecavalier
Pacioretty and Eller hustled hard for a puck dumped in the far corner. As Eller opened up some space, Pacioretty smartly took a good look at the ice and sent a perfect pass to the slot in front of the far post. A streaking Cole had shaken his coverage and had all the space he needed to bury the prettiest goal of the night and put the Habs up 3-1.
David Desharnais - Game Puck
An offensive sparkplug from the outset. Set up Cammy's PP goal and scored one himself to overcome the 1-0 deficit early on. Helped create some of our better offensive moments late in the game. Frankly I think I've seen him play better games, but he certainly wasn't outplayed by anyone on this outing.
If you heard the same stat I did, you would have double-checked it and freaked out a little when you found out it was true: Cammalleri only scored his first power play goal of the season tonight. We're going to need him to pot quite a few more of these to have a chance at salvaging this season.
This could just as easily have been Eller, but Cole put one in tonight and Eller didn't. Their line was our secondary threat but didn't score as much as we needed them to. However, Cole continues to be a primary source of offense and continues a tear that has seen him score 7 goals and 10 points in his last 10 games.
Subban is beginning to look like a seasoned veteran these days. He is obviously being asked to play more conservatively, and he's making excellent adjustments to be more defensively-minded and to make safe decisions about joining the rush. Despite finishing -2 tonight, Subban is continuing to impress me by facing the strongest opposition week after week and developing into something far beyond the flashy offensive phenom we saw in the playoffs some 18 months ago.
Still loving almost every shift this guy puts in. Saw him joining the rush in very intelligent fashion tonight and delivering yet another 6 hits, putting him 17th in the league after only 27 games. He recovered well from his error late in the 3rd, and I continue to like what I see from this journeyman Russian player.
Honestly, I have no complaints about Price's performance tonight. The first goal was a bit of a fluke, and the second wasn't weak and he did get a good piece of it. The defence really let him down on the 4th, the way that Lecavalier stepped around Gill was a little shameful. He had some solid play throughout but suffered the consequences of his team slowing down in front of him through the last 20 minutes.
The game felt pretty good just after the halfway point. We were up 3-1 and outplaying an uninspired Lightning side. Once again, the Habs started to fade late in the second and the Lightning were all over a dogged-looking Montreal team. They took advantage of some lazy plays for some of their goals, and also managed to beat Price with a couple of lucky shots on some instances. While the Habs did a good a job of shooting the puck early in the game, it seems that Lady Luck was a bigger Tampa fan this time around.
Again, the team looked slow and unsteady later in the game. While they looked slightly more defensive after going up 3-1, they didn't look organized. Cunneyworth has juggled the lines, but kept them together from the Ottawa game the other night. Maybe we can look forward to some chemistry developing and some consistency of units so players can get used to their roles; and some of this confusion will disappear as time goes on.
If only I thought I could say the same about what seems to be an ongoing fitness issue...