Win: 5-4 (SO)
Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Backstrom, Harding (L)
Habs goalscorers: Subban, Eller, Pacioretty, Desharnais (1, SO)
Opposition goalscorers: Kassian (2), Heatley, Setoguchi
The play we have been waiting for all year, the play that may have made us a playoff-bound team came out tonight. It was, of course, PK's PP goal. Last year ended with a reminder of the kid's shot and a warning to the PK units of 2011-2012 to watch out. Well, no one has had anything to worry about all year. If they were worried at this point of the season it would have been because Subban had been blasting shots, like the one he took tonight, by everyone.
David Desharnais - Game Puck
3 points on the night give him an astonishing 50 on the season. He also scored the lone shootout goal and gave the Habs two points that they so desperately needed and wanted...right? David has to be the biggest surprise of the year, doesn't he? We talk about Emelin and Cole and Pacioretty, but we always had hopes for those three, did anyone ever expect this kid to be leading an NHL team in scoring in March?
Max also had a multiple point night as he picked up goal 26 and points 47 and 48. As good as his line has been and as exciting as it has been to watch these are really numbers of second-line (ideally) players. Max has had to rise up to be a top-2 winger and top-3 forward thanks to the play of Plekanec, Kostitsyn, Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri. Those are the players that cost us this season, not Gauthier, not Markov and not Martin.
At -3 and no points I didn't want to put Erik in, I even considered Geoffrion for the single reason of being a Geoffrion, but in the end I had to go with #72. Cole was strong tonight and was better than all the other forwards who, surprisingly in a 5-4 win, didn't really contribute that much at all.
He is in here mostly for his offensive play as he wasn't too hot in his own end, but, then again, who really was?. He was a big reason why we scored 3 PP goals tonight as he brought a calming presence and manages to find players in space. He now has 2o points (2 tonight) in 36 games since joining the Habs (a 46-point pace) and is the type of player that a team needs and we'd need if he wasn't here. Just think of how bad the PP would be if he never arrived; believe it or not, I think it would probably be worse.
I loved the hits and I loved the moves. Desh robbed PK of the game puck tonight as I felt that this was one on Subban's better games. Defensively he wasn't at his best, but I have to look past that as I feel no one on the team really was. His goal was a rocket that I wish we saw more of as it really seems unstoppable when he connects.
I didn't like the clearing attempt (was he going for goal) right up the middle along the ice late in the third. That no-no of a play was picked off and translated into a goal just a few seconds later. I also wasn't a huge fan of 4 goals on 30 shots (.867) and 3 in the last 4 minutes. Had we lost I probably would have gone with Budaj and heading into a shootout I expected a loss (thanks to our inability, this season, to score and to not get scored on). Carey, however, surprised me with a solid shootout and saved his dome and bagged himself a win.
The Habs have 17 games left and it is becoming hard to know what to hope for at this point because I like to win, but logic says lose. Up until 2 weeks ago I had one thought and that was playoffs. I knew that it would be tough, near impossible really, but I still wanted to get in. Yes, it is good to worry about the future, but worrying about the future hasn't done a whole lot of teams any good in the past, so I worry more about the present. Then came the string of losses and the Kostitsyn trade and I seemed to have all of the hope sucked out of me. Chasing teams like Florida, Toronto and Winnipeg made me think that, as bad as we are, we'll still make it because, boy are they bad teams. Then we went and lost to Florida and Tampa and I realized that we are worse than some bad teams, it had really sunken in. So, now I can see the value in coming bottom 5 (or better yet, bottom 2) as coming 9-12 is more a Toronto kind of thing.
This weekend, however, I will cheer hard for the win. I love the fact that Toronto hasn't made the playoffs in 8 years and hope that the Habs can be a big part of why they won't make it again. Seeing them be as bad as they have been for the past 45 years always bring a smile to my face.
An interesting little piece of trivia that I came across today was the fact that Blake Geoffrion actually had a family member 4 generations back play for the Habs too. That player was Billy Coutu who was a previous captain, won a Stanley Cup in 1924 with the Habs and is considered, by the Hockey News, as one of the 100 best Habs ever. There is no blood relation to speak of (maybe why no one has mentioned it), but Billy was Blake's Great, Great, Great Uncle or Boom-Boom's Great Uncle. This is where it may get complicated. Coutu was married to Howie Morenz's Wife's Mother's Sister, so was an Uncle-in-law to the great #7. In fact, the two played together. Coutu is also known for being the only player ever to be banned for life by the NHL, that happened in 1927 when he attacked an official.