Win: 3-2 (SO)
Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Bishop (L)
Habs goalscorers: Cole Desharnais (1,SO)
Opposition goalscorers: Greening, Karlsson
I have never, ever seen a player do this, in any sport, at any level. Cole took a pass in the neutral zone and went in with his usual speed down the right-side. He put a good shot on net, but it was stopped. A juicy rebound came out just as fast as the shot had gone in and all of a sudden, bang-bang, it was in the net. Yes, I have seen that. But, I have never seen a player high-five the ref after a nice goal, but that is exactly what Erik did, it was hilarious. Nice to see Cole enjoying himself and nice to see that the Habs still seem to enjoy playing. I may try high-fiveing the ref next time I play, but I just have a feeling it will more likely mean 2 minutes for me rather than rapturous applause.
At this stage it would take something special for the dome to be occupied by three players that aren't on Cole's line. With Ryan White (yes, Ryan White) on our second line and Staubitz on our team it just isn't fair anymore as Cole and company are raking in the domes. 3 more goals to hit 30, 4 more for a career-high. Considering we score 2-3 goals a game and no one else can score I would say this is a lock.
David Desharnais - Game Puck
David scored a goal and was the lone successful shooter in the shootout. He outplayed his opponents most of the game and that is probably why he saw the most ice of any of our forwards. We didn't score on the PP tonight, but I feel that it is improving. Desharnais, in my opinion, is a big reason why we are getting better as he seems more comfortable running a PP and working the half-boards as of late.
The same reason that some people are excited about next year is the same reason that I am worried. We have shown this year that we are not a deep team and that has been painfully obvious over the past few weeks. When you look at our forwards after the top-3 and Plekanec it really is a mess. Eller and Leblanc may have potential, but aren't there yet. Beyond that we are looking at an unflattering group that includes Gionta, Gomez, Bourque, White, Staubitz, Nokelainen, Geoffrion and Palushaj...ouch. Not hard for Max to make the dome tonight as he played like himself and, as predicted, so did the other 9 forwards.
Andrei is already at the stage where if he plays alright he will get in the dome. Gorges had an off night and I wasn't that impressed with Campoli. Weber and St. Denis were alright, but I would still take Markov. He looked more comfortable tonight and was a few inches away from winning the game in the shootout. I was happy that the crowd got behind him so much as they seem to echo what we have been saying on here. So, I guess it is just Michel Beregeron that thinks he should go. He does have a good track record, though as he is a big reason that the team and certain fans turned on Koivu, Kovalev and Kostitsyn. Let's hope that Markov is one Eastern European that can escape that joke's wrath.
Subban was our best defender tonight and, for a change, was miles ahead of Gorges in both ends. His shot that got deflected by Desharnais was a perfect point shot and Desh made a great deflection. He played 28 minutes tonight which he can handle and makes sense, but if we really want to finish low and want to see even more progression from some I would share that ice-time around more, in particular with Emelin, Diaz (when they are healthy) and Weber.
Carey was great tonight and may be the biggest reason that we are 2 points further from our goal and Ottawa is one less from theirs. Can't blame him, though, for playing well and wanting to win, I would be doing the same. I was happy to see him go 3 for 3 in the shootout as he stopped a trio that were 13/21 coming in.
I get the feeling that with Markov in the line-up in December or even January we would easily have 10 more PP goals, a couple more shootout wins and likely 5-10 more points. So, we would be in the hunt for sure. That, to me, is one of the most encouraging things as we head into a long summer of MLS watching in Montreal. He brings a certain element that helps us and his presence makes every defender better as less is expected of each. You also have to wonder what would have been had Cole, Desharnais and Pacioretty been together from the start. It sure makes a great case against always going with Gionta and Gomez, doesn't it?
Next up is, the Ottawa Senators. It is off to Scotiabank Place where Montreal fans will surely be loud and, maybe regrettably, egging their team on for the win. As much as I would like 85 points at this point (because I enjoy a win more than a loss) I know that that is no-man's land in the NHL. One of the biggest reasons that teams like Toronto never get better is because they never draft high (it probably doesn't help that they draft very poorly and are run by the angriest man in the Western Hemisphere), so I can't stress enough the importance for us to abort on the season. It seems that 9 forwards and 3 D have bought into it, any ideas how we can get the rest of our crew to chill out down the stretch? We get it guys, you are good and this season isn't your fault, but please, take it easy!