A Blanking Of The Canes

So many good things on a night when the Habs win a convincing 4-0 game over the Carolina Hurricanes. I just need to list them while the giddiness lingers.

Montreal took advantage of a flat and disoriented Carolina team and scored four big ones.

Carey Price notched his first shutout of the season, and Montreal scored a rare power play goal as Yannick Weber fired one home.

Frederic St-Denis, in his very first NHL game, played well and even managed to get himself on the stats sheet, albeit for two penalties. He carried himself well and his family must be very proud.

PK Subban scored his first of the year and came through as a blueline leader, just when we needed him to.

Travis Moen added his sixth of the season, and if he keeps this up, I’m going to start saying I told you so.

And finally, and I want you to take a deep breath – Scott Gomez had an assist. And you know what that means? It means Gomez manages to stay ahead of Carey Price in the points department. Gomez has two points, Price, with an assist on Mike Cammalleri’s goal which opened the scoring, remains one behind Gomez.

What a race. Can Price catch Gomez? Or can Gomez continue this torrid pace and leave Price in the dust?

Yes, Carolina is out-of-sorts presently, but we don’t care. Imagine if this out-of-sorts team had won the game? It could have been as low as Montreal could sink. But instead, the Canadiens were solid, and they were so without backenders Jaraslav Spacek, Hal Gill, Chris Campoli, and of course Andrei Markov.

TSN colour guy Ray Ferraro called PK a veteran, and I suppose on this night he was, even though he was a fresh-faced rookie just a year ago. It was PK and Josh Gorges as the mainstays on defence, with St-Denis and Raphael Diaz, Yannick Weber, and especially Alexei Emelin, who bumped and thumped and definitely adds a nice, new dimension to the Canadiens. Old-time bodychecks. A Russian Bobby Baun. And like Baun, he hurts people in mostly a clean way.

If Jacques Martin sees fit to give this Russian regular minutes on a regular basis, I see an important guy in the lineup. Because there’s nothing like a heavy hitter on a smallish team.

Now it’s off to Long Island for a Thursday night tilt against the Islanders. Such a roller coaster ride we’re on with this Habs team. And such drama with the Price/Gomez points race.

Random notes:

Habs outshot the visitors 36-25.

The boys are a hair from a playoff spot, tied with New Jersey who hold down 8th, but Montreal has played one more game so they sit in 9th. For a few minutes at least, they owned that 8th spot.

 

 

23 thoughts on “A Blanking Of The Canes”

  1. Hey Dennis,I missed the game but got to watch the hilites.I figure that was pretty good,Carey finally got his shutout that he has been so close to over the last few weeks.I am really looking forward to tommorow nites game.

  2. THAT’S what I call domination.

    Really goes to show how much potential the team has. It’s all a matter of getting the chemistry together. Also amazing to know that the team wasn’t even close to being the real roster. Having Kostitsyn, Markov, Gill, Spacek and Campoli out, I’m not sure if I covered everybody, it’s tough to keep up.
    But yeah, once all the rookies are sent back to juniors and the veterans are all healed up, I predict the Habs will do some serious damage.

    I’m not gonna go for one of my textbook lengthy rants, ’cause there’s not much to actually vent on. The Habs played their best game of their year, and learned from their mistakes against Buffalo. You play the full 60 minutes, you don’t try to cling onto leads, you go for the kill (As DarthAlexander said in a previous post)

  3. But I must say that I’m pleased that Cammalleri and Subban are finally getting rewarded for their efforts. They’ve both been trying extensively to put the puck in the net but luck just wasn’t on their side. But they finally broke out of their slumps

  4. Dennis, check this out.

    This is the number of games played by our defense men before the game last night:

    Josh Gorges = 381 NHL games played in the NHL
    PK Subban = 96 NHL games
    Rafael Diaz = 17 NHL games
    Yannick Weber = 66 NHL games
    Alexei Emelin = 9 NHL games
    Frederic St Denis = 0 games

    Total experience of entire defence combined = 569 NHL games played

    Compare to Hal Gill (who didn’t play) = 1,010 NHL games

    Hal Gill has almost twice as many games played as the entire defense iced last night. You can call them the Half-Gill gang.

    Plus, only one player (Josh Gorges) had more than 100 games played in the NHL.

    I wonder if this is a first in Montreal Canadiens history?

  5. One thing I’d like to point though is that the Habs did let up a bit in the third period with the shots on goal being 13-4 in Carolina’s favour.

  6. Yep they took the foot off the pedal in the third again. They need to stop that. I don’t know why they keep doing that or what the logic is in doing it but man I wish they’d stop it. We can get away with it sometimes, but other times it will come back and bite us on the ass.

    I am glad Emelin played a great game. I was impressed with him when I saw him in Brossard and last night he played like he did that day. When Markov comes back and is able to help him develop, he should be amazing.

    This was a great game and I hope they’ve learned how to win from this. I don’t want them going to New York tonight and play half-assed and lose. Keep this up boys and we will do quite well.

  7. happy for the win……….. didn’t see the game but checked the box score as soon as i got home. noticed being out shot 13=4 in the final period. that seems like an overwhelming advantage for the enemy altho danno said slight letdown. shots on goal can be deceiving at times. just hate to see that 3rd period letdown even in victory as it has caused so many games to slip thru fingers of sure victory.

  8. Hi Dennis, watched the game last night and really enjoyed seeing PK get a goal and have a solid game. I thought Eric Staal was going to jump ship and play for the Habs last night.

    Carey Price made some good saves.

  9. Danno, I’ll bet that is a first for the Habs. Imagine Ferraro calling PK a veteran after just 96 games. I know what he meant. He was a veteran compared to everyone else except Gorges.

  10. Danno, they did let up slightly but not too bad I guess. Of course, like Jacques Martin says…a good defence is offence…….

  11. Darth, I’m glad too about Emelin. He was a star in the KHL and there’s no reason why he can’t be here. Montreal needs toughness and where else are they going to get it?

  12. Hobo, at least it wasn’t a total third period letdown. Carolina looked really sluggish, a lot like Montreal has looked this year. So the shoe was on the other foot for a change.

  13. Hi Diane! Yes indeed, they looked okay. They play the Bruins (in Montreal) on Monday which should be a classic. I know you’ll be watching that too. And don’t forget, Diane, there’s still time to become a 100% Habs fan. I know you like them a little but you can like them a lot! I’m waiting patiently.

  14. Danno, although not as extreme as Gill, you can add Spacek (with 846) and Markov (with 623) to the list of our injured players that had more experience than the our entire defence combined from last night. And it doesn’t look like any of them will be back for the next game or two.

  15. Dennis, thanks for your kind comments. Can you edit my “quote of the day” without my typos? I was so excited to correspond, I didn’t proof read. :)

  16. Dennis and hobo it’s true that you can’t just go by stats for the shots on goal to make a judgment on how they played in the third period. One thing that should be noted is the fact that Montreal spent the better time of the last 20 minutes fighting penalties – some of which were questionable – so consequently the Canes had an advantage in the SOG department.

    Is it me or have I noticed two styles being employed lately by the Habs. Lately, ever since the firing of Perry Pearn, it appears they are using a two-man forecheck for a good part of certain games before backing off in the third period.

    I think it’s good they mix it up like this because if you become too predictable your opponent has an edge on you.

    One other thing.

    I give all the credit for Scott Gomez getting a point last night to Dennis Kane for shaming him into making a contribution to the team.

    Keep it up Dennis!

  17. I think it was alright for them to play conservative in the last period. it was 4-0 for Pete’s sake.
    Having the game at 2-0 is a different story though. That can be considered a tight game depending on how hard the opposing team is pushing to tie the game.
    But 4-0 is a safe distance and I think they deserved to play a looser game for the 3rd frame.

    And you can start including me in the Emelin bandwagon because he’s improved so much in so little time. Habs should keep him even after all the injuries clear up, but that depends if he’s still making the same impact he is now. He has that strong physical presence the team desperately needs.

  18. phil
    if blowing leads in the 3rd period was not a regular occurrence i’m sure it would not be even mentioned. until they play 60 min. a game on a regular basis they don’t deserve to take it easy or be too conservative regardless of the score. having said that it sounds like they didn’t float last night. as i said, i didn’t see the game but was suspect looking at the box score, and with good reason. that’s why i put it out to u guys, the guys who really know.

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