A Well-Earned Point In A Hard-Luck Game

If you’ve been thinking lately about how great it would be to skate for the Montreal Canadiens, now might be a good time to apply. Some job openings have come up.

It was a night in Buffalo we need never to happen again. The 2-1 overtime loss is at least a point earned, and that’s a good thing. But we lost players we can’t afford to lose, two key guys are gone for what looks like a fair length of time, and we came within a whisker of losing about three others.

Buffalo was a dangerous place to be tonight

Mike Cammalleri was cross-checked into the board and may have separated his shoulder and could be gone for weeks. Max Pacioretty took a Wiz slapshot to his ribs and we’re still waiting to hear. Jeff Halpern appears to be in trouble and hardly played in the second half. PK Subban took a puck off the foot but luckily was all right and came back. Hal Gill hurt his hand.

No need to throw in Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges here.

There were glimpses of gold though. The Canadiens got a power play goal from David Desharnais and stellar netminding from Carey Price. The depleted team played with heart throughout, and loss or no loss, we can be proud that they battled hard. And they did get that crucial point.

Now we need to hear some good news along the way to soften the blows. Maybe the Max injury isn’t as bad as it looks and he’ll be back soon. Halpern too. And hopefully Gill’s hand is good now.

Where are those five-game breaks the schedule-maker gave us earlier in the season? We need some healing time. And the question becomes – can they hold on until things heal?

Random Notes:

Next up – Friday in Ottawa. 

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this bad luck isn’t so bad after all.

14 thoughts on “A Well-Earned Point In A Hard-Luck Game”

  1. We almost won that game Dennis in spite of all the fallen soldiers. And for a while it looked the the whole platoon was going to be wiped out.

    Of course we can’t expect to get any mercy from the men in stripes. During the last 40 minutes of regulation play Montreal was slapped with five penalties while Buffalo only got one. The Sabres were hacking like crazy in the third period but the refs were blind to almost everything the home team did. And of course they called Gomez for high sticking with less than a minute to go which gave Buffalo the man advantage in overtime. And the rest is history.

    It was a very hard-earned point and it showed the team has character to battle it out even when they are down many key players.

    At least they’ll have the all-star break to lick their wounds. But only after they play the Sens, Ducks and finally the Flyers.

  2. Dennis, as much as I thought the game against Calgary was our worst-played win so far this season, this game against Buffalo was our best-played loss. The contrast in effort and intensity couldn’t be more glaring.

    And Phil is right about the teamwork between Price and PK. Did you notice they gave each other a few pats on the back after backing each other up late in the third period to salvage the point? It was a sweet moment.

    I think the two of them have a special chemistry, which is good because it can’t be easy being a rookie Hab if you can’t connect like that with anyone on the team. Also Hal Gill has taken on the role of being a sort of father figure for PK. At times he praises and encourages him while other times he guides him away from things that will hamper his development.

    If Cammy is back in a couple of weeks – as TSN expects – it means he’ll only miss the next three games. Patches was back on the plane with the team so that is also a promissing sign. Maybe we’ll be lucky and find out it’s just a bad bruise. Halpern remains a mistery but hopefully it’s nothing major.

    It just goes to show you how you never know what’s around the corner.

  3. It was one of those nights, Danno. On the bright side, even if it is a cracked rib and separated shoulder, it’s about a month for both I guess. We just have to hold on for this length of time and I think it can be done. Players are going to get more ice time, and that can be a great thing. Maybe Eller will make big noises, and maybe PK will show everyone he’s the best and most important rookie in the league.

  4. According to Habs Inside Out – who got it from a CKAC reporter who travels with the team – Patches has a broken rib. Having experienced bruised ribs firsthand, I can tell you he’s out a few weeks at best. If Cammy’s shoulder is indeed separated as is being reported, he’s gone for minimum 2 weeks. And Halpern is harder to lock down reports on – everything from concussion to shoulder to both.

    Stop gap measure will likely mean Pouliot, AK and Eller have by default won slots in the top 6 until the guys start to come back from IR. Anything more than that will necessitate a trade, which will likely mean picks and prospects. I’d really rather have a high draft pick than empty out the barn, cause frankly I don’t think this team has a realistic Cup shot this year.

    There’s always hope of course, but I have to check my hope with some realistic expectations. And after last night’s game they’re pretty low.

  5. Danno, I think there’s a silver lining in all this. Maybe it’ll bring out the best in everyone and pull them together.

  6. Dennis, here’s the play I was talking about. Watch near the end where Price gives PK a thank-you tap on the helmet and PK pats Price on the back.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?uploaded=w&search_query=PK+Price&search_type=videos&suggested_categories=17%2C24%2C20&uni=3

    And I find the following video particularly heart-warming. Here are PK and Carey having some fun at a photo session and you can tell these two kids are really enjoying themselves.

    http://www.herby.tv/2011/01/le-shooting-photo-de-p-k-subban-et-carry-price/

    I agree with you Dennis. There is a silver lining in all this. And if I may be so bold, I disagree with all of the experts who keep on doubting us. We surprised them last year and I honestly believe, even in spite of this recent rash of injuries, that we can go ALL THE WAY.

    Stay tuned.

  7. Thanks, Danno. I’m with you, I think think they can go all the way too. Why not? My wife loves the PK, Price thing photo shoot.

  8. Sorry Dennis. The first link to the video where PK and Price pat each other on the back is this one, not the one I posted.

  9. I think we have a shot at Lord Stanley, but it is a slim one. Parity in the league is evident. In the end, heart and determination and teamwork will put the winner over the top. We are missing some pieces but they can be found. Gauthier has done a great job so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if we make some big moves before the deadline. We have a better team than last year. We also have a better goalie than last year. Moving Halak was one key move by Gauthier that will pay off even more. These injuries aren’t serious and will test the mettle of AK, Eller, Desharnais. This is critical for AK, if he cannot cut it I would prefer him traded before the deadline and get something back for him if he doesn’t start playing with heart.

  10. does it really matter who goes down? they rarely score more than 2 goals a game anyway. i’m not trying to send out de negative vibes,,,,,,, but really folks……
    go leafs go get the fuk outn of de basement get as hi in de standin’s as yu can so de bear don get de pick………… of course look at all the successful,,,,, above AK in the draft so maybe it doesn’t matter…………. keep yer 1st and 2nd pics mini bob………..
    injuries are a convenient excuse for failure.

  11. You live long enough you see everything. Just watched the game all the way through and can imagine how it must have looked on the night with bodies dropping everywhere.

    Still, with Gionta hitting the frame and Plekanec one on one late on they created quality chances even if the Sabres had more shots.

    I glad to see the refereeing is as mystifying to long time devotees of the game as it is to me. They are just desperately inconsistent on calls that are easy to see and easy to judge. I think that’s what’s maddening.

    As a fan you have to live with it. Every team has the same complaint I suppose. But in a game where lady luck has gone over the horizon with her arse on fire, it just adds insult to injury.

    Buffalo – a classless shower or a tough outfit?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR9mc4hhR8k

    I suppose it takes a special kind of tough to clear one armed traffic from in front of the net………..or maybe when they’re already leaving just make sure they know you’re there…..

  12. Considering what happened throughout, I’d say the boys played pretty well, Bayou. But that sight of seeing Pacioretty wheeled out is going to stick with me for awhile. I guess with a broken rib it hurts to cough, laugh, play hockey, sing opera, and do push ups.

  13. Blue Bayou, I think the Buffalo players were checking Pacioretty because he bumped the goalie when the puck hit him and he bent over in pain.
    Living in Buffalo slows the brain cells. It might have something to do with the daily 4 alarm fires.

  14. Dennis a visit to Ottawa is the next best thing to a rest. The Sens are plummeting fast. No distractions in the extreme suburbs where they play.

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