Alex Auld did tonight on Long Island exactly what he’s paid to do and exactly what we were hoping for him to do.
Win, and look good doing it when coming in to give Carey Price a well-deserved rest.
Auld stopped 30 of 31 shots, looked poised and confident, and one could even go as far as saying a shutout was a distinct possibility if his teammates in front of him hadn’t simply stopped playing in the second period, with only four shots on Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson and play so often in Montreal’s end that it looked like a continuous power play for the New Yorkers with the ice tilted.
Although to be fair, the Canadiens withstood a two-man disadvantage in the second that kept the shot tally down, but it was still a less-than-great period to be sure. And it was shortly after killing the two penalties when the one got by Auld.
But that was then and this is now, which means the Habs skate away with a big 3-1 win, their fourth straight victory, and to take it one step further, their sixth win in seven games.
Or how about 7 wins in these first 10 games of the season!
We can’t ask for much more than that, can we? Except for the part about Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez, two stars stuck in neutral with just a goal each, which translates to 8 goals apiece for the season. This is bound to change, don’t you think?
Others are getting it done, however. Benoit Pouliot had a goal and an assist on this fine Friday night, and Travis Moen made us all breathe a sigh of relief when he popped the insurance marker from a Gionta pass, and very soon, when we least expect it, hockey analysts everywhere might possibly start saying nice things about the bleu, blanc et rouge.
I think, anyway.
Pouliot’s goal came from a great heads-up play by Jeff Halpern, a guy who is quickly becoming a mighty valuable Montreal Canadien. Halpern, with experience oozing from every pore, found the trailing Pouliot who blew it by Roloson, and once again I scared the cat when I yelled.
Tomas Plekanec scored his fifth of the young season, a power play goal and it felt so good saying it that I’ll say it again – a power play goal.
Shots on goal – Islanders 31, Habs 26. At this point I’d like to mention once again that Alex Auld was excellent and from Habs fans everywhere, thank you very much Alex.
Andrei Kostitsyn (6-4) and Tomas Plekanec (5-5), are the team point leaders at this time.
Next up – Saturday night, when the Panthers are in Montreal which means…… presenting the one and only Andrei Markov! (I think).
Also, I’ve decided to draw the name of the winner of ten prizes on Monday, November 1. http://dennis-kane.com/the-winner-wins-em-all/ And the more you comment, the better your chances.