Alex Auld Does The Job Nicely In Habs 3-1 Win

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.

Random Notes:

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. And the more you comment, the better your chances.

30 thoughts on “Alex Auld Does The Job Nicely In Habs 3-1 Win”

  1. Hey Dennis,Well I dont think Carey needs rest,to be honest.This was probably a good game to let him take five,but he will be back Saturday for sure.Travis Moen was very good tonite,scored a gaoal and played the way he is supposed to.I enjoyed the game .

  2. Hi Derry. I think we have to rest Price, even a little, as it’s a very long season and we don’t want him burnt out in the playoffs. So a little breather is a good thing, especially when the backup comes in and gets it done like Auld did tonight.

  3. It’s only one game but this has to give Auld and the team confidence going forward, especially after that second period. There were/are a lot of detractors out there and I’m happy to see Auld put a muzzle on them for a while.

  4. Nice to know Auld can step in and play after sitting cold for a while, he’s only going to be a 15-game backup or so likely with Price’s play, he’s solid enough for the Habs needs.

    What’s crazy? Plekanec, Kostitsyn and Cammalleri are on pace to score about 114 goals combined this season right now.

  5. I think it’s a big confidence booster too, Dishonest John. Imagine the opposite scenario? Auld comes in and gets bombed? But it wasn’t so and it’s a beautiful thing.

  6. Two things happened tonight:
    – My car was towed because people are arseholes, making me a very pissed off girl (this city is full of stupid and now I have no idea how I’m going to be able to park my car to go to work because all of a sudden I can’t park in an overfill lot that is never ever used by anyone save for a few sleeping truck drivers).
    – Habs win to make me happy while shoving that “No Habs No” campaign into Garth Snow’s face (and our puppy Ziggy comforted me with kisses when I went to see my parents for supper).

    Grrr! Yay!

  7. Hey Robert, 114 goals – wow! Wouldn’t that be nice? Almost 40 each. And absolutely, if Auld can come in and get it done when called upon, how great is that? Good backup goalies are so important and underrated. Great night (except for the second period when we made the Islanders look like the 1980 Islanders).

  8. Number 31, you’re going to have to buy a helicopter and park on the roof. And great to see the boys win a back to back over this NY team. They just gotta keep it going. Good for Auld. This has to help him and his teammates feel good. It sure makes us feel good. But I’m feeling your pain about the car being towed, that’s for sure.

  9. It’s nice to see that we can depend on the backup goalie when Carey isn’t playing, it’ll help us fans forget about Halak.

    Very average game, not much to say, except that 2nd period was VERY sloppy. but they won and that’s all that matters. Let’s make it 5 straight wins on Saturday night when Markov makes his highly anticipated return!

  10. D corps gets a serious upgrade with Markov back in the lineup tomorrow. Was it just me or did he look like he was jonesing for some ice time while up in the pressbox?

    My boy Benny got it done tonight! Take that Jacky Marty! Jeff Halpern is like Pleky Lite, only with better face off percentages. I’ll even say something nice about Darche, who took out the D-man so Benny could snipe the kill shot.

    Hated the 2nd period. Hated it. Don’t ever care to see another period from the Habs like that again. That was soooooooo last season, yo.

  11. Let’s do this all over again tonight. This year could be 07/08 regular season + ’10 playoffs + ’93 finals. Just because ’93 was a little heart attack-inducing, the stability of last year’s playoffs (minus an exit in the ECF) would be nice. Or maybe I’m just spouting nonsense/jinxing the team.

    @Number31: I hope the rest of your day goes well. That must’ve been real tough on you.

  12. Went to see some stand up comedy last night. Best act was Tom Stade, a Canadian. Surreal stuff, he’s certainly out where the buses don’t turn. At one point he started riffing about Maple Syrup and I knew the game would go well.

    I like Halpern. Seems to make a contribution every game now. Haven’t seen it all yet but it seems worrying that they can be thrown off their game by aggressive forechecking and forcing the game to the boards (as in the disappouinting loss to the Devils) which seems to be what happened in the 2nd period.

    Still with 15 points, in the words of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, “We’re Sitting On Top of The World”

  13. Dennis, please give the power ranking guys a call again. The little doodad on the side of the screen still has us stuck in eighth spot (with no change from last week) even though WE’RE NUMBER ONE in the league after last night’s win.

    Just another reason to be CHeerful!

  14. Hey Phil. You’re right, they won and that’s the bottom line. But I think none of us like to see them play poorly like in the second. They still have some things to work on.

  15. Tyg, wouldn’t it be nice to see Pouliot become a consistent scorer. We can only hope. And wouldn’t it be nice if Gionta and Gomez scored some goals.

  16. BlueBayou, you keep analyzing like that and you’re going to catapult yourself into an upper-management position when I own the team. Stick boy or hot dog vendor? I think not. I’m thinking for you more along the lines of assistant coach.

  17. Danno, I just emailed the power ranking people and told them this is unacceptable. This is no way to treat the first overall in the entire league. I also asked them how often they update this thing. Maybe it’s a once-a-month deal.

  18. Pouliot! Yay! I really do Want him to succeed, and games like this give us all hope! Optimism is so much better than pessimism I find…

    And all in all, a good game (minus the second), a big win for Auld, and a team that has finally proven (in the playoffs and now this year) that it can win, and look good (minus PP) without 79. So how good can we look when he comes back tonight??!?! So excited right now.

    Vive le Bleu Blanc et Rouge!!!!!!!!

  19. Forgot to comment on the 1st in the league news!!!! Who’da thunk it, the day Markov returns, we give him a top-of-the-boards team! I would’ve been happy with a middle of the pack team, but this is beyond awesome!

    Now no let-down versus the Panthers.

    I like the way this team looks – we stink against the Devils and look good against everyone else. I can live with that, especially since Marty Brodeur owns us anyway, so you’re gonna lose those Anyway, so if you’ve gotta stink once in a while, make it one of those!

  20. Good morning, Danny. Almost time for me to hit the hay after another graveyard. I’m feeling good too but like a broken record I’m going to harp about Gionta and Gomez. But I know it’s just ten games and Gionta in particular can get it going at any time now. Gomez is more of an assist man I guess so we probably won’t see a bucket of goals from him. But he’s gotta get lots of points. He makes enough money for gawd’s sakes. And imagine if we would’ve beat New Jersey? It would’ve been seven straight.

  21. Yeah I try not to think about the amount of money Gomez gets, for what he’s producing, cause every time I do I die a little bit inside… I’d love to get paid a salary so completely disproportionate to my performance! He’s on pace to get paid almost a million $ a goal… and like a quarter million or more per point….. Ugh. And we’ve got his contract, an albatross around our necks for what – 3 more years after this one? It’s not the $, as obviously the Molsons with a strong $CAD can pay anything, but the cap space pains me…. and he’s nowhere near bad enough to consider waiving either, so we’re just gonna keep him around…

    But hey! The team we’ve got with him on it is doing pretty darn good! And he’s winning faceoffs decently (47% isn’t terrible) and playing solid D (to be +1 on a line with no Offense, you must be doing Something right!!!) so it could be worse.

    That being said, I still feel like Saku could be doing exactly the same things, for 1/3 of the price, plus being Saku. I miss Saku. 🙁

    Can’t end on a down note when the Habs look this good though!!! Pouliot looks good for now, AK46 is a beast, Pleks and Camms are awesome, the Price is Right, Gio will undoubtedly turn it around, the G-Unit is excellent on the back end (Gill and Gorges), the Subbanator continues to impress, and best of all, the mighty Markov returns tonight!!!!!

    GO! HABS! GO!

  22. Also, Dennis, what sort of graveyard job do you do? I worked a graveyard shift in college on the front desk of a residence, and even such an easy job almost killed me, just because of the 4AM blues and the sleep schedule-ruining!

  23. Danny, I also think Gomez is a pretty effective penalty killer as long as he can get possession of the puck. But still, none of it is enough to justify his salary. But you never know, maybe he’ll really pick it up.

  24. Hopefully. I agree on the PK as well, but on a team with Pleks and Halpern and Lapierre, its not like we’re hurting for another PK centre… More is always better of course, but within reason.

    At least the trade itself wasn’t bad, as Higgins is just the most snakebit player EVER (can’t count the number of times I’d be watching and a sure goal just couldn’t find the twine), Janik is a depth defenseman, something we don’t really hurt for, Valentenko will probably never come over to the NHL, and McDonough doesn’t look like more than a top 4D… plus we got Pyatt out of it (totally forgot about that until looking it up just now)!

  25. Danny, I work for BC Ferries and I move around from job to job and shift to shift. Frome time to time, like now, I work graveyards just making sure the ship is safe and sound while docked overnight. In a few days I’ll be on PM shift as a ticket agent. I used to work on the ship but have moved to shore and it’s good. But I still want that darn lottery win.

  26. There’s not much more I can add, your readers have some great thoughts on our teams play & players! It was good to see Auld more than hold his own when given the start. If he plays as he did last night & Price continues to play well we look to be in good shape & may just get past the Halak deal! I hope Markov’s return is a boost to the team!
    Les Canadiens Sont La!!!!

  27. habs are winning games this year they would have lost last year and without their top guys scoring. when they get untracked and the b guys keep it up WE will be in excellent shape. it is important to pull off wins in games you maybe don’t deserve to win………….. you have to be good to be lucky.

  28. Hey Mike. We just get some guys going. And right now the team is losing 2-1 after the second and we need more scoring from the scorers. It’s hard to believe we’re doing so well when so many aren’t racking up any points. I guess this is good, I’m not sure.

  29. Hobo, we’re in deep against the Panthers right now and who knows what will happen in the third. I’m not greedy, I just want them to win the last 72 games.

  30. @ Dennis: Oh cool! My brother works for BC ferries too – small world! I bet you can’t wait to get off the graveyard shift though… Of course, when you win the lottery you’re probably going to spend it all buying the Habs, so you’d need to keep working anyway!

    As for winning without scorers scoring – I still feel like its ok, as long as they get going at some point (and SOON). If G&G and the PP don’t pick it up, then we’re going to be in trouble as one-line teams usually come crashing down to earth when the luck either cools off or turns sour. I feel like we might be seeing the top line play at its normal level (maybe a little hot, but not unreasonably lucky), so as long as we can get some support for them for when they hit a slump, (which they will, all lines do except Gretzky-Kurri-Anyone in the 80s – honestly, I can barely skate and I think I’d score 20-30G on that line…) we’ll have that next line to turn to.

    Cause lets face it, we aren’t going to hold teams to 22shots all year. It looks like the real deal, and we’re not going back to nightly 45shots like last year, but those nights Will happen occasionally, and the 30SOG nights will happen often, and we NEED offense to win those games…

    I’m not AS worried about the PP, as I have confidence in the power of Markov (once his timing comes back), but the second line HAS to pick it up… I saw someone (I think in this forum) calling for the possibility of breaking up G&G – if they can’t do it together, then the BFFs are going to have to play apart. I feel like Gionta-Lapierre-Halpern/Pyatt/Moen could be interesting (he can be the sniper while the two muckers win battles down low for him) and Gomez centreing Eller and Pouliot might have some potential as well. Alternatively, if you want a more offensive C for Gio, Maxwell might work… Who knows. All I know is dear god don’t touch the top line -if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – but with the 2nd line, if it ain’t workin’, why not experiment? And rotating the third spot doesn’t count as experimenting anymore, since I don’t think I’ve seen the same 3rd guy on that line two games in a row!

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