Habs And Lightning Play A Beauty

Montreal may have given us a few stinkers this year, but tonight wasn’t one of them. That was a real hockey game that was played in Tampa on the night before New Year’s Eve; a great game that had everything. If fans ever wonder what games were like when there were only six teams, they were like this one.

And the Habs pulled it out in overtime when Tomas Plekanec used Mike Cammalleri as a decoy, picked a hole, and  fired home the winner, and joy reigns supreme throughout Habland.

The guys who are suppose to wheel, wheeled. From both sides. Plekanec was flying. So was Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez and Andre Kostitsyn. On the other side, if Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier played like this every night, their names would’ve been called for the new Canadian Olympic team. Tampa’s dynamic duo were dangerous all night, just as they’ve been in years past.

Carey Price was stellar, as was Tampa’s Mike Smith, and it’s like it was written that each would face 35 shots. Price looked like he hasn’t missed a beat after sitting for the past five games while teammate Jaroslav Halak did everything including garnering NHL first star of the week last week, and Price was especially solid in the third when Tampa poured it on.  If Montreal doesn’t trade Halak, this could be the finest goaltending duo in the league.

Tomas Plekanec not only notched the winner but also assisted on Brian Gionta’s goal, and Plekanec, as we all know by now, is a bonafide star in this league. Finally, we have a guy up there with the other big boys. It feels good. It looks good. And Brian Gionta now has a chance to send this team up yet another notch, like Andrei Markov has just done, and what Plekanec has done all year.

Just a few more little tweaks. We’re still waiting for Sergei Kostitsyn, Maxim Lapierre, and Matt D’Agostini to pick it up. Look how Andrei Kostityn has turned a bummer year into a glittering year. Get those three going the way Andrei has and we’ll see the Habs climb fast and the oddsmakers in Vegas will suddenly be hard at work.

For me, this was a satisfying win. A great game, and the Habs win five out of their last six.

Like Jim Hughson says, “That’s hockey!!!”

Random Notes:

Tomorrow night I work afternoon shift, and both the Habs and Panthers, and Team Canada juniors against the US. are being played. I’m going to have to tape both and watch when I get home around 11pm. So after I watch and then attempt to write something worth reading, it’s going to be about four in the morning.

Maybe I should quit work.

19 thoughts on “Habs And Lightning Play A Beauty”

  1. As you said Dennis, that was a satisfying win, this is what hockey’s all about, intensity and end to end battles.

    Didn’t take much time for Gionta to bring his A-Game back on the ice.

    Price played with the eye of the tiger. Determined and hungry to prove that he’s better than Halak. And so far, the result has been spectacular.

    I think we should keep Halak, we shouldn’t force Carey to play games, he won’t be able to withstand the workload. Look at Craig Anderson of the Avalanche, he’s played as a backup all his life, until this season. He started great, stunned everybody, now he’s bombed.

    I’m afraid it’ll happen to the same to Carey if he plays 60+ games.

    Plekanec, quite the Cinderella story. He’s 7th in league scoring, and second in assists, behind Joe Thornton. It’s almost too good to be true

    One more win will make the end of this year a satisfyin one.

  2. Good comments, Phil. For some reason I’m not clear about, and it might be money, The Habs are supposed to trade Halak. At least that’s what Pierre McGuire said. He said Halak has to be moved. Bit I’m not clear. Anybody fill me in?

  3. Best news for me is that Hamrlik is back. Now I think we’re only missing Mara who will only make the line-up to give one of the other 6 a rest.

    As for Sergei, Lapierre, and D’Agostini they’re on the edge. I’d rather have Pacioretty play than them and Laraque will dress against the less-skilled more aggressive teams.

    Dennis, I hope the boss appreciates all these sacrifices you’re making; forcing you to miss the games isn’t in the holiday spirit.

    I’m with you Phil, I’d like to see a Price/Halak tandem again next year. I hope a story I read isn’t true that he only wants to be a #1 next year even if it means going to the KHL.

  4. Hey Dennis;Listened to the game,was very impressed by the way Price’s saves were described via the computer connection.Im hoping Halak will stay on,sharing a goaltending job isn’t a bad thing,until it comes to the playoffs.Then the hot guy usually goes all the way’I remember Rogie Vachon asking for a trade the year after Dryden stood on his head for the Habs in the 71 cup win.Rogie who was the Habs #1and a good netminder himself was pushed to the back of the bus when Kenny broke out of his college confines.I’m looking forward to the Canadians playing the usa.I’m not going to the Rusians against the Czechs cause it wont end until 7:30 and I’ll miss the beginning of the game.I will stay home here and watch the americans get hammered.

  5. Really? We’re gonna dump on Sergei?

    Remember last year and all the complaints about selfish play and stupid penalties? Fast forward and we find Sergei being the 2nd most defensively conscious forward on the team (after Gomez, but it might be a tie). He plays big p.k. minutes and looked good on that line with Gomez, if a little too deferential in letting the 8 million dollar man dictate the play.

    Sergei’s just fine. He’s finding his game and with a little patience I think we’ll start to see him really figure out when to attack and when to make the safe play (right now, it’s almost always the safe play). He’s the straw that stirs the fourth line’s drink and the fact that he can be a leader on a line that won’t face the other teams elite players has me salivating in anticipation.

    Or we could just trade him for a bag of pucks.

  6. Oh ya Pierre Maguire should worry about the shine on his head before making any more stunning statements,what an idiot

  7. Dennis, I think D’Agostini is coming around now. Sergei and Maxim also showed signs of life last night. Things are looking up.

    The Turtleneck Man’s goal in OT was a thing of beauty. It took a hell of a lot of courage and self-confidence for Pleks to take that shot. It looked like Smith had the angle covered, but obviously not quite enough. There must have been the slimmest of angles enough to allow the width of a puck to slip in between him and the post to his right. And Pleks took dead aim, fired, and found it. Imagine the flack he would have taken if he missed? He would have been crucified for being a goal hog etc. But he is in such a zone right now that HE JUST KNOWS when a goal is waiting to happen and he pounces on such opportunities.

    I think 2010 is going to be a great year for the team and its fans.
    Dennis, I think your boss is a heartless ogre to deprive you of one of the few pleasures in life you are entitled to. He has no right to do this to you or any self-respecting Habs fan. I hereby nominate him as bad boss of the year.

    The only way he could possibly redeem himself is if he buys you a pair of tickets to a game of your choice – travel, hotel and all expenses included.

    My Dad’s magic CH rug is lying handsomely in front of the fireplace now and the whole room is just beaming with positive energy.
    You know of course that the key reason for the Habs success lies in their millions of dedicated fans with their memorabilia, their CH underwear, and their crazy little rituals. Dad’s rug proudly joins the legions of such luck-makers.

    As predicted by many of us, this road trip has been a turning point. And the team has risen to the occasion – And exceeded expectations. A win against the Panties tonight would be the cherry on the cake.

    So Happy New Year to Dennis and to all who frequent and contribute to this site. Stay tuned. The best is yet to come.

  8. Hey Danno;Thanks for the New Years wishes,the same goes out to you and all who frequent this site.I am a little disapointed in Maxim Lapiere’s effort this year.He just doesnt have the jump he showed last year,hopefully he can overcome this and get back into his skating style of last season.Have a good one all.

  9. Derry, Imagine if we had all four lines going good? Break out the champagne! And now Hamrlik is back and of course Markov, and both goalies are great. I’m feeling all giddy right now.

  10. Subdoxastic, it’s not really dumping on Sergei, it’s more of hoping he’ll pick it up a notch. When he first entered the league, we saw signs of a real offensive gem in this guy but now it’s kind of gone. I think he has what it takes to be guy who can get 25 goals a year, and wouldn’t that be nice? Would just like to see him pick it up ma little like his brother has. A big third and fourth line would be amazing.

  11. Dennis, I am touched. I need a tissue. I’m all verklempt!

    Hockey is a game of momentum and I really believe that all the guys who have been playing so-so are going to become part of the solution soon. Greatness, like the flu, is contagious. If they are immune to it then Doctor Gainey should just ship them out into the wilderness – somewhere like Minnesota for example.

  12. Danno, it’s going to be a great second half. And I insist the parade route must go by the old Forum. I’m going to be pissed if it doesn’t.

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