Habs Grind It Out Against Sharks

The Habs won a game today where every inch was a mile and where every puck was touched only through blood, sweat, and tears. And through it all, the team, led by an extremely solid Carey Price, climbed a tough mountain and skated away with a satisfying 3-1 afternoon delight against the west coast San Jose Sharks.

Even though the Canadiens were outshot 27-19 on this Saturday afternoon, they got it done when they had to, with Mathieu Darche opening the scoring in the first, Tomas Plekanec making it 2-1 in the second with a nice smart shot from the slot, and finally, in the third, after speed-demon Roman Hamrlik was foiled on a breakaway (that’s right – a breakaway), Mike Cammalleri slammed the rebound home for the insurance marker.

It was such a tight, hard-fought game that I might now need a nap to recuperate from. And I just woke up.

PK Subban sat out his second consecutive game and hopefully he’s learned a couple of lessons about decision-making on the ice. I just hope Jacques Martin doesn’t decide to sit him for a third game as it’s a fine line between tough love and ruining a young guy’s confidence. But there’s also much to be said for the team allowing just one goal against a dangerous Sharks squad while not having both Andrei Markov and PK in the lineup.

Never once are we reminded of Larry Robinson, Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe when we see Gill, Gorges, Hamrlik, Spacek, Picard and Weber back on the blueline, but somehow, some way, these blue collar guys are doing it, and not only am I very proud of our defence corps but they’re also making team management and coaches look very good right now.

It was a real nice way to wake up after a graveyard shift and see a win like this that I had recorded, which is why it’s a bit of a delayed reaction from this blog. And almost as satisfying as the win was the fact that Bob Cole said nice things about the Canadiens from time to time.

There’s just one disappointing aspect to the game today that needs to be addressed, and I might as well get it out. Once again, Carey Price has failed to score. He had another wide-open net and missed the mark and we all know he has to start burying his chances.

Random Notes:

Except for the fact that Montreal hosts Ottawa on Tuesday, I pretty well got all the random notes out in the story. Goal scorers, good work by Price (except for his inability to score), and shots on goal. Maybe I could mention that Lars Eller is gaining confidence every game and is finally becoming an important piece of the puzzle.

9 thoughts on “Habs Grind It Out Against Sharks”

  1. Dennis, there’s a commercial on TV that shows how life isn’t always fair.

    In it, the part of Jacques Martin is played by the guy from the bank. PK Subban is played by the little red-headed kid, and Yannick Webber is played by the new kid.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl67TNDW-0Q

    I wish the little red-headed kid would give that banker a good swift kick in the b@ll$.

  2. Cherry would say that. He’s trying to connect every dot to make a picture that says he’s right about the “respect” thing. To hell with Cherry, I say.
    PK should play on Tuesday against the Sens. And he’s not 100% to blame on those goals that happened against the Oilers either. Cammalleri was also partly at fault, but he’s still playing.
    I don’t think there’s anyone who plays with more heart than PK, and to sit him down any longer would just be mean and stupid.
    Webber has shown he can play an important role as relief for the defence whenever anyone needs a rest or is hurting.
    This is going to be a long, hard and physically-demanding season, so a guy like Webber will come in handy.
    But there’s a fine line between proving a point and just being a bastard.
    I hope Jacques Martin understands that.

  3. I doubt Martin is dense enough to sit him. Cherrry looks and sounds very vindictive. I think Weber will re-take his seat in the press box. I think we need to rest the older legs (Spacek, Hammer and Gill) more often and insert Weber in prep for playoffs. Either way, regardless of what Shithead Cherry thinks, the Habs look good and will continue to move ahead of Leafs and Bruins. There is something about this team that excites me about them playing into June of next year. I am imagining which top six forward we will pick up.

  4. Dennis, Mayo pointed something out that is really making me optimistic for a deep playoff run.

    Who would have thought after the loss of Markov that we would have depth in the defensive corps? But that’s exactly what is happening now.

    We now have the luxury of being able to rest the veterans and rotate Webber through the lineup. This will reduce the injury rate and keep the warhorses from running themselves into the ground.

    As you said, Eller looking great. But Mathieu Darche is also playing awesome, with lots of intensity, grit and grind. He’s not afraid of getting in front of the net, risking injury or fighting fiercely in a puck battle. This is resulting in goals. So far he’s got five goals and five assists. And he seems to be getting better all the time. Not bad for a guy who many had considered not that long ago to be a career-AHL player.

    Another good thing about Darche that I noticed is how he is talking to Eller on the bench and he seems to be doing a fantastic job motivating him.

    But the most amazing part of the season so far is the Harry Spice story.

    Out of 25 games played so far this season, Carey Price has not played one bad game. He’s the number one ranked goalie in the NHL now. What’s most remarkable is that he accomplished that in spite of all the doubters and all the media-generated controversy surrounding him and the Halak trade. In his post-game interviews, Price looks cool, calm, collected and confident:

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

    But let’s face it. Sooner or later he’ll have a stinker. Like all goalies do. Or maybe not. Stay tuned.

    All I know is the Vezina trophy is within reach the way he’s playing now.

    By the way, Jaroslav Halak, after a great start to the season has started a downward slide and is now ranked #13 among all NHL goaltenders.

  5. Hey Dennis,I too heard Don Cherry say that P.K. should sit out if they are still winning,I also disagree with this as you are trying to prop up a players confidense not lower it.I think bringing him back for the next game would work wonders for P.K. and you will see a different game from him as well.

  6. I thought Joe Thornton was one of stars for Montreal. In the third period, Montreal had settled into its typical defence of sitting back and struggling to just dump the puck out. I was worried the lead wasn’t going to hold up until Thornton decided to take a 3 minute shift and then give the puck away. It was quite funny watching him chase Hamrlik on the break-away in what seemed like slow motion. The resulting goal seemed to wake up the Habs and they convincingly shut-down the Sharks the rest of the way.

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