If there’s one thing to brag about in this unmentionable Habs season, it’s their penalty killing. That nice little box (and no, this isn’t Penthouse Forum), with Josh Gorges putting himself in the line of fire and Carey Price holding the fort, and voila, sharpshooters around the league are left shaking their heads and swearing like crazy.
Ottawa went 0-9 on the power play on Friday, and yes, they still managed to beat the Habs 2-1 in overtime, but that’s fine. Montreal’s got a great penalty kill. That’s what we’re bragging about. That and the Desharnais, Cole, Pacioretty triumvirate. And Josh Gorges. And Chris Campoli’s girlfriend.
At this stage of the game, it’s time to look at what they do best. Play shorthanded. And as a bonus in this Kanata Kontest, Tomas Plekanec ripped a nice shot past Ben Bishop while killing a penalty. If only they could get things done with the man-advantage. And even-strength too, come to think of it.
It was a game without much flow, mainly because of the parade to the penalty box, and overall, Ottawa outplayed the Canadiens, outshot them 33-14, but couldn’t solve Price, and all that’s fine. I’m as loose as the Habs players shown at the bench going into overtime. Smiles throughout. The first time in six months that the boys can relax and enjoy.
A few fights would be fought – Greening/Subban, Neil/Staubitz, and Alexei Emelin would take a puck in the back ribs that sent him in pain to the room, but he would come back and carry on. Emelin seemed to get in front of almost as many shots as Gorges.
Not the most interesting game report you’ve ever read. But you can linger on the penalty killing if you want.
Next game, Saturday in Montreal, when the New York Islanders pay a visit. An epic meeting of two teams battling for the coveted 15th spot in the eastern division.