Habs Take Down Tampa

It took a shootout, but the Canadiens edge Tampa 3-2 in a great game, and in my opinion, the bleu, blance et rouge played far better than they did against Washington two nights ago.

This was a night of fast skating, scoring chances from both sides, stellar goaltending from Carey Price and his counterpart Dwayne Roloson, and finally, after a see-saw affair, newcomer Nigel Dawes and then Mike Cammalleri solved Roloson in the shootout to cap off a night when we see once again that regardless of injuries and lack of scorers in the big picture, this team is for real.

Hamilton call-ups Dawes and Aaron Palushaj looked just fine in their Montreal debut, and Palushaj especially had several great chances to score. Seeing these guys step in and do the job when players go down, like Tomas Plekanec and Jeff Halpern, is another fine example of the Canadiens surprising depth, and the team just keeps rolling along.

Is it smoke and mirrors? Is Jacque Martin a coaching genius? Is it Kirk Muller and Perry Pearn? Are the players better than so many think? How can this no-name team, which is far too small, with problems scoring, with three regular defenceman sidelined and three forwards also in civvies, continue to be one of the best teams in the east?

I think the naysayers owe a retraction.

I’m very proud of Montreal.

Random Notes:

Vincent Lecavalier got kicked out of the game in the first period for trying to chop PK Subban in half with his stick.

Andrei Kostitsyn finished off a nice David Desharnais pass in the first, and in the second, Brian Gionta scored a beautiful shorthanded goal when he skated in alone on a breakaway.

Scott Gomez drove a puck into Roloson’s upper neck or lower face mask to come close to notching a big one, (and almost putting Roloson’s lights out in the process). But the goalie was just fine, and four inches to the left or right and Gomez would have had his eighth goal of the season. That’s eight.

Gionta’s goal was his 25th which is a fine total. Better than eight.

Next up – tonight (Friday) when the boys are in Manhattan to tackle the Rangers.

Shots on goal – 37-29 Tampa.

9 thoughts on “Habs Take Down Tampa”

  1. Where was Gill? That makes 4 of our starting 6 defence-men sidelined. Without him blocking everything and shutting down Tampa tonight, we let in two power-play goals.

  2. Hey Dennis,That was a far better game,looked like we just about lost another defensmen when Lecavalier viciously slashed P.K. I wonder if that will be looked at by our fearless folks in gthe nhl head office,cmon Colon Campbell,you can still make more of ass of yourself,pass along some more emails.Good for the Habs,Bruins lost tonite so we are two points back.

  3. We missed the big guy, Chris. He had the flu and I don’t know whether he’ll play against NY or not.

  4. Derry, when I saw PK go off the ice I thought we’d lost him for a bit but he came back soon after. I guess it’s a good thing when we can get the stsrs off their game like PK did with Lecavalier. Without getting hurt, of course.

  5. Looks like Price and Thomas are neck and neck in stats.

    – Thomas leads in save percentage (Price 5th);
    – Thomas leads in GAA (Price 6th);
    – Price tied for lead in wins (Thomas 9th); and
    – Price second in shutouts (Thomas 3rd).

    Averages for both goalies is 3.5. Price has been chasing Thomas all year. At one point Thomas led all four categories but he has been coming to earth the last few months and will likely be out of the picture soon. His age may be showing. Very impressive and bodes well for the Habs. We may have to deal with Rusk in the playoffs instead.

  6. Dennis, it was a great team effort which delivered memorable moments by players starting their very first game all the way up to the Hammer who played his 1,300th.

    There were two highlights that stood out for me.

    Dwayne Rolloson played a great match and made many great saves to keep Tampa Bay in the game.

    The one that stood out most was his save on that shot by Camalleri that changed direction and deflected abruptly off of Adam Hall’s skate. Rolloson jumped like a cat to knock the puck out of the air with his stick. Rolly the Goalie’s reflexes are pretty good for an old guy of 41 years of age.

    The other one I liked a lot was when Martin St. Louis tried to be a show off and used his spinorama move when it was his turn to go in the shootout against Carey Price.

    Price responded with a beautiful save-o-rama.

    A big fat two points for the Habs and a great win brought to you by the taxi squad.

    Can the Habs Lite rip the Rags tonight?

    Stay tuned

  7. it’s not that gomez is shitty, not trying and gutless or anything like that. he is just confused. he is on pace to score between 9 and 10 goals this year. let’s say 10 in case one goes in off his face. that means each goal is worth around $450,000. poor scotty thinks it’s better to get expensive goals than the run of the mill cheap variety like a 40 goal man gets. in his eyes he’s doing a great job.

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