A quiet, uneventful, slightly boring 2-0 shutout by the Habs and Jarry Halak over the Florida Panthers is a nice thing. A good thing. A great thing. Two points.
But the fact that the scorers have stopped scoring is a bad thing. (And Brian Gionta’s empty-netter doesn’t enter into the scheme of things.)
Let’s face it – Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri have cooled off. Brian Gionta has yet to find his pre-injury legs, and Andrei Markov can’t be expected to carry an offensive load all the time when he’s a defenceman. Andrei Kostitsyn, who’s also been hot lately, is injured. Scott Gomez plays a steady game and gets his points, including two assists tonight, but isn’t one to usually pull the big trigger.
And the plumbers have unfortunately stayed plumbers – Lapierre, Moen, Laraque, D’Agostini, Pacioretty, and sadly, Glen Metropolit, who made a huge impact earlier in the season and was counted on to be a consistent go-to guy but hasn’t lately. On many nights, the only difference between the plumbers on the team and the plumber who changed the pipes under my sink is the Habs plumbers keep their pants pulled up.
All in all, we’re just not getting our money’s worth from much of the lineup.
Goaltending, whether it’s Halak or Carey Price, has been good lately, both contribute nicely when called upon, and Tuesday’s shutout is a beautiful thing for all concerned. Pierre McGuire may be completely in left field when he insists that the Habs are obliged to trade Halak. What’s wrong with two good goaltenders? Toronto won their last Cup in 1967 because of the work of both Johnny Bower and Terry Sawchuk. Without both playing like they did, the Habs would’ve won that year.
And Bob Gainey says he’s willing to look at extending Halak’s contract. It’s an ongoing saga.
Devils in town on Saturday. This, of course, will be a real test for the Habs. The Devils are sitting first over-all in the east and they have the added plus of having a goalie named Martin Brodeur who historically brings his A-game to Montreal. Win this game, boys, and we’ll all be mighty proud.
Montreal outshot Florida 39-38. but it seemed like a 21-20 game to me. Or am I still coming down off the magnificent World Juniors?