Habs Win In Phoenix With 8000 Missing In Action

There was something slightly odd about the Habs-Phoenix Coyotes game tonight. Four goals by the Canadiens was odd, although the last was in an empty net, and the Habs stifled the Coyotes 4-2.

But even odder was seeing a game in Phoenix. We’ve just spent the past six months being bombarded by all the goings-on between Jim Balsillie and Gary Bettman and moving the team to Hamilton and not moving the team to Hamilton. And tonight, there it was, in living colour, the team that was almost a Hamilton team, playing in a half-empty building.

The Canadiens won on this night and is a welcomed relief, a nice alternative to losing. But it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty. It was a quiet night, the type of game spectators might have wished they’d saved their money and watched it at home instead. Hey, 8,000 did stay home. Attendance was 10,064.

The Jobing.com Arena in hockey-mad Glendale/Phoenix holds 18,000.

But there were some highlights, most of which can be labelled “Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri.” Both speedsters did an outstanding job, creating chances, sending others in, with Cammalleri scoring a goal and adding an assist, and Plekanec with three assists. They were flying, especially Plekanec.

Unfortunately, a few others took the night off and continued their lacklustre play. But I’m tired of naming names. So I’ll just blame Andrei Kostitsyn only.

Random Notes:

Brian Gionta had a goal and an assist, and Glen Metropolit also found the back of the net.

Carey Price was in goal, and it’s nice to see him there when the team wins.

Jaroslav Spacek hurt his foot in the second period, so another defenceman may or may not have bit the dust.

Next game: Saturday in Nashville. Maybe Martina McBride or the Dixie Chicks will sing the anthem.

A few teams that are nice to see lose, lost. Boston, Rangers, Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Vancouver all leave the buildings with their tails between their legs.

25 thoughts on “Habs Win In Phoenix With 8000 Missing In Action”

  1. Hey Dennis;Yup the Habs pulled it off,good to see,although i thinbk there weremore people watching it here in port alice then there were in pheonix, maybe they can move the Coyotes here, just kidding.It was nice to see glemn metropolit score again,I looked at the ice timew ledgers,he seems to be getting his fair share of ice,good for him he works hard and deserves it.

  2. Metropolit is one of those guys who would do the job anywhere, anytime. And hey, an NHL franchise in Port Alice! I love this idea. It was a good win, Derry, if only because it was a win. But still, too many not doing much. I still think a trade is in the works.

  3. Bergeron’s goal was a beauty. The man can shoot the puck.

    The Coyotes may be in Phoenix, but the fans are waiting in Hamilton.
    Oskie Wee Wee

  4. Christopher, Imagine the difference between Phoenix and Hamilton. I still don’t understand Gary Bettman and his thinking in this regard. Maybe Bettman does a good job in other ways, but this idea of hockey in non-hockey markets is very strange. Baseball in Russia wouldn’t work either.

  5. Its about time has his breakout season, I’ve been saying “next year’s the year” for the last three years, finally I’m right. He has 17 points in 19 games, and has been involved in 35% of the habs’ goals this season. Not too bad at all.

  6. Glad to hear we won in regulation. Only watched the 1st period and could not stay up to watch it all. Found myself growling like a rabid animal a lot and thinking it was going to be another one of those games. Also having doubts where we end up this season. Woke up pleasantly surprised. Not perfect, and for sure still a lot of deadwood holding back those putting in the effort, but a W and two points for the team and Carey. Let’s hope it’s the beginning of a nice long streak where both the D and the offense finally come together and move us up in the standings by Xmas.
    On to Nashville.

  7. It wasn’t overly-exciting, Danno. Plekanec played well, as did Cammalleri and a couple of others, but it wasn’t textbook. There was also no atmosphere there, except for a bunch of snowbirds in Habs jerseys. And again, Lapierre, Latendresse, Kostitsyn etc. didn’t do much at all. I think the deadwood should be moved.

  8. Haha, I just realized that i didn’t put any names in my comment and just started stating random statistics. That is all about plekanec in case you haven’t already figured it out.

  9. Gillis, I knew and I’m sure anyone else also knew you were talking about Plekanec. And he is having a breakout year.

  10. I think getting Plekanec signed should be done soon. And to think I was hard on him for the first few weeks of the season.

  11. Well, If I was Plekanec I am not sure that I would sign unless it was a 5 years, 20 mills contract. If he keeps this up, he will get that from some team next year anyway. Gainey waited too long and now is tactics has finally came back to haunt him. I will be some suprised if Gainey is at the table at the draft next summer.

  12. Plekanec has been flying. Amd you’re really right, Gainey has left this too long. Geez it’s tough being a Habs fan.

  13. Plekanec is proving himself.

    His name was all over sites and forums in a “let’s trade him” tone… he’s come in and has played with heart… with effort… he’s answered the call after taking a 1 year deal.

    I’d also throw my name in the hat as a supporter for giving him an extension.

    Although Carey hasn’t gotten all wins in his last games…. I don’t think he can be faulted for many losses. He’s playing well. Last night, playing super.

    Carey is RFA at years end…

    Metro is UFA at year’s end…. he’s been playing really well… I’d give it more games on Metro and if he continues to be an important player…. I’d try to keep him for another year… he’s 35 now.

    Gainey has got his work cut out for him.

  14. Right on, Yves. Let’s see what Gainey’s made of. And I’m with you completely about the players mentioned.

  15. Price will not be going anywhere fast. You would have to be a moron to get rid of him now. Yes he has his ups and downs but he is just a kid and would likely enjoy a tiny bit more protection (see last nights game against Nashville). Plekanec is Montreal’s top center and still with an upside. The key is that he would benefit greatly with a couple big wingers who can take care of business if required. Inasmuch as Metro has done a great job thus far, normally he would not have been seing any ice time except on the fourth line. We all know why he has been given the ice time this year to date. I hope to think that he will be replaced by a younger, bigger player with the same amount of heart.

  16. Good stuff, Andre. You, and all these other great commentors, will be hired by me when I own the team.

  17. Andre, okay, when you’re hired, here’s what we need. A player who can score lots, fight really well, is about 27 years old, loves playing in Montreal, wants to stay, is a leader and is good defensively. Okay?

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