Halak And Markov – Giving Us Some Holiday Cheer

001With Andre Markov providing a couple of masterful Markovian manipulations, and Jaroslav Halak doing some Halakian handstands, the Canadiens pulled off a 3-0 win over the Islanders and for this evening at least, life is good if you’re a Habs fan.

A shutout. Holy smokes. I never thought I’d live to see the day.

Andre Markov, returning from his involuntary holiday that began on October 1st, scored two power play goals. Who would’ve thought? He made a difference on the power play and the overall feeling on the bench as well, and now the future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.

If I get a chance, I’m going to a game during a raging snowstorm. Half the rink was empty on Long Island on this night because of a blizzard pounding the New York area, and so anyone in the building could choose practically anywhere they wanted to sit. The best seat you’ll ever have would be because Mother Nature was being bitchy.

Attendance on this night was 7,842 in a 16,234 seat building. And maybe half the seven thousand were wearing Habs sweaters and singing Ole, Ole.

This was not a game that will be considered any time soon as one of the great Habs games. They were outshot 40-28, once again took too many penalties including three in a row from goon Tomas Plekanec, and lost the puck they had no business losing way too many times. But Mr. Halak was there to bail everyone out, and for now, it’s smiles all round for the team, at least until they try to fly out of New York to Atlanta in the middle of a blizzard. I’m betting the smiles won’t be quite so wide when they begin takeoff. The knuckles should be white, though.

Random Notes:

Will Halak start again on Monday in Atlanta? It was a shutout, don’t forget. I’d say he deserves it.

Switched over to the last few seconds of the Leafs game and noticed some serious cleavage distraction behind the Toronto bench.

Canadiens might have a little more leverage if they still plan on dealing Halak for a top six forward. Maybe they’re at top four forward now.

Along with Markov’s two power play goals, Glen Metropolit also buried one with the man advantage. This sort of makes up for the boneheaded penalties he’s taken recently. All’s forgiven now, Metro.

16 thoughts on “Halak And Markov – Giving Us Some Holiday Cheer”

  1. Wow, that was great.
    Markov was excited and hungry to play, you can see it.
    Talk about coming back in style

    Halak should play Tuesday, without a doubt; first shutout for us this season!

  2. Phil, I feel you’re feeling better, just by your words here. See, all it took was a win, Markov back and scoring, and a shutout. Happy to see you happy. And I’m happy too!

  3. You what, Phil, I agree with you 100%. He’s got captain written all over him. But at the start of the season it was reported that he wasn’t interested in the captaincy. But maybe that wasn’t accurate. I think he’s the perfect captain, except he doesn’t seem to be very talkative. But he leads by example.

  4. My worry is that the captaincy would affect Markov’s play. Not every player carries that responsibility well and you risk putting him off his game. Only time will tell. Oh yeah and Halak was unconscious tonight which is good for Price because he always seems to play better when Halak is on his game.

  5. John- It’s true about Markov. But he sure is a quiet leader. It’was like a whole new feeling out there. The power play clicked, and Halak was great. He just gave out those vibes that he wasn’t going to let much get by him. Solid as a rock.

  6. This is a little random, but the Habs shouldn’t only look up to Markov, but also Alex Ovechkin.
    He shot 21 times against the Oilers, 9 shots on goal, 7 shots blocked, 5 shots missed the net.

    The players should start shooting like him; good things happen when you shoot!

  7. Shooting more is one of the big things they need to do, Phil. Gomez in particular. You’re absolutely right.

  8. on an added note, Ovie scored twice and assist one goal.

    Now about Markov being captain, although he is quiet, he’s the player with the most experience as a Habs player. He knows the pressure of being in Montreal, whereas the newcomers are just settling in.

    As you said, Dennis; he leads by example.
    He probably won’t be the one to motivate the players in the locker room, but he’ll be the one that’ll motivate the others on the ice, through his play.
    Just like yesterday, he played his arse off, and it paid off. and that’s how he plays everyday
    The players will definitely try their best and top his performance. And that’s what happened, they all skated fast, made great plays and played with a purpose.

  9. That game was a “Hal-Mark” victory for the Habs. It took a supreme effort from these two players to lift the entire team out of the skid. Michel Bergeron said that Markov is good for two points a game – good to get help Montreal an extra goal a game and good to prevent the other team from getting a goal they would get without his presence.
    Think about that for a minute. How many games have the Habs lost by one goal? Without having checked the stats I would think we would be among the top five in the East if we had Markov healthy since the start.
    Once Gionta is back — and my Dad has his CH rug placed in front of the fireplace — the Habs will be transformed into contenders again.
    Stay tuned…
    Dennis, I heard the Habs are cleared for takeoff at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon for the flight to Atlanta.

  10. One other thing. Did you see all the fans had beer bottles in their hands? What is up with that? I doubt there are too many arenas that allow glass bottles in the stands anymore – especially with all the controversial calls lately from the refs…

  11. It was a real shame losing Gionta, very ill-timed when he went down.
    But once he’s back, we should be golden and climb the rankings in a split second.

  12. Halak is really a great young goaltender. I know that Carey Price is gonna be the man from here on out… and as much as I wish we could keep both because this gives us a very solid tandem in goal…. it would be VERY unlikely.

    Halak deserves a shot in Atlanta…. and maybe he deserves to play on a team that he could grab the starting job.

    In the first shifts Markov was on the ice he was a little shaky… he left a man alone in front of Halak early in the period but luckily Halak saved it… Jaro really saved Montreal’s bacon for a large portion of the game… game them a chance to win.

    As the number shifts climbed, Markov was looking more and more like the Markov we love in Montreal.

    He’s such a good defenseman. I know many people identify him as the Habs best player… but he’s more then that really… the last few years he’s one of the NHL’s best defensemen. One of the league’s best players.

    He could make a heck of a difference just in time for Christmas.

  13. Hi Yves. I think that was the best I’ve seen Halak play. He looked so confident back there. I was pulling for a shutout from the first period but my wife wouldn’t let me say it out loud. And yes, Markov began a little shaky which was to be expected, but his overall presence was huge. I love the way he moves in when he feels the time is right. He’s for sure one of the best in the league, and he’ll make a big difference. Now, we just have to get Gionta back.

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