What a story the goaltending situation in Montreal has become. A week or two ago, Jaroslav Halak was ready to be dealt by Bob Gainey for a top six forward. And many questioned whether a team would even give up that much for the goalie relegated to backup to Carey Price, who had cemented the number one spot with his stellar play for much of this season.
Halak became expendable, for all intents and purposes.
Until a week ago, that is. First a shutout against the Islanders. Then he stopped fifty shots in Atlanta. And now allowing only one goal in a comfortable 5-1 win against the Hurricanes.
At this point, why would Bob Gainey send Halak anywhere?
And now, remarkably, Carey Price sits on the bench while his co-worker gets the job done in a big way.
And about the game? How can one team, the Carolina Hurricanes, outshoot the other 47 to 25, and be out of it most of the time without hardly a sniff of winning? Doesn’t seem right. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.
For one thing, Halak was as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. Secondly, the Hurricanes’ chances were only here and there with no sustained pressure. And thirdly, Montreal gives up 47 shots every night.
And about the Canadiens point-getters? The Kostitsyn boys each got a goal, which truly makes for a merry Christmas in the Kostitsyn family. Sergie particularly should be smiling a little more right now and maybe even belting out a hearty “Partridge in a Pear Tree” to his unsuspecting family. Andre Markov once again bolted in from the blueline and converted a pass for a power-play goal, looking like Bobby Orr. And Glen Metropolit is possibly still feeling bad for a few silly penalties recently and has responded in fine fashion with two markers tonight.
All in all, a convincing win heading into the brief Christmas break, and the Habs as a whole should enjoy their holiday after such great showings in their last three games. Have some wine. Eat some turkey. And most importantly, be nice to your mother-in-law.
Montreal in Toronto on Boxing Day. This sort of ticket, Habs in Toronto around Christmas, has historically been one of the hottest tickets to be had, going back many decades. Some people are lucky to find one of these cherished ducats in their stockings Christmas morning. Sure beats socks and ties.