Max And His Habs Make Music In Music City

It was one of the Canadiens best games in some time as the team swept their little two-game road trip, and inch by inch are clawing their way back into respectability. There’s still three too many teams between them and a playoff spot, but that’s fine. If they can play like this on a more regular basis, they’ll reach the promised land in no time flat.

It was Max Pacioretty firing one over Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne’s shoulder that gave the Habs their big win in Music City, and a hearty thanks to P.K.Subban, who swooped around with the puck and gave it to Max who surprised Rinne. I wish I had a wrist shot like that.

David Desharnais opened the scoring after converting an Erik Cole pass, and Cole has definitely solidified himself as one of the team’s best forwards. He can really motor, and he’s smart. I wasn’t sure in the beginning about Cole but I am now.

The situation declined slightly in the second when Montreal allowed a shorthanded goal, their fourth of the season which is four too many, as Brian Gionta lost the faceoff cleanly, the puck got back to Shea Weber who sent a missile past Peter Budaj. The goalie had no chance. Jacques Plante wouldn’t have stopped that either.

Didn’t Weber win the hardest shot contest at the All-Star game last year?

But Montreal, to their credit, dug in, put their nose to the grindstone, and didn’t give up a lot of their hard-earned momentum as they continued to play well after this faux-pas on their power play.

Peter Budaj, in nets with Carey Price getting a well-deserved rest, was as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar, and it’s a beautiful thing when the backup goalie instills confidence in everyone, including us.

The Habs failed to score on their three power plays, and if they can only get that going they could be a true force to reckoned with. Maybe once it starts, it’ll snowball.

Habs lace ’em up again on Monday when the Sabres come to town. The last time these two teams went at it, Ryan Miller stoned the Canadiens as his team won 3-1. That was right in the middle of the Habs’ six-game losing streak in October. Remember that losing streak? Remember how it sucked?

Once again, in my eyes at least, the Canadiens play a fine game. Their passes were sharper than they’ve been lately, they earned their good chances, and the guys in general were skating well. But they’ve got to stop this shorthanded goal nonsense, and they’ve got to get that power play going. All in all, though, it was a fine win.

Now they need another on Monday.

16 thoughts on “Max And His Habs Make Music In Music City”

  1. It’s a great bonus to let Price take a break and still get a win with Budaj in the net. I’m really liking his play, very dependable thus far.

    I feel like Nashville should have gotten the win to be honest.

    When I look at Nashville play, I can instantly see that they have more chemistry than Montreal.

    I feel like Montreal lacks serious connection. I don’t see much teamwork involved whenever they score goals, I mostly just see fortunate opportunities or lucky bounces.
    Goal #1, Desharnais is in the slot makes a move, Rinne tries to poke check it but Desharnais gets a lucky bounce as it goes in. (Lucky Bounce)

    Goal #2 Subban makes a bold individual move and feeds Pacioretty, who’s completely open, Pacioretty with all the time in the world, scores. (Fortunate opportunity)
    I don’t think you’ll find many opportunities like that, where you’re completely unguarded for a good 5 seconds in OT.

    I’m not saying that the players are selfish (Believe me, the effort is there) I just feel like nothing really clicks when they try actually try to set something up. Seems like some lines just aren’t in synch. and that’s not gonna fly if they intend on winning a Stanley Cup.

  2. Phil, I think it’s coming, though. When we compare the way they played against Edmonton to the way they played in Nashville, I see a world of difference. But I know what you mean. The goals don’t seem to come from success oif a system but more from just sort of happening. That’s a good point.

  3. I really liked the way Pacioretty held on to the puck, waited, then fired it. If they did that more then maybe they may score more. It won’t work all the time of course but when they can they should do it.

    Carrie Underwood was in the crowd last night. I guess we ruined her night.

    Yeah there is a certain spark missing from the team, that’s for sure. It is coming together but it’s like we’re missing one piece and then it will all come together. I don’t know if Markov is that missing piece or not but if he is then we may be all right.

    Our good friend Lucic ran Miller over last night. Miller got mad and called him a piece of crap. Gee, what a surprise that the so-called nice guy Bruins would do such a thing eh?

  4. I heard we have scored only four goals on the power play so far. And we also have four short-handed goals scored against us which gives us a net result of zero if you put the two together.

    This tells me there is lots of work to be done and that having Plekanec play the point position has been ineffective.

  5. Best way I could describe their style of play is “Improvisation”
    They’ll enter the game with a plan, hoping that every will work out.

    But once they realize that nothing’s clicking and that time is against them. They just kinda let go and just try to run with it and salvage what they can out of a situation.

    I’m pretty sure things will pick up for them in that area though. Because they are trying, they’re just not executing on their chances/plays

    Darth does have a point in saying that Markov could be the missing piece that’ll gel the team together. Because the only real quarterback D-man they have right now is Subban.
    Expecting PK to do his workload on top of Markov’s is beyond unrealistic, so we’re really just gonna have to wait till Markov comes back

    But still, PK has been playing amazingly and the Habs would probably be in much deeper trouble if they didn’t have him, as he’s become absolutely integral to the team.

  6. Nobody mentioned Gomez so I guess I will.

    He was responsible for Nashville scoring on us because he failed to cover his man after the faceoff i.e. Shea Weber.

    He also fired off another one of his patented Passes to Nobody® from behind the Predators’ net which resulted in a turnover during overtime. Fortunately the Preds did not capitalize on it.

    Why Martin played Gomez – who can’t score – during the four on four remains a mystery to me.

    How many more chances will the comedy duo of Martin and Gomez get before Mr. Molson yanks them off the stage with that long cane or presses the button for the trap door?

  7. Great point Danno. Gomez literally contributed nothing last night, expect let in the only goal the Preds scored. Gionta loses the draw, Ryan Suter gets the puck and passes it to a wide open Shea Weber, ya know, the guy with one of the strongest slapshots in the NHL.
    Gomez made a huge mistake by going to defend Suter when someone already had it covered.

  8. phil has a point…… when they are not the recipients of fortunate circumstance and a lucky bounce ie. buffalo and edmonton games where the have a good margin in play and shots on goal, it’s the opposing goalie who steals the game. but that happens way to often…………. as long as the habs play around the 500 mark, which is not nearly good enough to make the playoffs with the retarded 3 point system the nhl has implemented, there will always be a chance of sneaking into the playoffs with some extra lucky bounces and fortunate opportunities towards seasons end and gomez and jm and the rest of the former loser senator coach and management team ain’t goin’ nowhere as long as there is a slim chance.

  9. Phil, Mike, and Hobo, I sort of agree but I sort of don’t either. Aren’t the majority of goals from broken plays or a string of weird happenings? You’re right that most Habs goals come from lucky breaks, but I don’t think this is a rare event in hockey. When the system should really be in effect is on the power play, and this is where you guys are dead on. What a shitty power play. I also read somewhere something I really agree about. Plekanec shouldn’t be on the point on the PP. He doesn’t have a good enough shot. And PK should have more ice time. I also don’t trust Weber as much as I did.

  10. phil, darth – i totally agree but if pk is the only real quarterback d man with markov out why doesn’t jm play him on the power play as much as he plays weber(not the one with the hardest shot weber)?……….. of course we all know the answer, jm is a fukn bonehead.

  11. Dennis, I heard that Carrie Underwood had to fight Faith Hill to get that sign.

    I think the short-handed goal was Cammalleri’s fault. As the left winger, Weber was his responsibility. Gomez had swapped positions with right wing Gionta for the face-off. You only see him chasing the puck because Cammalleri decided to take a nap out there.

    But the real responsibility lies with Martin. Why was Gomez out there at all? He’s lucky to be on the fourth line. Does JM really think that Boston’s inability to score on the PP was how they beat us in the play-offs last year?

    Finally I think the unsung hero was Gorges again. Things just go smoother when he’s out there. During the OT winner you can see him backing off to ensure should anything go wrong when PK made his move that he wouldn’t be out of position. His 8 points are 6th on the team ahead of our other defencemen and with next to no PP time. His +9 is tops on the team and tied for 7th in the league.

  12. I never really paid attention to who played most on PP, so knowing that PK plays less than Weber on the PP is news to me right now.

    But I do have to agree that it’s a boneheaded move from Martin but it’s probably ’cause he’s got a hard-on for Weber.
    Kidding.

    But PK is by far the most offensively gifted D man in the team so it’s kind of a no brainer to have him on the main PP line.
    But Martin will always find a way to confuse people.

    Weber’s good, don’t get me wrong. But Subban is easily the better man.

    But having Plekanec at the point makes sense in a way.
    I agree, he doesn’t have the best shot in the world.
    But I think Martin’s intention is to have Plekanec at the point to set a play up, because he’s one of the best play makers on the team.

  13. Phil, man, you stay up late at night. It’s the middle of the night in Montreal. I’m sure Martin isn’t completely thrilled with PK’s style of play. Martin’s so conservative. And I wish Weber was a little more aggressive. Some hard-rock defencemen who can shoot the puck are great to have. Wiz was like that. Shea Weber in Nashville is pure gold.

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