Sweeping The South

Remember those old days, like two weeks ago, when the Canadiens had dropped seven of ten games and life was quite shitty for Habs fans?

Those days now are a distant memory as the Habs win their fourth straight by taking out the Tampa Bay Lightning to cap off a nice little three game road trip in the land of sun, surf, and space ships. And once again, great things were involved.

This 4-2 win means the Canadiens have scored four goals in four of their last five games. This may not mean much to just anybody, but to Habs fans and the team itself, it means the gang that can’t shoot straight is starting to shoot a little straighter. One or two goals a night, like they were managing on a regular basis, just wasn’t turning any of us on.

Ha Gill has continued his torrid scoring pace by finding the twine again tonight, his second in two games, and if I had more time I’d look closely at the scoring race to see if Gill is now up there with the Sedins’s and Steven Stamkos and the like. I just don’t have time right now to check.

There’s a couple of other things too which I’m delighted to mention. Andrei Kostitsyn once again played like we knew he could and added an assist on Montreal’s second goal, scored by David Desharnais. I can’t be sure but is the name ‘Desharnais’ translated from an ancient tongue as “He with the soft hands?”

Maybe best of all, aside from the great win, was the work of Scott Gomez. Gomez to me had a dandy game. He skated miles, created dangerous chances a handful of times, and made a great pass to Max Pacioretty to make the score 4-1. This is the kind of game we need from Gomez every night and I’m proud of him for coming through when things haven’t exactly been coming up roses for the guy lately.

Canadiens now head home and begin to prepare for the big Bruins clash on Tuesday. It’s time to send Boston a message after the disastrous 8-6 spanking in Beantown almost a month ago. Montreal needs to not only win the game, but to do it in forceful fashion. The boys are a proud bunch and I expect Tuesday to be a night to remember.

I have a friend in LA, a cop, who’s a great Habs fan and has booked off next Tuesday at work so he can sit down and watch his Habs play the payback game. I hope LA criminals don’t take advantage of him not being around at this time to keep the streets safe.

Random Notes:

Tampa outshot Montreal 45-33, but Carey Price, as we’ve come to expect, was simply terrific and there’s not a better goalie in the league right now.

Brian Gionta played in his 600 game tonight. Gionta, with his assist on Hal Gill’s marker in the first period, has tallied 392 points in his 600 games.

I just checked the NHL scoring leaders and I don’t see Hal Gill’s name mentioned anywhere. Maybe it just needs to be updated.

19 thoughts on “Sweeping The South”

  1. Hall Gill the goal scorer. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but I like it. I wonder what kind of odds I can get that he’ll catch Gomez. I won’t care if Gomez doesn’t score again if he continues to set up Pacioretty like tonight.

    On the first Tampa goal I thought our forechecker was interfered and tripped as Tampa Bay exited their end. It allowed them an easy time to set-up in our end and eventually score.

    I didn’t like the look of our power-play with Plekanec on the point, but I can’t argue with its success.

  2. Christopher, Plekanec also missed some key faceoffs late with Tampa’s goalie pulled. But anyway, great game, train is rolling nicely and we like it this way better than the way it was. Can’t wait for Tuesday.

  3. Great report Dennis.

    Hal Gill is a monster in the state of Florida having scored at least one goal in each of their NHL franchise-holding cities.

    He’s only 72 points behind the league-leading Daniel Sedin.

    Jacques Martin said he thought he saw Bobby Orr tonight as he watched Hal Skill playing.

    I like what this little chart is showing…

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Eastern/Northeast/Canadiens.html

    Habs are undefeated since Brent Sopel has started playing with them.

    Max Pacioretty is the power forward we’ve been looking for, but had all the while.

    Carey Price looks like he is going to win the Vezina trophy.

    Revenge will be sweet when we absoluely and utterly destroy Boston on Tuesday night.

  4. Always spot on Dennis.

    Was good to see MAB on the other side, not to skewer the guy, cuz he did help on the P.P. but too many “white knuckle” incidents on the back end for my liking.

    Proud of this team, Price, P.K. and Patches especially.
    I gotta give Pierre Maguire credit, he projected Patches as a Mike Macphee type player at the draft…I think he may have better hands than Mac.

    Do you think Markov has any chance of making it back…when were in the Finals?? One can Dream Dennis.

    Hope all is well.
    d

  5. Dennis, this little chart shows something very, very nice too.

    You have to look way at the top to the number one spot.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20112ALLGAGAll&sort=wins&viewName=wlt
    Numero uno….

    Carey Price has turned out to be quite the road warrior.

    With his outstanding performance, I wouldn’t be surprised if Price gets named NHL player of the week.

    He’s played ridiculously well the past three games, which were crucial ones to raise the Habs up in the standings and solidify a playoff position.

    In the three games against the Thrashers, Panthers and the Lightning, Price has faced a combined total of 116 shots and stopped 113 of them.

    His GAA is 1.00 for the road trip. Plus he chalked up another shutout (his seventh this season) in the Panthers game. His career total now stands at 11 shutouts tying him with Christobal Huet, and only two back of Georges Vezina’s total of 13 on the list of legendary Habs netminders.

    He will be among the top 10 all-time on that list once he reaches 17 shutouts posted by Bunny Laroque. And that day is not that far away at the rate he’s going.

    The top five Canadiens goalies for career shutouts are Georges Hainsworth with 75, then comes Jacques Plante with 58, Ken Dryden with 46, Bill Durnan at 34 and Patrick Roy at 29.

    Oh yes. And Price is now number one in the league for wins this season with 31. He’s also number one for games played and time on ice.

    He’s number two in shutouts for the season with only the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist leading him by one with eight shutouts. But I would not be surprised to see Price take that title soon. He’s had many games where he deserved a shutout and only one goal got by him, like the game against the Thrashers.

    In the playoffs it all comes down to goaltending. Lots of people had doubts about Carey Price after the Halak trade, but the critics are now silent and as they watch the amazing Carey Price story unfold.

    Jaroslav who?

    Price only needs two more shutouts to tie Georges Vezina on the list. It’s a bit of a stretch but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Price blank three more teams to finish with a total of 10 shutouts this season (which would give him a career total of 14) and in doing so surpass Vezina’s career total (13) and go on to win the trophy that bears his name.

    Wouldn’t that be a nice chapter to add to the amazing Carey Price story?
    Stay tuned.

  6. Excellent stuff, Danno. Very interesting. Price has become a star and will become an even bigger star. We’re lucky we have him. Have you noticed that PK is doing a fine job in quiet fashion lately. It’s good but I kind of miss the flamboyant PK. Anyway, we have two young stars and if we’re lucky, they’ll both become huge stars and best in the business. Great comment, Danno. Thanks.

  7. Dennis, I’m glad you also noticed Gomez having a good game. I had to rub my eyes for a bit to be sure it was him setting up the nice shots, and lo it was and I didn’t even have to drink too many of your world famous beer to see it this time!

    Hal Gill is on par to overtake half the team if he keeps scoring at this rate. Are you running books on how long before he gets a hat trick? I sense big money to be made here, which may help in funding your purchase of this team.

  8. I believe the reason Gomez had a good game is he heard the next owner of the team was none to happy with his play. Great timing on your Gomez story as I think it really woke him up.

  9. Great game Dennis. Price was so cool in the net and we’re getting more physical. Also a great birthday gift for a couple of my friends… a Habs win and a Bruins loss and we’re one point closer to them. Can’t wait to see our guys kick butt on Tuesday. It’s definitely going to be a burger and beer game. Cheers.

  10. Dennis whenever you give someone on our team who’s become a bit of a floater some heck they really listen. And out of fear or self-respect they turn it around almost immediately – like Andrei Kostitsyn did and now Gomez. So please keep it up!

    You’re right about Price being a star and he’s going to be a bigger star Dennis.

    Another interesting fact about him…

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/threestarsstandings.htm

    I think that PK will be our secret weapon for the playoffs and when the other team least expects it the real PK will be unleashed on them – like a lethal weapon – at an important point in time. The element of surprise will catch them off guard.

    Hal Gill has been showing PK how to play a more conservative, less flashy but extremely effective style of hockey. But when the proper time comes I am sure PK will be there with those explosive and flamboyant plays that will just knock our socks off.

  11. Danno to show their appreciation for Price I think the team needs a convincing win against Thomas and the Bruins on Tuesday. Although Price deserves consideration for the Vezina, Thomas is the current favourite. Chasing him from the net will knock down his stats a bit.

  12. Hi Tyg! Please be careful with my beer. You need your eyesight.
    Gomez really picked it up and was a force to be reckoned with. Now I’m proud of him and don’t have any plans on taking him out to to back shed and hitting him with a stick. I can really forgive and forget when players start playing and helping the team. Hopefully he keeps it going.
    Boston, I’m sure, will have their best checkers on Hal Gill on Tuesday. He’s unstoppable. And a mentor to our PK. So all in all, as slow and plodding as he is, he’s one of my favourites.
    Hope all’s well on the east coast, Tyg. And spring is just around the corner. I think.

  13. Thank you, Don. I’m taking full responsibility for Gomez here. Let that be a lesson to the others!

  14. Danno….hmmm. Maybe I should get on Pouliot again. It worked once before and then he completely forgot I was mad at him and started slacking off again. Great point about Gill/Subban. I think you’re absolutely right that Gill has found a way to tame PK and just play a solid game. All I ask is for some original PK but like you say, it’ll come back.

  15. Christopher, wouldn’t that be nice? Chase Thomas and Price is magnificent? After all Price went through and the way he has rebounded to become a bonafide star, I think he deserves the Vezina and maybe should be given a small country or something too.

  16. Dennis, Henrik Lundqvist recorded his ninth shutout of the season this afternoon as the Rangers shellacked the Flyers 7-0.

    The win places the Rags just five points away from us in the standings.

    But on the bright side Mike Richards was given a lesson about the meaning of respect by Brandon Dubinsky…

  17. Danno, I didn’t know Dubinsky could fight like that. Looks good on Richards. The Flyers have been quite ordinary lately. Shows they can be had by a certain team with red, white and blue colours if they meet in the post season. Thanks for the link. I know people will love to see Richards get his ass kicked. I know I did.

  18. Richards showed his leadership once again. He took a close game 2-0 game and by getting his ass kicked turned it into a 7-0 blowout.

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