The Habs made this one seem like a formality as they went on to beat the Islanders 5-1 in what was a pretty and pretty easy win. On paper, it was clear that the Montreal Canadiens was the better of the two teams and the Habs made that obvious as soon as the puck dropped. Although it took Montreal almost 7 minutes to fire their first shot on goal, they never looked back. They were outshooting the Isles 30-12 after two periods and finished with 43 shots on goal and for a fifth straight game allowed less than 25 shots against, the Islanders only firing 22 shots towards Jaroslav Halak. Jacques Martin rolled all four lines, the power-play produced 2 goals and the Habs never gave any momentum to their opponents. The Islanders had their chance to get back into the game when Josh Bailey made it 3-1 after Halak mishandled the puck behind the net but the Canadiens stayed in control adding two more goals killing any chances for this young New York Islander team.
Power-play: The Canadiens had only scored 2 goals in their last 27 chances coming into this game. They went 2 for 7, fired 11 shots and had numerous scoring chances.
Four lines: Jacques Martin decided to scratch Georges Laraque to make room for a healthy Glen Metropolit. The result: more speed and better balanced lines. The 4th line played around 10 minutes and 10 players got at least one point.
60 minutes: The whole team gave a great effort from start to finish and never gave their opponent a chance to get back into this one.
Everything went right and nothing went wrong. I’m not saying they were perfect but they outplayed their opponent in every aspect of the game.
Jaroslav Halak A Although his mishandling of the puck led to the only goal against, he still got the job done
Travis Moen A+ He did what is expected of him, killing penalties, being physical as he gave out 5 hits and did not hurt his team.
Scott Gomez A- As it’s been the case since the beginning of the season, he was the most dangerous centre but still needs to work on his face offs
Brian Gionta A Didn’t score but had 6 shots on goal and created plenty of chances.
Mike Cammalleri A- Seems to be finding his game but tends to hang on too much to the puck at times which can lead to turnovers
Tomas Plekanec B+ Great job on face-offs but was the only forward without a shot on goal.
Andrei Kostitsyn C+ Still needs to shoot more and be more creative in order to become a consistent offensive threat.
Guillaume Latendresse C+ He played a good game but wasn’t a factor. Needs to go to the net and stay in front of instead of skating behind it or next to it.
Maxim Lapierre B+ Seemed a little out of place when lined up at the wing in the first period but kept working hard and going to the net eventually scoring a goal
Max Pacioretty A Scored a nice goal and played with more confidence after that.
C- His best asset is his shot and he needs to use it more.
Kyle Chipchura C+ Didn’t play a bad game but was horrible on face offs. Bonus points for a decent fight.
Glen Metropolit A+ It’s as if he never missed a game. Played 5 on 5, on the PP and Penalty kill. Great job on face-offs and great patience with the puck.
Roman Hamrlik B- Solid, but did give the puck away a few times.
Jaroslav Spacek B- Not a bad game, good effort on the first goal but needs to step up more offensively, especially on the power play.
Hal Gill B- Kept it simple as usual, limiting the mistakes but I was still holding my breath every time a player when around him.
Josh Gorges A As always, never spectacular but always effective and reliable.
Paul Mara B- Picked up another assist tonight but still doesn’t use his size nearly enough in his own end.
Marc-Andre Bergeron B- Showed why Bob Gainey signed him with a booming shot that got him his first goal of the season. He also played a good game defensively.
Powerplay A+ They scored 2 goals, 11 shots and plenty of chances.
Penalty Kill A Did not give up a goal but the Isles were never a threat