In what might be Montreal’s last game in Phoenix, they were able to gain
their first regulation win since October 22 against the New York Islanders.
Tonight the Habs were able to steal two points against the Coyotes with a 4-2
victory. For two periods it was a very dull, poorly played match by both teams.
Montreal now has an 11 game run against Phoenix without a loss.
After a scoreless first period, Montreal opened the second with a Michael
Cammalleri goal, after a nice passing play from Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec.
The lead barely lasted four minutes when former Canadien Robert Lang made the
game even, after Paul Mara accidentally took down Canadiens goalie Carey Price
with an errant high stick to the throat.
The third period saw both teams show a little more life than in the previous
two. Marc-Andre Bergeron getting things rolling 4 on 4, with a great deke at the
blueline and a snipe to the top corner making it 2-1. Just over a minute later
the ever steady hands of Glen Metropolit gave Montreal a 3-1 lead on a powerplay
goal. The 9:30 mark of the third period saw Paul Bissonnette deflect a puck off
his skate. After a review the goal was deemed good causing the Canadiens a few
anxious moments late in the game. However, with Ilya Bryzgalov pulled for an
extra attacker, Brian Gionta was able to ice the game. On to Nashville on
Saturday to try and string together two wins in a row.
1.Special teams: Always a good way to reignite a struggling offense. Two
powerplay goals and four successful penalty kills went a long way tonight in
securing the victory.
2.Scrape out a win: After playing two poor periods of hockey tonight, and losing
Jaroslav Spacek for the majority of the third period, it was important for
Montreal to walk away from Phoenix with the two points.
3.Regulation win: It has been a while since Montreal was able to win in
regulation. October 22, against the Islanders to be exact.
Thumbs Up: Tomas Plekanec, Michael Cammalleri, Carey Price
1. Slow start: Three shots on goal in the first period and little motivation
through the first two periods was worrisome for a team that was in desperate
need of a win.
2. Spacek Injury: Yet another Habs defenseman succumbs to injury. Hopefully the
injury is not to severe.
Thumbs Down: Andrei Kostitsyn, Maxim Lapierre
Carey Price B+: Made 18-20 saves tonight. Slowly starting to regain form,
but the real test may come in the days and weeks ahead. The two goals against
could not really be blamed on Price tonight.
Max Pacioretty C+: 2 shots in 11 minutes. Not too many positives yet
again from this promising prospect.
Glen Metropolit: B+: Game winning goal on the powerplay tonight. Only
played 11 minutes tonight but is still able to make the most of his time on the
ice every night.
Scott Gomez B-: Weakest part of the top line tonight. +1, 2 shots and
just over 20 minutes of ice time tonight.
Brian Gionta: B+: 1 goal and 1 Assist and a +1 on the night. Weak first
period like the rest of the team but get better and better as the night went on.
Mike Cammalleri: A: 1 Goal, 1 assist and 4 shots on net. Like Gionta got
better as the game went along… So this guy can score on the road?
Tomas Plekanec: A+: 3 assists tonight. Tremendous hustle, especially on
the penalty kill. Easily the player of the game for the Habs tonight.
Andrei Kostitsyn: C: Some bad giveaways, poor back-checking and passing.
Not many positives about Kostitsyn’s game tonight. -1 on the night. Back to
Jacques Martin’s doghouse?
Guillaume Latendresse: D: -1 and 8 minutes of ice time tonight. May very
well have hit the rock bottom of his NHL career to this point.
Maxim Lapierre: D: In the same boat as Latendresse. A shadow of the
player he was last season. Hopefully he can regain his form from last season as
time goes on.
Travis Moen: C+: An invisible 13 minutes from Moen tonight. A few decent
forechecks but other then that a very quiet night. Needs to get back to crashing
Ryan White: B: 3 blocked shots after 2 periods. Best part of the 4th line
tonight. Don’t expect Chipchura or Stewart back in the lineup anytime soon with
the way he is playing.
Tom Pyatt: B: Good hustle tonight. 15 very solid minutes for a player
just up from Hamilton.
Jay Leach C+: First fight as a member of the Canadiens. Stepped up in the
absence of Spacek in the 3rd period.
Marc-Andre Bergeron: B: Defensive liability sure BUT… a goal and 2
assists tonight AND a +2. When he shoots good things seem to happen.
Jaroslav Spacek B: Played well while he was in tonight. However, he left
the game in the third. Things could get even uglier on the blue line if he is
added to the injury bay.
Paul Mara: C: High sticked Carey Price in the throat to contribute to the
Coyotes first goal. Other than that played an alright game. Led the team in
Josh Gorges: B: Same old Same old. Solid Josh.
Roman Hamrlik: B-: -2 on the night. However, remains the leader on
defense while some of the other veterans are out of the lineup.
Powerplay: A: 2/2 Great to see the powerplay get going after struggling
so badly this season. Have to keep up the momentum.
Penalty Kill: A: 4/4 Tomas Plekanec really led the penalty kill tonight.
4 for 4 kills. Can’t beat it.