There were two key storylines heading into Wednesday’s contest against the
Flyers. The first was that the Habs were trying to avoid a third straight
loss, which they didn’t. The second was P.K. Subban against the team that
was the first to call him out publicly, not to mention his struggles as of late.
At the end of the night, the Habs fought hard, but fell 5-3.
Subban didn’t have the greatest start to the game, making a costly giveaway
leading to a Jeff Carter goal with less than 20 seconds left in the 1st.
That said, his partner, Alexandre Picard, was caught flatfooted on the goal as
well. That goal seemed to set the Habs back heading into the 2nd, where
the Flyers got a lucky bounce, a James van Riemsdyk shot bounced in off the
skate of Hal Gill, giving the Flyers an early 2-0 lead. That seemed to get
Montreal going, as the newly formed Pacioretty-Gomez-Gionta line had several
good scoring chances, which swung the momentum Montreal’s way.
The Flyers got into some penalty trouble late in the 2nd as both Chris
Pronger and Braydon Coburn were sent to the box within a minute of each other.
Montreal made them pay, as Subban made up for his questionable pass in the 1st
by blowing a one-timer past Sergei Bobrovsky, setting the stage for an exciting
The 3rd period started off like the 2nd, as Nikolai Zherdev got a lucky bounce
off Carey Price’s pad restoring Philly’s 2-goal lead. However, the Habs
fought back as Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta scored before the midway mark to
square the game. However, defensive giveaways proved costly for Montreal.
Jaroslav Spacek’s giveaway forced Plekanec into taking a penalty that led to van
Riemsdyk’s 2nd of the night and the eventual winner. Shortly thereafter,
Subban’s 2nd rough giveaway led to Claude Giroux sealing the deal.
Bobrovsky turned aside 38 of 41 Montreal shots for the win while Price
allowed a season high 5 goals in the loss, stopping 25. Both teams scored
on the PP, Montreal was 1/2, the Flyers 1/3.
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: Scott Gomez (2 assists, -1 rating, 2 PIMS, 1 shot,
Evidently, the time off did him a lot of good as this was one of, if not his
best game of the season. He could have had several more helpers as well
had his linemate in Gionta had a little more luck (broken stick and a post).
The only blemish on Gomez’s game was in the faceoff dot, where he was 6/17.
2nd Star: Brian Gionta (1 goal, -1 rating, 8 shots, 4
takeaways, 20:03 TOI)
Gionta seemed happy to be reunited with his former linemate in New Jersey as
there was a spark in his game tonight. He was trigger happy, and that was
a good thing, as he led all players in shots. His 4 takeaways not only led
the Habs but single handedly tied the Flyers’ total for the game.
3rd Star: Mike Cammalleri (2 assists, even rating, 2 shots,
Yes, he had somewhat of a quiet game but despite that, he had a hand in 2 of the
3 Montreal goals which counts for something. He’s still a little out of
sync shooting wise, but as long as he’s setting up goals as he was tonight, it
could be much, much worse.
Honourable Mention: Max Pacioretty (0 points, even rating, 3
shots, 4 hits, 16:20 TOI)
Although he wasn’t on the scoresheet, a lot of credit for his linemates’ success
needs to go to the youngster. He kept up with their pace, made some key
hits (led the team there), and opened up space for Gionta and Gomez to work
their magic. A very solid season debut for sure.
Okay, this isn’t the HW Recap but I’ll deviate from the standard here
anyways. As tempting as it is to focus on Subban and his 2 bad giveaways,
I’m going to focus on the positives. He looked much more confident out
there, particularly in the 2nd period. As for those giveaways, they’re not
all on him. There were other players at fault on both of those plays.
All in all, I’m sure he’s upset at himself given what transpired but I’ll say
this much: If he keeps up the offensive pressure, that alone will get his
confidence back; we saw tonight how he can control a game in the attacking zone.
Couple that with some good decision making in his own end and he’ll be back to
the Subban of two months ago pretty soon.