This was a potential letdown game for the Canadiens tonight, who were quite happy with their winning streak and had a grudge match against
It worked to a point, the Habs had a bit of a sloppy night, but the Penguins failed to capitalize on their mistakes and then
Nice effort by Hossa, who really hustled to get to that puck in the corner and then made a perfect pass to Zednik.
– It’s the second backup Quebec-born goalie in a row that has a tough night at the
– Speaking of backup goalies, the Habs have just faced two in a row. One of the advantages of being a neglected team, as the Habs are, is that the other teams see them as a soft game in the schedule and elect to use their backup. That’s fine by Claude Julien, who’ll hope his team keeps taking the 2pts and saying “thank you very much” when that happens.
– It was nice to see the Habs being the physically dominant team out there, Souray pummelled Abid and then Jason Ward crushed Fata along the boards. The sadest part was that following that hit the Penguins’ tough guy went after Ward and Jason looked better than Dwyer ever did in a fight. That was my parting shot to Gordie who was sent to
– On the good side the only defensemen not playing 20 minutes were Breezer and Hainsey because they didn’t play the PK… which is perfect. Notice how Patrice hasn’t looked that bad this year, simply because he’s being used properly by the coaches. To be fair I have to mention that the reason the coaches can use him less is because we have a pretty solid top 6 this year, which wasn’t the case before.
Habs’ hero: Theodore got the first star, and he did play very well. But I’ll go with Mike Ribeiro who took over this game with his offense, participating in the last 3 goals and had the PP clicking. Offense was this team’s main concern coming in, so the ones who provide it are the heroes so far this season… especially given Koivu’s absence.
Honourable mention to Markov who had a strong game on both sides of the ice, and Marcel Hossa who despite only 12 minutes ice-time I noticed a few times for his passionate play.
Habs’ zero: Perreault and Audette. Both made a few lazy turnovers in the defensive zone that lead to open nets that the Penguins just missed on. If
This is the kind of defensive letdown that will lead to losses on most nights but that nobody will mention since
The Canadiens got lucky, they played a sloppy game but the Penguins didn’t make them pay for it. They took too many penalties once again, but they did a good job on the penalty kill and their PP was simply on fire. This was definitely a special teams victory.
In the end the Habs won another game they were supposed to win, and put another 2pts in the bank… placing them 1st in the conference even if it’s only 4 games in. The fact is many were looking at the Habs’ October schedule and thought they would have trouble winning any games, especially without Koivu. The first month was key to the Canadiens’ playoff hopes, and they’ve answered the bell so far.
Next up, the re-match against