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So many players, so little talent… and both teams laboured to manage just one goal a piece and settle for a 1-1 tie. It was a hard-fought game, very physical & penalty filled, but the Habs could barely generate any good scoring chances all night. It might have something to do with the bad ice, or all the clutching and grabbing… but the Carolina Hurricanes showed us why they end up with so many ties.


Theodore was peppered with 37 shots, but the snake-bitten Hurricanes could only manage a short-handed goal… and the Habs escaped with a point.



Carolina 1-0: After killing three consecutive penalties, including a 5-on-3, thanks to Theodore’s heroics and some good PK work by Jan Bulis… the Habs get a power-play opportunity. Sadly, Bouillon attempts an ill-advised cross-ice pass that is cut off and Adams is sent in alone on Theo. He struggles to control a bouncing puck because of the bad ice, which ironically makes it difficult for Theo to anticipate what he is going to do… and he manages to knock it past the goalie stick side down low.


Montreal 1-1: With time winding down and the Habs barely able muster any offense, Brind’Amour is forced to trip Bulis to prevent a 2-on-1. Just when it seems the Habs are about to blow another chance to get back into this game, Markov enters the zone and flips it towards the middle of the zone. Perreault pushes it back to Dagenais who shoots immediately, Weekes makes the stop but the rebound go straight to Ribeiro who pots the equalizer… his first goal in 20 games.





          Ribeiro did not complain when he was benched, then scores the team’s only goal in his first game back. Beyond that he put in a good effort all night, and that’s the right way to respond… he has showed some maturity and character with the way he has dealt with that whole situation. Especially given the way the media tried to make a big controversy out it.

         So Zednik ended up playing despite having the flu, which meant Komisarek was left to watch the game from the stands. How long will the Habs insist on delaying their kids’ development this way? Gainey simply has to move a defenseman, and soon.

         Rivet made it clear he didn’t want to play forward again, but who is he to tell the coach where he should play after having such a bad start to the season? He should feel lucky he wasn’t benched altogether like Quintal was, but Julien didn’t dare upset his player further… and benched Komisarek instead. Different rules for different player I guess.

         The PK unit had its best performance of the year, and this without the ailing defensive general Joe Juneau. Then again it was Carolina, that has a lot to do with it… that and Theodore doing his thing.  

         Ward skated for 45 minutes today and his ankle felt fine… he should be back next week.




Habs’ hero: Theodore was his Hart-like self tonight… although it also helped that the poor ‘Canes have no finish, where have we seen that before? Bulis was finally used in a more offensive role, and he kept up his good play… his skating keeps forcing the opposition to take penalties and he was excellent on the PK.

It might have lead to an unwise penalty, but Rivet stepped in twice to protect his team-mates on a night Carolina had a game plan of roughing up the smallish Habs. Ribeiro also came back strong after a game on the bench.


Habs’ zero: Markov made a handful of sloppy turnovers during the game; he was a little off tonight. Quintal was also a little slow out there; he’s still struggling to find his early season form. Kilger continues to under whelm, on a physical night where his smaller team-mates were getting killed… he was invisible once again.  



Final Thoughts:


The prospect of a rematch Saturday night is a good news, bad news proposition. On one hand we can look forward to more offensively challenged clutch & grab hockey, on the other this game was already pretty chippy and physical… and it usually gets worse in the second game.


I expect Theodore will get the call again after his strong performance tonight, but it’ll be interesting to see whether Komisarek gets the call and who will get the hook if he does.