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Tuesday’s 4-3 OT win over Boston may have been Yann Danis’ last chance to make an impression on the Montreal coaching staff, even though there’s still 3 games left in the preseason.  As it stands, he seems to be in pretty good shape, but you never know, especially in the “new” NHL.

Now, you may be thinking, there’s 3 games left and a week before the season starts, why would the Habs have to make their decision now?  The reason isn’t right at the surface, but here it is.  The Habs play Wednesday in Boston, and we all but know that Jose Theodore is going to play the full 60 minutes then.  That takes us to Saturday, and at first thought, it would make sense to have Danis in net.  But consider for a moment that the Habs are leaning towards bringing someone else in.  If they were to bring a goalie like Felix Potvin, Steve Shields, or Byron Dafoe (just a couple of the names out there) in, ideally, they’d like to have him in at least a few days before the season starts, so that he could get some practice/scrimmage time in.  If they wait until Danis has another start, then you’re looking at either Sunday or Monday before a decision is made, and that doesn’t leave much time.

Of course, there’s another course of action the Habs could take, and that’s to trade for a backup, as there’s going to be a few available.  Martin Prusek, who reportedly was on the Habs’ radar screen, may become available if Pascal Leclaire proves he is ready for full-time NHL duty.  In Pittsburgh, with Thibault and Fleury entrenched as #1 and 2, plus Andy Chiodo all but ready, it would appear that Sebastien Caron may very well be the odd man out.  Meanwhile, the Sabres are still trying to unload a goalie to make room for elite prospect Ryan Miller.  Because Martin Biron is making a fair amount of change, Mika Noronen is available, although the fact that he has not yet been dealt suggests that there’s somewhat of an asking price for his rights.  If Bob Gainey and Co. decide to consider going the trading route and stay away from the free agents, then Danis will have some more time to prove his worth.  As it appears, this may very well be the route the Habs take, as this gives them the most time to make an evaluation.

Now in all honesty, there appears to be a more than strong chance that the Habs at least let Danis start in the NHL, as, let’s not beat around the bush, he is the backup goalie of the not-too-distant future (and if the aforementioned goalies are available now, they may very well be later).  Doing so is also the best situation cap-wise, as Danis can simply be sent down to Hamilton; the team would not be forced to carry 3 goalies with one-way deals on the roster.  Stay tuned though Habs fans, we may have our backup goalie answer sooner than we think.

Now, as for Tuesday’s game summary:


1) 20-Zednik – 35-Plekanec – 84-Latendresse
2) 26-Dagenais – 71-Ribeiro – 42-Perezhogin
3) 46-Kostitsyn – 45-Locke – 86-Ferland
4) 21-Higgins – 22-Begin – 17-Vandermeer

1) 79-Markov – 52-Rivet
2) 65-Hainsey – 8-Komisarek
3) 51-Bouillon – 32-Streit

Starter: 75-Danis
Backup: 60-Theodore

Scoring Summary:  

1) MTL 1-0 Dagenais (unassisted) 9:43 1st
2) MTL 2-0 Hainsey (Rivet, Latendresse) PP 10:49 1st
3) MTL 3-0 Zednik (Plekanec, Bouillon) PP 19:22 1st

4) BOS 1-3 Isbister (Murray, Dallman) 2PP 2:04 2nd
5) BOS 2-3 Boyes (Leetch, Raycroft) PP 8:50 2nd
6) BOS 3-3 Murray (Boyes, Leetch) PP 12:41 3rd
7) MTL 4-3 Markov (Bouillon, Plekanec) 2PP 2:12 OT
Montreal wins game 4-3 in overtime.

Penalty Summary:

MTL – Komisarek (Delay of Game) 6:03 1st

BOS – Redenbach (Hooking) 10:21 1st
MTL – Ferland (Holding) 11:17 1st
MTL – Hainsey (Roughing) 16:45 1st

BOS – Alberts (Interference) 18:45 1st
MTL – Latendresse (Holding the Stick) 1:03 2nd
MTL – Bouillon (High Sticking) 1:25 2nd

BOS – McEachern (Hooking) 3:40 2nd
MTL – Vandermeer (Hooking) 8:04 2nd
MTL – Hainsey (Interference) 12:45 2nd
MTL – Komisarek (Tripping) 19:35 2nd

BOS – Nickulas (Hooking) 19:50 2nd
BOS – Axelsson (Hooking) 3:39 3rd
MTL – Vandermeer (Roughing) 6:45 3rd
BOS – Stuart (Hooking) 9:53 3rd
MTL – Higgins (Hooking) 12:21 3rd
MTL – Komisarek (High Sticking) 12:41 3rd
BOS – Murray (Hooking) 19:16 3rd
BOS – Leahy (Hooking) :40 OT
BOS – Girard (Delay of Game) 1:05 OT

Shootout Results:

Girard – stopped, McEachern – stopped, Murray – goal
Montreal: Dagenais – stopped, Perezhogin – stopped, Ribeiro – stopped
Boston wins shootout 1-0.

Powerplay/Penalty Kill:

PP: 3/11, PK: 5/8
Montreal: PP 3/8, PK: 8/11

Shots on Goal:

36    Boston: 24

3 Stars:

1) Tomas Plekanec (MTL)
2) Brian Leetch (BOS)
3) Chris Higgins (MTL)

Attendance: 17,403