Marc André Bergeron will earn $750,000 this season. He has seven goals.
Alex Kovalev makes $5 million. He has four.
The Canadiens had three power plays against the Senators. They scored twice.
MAB had a PP goal and an assist on AK46′s. He played 2:37 on the PP – and 2:27 shorthanded!
Kovalev played 3:19 on the PP. He didn’t score – and neither did any of his teammates during Ottawa’s SEVEN man advantages.
After the win over Philadelphia, Jacques Martin repeated one of his favourite maxims: the results of hockey games often come down to goaltending and special teams.
Carey Price had a quiet night against the Flyers’ 15 shots, but the Canadiens went 1-for-3 on the PP and killed four penalties.
Twenty-four hours later, Jaro Halak – a somewhat surprising starter – made 45 saves to backstop brilliant work by the Canadiens’ special teams.
And when the dust settled, the Canadiens found themselves in eighth place.
They have 15Ws this injury-wracked season – as many as Boston and Ottawa, only one fewer than Buffalo.
Jaro Spacek was injured at the end of the first period and didn’t return. Georges played six minutes and spent the third period on the bench.
Max Pacioretty and Sergei Kostitsyn missed shifts because of injuries. The Canadiens spent the final 20 minutes clinging to the lead with five defencemen and 10 forwards.
Let’s start with the PK guys, who are 22-for-22, going back to the end of the Washington game:
Tomas Plekanec and Travis Moen, Scott Gomez and Sergei Kostitsyn, Roman Hamrlik and Ryan O’Byrne, Josh Gorges and the guy all the tavern hockey coaches – and a few of the TV ones – thought was a bad signing, Hal Gill.
Gill played 6:03 on the PK. It would have been more, but he took two penalties himself.
The PK is about discipline and smart positioning. It requires grit and second effort.
That’s this crazy season in a nutshell, eh?
Ravaged by injuries, the Canadiens have been smoked a few times this season, notably by Vancouver, Nashville and Thursday’s Bell Centre visitors, the Stanley Cup champion Penguins.
But the team has competed in almost every game they’ve played. Credit Martin and his staff. Credit a Kovalev-less lineup of guys who play hard in EVERY game, not one in three.
Credit Bob Gainey for signing Bergeron, who has become Streit Lite and will be a nice PP complement to Andrei Markov.
Credit the goaltending, which has improved as the season progressed. Coming off a weak performance in Buffalo, Jaro Halak was spectacular. He’ll be someone’s number-one goaltender next season.
Credit the centres:
• the brilliant Plekanec, whom Michel Bergeron is calling “the best 2-on-1 player in the league”;
• Gomez, overpaid but a fast, clever player with a work ethic and commitment to D that are nightly indicators of the great organization where he began his career;
• Glen Metropolit, the poster boy for overachievement
Credit Mike Cammalleri: 17 goals – 14 at even strength – in 31 games. If he bags 20 by Christmas, that’ll be a Canadiens’ first since Bobby Smith.
Credit the banged-up D corps: Not a Norris candidate among them and vulnerable to an aggressive forecheck. But Roman Hamrlik and Josh Gorges have been superb, and the supporting cast works hard and gets help from the forwards in Martin’s system. Clouds on the horizon, however, if Spatch is out for a while.
Max-Pac is emerging as a power forward. The Brothers are showing flashes of their immense talent.
And if they straighten out his paperwork, Ryan White will be back against Pittsburgh.
• • •
Rule of thumb: A good team’s PP and PK percentages should equal at least 100.
The Canadiens are killing penalties at 82.7% efficiency.
The power play scores on 18.5 per cent of its chances.
First time this season the team has exceeded the 100 benchmark.
• • •
Allan Walsh Tweets again:
“Halak it…..Halak it a lot!”