About last night …

Truncated edition because I dragged my sorry ass to Hurley’s to hoist a couple with the Habs Inside/Out Summiteers.

I know: it’s a filthy job, but someone has to do it.

The game?

Very exciting … and would have been more so if Georgers Laraque’s back were still bothering him.

It’s SRO in Canadiens’ sick bay, but BGL has returned to lose a fight in Washington and take six minutes of first-period penalties against Detroit.

And it should have been more.

I mean, c’mon.

How is that hit on Kronwall, which damaged the MCL in his left knee, not a five and the toss?

The Canadiens took six minor penalties in the first period, handing two 5-on-3s to a team with a textbook power play.

It’s pretty simple with Detroit’s PP. They get the puck back to the point for blasts by Brad Stuart (who had 10 SoG for the game … unreal for a Dman) and stick a big body in the crease.

Let’s hope Max Pacioretty and Guillaume Latendresse were watching Tomas Holmstrom closely last night.

This is the kind of game power forwards have to play in the NHL: drive the net and make life miserable for the opposing D and goaltender.

Who did that job on the Canadiens’ ONE power play last night?

Glen Metropolit.

Does no one else have the cojones for it?

Jacques Martin said the Canadiens played Detroit fairly even 5-on-5. He lauded his team’s character in coming back from 2-0.

And the coach liked his new line combination.

Tomas Plekanec, Mike Cammalleri and Andrei Kostitsyn brought a dead building to life nine seconds into the third period.

It seemed like they were out every second shift through the final 20 minutes. And they made good things happen.

I think the line is a keeper. With Brian Gionta and now Scott Gomez on the shelf, Martin needs scorers – and these three have obvious chemistry.

AK46 has played with Pleks on many nights this season, but the addition of Cammalleri has finally brought the big lug out of his coma. Kostitsyn is skating, hitting, firing off that deadly wrister and, tonight, making tape to tape passes to Cammalleri for one-timers.

The 3M line had its moments, as did Max Lapierre centring Tom Pyatt and Ryan White.

The fourth line was BGL, whose 4:47 ToI was less than his PiM; Kyle Chipchura and poor, lost Gui!, who played a pathetic 5:42.

Is it humanly possible to be worse skaters than those three? They’re too slow for golf.   

Detroit had 34 SoG. The Canadiens blocked 29 and another 21 missed the net.

The corresponding Habs’ numbers were 18-8-17.

Detroit passes the puck efficiently, they crowd the net and they shoot from everywhere.

The Red Wings are an elite team – and the Canadiens, fresh on the heels of a surprising win in Washington, played them even for the first 10 minutes of the game and might have taken them but for that penalty parade in the latter part of the first period.

Detroit had two power-play goals, but the PK guys worked their asses off.

Props to Pleks, Metro, Josh Gorges, Paul Mara, Roman Hamrlik, Jaro Spacek, Travis Moen, Ryan O’Byrne, Max Lapierre, Ryan White and Tom Pyatt.

And props to Carey Price, who was under constant bombardment. Brad Stuart’s long shot looked stoppable, but the Datsyuk goal was a beauty.

Arpon Basu, who does the excellent Daily Hab-it, ran up some numbers: Carey Price stopping 64 of 68 shots over two games while his teammates
managed only 40 shots in the two games combined. That makes it five
straight games where Price has allowed two goals, and he is 4-2-1 with
a .941 save percentage and 1.94 goals against average over his last
seven outings.

Price gave up his first two shootout goals of the season, but he’s been superb – and has to be, because the banged-up Canadiens are surrendering a lot of shots.

Datsyuk had six shots on goal and went 13-3 in the faceoff circle. What a player! And he’s 19 for 37 in shootouts. 

PK work, especially against a puck-possession team like Detroit, is exhausting. It’s a tribute to the Canadiens’ grit that they were able to summon the energy for a third-period comeback.

Not a bad week, as Martin said. His team took five of a possible six points, while the parade to the injury list continued.

Day off on Sunday, then a tough part of the schedule continues with Columbus – yes, they’re good now – here on Tuesday, preceding a Wednesday visit to Pittsburgh and a Saturday home date with Alexander Ovechkin.


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