Quick hits

On L’Antichambre, Gaston Therrien is saying the Canadiens stole the game.

Idiotic.

Playing on the road, they came from 2-0, outshot Washington, kept a tight lid on Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas backstrom and got perfect goaltending from Carey Price in the Shootout.

Robbery?

How about “inspirational win and perfect start to the most important part of the season.”

Yeah, that works better.

And if the power-play had been able to click off its puck possession, and if Semyon Varlamov had been less sharp, this one was an easy W in regulation.

Carolina and Atlanta lost, which means the Canadiens solidified their hold on a playoff spot. 

The more excitable among us – and I include myself in that category – were probably booking April tee times eight minutes into the game.

By then, the Capitals led 2-0.

Down two in a road game?

Ninth place, here they come.

This gloomy scenario failed to take account of the Canadiens’ refusal to roll over – and Washington’s inability play up to their talent level.

This comeback wouldn’t have happened in Philadelphia.

The Capitals are fragile between the ears. Their superstars, Ovechkin and Backstrom, were decisively outplayed by Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.

Washington’s most sustained pressure came from their grinders: Mathieu Perreault, Jason Chimera, Brooks Laich.

Credit to Jeff Halpern, Tom Pyatt and Travis Moen, who did a terrific defensive job against Backstrom, Ovie and Mike Knuble.

And credit P.K. Subban, who seemed to be involved in one-on-one battles with Ovie all through the game. And aside from one undisciplined penalty, P.K. outplayed the Great 8.

P.K. did what Josh Gorges did in the playoffs: he stayed in Ovechkin’s face, took away his pet move, the cut to the middle, frustrated him.  

I thought the D had a generally strong game.

The pairings combine LH and RH shots, offensive and defensive specialist, kids (if we count Wiz as a youngster) and geezers.

Jaro Spacek is back on the right side (he blocked four shots, as did Hal Gill), and Yannick Weber is keeping Alexandre Picard on a steady diet of hot dogs.

Maybe Pierre Gauthier won’t have t make a move for a Dman.

Maybe.

The forward lines remain a work in progress.

Plekanec and Gionta were excellent, and Max Pacioretty did not look out of place with the vets.

The Antichambre guys were all over Scott Gomez. He was 4-10 on faceoffs (Pleks was 6-15) and made his usual bizarre passes. But Gomez backchecked conscientiously – and popped the puck out to James Wisniewski to start the play that led to Gionta’s first goal.

Andrei Kostitsyn didn’t do much. It looked like he was having trouble anticipating where he would get the puck from Gomez.

This doesn’t happen with Plekanec. Gionta had seven SoG, and most of them were off the good looks he was getting when Pleks found him with the puck.

Lars Eller? Fairly invisible … but let’s face it: the kid is not a Top Six forward, at least not yet. He’s keeping the spot warm for Mike Cammalleri.

I liked David Desharnais’ work. He was 7-3 on draws (Halpern was a red-hot 10-2) and played fearlessly against the hulking Washington defence corps.

Carey Price?

Weak on the first goal, helpless on the second and solid thereafter – including the Shootout.

More tomorrow.

28 Comments

  1. StevieRay says:

    I wonder if Benny has ever played center . he’s big, sees the ice and is creative . I’d like to aee him get a whirl at it..

  2. G-Man says:

    The Habs after any sort of layoff usually stink the joint out. In hte 1st period, they did. Kudos to them for being rock solid on the road after that crappy 1st and coming back. I still hate the shootout and always will, but if the NHL gives 2 points for it, wtf.

  3. habs001 says:

    if ak46 starts scoring like you predict i hope he has his usual 10-15 game scoring slump at the end of the season because if he scores his usual 4-5 goals in a short amount of games at the end of the season we pretty well know he will be invisible in the playoffs…there is no way you can depend on ak46 in the playoffs as there is no way of knowing which ak46 shows up,,,

  4. Ian Cobb says:

    Good night, see you in Mtl. against Florida.

  5. OneTimer says:

    And the air will be clear of trolls’ stench for at least 24h or so…What a good night, time for a drink.

  6. Number31 says:

    Eh those L’Antichambre guys see what they want… This was earned not robbed. And PK’s late penalty was baloney. Ref could have taken Ovie too for basically doing the same, but because he and Boudreau whined about an apparently stick slash late in the 2nd (even though it was actually Ovie who slashed Halpern’s stationary stick and saw his own snap in half then threw the piece into the net) the officials caved and took only PK off.

  7. DarthWade says:

    Nice comeback tonight! When it was 2-0 Caps and the way they were playing at the beginning of the game made me think it was going to be a blowout and a really ugly game. Ovie looked miserable as hell. Don’t know if it was just tonight or what, but he really looks like he’s not putting much heart into it. That or he’s so fed up with his team that he figures why bother.

    For the first time in a very long time I actually believe we can come back in a game. For the longest time when we were down by two it seemed like the whole team just gave up but now we seem to actually fight to win. It’s great to see. Yeah, we do have some stinker games but overall I have more faith in the team than I have had in quite a while.

    If we get the Caps in the first round we’ll beat them. Same with the Penguins. Philly worries me. They get into our heads and we take stupid penalties and we end up losing badly to them. If we smarten up when playing them I think we COULD beat them. It won’t be easy, but it could be done.

    I want our 25th Cup!

  8. andrewberkshire says:

    Gotta love a win delivered by the Captain. I have a feeling Kostitsyn is going to start ripping it up again soon, he had several really good chances tonight but couldn’t get the puck to settle down.

  9. xchicksxwithxsticksx says:

    i’m going to be at that game:P so excited!

  10. RJB says:

    This one isn’t complicated, just a fantastic game to win. Really happy we got it. 

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” – Bilbo Baggins

  11. keepthefaith says:

    Awesome win. It’s time to give Pouliot a shot in the top 6. I like Eller but he is still learning the game. Price made some really nice saves after the soft goal and that would not have been the case last year. Missing 3 top players and coming back in this game,which we could have easily won in regulation, should  make us proud.

  12. CHsam says:

    thumbs up bro

  13. solomio says:

    Mike, no respect for Gaston Therrien? The guy knows his hockey inside out.

    “Stole the game” means the Habs broke into the Caps barn and pulled out 2 points. It is not a derogatory comment at all.

    If you want to get all dewey eyed about it sure ” inspirational ‘ fits the bill too.

  14. Timo says:

    PVR’s rule, no doubt about it.

  15. Propwash says:

    yes, unless your service provider charges a small fortune for one :(

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  16. Da Hema says:

    There is a certain predictability to his style and play. The Habs have him figured out.

  17. Propwash says:

    The Habs showed the league how it’s done in last years playoffs.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  18. shootdapuck says:

    It seriously appears that the “Great Ape” is now paying for his offseason spent in the niteries of Moscow!

    Or is it just maybe the rest of the league has figured out his game?

     

    “I only like to watch and takes notes” JM

  19. 25 cups says:

    I will admit… I PVR’ed the game and started watching it about an hour after it started…. after the habs went down 2-0 I checked the score on my phone (2-2 end of second) to see if I should keep watching…

  20. Propwash says:

    After the Habs were down 2-0, I almost turned off the tv, then said to myself “naah, theyll make a game of it.” Price sucked on the first goal, and the Caps were all over the team, it was brutal to watch. The team started to pick up steam for the second and third period though. Price got into a groove, and stayed there, mind you, I cringed when he got bowled over by Gill, but no harm, no foul. I also cringed when PK landed awkwardly after colliding with Ovie, thankfully he shook it off.

    The team seriously needs to bury the chances they do get, and chances happen quite often, but nobody seems to be at the right place at the right time, hopefully that will change though.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  21. Mike Boone says:

    Great minds think alike, Olivier.

  22. Olivier says:

    Gee Boone, you basically wrote what I wrote. I’ll simply pile on: the Caps had 2 scoring chances on the PP, one of the going in for a goal. Habs had 7 on the PP, but gave 2.

    The Caps did carry the play in OT, but they must thank Varlamov. He stole the game in the third.

  23. habs001 says:

    stole the game…it should have been 6-2….gion was amazing like last years playoffs…hopefully camm can do it also…ak46 and pouliot played okay but they are just not at the  same level gion is and i believe they never will be…the pp has not scored for a while but unlike previous slumps it is getting chances …should score couple vs panthers…this was a big meaningfull win but only if we win wed

  24. SeriousFan09 says:

    It was great to see Gionta pull his team back and save the day, that kind of play by a team captain can spark a lot sometimes, hopefully scoring from his comrades against the Panthers tommorow.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  25. Cool Ice Price says:

    Gio Habsoloutly rocked tonight

     

    Habs Passion unites us all

  26. RGM says:

    Great character win tonight. There were times last season where the team would just fold up the tent after going two in the hole early. Not this crew. Hats off to all, now it’s off to bed!

    Go Habs Go!

  27. Shiloh says:

    This was a very interesting game. Maybe the most important moment was a very good save Price made when it could have been 3-0 if it got by him. The sometimes-infuriating Ray Ferraro commented on the save at the time. Gionta is an excellent shooter – and his goal in the shootout was basically unstoppable. Weber is coming along nicely. Desharnais does not look out of place. Lastly we should start calling my Thunder Bay boy Tom Pyatt Roberto Duran. (Mano di Pietro – Hands of Stone)

  28. sidhu says:

    Big character win.  Count me among those who thought the game was pretty much over after 2-0.

    I’d like to see us upgrade over AK46, he is just out of place in terms of compete level when compared with Gio, Pleks, and other forwards that we want for the top 6.  I think it’s time to give Benny a chance with the top 6.

    Weber has been serviceable, though I’d still like to see us get a vet with a more physical edge.

    This was a great way to start the “second half.”

    Go Habs Go!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.