A brief one tonight because I have to get home through the snow.
Your 2011 Montreal Canadiens have become the Comeback Kids.
Through the first part of the season, they were 0-11-0 when trailing after one period.
In the new year, the Canadiens are 4-1-1 when trailing after 20, 7-2-2 when allowing the first goal.
Jacques Martin lauded his team’s patience, their commitment to the game plan.
They don’t panic.
Down 2-0 in Washington? No problem.
Down 1-0 to Florida? Again, no problem.
The game was not one for the Classic DVD set, but the Cnadiens played with confidence and kept plugging away until they dented Tomas Vokoun.
Martin noted that his team’s three goals came off hard work and players going to the net. All were scored at even strength, which is an area the coach had wanted to see get better.
Mission accomplished – but now the power-play has gone cold.
Another 0-for tonight, and the PP is scoreless in 18 opportunities over the last three games.
But two have been wins, and Martin seemed unperturbed, saying PP tweaks await video study tomorrow.
The penalty-kill was perfect – and of greater significance was the Canadiens taking only three penalties, one in each period and only one, Scott Gomez’s retaliation, that could be calssified as brain-dead.
There were only penalties in Washington also.
Contrast that to seven in Philadelphia just before the All-Star break. So that’s a positive trend.
As is shots on goal. The Canadiens had 41 on Vokoun, following 38 on Semyon Varlamov.
A few stats:
• Every forward except Tom Pyatt and Travis Moen had a shot
• By beating Florida, the Canadiens rang up their first back-to-back sweep since beating Buffalo and Ottawa in mid-October.
• Scott Gomez went 12-6 on draws, Tomas Plekanec 18-11.
• Max Pacioretty had six shots and two hits.
• Yannick Weber played 16:17 and did only one bad thing, a horrendous turnover he atoned for by making a play to prevent a shotg.
• Wiz played 24:05, high on both teams.
• P.K. had five shots on goal and five that missed the goal, plus one that was blocked.
• Roman Hamrlik had four blocked shots.
• Everyone except Tom Pyatt played double-digit minutes.
• Jaro Spacek played 15:09, which is about right for a geezer.
• Alex Auld raised his record to 4-2. His GAA is 2.17, save percentage of .929. Both are better than Carey Price’s numbers.
Let’s have a goaltender controversy.