Quick Hits

You have to like the way this is trending:

On Nov. 20, Carey Price shut the Leafs out 2-0.

It was the first time a Canadien goaltender had hung a goose egg on Toronto since Nov. 12, 1977, when Ken Dryden did it.

So after a 33-year gap, Price has two DSos against the Leafs this season.

And thanks to an outstanding team effort, he made it look easy.

Playing for a national Hockey Night in Canada audience and their adoring fans in the HNIC studio, the Leafs pretty much sucked in every aspect of the game.

They were outscored, outshot, outskilled, outskated … even outhit, which is embarrassing for a team that prides itself on truculence.

The Canadiens dominated “from the front of our net to the front of theirs”, as Price said.

The dominance and shutout were all the more remarkable because the Canadiens had surrendered 15 goals during their three-game losing streak.

The problem, Jacques Martin said, was surrendering “too many chances off the rush” and extended periods of defensive zone pressure.

That didn’t happen tonight.

Granted, Toronto isn’t as offensively talented or physically imposing as Boston, but you play whom the schedule says you play. And Martin lauded his team’s work ethic, his players’ effort without the puck and the “very intelligent” way the Canadiens managed the game.

Those qualities were exemplified by Roman Hamrlik, who was the mainstay of the Canadiens’ depleted defence. Hamrlik logged a team high 25:15 (he’ll enjoy the Sunday off), including 4:50 of three shorthanded situations. The old man had five shots on goal, blocked six Toronto shots and had three hits.

Like the best Dmen in the league, notably Nicklas Lidstrom, Hamrlik controlled the pace of the game when he was on the ice. He was magnificent.

At the other end of the age spectrum were the kids, particularly David Desharnais.

I’ll admit it: I thought there was no way a player as small as DD would make it in the sweet savagery that is the NHL.

So wrong.

Since his call-up on the day after New Year’s, Desharnais has progressed from game to game to the point where he and Scott Gomez are the team’s co-Number Two centres behind Tomas Plekanec.

DD set up Benoit Pouliot for the goal that opened the scoring. He converted Gomez’s pass to drive a nail into Toronto’s coffin.

He went 12-4 on draws and played 4:12 on the power-play.

What doesn’t show up on the scoresheet are the pinpoint passes Desharnais put of the sticks of linemates. And the allegedly tough Leafs couldn’t line up a hit on him all night.

Martin praised Desharnais’ dedication and commitment. The coach rhapsodized about “the kind of person (Desharnais) is”, meaning a character player who has exceeded limited expectations, based on his size, at every level of hockey.

This was a huge win for the Canadiens.

A four-game losing streak would have sown seeds of doubt, with surging Buffalo here on Tuesday, before a trip to the West.

Now there’s some breathing room. The Canadiens are comfortably in sixth place, with a points total that matches fifth-place Washington’s.

More tomorrow.

•  •  •

Schadenfreude report:

Mike Komisarek had less ToI than any other Toronto defenceman. The big thumper of yesteryear had one hit.

Two more seasons, at $4.5 million per.

 

58 Comments

  1. Robert L says:

    That Roy shutout was in Toronto.

  2. punkster says:

    Yah, but BALLS would be at a loss as how handle them.

    Man, just like the Saturdays of bygone days. These Leafs/Canadiens tilts were the best. I have 3 younger brothers and back in the day it was down to the rink for public skating until 8 then run home to catch the game, two Leaf fans vs two Canadiens fans fighting in the TV room. Only one of the brothers is a Leaf fan now (since I finally saw the light) and of course he’ll get the razzing phone calls first thing tomorrow from the rest of us.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  3. Chuck says:

    I looked. Surprisingly, there isn’t.

  4. Sheldon says:

    Nothing like a shutout of the Leafs in Montreal on a Saturday night to put a bounce in one’s stride!

  5. Chuck says:

    Or maybe the Cialis and Viagara don’t hurt either, eh?  ;)

  6. Chuck Chuck Goose says:

    Penguins/Isles suspensions handed down (from Dmitri Chesnokov on Twitter)

    Eric Godard 10 games, Trevor Gillies 9 games, Matt Martin 4 games, NYI $100k team fine

  7. Sheldon says:

    You want to have some real fun? Cocktail Rongaine with Viagara or Cialis and you’ll end up looking like Don King!

  8. punkster says:

    Not to mention the secretary I hired.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  9. Chuck says:

    No word yet on the Bruins?

    Oh, silly me.

  10. Propwash says:

    Im guessing they’d make one walk kinda stiff…….

  11. christophor says:

    Word of the day: Nepotism.

    Now, say it with me boys and girls. 

  12. Propwash says:

    And you know this how????

  13. Matt_in_TO says:

    I’m sure somewhere in the rulebook it says that it’s perfectly fine to beat an opponent with an elbow pad.

     

    - In Price We Trust

  14. Sheldon says:

    You were on fire. I was envious. My posts are generally short because my typing sucks. If HIO was voice activated, I would post text bricks that would be things of memory!

  15. Matt_in_TO says:

    Godard’s 10 is automatic.  I’m kind of surprised Martin only got 4 but it’s hard to say if it was premeditated.  It’s not like he went looking for and stalked Talbot.  If you watch the video he sort of does a double take and then when he realizes that it’s Talbot, he drops him.  I think it’s a joke when you put it in perspective and compare it to how many games Cooke gets for the crap he does.

     

    - In Price We Trust

  16. Matt_in_TO says:

    Probably in Colin Campbell’s copy, scribble in his hand writing somewhere in the margin

     

    - In Price We Trust

  17. Sheldon says:

    What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!!!

  18. Chuck says:

    Ah… like the Teacher’s Edition.  :)

  19. PeterD says:

    Never mind the co-number two center thing…DD has in my mind and I hope in the minds of the coaches surpassed Gomez as the number two center behings Plekanec.

    Tonight I loved the DD, Pouliot, White line…what a great 2nd line…I noticed they played more even strength minutes than the Gomez line…so I make them line #2 and Gomez Line #3…make lots of sense to me.

    Even strength TOI — Gomez = 9:59, DD = 11:27. 

    With Gomez mired in a season long offensive slump, it makes more sense to make room in the offensive lines for a more productive offensive oriented player, and the Mighty David Desharnais seems to taking all the opportunities provided to make that a reality.  Gomez still has some quality offensive skills and he has some good defensive skills for the PP and PK, but I think he needs to be established in the 3rd line role and accept that he is no longer a top 6 performer on this team.

    When Moen showed up on the AK and Gomez line, some of us thought, oh no here we go again with Moen inthe top 6…but I saw it dfferently, on this night I saw it as Gomez and AK dropping down to form the 3rd line with Moen and the elevation of DD, Pouliot and White into the 2nd line status. With Pleks, Patches and Gio as our 1st line.

  20. Klondike Habs Fan says:

    Speaking of Ken Dryden. The senator was up here in Whitehorse for Hockey Day in Canada, and he paused and chatted and signed my jersey. and took a photo with me.! It was cool. 

    Gallagher was here since the Giants were playing the Blazers here, and Gallagher scored 2 in the win, games first star. Future Hab! Hey YukonHab, saw you watching the Gallagher interview on CBC.

  21. HardHabits says:

    Hopefully the NHL doesn’t award a franchise to Vegas then. It’s bad enough that what happens in Phoenix stays in Phoenix!!!

  22. RJB says:

    Really satisfying win. Glad I took a study break to enjoy it!!! Price is out of this world.

    “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

  23. Mike D says:

    It does, but you have to dig to find it. It’s called the “Colie Clause” and can be found in Appendix Douchebag; Article 10; Section 2.

    – Honestly yours

  24. Propwash says:

    LOL, too bad Vegas isn’t how it used to be. Mind you, I’ve never been there.

  25. Bobby Ward says:

    OKAY – Did some more digging – Patrick Roy shut out the Leafs 3-0 in Toronto on February 26th, 1994…

    I think Dryden (before Price) was the last goalie to shut out the Leafs IN MONTREAL… Here’s the wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993%E2%80%9394_Montreal_Canadiens_season

     

  26. Bobby Ward says:

    HEY BOONE – Patrick Roy shut out the Leafs in the 1993-94 season – I know for a fact, ‘cuz I was at college in Ontario that year, and hung it on the door to my dorm room to gloat/taunt my fellow residents… I think the exact Gazette headline said, “Habs start fast, then Roy Shuts the Door” … or something very close to that effect… Either way, Dryden may have been the last shutout IN TORONTO, or something, but not the last Hab goalie hang a goose egg on the Laffs…

  27. Da Hema says:

    Campbell’s copy of the NHL Official Rule Book is the only one that refers to the fans as “suckers.”

  28. Mike D says:

    I’m with you 100% regarding most teams having a bad contract or two (some more). 

    However, I’m not at all with you when you say Gomez is playing like a 4.5mil player.  How is he even close to that??  When he’s completely on his game that might be a fair assessment, but not once has he done that this season with any consistency or for any sustained amount of time. 

    I hate to add to all the Gomez-bashing that takes place here cuz there’s plenty of it (I’d argue that it’s mostly warranted too), and it can get very tiring, but to say Gomez is currently worth 4.5mil is crazy-talk.  There are 2nd line centres in the league getting paid in the 2.5-3mil range that would be just as effective, if not more effective, than Gomez has been thus far this year.  They may not have the “upside” Gomez has, but what good is upside that doesn’t get fulfilled?  Does Gomez even still have that upside he gets credited for?  He was good in the playoffs last year and hopefully he at least replicates that this year, but even then he’s nowhere near worth 4.5mil, let alone the 7.3mil hit he has on our cap.

    - Honestly yours

  29. Da Hema says:

    Very interesting…and sobering.

  30. Da Hema says:

    You got a sobering point there. Maybe that is precisely why he looks like a joke out on the ice now.

  31. Da Hema says:

    The Lucichicken fight. He was done, done, done after that. I still can’t believe Komisarek let that goofy ape clobber him so thoroughly.

  32. Caper says:

    Money is the least of Komo’s worries. His TO contract is $20m for 4 years.

  33. Da Hema says:

    But in a sense, he did augment Markov by his presence–at least until Lucic destroyed his confidence. Komisarek’s physicality on the ice did, it seems to me, open space for Markov.

  34. Chuck says:

    To be fair, though, you don’t use “I want to stay in Montreal because my defense partner makes me look good” as a negotiating tactic to get more money.  :)

  35. Caper says:

    I agree. He hasn’t been the same since his mother passed away and the Luchicken fight. I believe both events were the same year,’08.

  36. Da Hema says:

    Yes, many here have noted how good Markov must be to turn a useless pylon like Mike Komisarek into a one-time-only all-star.

  37. SeriousFan09 says:

    Markov will easily be able to switch over to being an agent when he retires, he excels at getting players twice what they’re actually worth.

     

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

  38. Tighthead says:

    I really liked Komi when he was in Montreal.  I find it really sad to see him struggling – it seems pretty clear now that this is who he is, it isn’t a slump.

    It couldn’t have just been Markov though – he was a solid enough player. 

  39. Da Hema says:

    The thing is, if Komisarek hadn’t been so short-sighted he could have remained in Montreal and would likely (barring an injury) have a long, reasonably successful career. If I were him now, I’d be concerned about who would even make me an offer after the current contract with Toronto expires. I wouldn’t be interested in signing him at all, no matter how inexpensive Komisarek will be. Someone should have mapped this out for him.

  40. solomio says:

    You know what Komi’s got to do? He;s got to go get Lucic and beat him fair and square. I think that’ll do wonders for him.

     

    You’re playing hockey and I can’t compete

    You’re playing hockey and beat the crap outta me

    I’m down, I’m really down

    I’m down,down on the ground

    I’m down, I’m really down

    We won’t win the Cup,yeah you know I’m down

  41. Gus says:

    Always great to see the Habs take down the Leafs… also, Desharnais is clearly separating himself from Gomez as the #2 centre right now – could be interesting in the offseason if Desharnais keeps it up (if one could even move Gomez’s contract)…

  42. andrewberkshire says:

    Hope Pacioretty is ok. Although this is the third time in the last while that he’s looked to have a severe injury, so somehow I think he’ll tough it out.

  43. Wayne says:

    Wee Dee has no further to look for inspiration and survival skills in the NHL than Gio for the size/grit factor.

  44. Da Hema says:

    The peaks and valleys on this site are a wonder to behold!

  45. Propwash says:

    Beer helps….

  46. Exit716 says:

    I guess that means Maxwell is finished in terms of a long term future.

     

  47. Propwash says:

    Too early to say, but does anyone think DD could be the next Martin St. Louis lite after some seasoning, or am I dreaming?

  48. punkster says:

    Now THAT is a pure HI/O comment ;)

    ***Subbang!!!***

  49. Habnofear says:

    You heard what Patches said about him…I think he’s our next Yvon Cournoyer.

  50. Wayne says:

    If Gomez can find a spot and is of some use, I’m OK with it. He looked good with DD tonight so there is some positives to hope for.

  51. Chuck says:

    Every team in the league has an amount of dead money counting against their cap. Overall, Gomez is playing about like a 4.5 million player, so there’s about 3 million of dead money tied up with his contract.

    Komisarek’s hit is 4.5 million, and it would be tough to say that he’s providing much more than league-minimum worth of value from his contract.

    Komisarek’s deal puts more dead money against the cap than does the Gomez contract.

  52. Matt_in_TO says:

    Just goes to show how much of a difference it makes being paired with a guy like Markov as opposed to whoever he gets paired with now.  I hope he’s sending half his cheque to Marky.

     

    - In Price We Trust

  53. Da Hema says:

    Gomez is, as so many posters point out, overpaid. But Komisarek’s contract does add some perspective on this subject. Komisarek may well be one of the worst players in the entire league now.

  54. Ayan_SB says:

    From Twitter:

    Brian Wilde

    Pacioretty upon leaving the building tonight did not have his arm in a sling, did not seem to have pain and looked comfortable.

  55. Ayan_SB says:

    There are currently only 6 teams with more points than the Habs.

    The same Habs who are sans Markov, Gorges and Cammelleri and recently injured Gill.

    The sky isn’t falling yet folks.

  56. Caper says:

    Ryan White should stay put. He brought great energy and a great lunch pail mind set. We’re missing a boatload of our best players however we remain solid in a playoff spot. I rolled my eyes the day Jacques Martin was name coach however I must admit he is doing one hell of a job considering the injury issues of the team since last spring. Most of his time as coach has been without his best player and it seems we rarely have a healthy top 6. I know it is a 13th place team that we just beat however Spatch and Hammer are 37. Subban is a rookie. Weber is still a question mark and Picard is and will remain a journeyman. We’re in good hands with The Count.

  57. MICP says:

    Any word or hints on the severity of the Max-Pac injury?

  58. StevieRay says:

    Beep ! Beep !


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