Quick hits

The Steelers came back.

The Rangers didn’t.

I’m going home to have a couple of celebratory Jacks to let a great sports day sink in.

The Canadiens are a solid seventh, two points clear of Atlanta, with a game in hand on the Thrashers (who have become the ones worried about Carolina).

The Canadiens are two points back of the Rangers, with a game in hand.

The upcoming week is going to be tough, with two sets of back-to-backs.

But through 40 minutes tonight, the Canadiens looked like a solid playoff team.

What did they look like for the last 20?

Well, the Rangers, who had 12 shots through the first two periods, peppered Carey Price with 21 … and they were buzzing when the siren sounded.

The barrage was to be expected of a John Tortorella team. He doesn’t coach quitters, and his players work hard to the whistle.

New York is a good team with a great goaltender. If Henrik Lundqvist had not been sharp under a 41-shot barrage, this would have been a 5-1 hockey game after two periods.

Which would have meant garbage time, and a 60-minute, fight-filled third period.

So let’s be thankful for some exciting hockey and a much-needed (is there any other kind?) W.

 

Some stats:

• Six of the Canadiens’ last seven games have been decided by one goal. They have won five of them and are 12-4-3 in one-goal games this season.

• James Wisniewki played a Markovian 25 minutes, including 5:08 on the power play and 3:10 on the PK.

• No Canadien was plus on the game. Jaro Spacek, Yannick Weber, Lars Eller, Mike Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec were minus-1.

• Scott Gomez (7-3) and Jeff Halpern (9-4) were great on faceoffs.

• I don’t know that Brother Andrei deserved Second Star beatification, but he played a decent game with his plugger linemates and scored for the first time since two days before Christmas.

• Cammalleri and Brian Gionta each had six SoG. MathieuDarche and P.K. Subban had five.

• Wiz had two assists, was great on the PP and was named First Star. But he didn’t record a shot on goal (two were blocked, one missed the net).

• Lars Eller played 12:27 and had a big shot block. The kid would have had more ice time, but he’s not on the PP or the PK and it was a special teams game.

• Tomas Plekanec played almost 24 minutes, including five on the power play and 4:16 on the PK. That’s a lot: almost 10 minutes more than Gomez, nine more than Halpern, 14 more than David Desharnais.

• DD had a tough night on draws (1-4), but I thought he played smart and resourceful against some physical Rangers D play. He also logged 1:38 on the PK.

• P.K. Subban gets better in every game. He took a bad penalty early but was brilliant thereafter. The offensive prowess we knoqw about, but he’s becoming a real solid Dman paired with Hal Gill.

• Carey Price could have brought his iPod for most of the first two periods. It’s a tribute to his concentration – and, of course, his ability – that Price made 20 saves in the third period.

More tomorrow.

•  •  •

Quote of the Night fron Henrik Lunqvist, on why he jumped and pummeled Max Pacioretty:

“The energy on the ice and in the building makes you want to jump guys sometimes.”

42 Comments

  1. topher5468 says:

    Very well said, I totally agree with you. 

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  2. Da Hema says:

    The effects of injuries to teams must always be relative. My intention was not to claim that the players the Rangers have on the injured list are lesser players than Montreal’s as such, but rather that the injuries to Gorges and Markov mean a season-long loss of our two most consistent and consequently best defencemen. How many teams could play as well as the Habs if they lost their two best defencemen? Would Detroit be where they are if they lost Lidstrom and Rafalski? This isn’t to suggest Gorges/Markov are equal to Lidstrom/Raflaski in terms of talent, but they are equal insofar as these defence pairings are each team’s two best defencemen. So I still think it is stupid to say the Habs only won because of Ranger injuries, which was the argument the original poster was advancing.

    ————————

    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  3. topher5468 says:

    Callahan is to the Rags what Gorges is to the habs so i think thats a wash, Now yes, no one compares to Marky but Christensen is a very good player and Prospal, well hes a hab killer and has been a pretty good player for the Rags. Good teams find ways to over come injuries much like our team is doing now but, any way you want to sclice it, that 3rd period was a disaster. I’m not going to jump all over JM but if there was a game plan for that 3rd, throw it away and burn it. 

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  4. Aybara says:

    and that is exactly what my two words said in one of the alternate universe.

    Regardless, what Da Hema said is correct. The Rangers may not have won a cup recentley, but guess what, neither have we. Neither had the Blackhawks, Penguins, or the Hurricanes won anything for long years before they claimed their trophys. 

    I understand your desire to grasp onto things that were close to the present, but that does not foretell the future. The NHL these days is all about the ability to turn it on when it’s needed. A team that will win, will do so on desire. Of course skill will help. That’s why the pundits are picking the Pittsburgs and Detroits of the bunch. To say that teams are “spit” based on past appearences and straight up subjective judgements is simply folly.

    I think we all knew Mcdonagh was gonna make it to the show (Leage). Enough of questioning what decisions were made in the past, who left, who stayed. Let’s look to the future. There’s a good crop here. We have a solid tender, some young defense, and strong skaters up front who can pot some if used right.

    Now is not the time for dismay. Now is the time for hope. With a tweak or two, this team has massive potential.

     

  5. Da Hema says:

    The Rangers are not some shit*y team like Toronto. They are one of the youngest teams in the league, have a goalie who can rescue them from losses, and they have team speed and size. They are a better team than you realise. For the Habs to win two regulation games in one week against the Rangers is impressive. Were it not for Lundqvist, the game ends 6-2.

    ————————

    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  6. Aybara says:

    um… what?

  7. Number31 says:

    A win is a win but that 3rd period was horrible for my heart. Also I think I have more grey hairs on my head…

  8. Habnofear says:

    After the 2nd I might of agreed with you…but the 3rd stank up the joint real bad.Lets not forget its the bad moves Rangers who haven’t done spit since their last cup,not to mention Sather traded most of their prospects to acquire instant cup contenders(year after year) that failed miserably…so who they sub with and where they got them is  a mystery too me. Mc Donald(Habs)  is one from the Gomez…  uh…kind of deal? And I was amazed too see him cause last I heard he wasn’t goinna be a Big Leager…wasn’t good enough!

  9. Da Hema says:

    The Rangers have some injuries, but surely you don’t really mean to suggest the injuries to Derek Boogard, Erik Christensen, Vinny Prospal, and Ryan Callahan have the same impact on the Rangers as the Habs losing Josh Gorges and Andrei Markov? Because that would just be stupid.

    ————————

    An important announcement from the Government of Canada:

    Health Canada is reminding Canadians that consumption of the Toronto Maple Leafs has led to vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea, dementia, and penile dysfunction.

  10. Habnofear says:

    A wins a win and we’re missing Markov and Gorges…but the Rangers are missing 7 regulars!That 3rd period was messed up and we are not going to make the Big Show unless we make some big moves,one Big D and one big forward!

  11. yukonhab says:

    Pretty good game overall. Price is getn it together. We have ourselves a legit goaltender for years to come. AK46 scores and is back on track. Looked good playing w Moen and Halpren. Cammi just needs to find his way. The Habs paniking in their own end is a bit scary. However, 31 pulled them thru like a great goalie should.

     

     

     

     

     

    Support your local indian – Price 31

  12. RS says:

    Leaf fans are used to losing.

  13. habs001 says:

    just watched pvr version of the game..looks like we had lots of jump..plecks does loose a lot of key draws very cleanly and this has been going on since last year where teams tied the score because of it in the last minute

  14. Willy the bum says:

    That comment’s accepted for opposing goalies only.

  15. Willy the bum says:

    Are people in Toronto getting more drunk after loss games? I’m in TO for visit now, and a perfect place to secretly watch the Habs game is at Sport Central Cafe near St-Clair station.

    I tell you, a good game, close but no cigar for the Rangers (and Lunds just jumped onto Patches during the replays, what’s up with that?)

    And heard the Bruins and Thrashers loss today, so a good day for all Habs fans!

  16. Mr.Hazard says:

    “The energy on the ice and in the building makes you want to jump guys sometimes.”

    I wonder if the Bell Centre security people would accept that excuse if I decide to start a fight next game!?

  17. RS says:

    Did Lunqvist actually say that? That’s beautiful. Hockey poetry. I love it.

  18. Matt_in_TO says:

    Just got home from the Flames / leafs game (don’t ask but it was nice to be at a game without being emotionally involved and was able to be a lot more vocal in my leaf bashing that when I’m at the Habs games).  I kept watch on the out of town scoreboard and sounds like I missed a pretty good game, can’t wait to see the highlights.

     

    - In Price We Trust

  19. HardHabits says:

    What’s your point? Why don’t read what I said. And tell me where did I mention Halak? Are you really that dense?

  20. notbigbird says:

    Where did that come from?

  21. HardHabits says:

    Most of the goals that go in on Price are either garbage ones or weak ones. It’s rare that Carey gets beat by a snipe or an amazing play or breakaway. That being said I think that Carey and by extension the Habs need some type of a mental focus trainer. The bad penalties as discussed by Big Ted recently and some of Price’s recent stinkers although few and far between are examples of lapses in concentration. I argued the same thing concerning Markov’s injuries. It’s just something that I think could help the Habs elevate their game. It’s been shown that athletes that have more mental conditioning develop their physical abilities at an advanced rate to those that don’t have mental conditioning training.

    My big concern with this kind of game is the Habs’ inability to get any puck possession in the 3rd period. It’s like they were on the PK without the option to ice the puck. This has to be addressed. They need to figure out ways to get the puck and not give it up so easily. What a contrast between periods 1 and 2 and period 3.

  22. Exit716 says:

    Thanks for your input regarding Price.

    This might help you a bit.

    http://blues.nhl.com/

    Halak is gone. Get over it.

     

  23. SeriousFan09 says:

    The team I find has a tendency to panic if something switches in the momentum when they think they’re in control, if they find they lost momentum, everything goes. Breakouts, tape to tape passes and defensive zone control just goes up in smoke as they’re chasing ther tails.

    They need a player or two that can calm the game down, but with guys like Gorges and Markov out, plus missing a Ryan Clowe type, they’re short the kind of guys who can make bigger efforts to flip momentum.

     

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

  24. Propwash says:

    HH, sorry to say, but Price wasn’t at fault for both goals

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  25. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I won’t rehash what I commented similar on Carey in , ‘ Never In Doubt’s ‘ game blog, as You are saying it better

    …if Carey can get that facet of His mind-set firmed-up, We will have One great goaltender

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  26. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …anticipating My Packers stuffing snot upside Your Steeler’s rear-ends Boone …notwithstanding We both somehow seem to cheer for the right hockey Team

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

  27. zerolegel says:

    24/7 : they oughta do it with the Rangers. Would be quite a gem just for Tortorella.

  28. pedro says:

    Pedro Auld against Calgary?The PP is starting to look good

  29. sidhu says:

    What a hit by Doughty on Hall… Stevens would be proud.

  30. bigdave says:

    A megaton monster!

    Head down and bang!

     

     

    “The Allo Police Media – a collection of bitter ex-coaches, players and wannabees whose collective lack of success accounts for their present positions in Sports’ equivalent of a Jerry Springer Show”

  31. likehoy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPRiKPIeQOw&feature=related

    carey price tribute (tik tok remix) pretty freaking funny.

    - Gomez is holding down the suck button

  32. keepthefaith says:

    No longer should the Habs be looking down at Carolina. They should be looking up at BOS, NYR and PITTS, sans Crosby. All while missing our top two D. People cant be happy around here whether its a W or a L. There’s always  something. How someone can come on here and bitch about Carey after stopping 20 third period shots is beyond me.  PK had a great game i thought and he looks a lot better than those few games after the press box debacle. 

    If Darche had hands like his feet the guy would be unreal.

  33. Castor says:

    Yeah. Where is that guy who was complaining about Darche the other day? 

  34. Habnofear says:

    Dude…the Rangers are missing 7regulars.

  35. keepthefaith says:

    If you are referring to me, i still dont think he should be on every PP. AK or Pouliot would bury more chances than Darche does. He scores the dirty goals i will give him that. If his hands were as good at scoring as his feet he would be gold.

  36. HardHabits says:

    C’mon Prop. Neither goals were his fault. It’s a team game. Nevertheless, 1st goal yes he got pushed into the net but he was not alert on the puck. 2nd goal he lost track of it. Both were of the garbage variety IMO. I said elevate their game. They are doing things well but still have a tendency to do lazy, cheating things that either cost them goals or penalties. I am talking mental conditioning to get better. Why stagnate or worse regress?

  37. Propwash says:

    Ok, but what can you do? Price did his part, but it’s low to blame him on the goals.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  38. ProHabs says:

    2 things that are obvious after the game tonight.

    • Without a doubt, PK Subban should have made the rookies All Star team
    • Without a doubt, Darche should have made the All Star team.

    The Habs should fire Martin and make Darche a player\head coach.

  39. Habnofear says:

    I totally agree with you Prohabs!

  40. Timo says:

    That was some third period. I was fascinated.

  41. HardHabits says:

    Puck dispossession.

  42. OneTimer says:

    Timo’s upset that we won?


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