He’s big, he’s fast, he’s got a great shot.
And with the net empty and his team down a goal with an offensive-zone faceoff, Andrei Kostitsyn was on the bench.
He’d been there for the last eight minutes of the third period, replaced by Maxim Lapierre on a line with Tomas Plekanec.
With the Canadiens playing at altitude and desperately plumbing reserves of stamina, heart and guts, Jacques Martin decided to go with six forwards.
AK46 was not one of them.
Several Canadiens played their hearts out against Colorado.
Lapierre had a couple hits and six shots on goal.
The resurgent Scott Gomez and Mike Cammalleri had five shots each.
Mathieu Darche valiantly crowded Craig Anderson’s crease, and the much-travelled veteran was one of the Top Six Martin delegated in that heroic effort to tie the game.
Roman Hamrlik was a rock on the back end against all those speedy Colorado kids.
You can’t hang the L on Kostitsyn alone.
P.K. Subban is an exciting hockey player – for all the wrong reasons in his own end.
Alexandre Picard had no sooner scored than he was burned by Kevin Porter, who beat Carey Price with what looked like a stoppable backhand.
Travis Moen gets a ton of chances from his centres and can’t puck the puck in the ocean.
The dread late goal bit the Canadiens in the ass … again.
But on a working-class hockey team that wins when everyone brings his lunchpail to the rink, AK46 plays like a bourgeois dilettante who shows up late, leaves early and takes long sushi lunches.
Again, he’s not the only reason the Canadiens lost.
But watching someone with that much talent play like he doesn’t care …
Here’s an analogy that will resonate with long-time Expos fans:
Andrei Kostitsyn reminds me of Ellis Valentine.
And that’s not a compliment.
• • •
The power play produced two goals and some great late-game pressure.
But man, do they miss Andrei Markov.
If the Canadiens lose that first O-zone faceoff of the PP, you’re talking 20, 30, maybe 40 wasted seconds while they retrieve the puck and try to gain the zone and set up.
It’s usually a shoot-in, and the recovery rate is not high.
Tough to run a smooth offence without a QB.
• • •
Martin juggled his defence pairings in the third period.
Hal Gill was paired with P.K., Josh Gorges with Picard.
I thought the vets steadied the young guys, but we’ll see what the coach does in Dallas.
• • •
Brian Gionta had only one SoG, which had to be a season low for him.
One of the captain’s shots was blocked, and another four missed the net.
I liked that line, though.
Another strong effort by Max-Pac, including a team-high four hits.
• • •
Carey Price was not great on the Porter goal.
But his 25 saves included some highlight reel stops.
The kid hasn’t played a bad game yet.
And playing behind a D that isn’t the league’s best, Price gives the Canadiens a chance to win every night.