Very quick hits

The kids were alright.

Protecting a one-goal lead and fending off a 19-shot Ranger assault during the third period, Jacques Martin gave sugnificant ice time to Lars Eller, Alexandre Picard and Yannick Weber.

The latter two were on as the game’s penultimate D pairing. And with Martin Biron on the bench, Picard and Weber helped hold the fort until P.K. Subban and Hal Gill jumped on for the final seconds.

Every player in the lineup played double-digit minutes.

The PK was perfect again.

Scott Gomez, of all people, scored the winning goal.

P.K. Subban played almost three minutes more than Roman Hamrlik – and would have had more ToI but for two penalties.

I’ll have more later, but for now this is what you can take away from this huge win:

The Canadiens’ Kiddie Corps can play.

I particularly liked Eller. As a succession of physical Rangers tried to take his head off (and Brandon Prust nearly succeeded), the rookie kept his cool and played smart, lead-protection hockey.

It was Carey Price’s fifth shutout of the season, his first since beating the Leafs 2-0 on Nov. 20.

He made 35 saves, several of the spectacular variety, but Price lauded his teammates for holding the Rangers to low-percentage chances from the outside.

It wasn’t easy. The Rangers had that ridiculous 19-6 shot advantage over the last 20 minutes, and their forwards had several sequences of long, anxiety-inducing puck possession.

But as Price said, the Canadiens find a way to win:

Three in a row.

9-2-2 in 2011.

Without three defencemen and Michael Cammalleri.

Sixth-place, baby, and a point out of fifth.

25 Comments

  1. MICP says:

    I have said it many times before Timo, if it was not for the conspiracy against our Habs we would be the first team to go 82-0.  

  2. Exit716 says:

    I was more concerned about Eric Francis’s wardrobe. Holy 1970s low budget porn flick. Ghastly.

  3. 24 Cups says:

    SK74 scores two goals as Nashville beats Detroit.

    Habs now have a 7 point lead on Atlanta and Carolina.  Just two back of Boston.

  4. Cool Ice Price says:

    I was KIDDING about sending my daughter to her room Saturday. Some members can’t see that it was a joke other than SmartDog.

    MR. BOONE or MR. STUBBS Why do you allow Habsoloutly to constanly insult me? I have never insulted any member in HIO. It seems like your Moderators have their favorite members who can say whatever they like.

    Habs Passion unites us all

  5. RS says:

    Good analysis Boone. This team isn’t really a contender, but Hab fans have to love the way PK, Eller, Weber and DD contributed to this victory. Then, of course, you have Price. I thought AK46 was pretty impressive too. For a guy that hasn’t played in a long time, Picard played pretty darn well.

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a guy improve as much as Weber has over the time since his call up. I’m not saying he’s become a potential Norris trophy candidate, just that he’s showing that he actually can play in the NHL. There were a lot of doubters (with reason) a short while ago!

    Jacques Martin deserves some credit for the job he’s doing.

  6. ooder says:

    as i was reading the comments that responded to your’s

    i foudn ti hilarious how serious people took you

    ——————

    GWG = game winning gionta!

  7. habitual says:

    This team isn’t a contender?  If you mean they aren’t as deep as Philly or Detroit, ok.

    But they have one of the better winning streaks in the league, are solidly in the playoffs, and as we all saw last year, anything can happen in the playoffs.

    I wouldn’t bet my house on a Cup this year, but I’ll show more faith than you!

  8. RJB says:

    Anybody see Donald Cherry challenge his colleague Eric Francis’ credibility? Absolutely insane that the senile racist man is allowed to broadcast his opinion still

    “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

  9. Timo says:

    So what did Cherry do this time to deserve the wrath of the Habs’ faithful? I was watching CBC but had to switch to Elmo during intermissions to stop the whining of a certain 1 1/2 year old.

  10. Will Longlade says:

    Just watching the game again on RDS, Canadiens Express. What a joke NHL refereeing has become. Boyle’s head shot on Spacek. Callahan’s decapitation move on Eller. Eller getting punched in the face after the whistle blew on the same sequence. I love hockey, but something is wrong when not a single one of these blatant infractions gets called. I don’t know how to explain it, but it sure smells fishy.            

  11. Timo says:

    As per TSN Malkin’s season might be over.

  12. Timo says:

    I maybe even willing to consider that there is a league wide conspiracy against the Habs. But why?!

  13. JonoPEI says:

    How did Bruce do? I’ve always liked his interviews. He doens’t ask questions that can be answered with cliches.

  14. AliHaba says:

    HOW ABOUT’S

    Ahem…..Price’s 5th shutout Mike, how about that. How about Eller today? No matter what the L’Antichambre pundits say he was very impressive today. And it’s Don Cherry’s birthday, how about a nice retirement package for a gift. And how about P.J. Stock explaining what the Habs were doing wrong offensively (he of 5 lifetime goals). And how about Bruce Rainnie from good old PEI doing the play by play of the Edmonton/Columbus game.

    A great time to be a Habs’ fan. Get thee behind me Satan (Devils).

     

    Go  Habs  Go

  15. Timo says:

    Pleks will be riding in the presser for that tomorrow. 

  16. Bill says:

    Can’t believe I missed this one. Those afternoon games are hard to catch during hockey tournament season. Having not seen the game, I am still comfortable saying that Gomez has been a different player for a while now, I don’t think I’ve felt like mentioning his salary in a couple of weeks at least! And Price obviously delivered a clutch effort, though the whole 20 saves in the third with a one-goal lead thing smacks a little too strongly of The System for me.

    You know, a 1-0 win is probably Jacques Martin’s idea of the perfect hockey game: too bad Pleks ruined it with that empty netter :)

    Those new Buffalo unis are fugly. Don Cherry sucks.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  17. Timo says:

    i can’t believe what I’m reading.

  18. HardHabits says:

    The game looked like how the Habs shut-down the Caps and Pens last play-offs minus the need for overtly outstanding goal-tending. Price has been very good, it’s just that the Habs as a unit are much better. All this minus Cammy, Wiz, Markov and Gorges.

    Funny how when Cammy and Patches got injured I breathed more of a sigh of relief when it was Cammy long term as opposed to the other way around.

    Which is great because that should motivate Cammy to start scoring and stop sulking when he gets back.

    Speaking of motivation, Picard really looks like he needs to feel he has to earn his spot. I think complacency is his problem.

    Yep. JM is ruining the kids.

    I watched the Lightning-Capitals game last night and I much prefer being a Habs fan. Even though those are two very good teams, their weaknesses were too apparent, especially the Bolts.

    I really can’t see a desperation move being made by the Habs. Stay the course and build the team via the farm. Young players more than ever, are a crucial part of any Stanley Cup win in the new NHL.

  19. punkster says:

    Happy. Very happy. Watched the game with a group of good friends. Lots of great food and cool beverages. Fine music between periods. Stimulating discussions over dessert and coffee. Yep, very happy.

    ***Subbang!!!***

  20. PeterD says:

    Eller is one hell of a player…tough to the core and the heart of a lion…one of the fastest, most explosive skaters we have.  I love his toughness and attitude of never backing down.  In a year or so and with another 10-15 pounds of muscle this kid is going to be a monster for us.

    I no longer care if he turns into a high scoring top line foward…if he continues to grow and develop the way he has this year he will be one very tough 3rd line shutdown guy.  Sort of a “Danish” Plekanec but taller.

     

  21. notbigbird says:

    Where the heck is this post, and why is it hiding? Thanks for the link HH.

  22. SeriousFan09 says:

    You have to like the full-team commitment of the Habs, everyone is backchecking and the kids are giving it all they have.

     

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

  23. DYCSoccer17 says:

    and a point out of 3rd place…

  24. ZepFan2 says:

    5th shutout, Mike.

    ———————————————————————– “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.” ~Serge Savard~

  25. AliHaba says:

    Well, because CBC forced another week of the Loafs on us, I’m not in a region that picked up the Edm/Col game. But I’m sure he did fine. He’s a hell of an announcer.


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