Not much to add to Quick Hits.
You can’t give a team as good as Detroit that many power-play opportunities.
The officiating was not great. But against a great puck-possession team, the Canadiens spent a lot of the first two periods chasing the biscuit; and when that happens, fouls ensue.
The Canadiens had discipline lapses, notably O-zone penalties to Mike Cammalleri and ace PK centre Tomas Plekanec. That’s deadly against Detroit.
My friend Arpon Basu offers advice on how to make a loss feel like a win. Basu was more impressed with Dustin Boyd than I was (I’ll cop to lapses in attention, due to coping with HIO’s server SNAFU), but he amkes a good point:
You have to love the third-period comeback.
If Jaro Spacek doesn’t make that pass to no one at the left point, maybe it’s a 3-3 game. Things were certainly trending that way.
Without Andrei Markov and Scott Gomez, the Canadiens dominated the Western Conference’s top team for 20 minutes, outshooting them 19-3 in their own barn and giving Motor City fans more excitement than they’re accustomed to seeing when heir powerhouse team is protecting a lead.
If Andrei Kostitsyn cashes that open net, late in the second period, the game is 2-2 … and who knows?
That didn’t happen. Instead, the amazing Pavel Datsyuk – who scores backhand shelf with a curved hockey blade? – made it 3-1. And that was just too big a mountain to climb, the more so because Jimmy Howard, who had looked shaky and given up a zillion rebounds, decided to do a Carey Price impression late in the third period.
Speaking of Price, it’s fitting he was on the bench when the Canadiens surrendered their first fourth goal in regulation this season.
Has the goaltender played a bad game yet?
Has he surrendered a bad goal?
OK, maybe a couple. But it bears repeating: Carey Price gives the Canadiens a chance to win every game they play.
There are certainly two points to be had in Toronto tonight … especially if that third-period dominance carries over.
Jacques Martin and his staff have to get their players prepared for a tough game on short rest, because against the Canadiens, the Leafs play like the Red Wings.
Mikhail Grabovski, however, is not Pavel Datsyuk.
And Dion Phaneuf certainly is no Nick Lidstrom.
A W, coupled with that honourable loss in Detroit, sets the Canadiens up for a huge mid-week back-to-back: Philadelphia and Boston at the Bell Centre, preceding a seven-game road trip.
A challenging December continues, and as my man Arpon asserts, there are reasons to feel very good about the Canadiens.
• • •
That was the only meeting of the two Original Six teams this season.
What a drag!
Whom would you rather see six times, the Red Wings or Sabres?
As Larisalapointe Comments:
I would love to see a rematch of these two teams. It’s this type of
hockey I watched as a kid and was forever hooked. Too bad we only play
Detroit once a year. Our team is a contender. It’s hard to see that when
you’re playing the Sens what seems like 15 times.
And this from a Wings fan who was at the game:
The only reason I’m posting on your forum this evening is to
give an enormous amount of kudos and respect to the Habs fans that were
at the game with me tonight at the Joe. As a hockey fan in general, I
agree that the officiating tonight was more than a bit suspect, and
objectively, the calls were in the Wings favor. But this happens in
almost every game regardless of who is playing. What I do want to
comment on is the fact that the surrounding Habs fans around me, and
from what I saw in general, made the game this evening an example of
what a great NHL game should be. Outside of the obvious good natured
ribbing that we all exchanged throughout the duration of the game, you
guys (Habs Fans) are the most knowledgeable and respectful of any fans I
can think of that have been to the Joe in recent memory.
guys have a absolutely solid squad, and your fan base has the most
admirable traits in all of the NHL, I just wish we would play each other
more often. I have always respected the Habs, and tonight did nothing
but reinforce my belief that if we were ever to share a title of
Hockeytown it might be with you folks.
(And I didn’t have to deal with those damn idiots from Toronto or Pittsburgh …)