This was not the game DVD you’ll be looking for under the tree on Christmas morning.
But there are no style points in the NHL.
There are points for wins, and the Canadiens racked up their first W in a week.
It’s two points in the standings … and they didn’t come cheaply.
In his postgame remarks, Michel Therrien praised the Canadiens intensity and their physicality against a tough opponent.
“There wasn’t a lot of space on the ice,” the coach added.
And there wasn’t much entertaining hockey through almost 62 minutes of “action”.
ALN is short and sweet tonight, peeps.
The Ol’ Blogger needs his beauty sleep to prepare for a big Sunday four-pointer against mighty Florida.
Max Pacioretty’s heroics – a phrase seldom used during recent Canadiens games – saved the Canadiens a tense situation on Sunday evening.
Had the Islanders won in OT, the Canadiens would be flying home with the burden of three straight losses in which the team had mustered the grand total of one goal. If the Panthers jumped out to an early lead … well, the Bell Centre would not be a happy place.
The Canadiens were spared this depressing prospect because they managed to get one past Evgeni Nabokov, tending the pipes for a team that has allowed the most goals in the league.
The power play has not scored since the second period of a 3-2 win over New Jersey on Dec. 2. The Canadiens are riding a futility streak of zero goals for their last 15 man-advantage chances.
The league has figured out that pressuring the Canadiens’ point men – P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov – dramatically reduces the PP’s effectiveness.
The Canadiens have yet to adjust.
Let’s hope they can, because this team needs an effective power play, if only to deter opponents from taking liberties.
As was the case in Philadelphia, however, the Canadiens’ 5-on-5 offence against the Islanders did not exert enough sustained pressure to force the home team into taking penalties.
Josh Bailey for a high stick, John Tavares for holding the stick in a scrum that looked like it would send a Canadiens to the box. That was it.
The Canadiens got few odd-man rushes against the Islanders, who managed to soil the bed on a 4-on-1.
There was little sustained pressure in the Islanders’ zone. The forecheck was ineffectual. Passes were all over the place.
But hey, they won.
Carey Price’s 21st career shutout tied him with Charlie Hodge for eighth on the Canadiens all-time list. Three more to overtake José Theodore.
P.K. Subban blocked five shots.
Brendan Gallagher played his heart out … again.
Alex Galchenyuk made some plays that indicate his move to centre should perhaps come sooner rather than later.
Tomas Plekanec played 23:38 – more ToI than any Canadien except Markov – and went 17-10 on faceoffs.
Lars Eller laid a big hit on Tavares, who – to his credit – said there was nothing wrong with the hit.
Pacioretty had four shots on goal. maybe he’s about to start another streak.
And George Parros …
What is there to say? His dance with Eric Boulton was a staged fight, two minutes into the game. Parros caught a right hand and was down for the count. He went to the quiet room and did not return.
This is Parros’s second head trauma this season. The man has a young family and an Ivy League university degree.
Maybe it’s time to consider career alternatives.
Let’s not end on a downer.