Game 14: Kovalev’s pair buries Canadiens

Canadiens goalie Carey Price keep a close eye on a bouncing puck.
Shaun Best, Reuters

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• AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Brian Gionta | Mike Cammalleri | Mathieu Darche

• At a Glance: The Canadiens returned home from their 3-2
Friday night victory over the Sabres in Buffalo,
hoping to win their ninth game in 14 matches. But then, they hadn’t counted on
former Hab Alex Kovalev bringing his A game to the Bell Centre. Kovalev scored
twice, bringing him to within three points of the 1,000 mark, to carry the
Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 win over Montreal.
Kovalev, voted the game’s first star, got the visitors on the scoreboard first with a shot that glanced in
off him at 17:50 of the first period, eluding the stop of the 28-save Carey
Price in the Habs net. Then Zack Smith, called up from Binghamton earlier in the day, made it 2-0 at
12:15 of the second. The Senators’ checking, and the Canadiens inability to
mount much in the way of offence, didn’t augur well for the home team. But
Jaroslav Spacek finally beat Brian Elliott with a slapper from the blue line at
18:39, his first goal of the season a shot tipped in by an Ottawa defender. Kovalev made it 3-1 at 6:42
of the third with Spacek serving a minor for interference before Canadiens captain Brian
Gionta bagged his long-awaited second of the year at 15:53 to close out the
scoring.

• Key Moments: Bad, untimely penalties taken by the undisciplined Canadiens killed any momentum they night have generated. And Senators goalie Elliott was solid
throughout, making 21 saves to improve Ottawa’s
record to 7-6-1.

• What It Means: The Canadiens are now 8-5-1, their home
record at 3-3-1. Montreal has lost three of its last four games and is struggling offensively, having scored just five goals in those four.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens are home Tuesday to the
Vancouver Canucks, head to Boston for a Thursday date against Tim Thomas’s
Boston Bruins, then finish up their week next Saturday at the Bell Centre
against the Carolina Hurricanes.

854 Comments

  1. iHeart Les Habitants says:

    Thanks Dawg!

  2. iHeart Les Habitants says:

    Thanks and good work with the Bob Barker classic.

  3. iHeart Les Habitants says:

    Good eyes Danno, kinda hard to see him, but it’s from the picture of price standing in from of his net with the spotlight on him. The photo came out earlier this year.

  4. observer says:

    gagnon is just doing what he thinks is best for his own career same as mcguire is doing.

  5. db says:

    Are the schedules still done in 3 year bunches?  As in… is this the 3rd year of this bunch?

  6. shootdapuck says:

    The world has returned to its normal axis; start of the season the laffs were winning and LALA was visible now the stars are aligned,  the Laffs are as expected loosing and LALA has ducked under the camoflage supplied by the media who keep him on the team!

     

     

    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3″

  7. notbigbird says:

    Finally got back, and you probably won’t by now. Anyway, I have a feeling that they are doing okay with Eller and that Eller is okay with it. I think their plan is to ease him in, and I don’t have a problem with it. With Pac, I don’t think there was a plan or a good one — just a hope. He played, he went down, he came up, he went down.

     

  8. Jbird says:

    So everyone is a fool but you?  FYI – I can read.  Figured that out a while back.   

  9. Jbird says:

    Seems to be suggesting just that.  That, of course, is nonsense.  Russ C was definitely faster but . . . . .

  10. savethepuck says:

    Anyone know the status of Plex’s illness for tonight?

  11. CDH says:

    MAB really? Were you dropped on your head recently?

  12. Danno says:

    iHeart, about your avatar, the letter “I” in Price, is that a small image of him?

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  13. SmartDog says:

    Kostitsyn

    ———
    Listen to the SmartDog. He knows his poop!

  14. habsperspective says:

    Third weekend out of four against the Senators.  Boring.

     

    But thanks Habs for winning on my birthday yesterday, had a blast serenading some Buffalonians.  And its also nice you can go to an arena, and not have to pay 12, 15, or 20 dollars for a flippin beer.   6 bux for tall boys! Take note ACC, and Mama Bell.  Not that you will.  Nor care with your capitalistic ways.

     

  15. VancouverHab says:

    BUT why then didn’t you see Gomez busting his tail to get back and recover — he crashed into his own net just missing having caught up the rush on time.

    THAT’s the hard work …. (off a turnover that he was hardly ‘at fault’ for.)

  16. Say Ash says:

    last time I checked, both teams share the same ice

  17. Ice Storm says:

     

    I like your avatar…  Penguin = Iceberg = Priceberg?

    Combination for success: 46-14-13

  18. fbkj says:

    you have to keep something in mind, certain hockey markets have traditional nights they prefer to schedule their games around

    for instance, montreal’s got a lot of tuesday games

    buffalo is keen on friday nights

    and all canadian teams gun for saturday nights

    meaning.; any canadian team that is going to play in buffalo, on a friday, they are probably going to play the next day as well

    this isnt entirely the nhl’s doing

  19. mike g says:

    Nice…

    While it’s hard to book arena’s due to concerts and other events like Monster Truck BS and Dog Competitons, the NHL still manages to do a poor job on their end.

    Hockey as a sport, and the NHL, is the only league in the world that all stadiums/arenas must have closed roofs. Yet, they still manage to have very, very poor ice conditions on most nights.

    In a sport where a single powerplay and/or shootout can decide your playoff fate, the ice conditions better not affect the outcome of the game.

    That’s something the NHL can regulate. Make sure that all arenas are not being used for other events the night before.

    But wtv, it’s Saturday afternoon and I wanna b*tch just like you…

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  20. fbkj says:

    okay im unhappy with this gomez guy as well but are you suggesting he isnt fast?

  21. LA Loyalist says:

    Only Russ courtnall was fast.
    It’s all hilarious until I think of who else we could get for that $7.5 mil

  22. LA Loyalist says:

    You are surely a wit on the order of Dorothy Parker or Oscar Wilde.

    Is that all you can bring?

    “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  23. Mattyleg says:

    Dear NHL Schedulers,

    I would like to begin by thanking you for doing such a wonderful job. It must be extremely difficult to schedule games in today’s NHL, where some teams play each other 3 times in a month, and other teams not at all over the course of the season.

    I would like to thank you for this work, which ensures that teams do not get ‘easy’ points by playing many times against other teams which may not be as strong, or, dare I say it, “extremely weak”. I’m very happy that the Southeast Division, for example, ensures that teams like the Washington Capitals play many games against the Florida Panthers or the Carolina Hurricane, and ensure a stress-free path to the Conference Title. I’m glad that you have kept up the kind of fine scheduling you have done since the days that Detroit played countless games against Columbus, St. Louis, Nashville and Chicago for President’s Trophy after President’s Trophy.

    Finally, to my point. I would like to wholeheartedly thank you from the bottom of the deep well of emotion I call “my heart”, for the two back-to-back games the Montreal Canadiens have played in the past two weekends, and the 4-games-in-6-days schedule you saw fit to dole out to our boys in the bleu-blanc-rouge. Well done. There is no way that teams can be expected to win all of those games under those conditions, and I see your wonderful scheduling as yet another ‘doff of the hat’ to PARITY. The watchword of the NHL, which some people (horrible though they are) call ‘reduction to lowest common denominator’.

    Thanks again, NHL Schedulers, whoever you may be. You will always have this fan’s pride deep in the snugness of your vest pockets. If a team can’t win an ‘ambush game’ (did you know that’s what they call a game that you arrive home to play and the other team is already waiting for you, having practised and slept soundly while you were out in some godforsaken place like Raleigh banging out a meaningless 2 points against a team that will fold before the decade’s out, in front of 5,000 fans who thought that the Monster Truck Rally was supposed to be this weekend, but now that they’ve spent more money on tacos and caps and extra-giant sodas, they might as well stay and watch?) then they don’t deserve to win squat.

    Yours with dripping adulation,

    Mattyleg

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  24. Mattyleg says:

    Great meeting you all last night, have a great time at the dinner!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. iHeart Les Habitants says:

    To all Summiteers,

    Enjoy the city you lucky b@st@rds! May you bring good luck to our habs tonights! And don’t forget to tip the ladies generously!

  26. iHeart Les Habitants says:

    I would be first in line for the riot if they were 4-8-1… but that would probably confuse a few people since I live in Vancouver now. :)

  27. NightRyder says:

    8-4-1. If it was 4-8-1, the struggles of Gomez and others would be magnified.

  28. Ian Cobb says:

    Hi guys, Just heading to the Baton Rouge for the Bob Gainey Raffle and dinner. The new Hall Of  Fame tour was fantastic.

    Lots of new people here this year, fun putting faces to posters from this great site.

    Pictures of the summit on here in a few days.

  29. iHeart Les Habitants says:

    He has become predictable hasn’t he… actually the Gomez rush reminds me of Russ Courtnall back in the day.

  30. iHeart Les Habitants says:

    Since we are talking about kick starts – what’s with Lapierre these days?  I think we’ve been quite easy on the guy lately.  It’s not like he’s been visible these days either.  Maybe a pairing with Gomez and Eller will do him some good too.

  31. JF says:

    Well, Eller made several mistakes in the Ottawa game a few weeks ago, and krob pointed out his mistakes early in last night’s game.  I think young, inexperienced players generally make a lot of mistakes until they’ve adjusted to the speed of the NHL.  Even budding superstars have to make an adjustment; in their case, the transition is smoother and the jump from the AHL to the NHL not as great as for most players.  Of course development continues once a player reaches the NHL.  We saw it in the case of Plekanec, and we’ll likely see a similar trajectory for Eller.  It just takes time, and to me it makes sense for a coach to ease the rookies into the game and give them the amount of responsibility they can handle comfortably. since success is all about confidence.

  32. NightRyder says:

    “The dangerous Jason Spezza will hope to keep his game on fire,
    having scored once and assisted three times in the Senators’ Thursday
    win over the Islanders.”

    If my math is correct, that would exceed the production (in one game) of Mr. Gomez and his 13 games full of excitement. On the plus side, he is winning a big 46% of his faceoffs and is a solid minus-1 on the season.

    “Gomez. Gathering speed through the neutral zone. The fans are getting excited. Look at him carry that puck. He gains the blueline, swings wide on the defenceman. He could be in the clear! Now he’s heading behind the net. He’s lost control and the puck moves back the other way. Boy, that was an exciting rush, wasn’t it Fred? He sure can lug that puck.”

     

  33. LA Loyalist says:

    No one is bashing Eller amigo-San
    We are bashing goat hearder
    And Martin, while we are at it
    Eller should either be painfullylearning in offensive situations or in hamilton

    Impotent distinction :)

     “To failing hands we’ve passed the torch.”

  34. punkster says:

    I imagine most will. They expect Boone, Hickey and maybe even Stubbs to join later. Who knows who else.

  35. mike g says:

    Nice..

    Hopefully I can make it down there. I got a bday at 8 o’clock, so maybe around 10-1030.

    You guys staying late?

     

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  36. NightRyder says:

    Eller and Gomez getting third-line minutes against (theoretically) the other team’s bottom six might actually be a useful idea to get them both kick-started.

  37. NightRyder says:

    Playing Spacek on his “wrong” side all of last year seems to have irreparably harmed his game. Either that, or he’s approaching 36 and is aging in dog years. O’Byrne looked good at times last year with Markov. I’d like to see him get 20 games there (knowing he won’t get yanked if he makes a mistake) to give us a real shot at knowing if he can actually achieve his potential or be a career No. 7. As for Gomez and the playoffs, I can hardly wait for another 17-game goalless streak!

    But again – 8-4-1. Roses and rainbows! Points gained now will help us in April! Yay!

  38. iHeart Les Habitants says:

    I called the Plekanec, Eller, and Cammalleri (PEC) Line and Gomez, Gionta, and Kostitsin (GGK) Line last week, but I think you’re right, another adjustment needs to be made – please pass this onto JM for me:

    Plekanec, Cammalleri, Kostitsin (this line is too exciting to break up)

    Halpern, Pouliot, Gionta (Halpern has earned his keep and this combo has the potential to light it up!)

    Gomez, Eller, Lapiere (Putting Eller with Gomez will be good for the kid)

    Boyd, Moen, Darch (Alternate Pyatt)

  39. punkster says:

    I’ll be there after the game with about 100 others. To name a few Andrewberkshire, JD_, Showey, Sholi2000, Ian Cobb, JasonM,…the list is endless.


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