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. 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.”

     

  2. 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.”

  3. punkster says:

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. iHeart Les Habitants says:

    I called the Plekanec, Eller, and Cammalleri (PEC) Line and Gomez, Gionta, and Kostitsin (GGK) Line last week – thanks for passing the memo onto Coach Martin for me.  We’ll probably see the same lines tonight, but I think another adjustment needs to be made – please pass this to JM for me again:

    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)

     

     

     

  10. homerbowen says:

    I would like to see O’Byrne in the line up. Spacek has looked out of place so far this year. Time to bring up the youth as he (O’Byrne) is just rotting on the bench. I doubt they will send Eller down to the Dogs but man that guy needs ice time and he’s not getting it nor deserving it with the big club. Geez, what gives with Gomez….do we have to wait for the playoffs?

    For those attending the game and festivities tonight….enjoy…I wish I was there but I will be at the ACC in my Habs jersey cheering on the Sabres. Ahh, nothing like the smell of Champagne and sushi at a hockey game…..what a bunch of losers in Laff town.

  11. NightRyder says:

    While I’m normally a fan of pessism, borne from a childhood spent dwelling way too much on the eight losses and 12 ties instead of the expected 60 wins, I remain amazed that so much negatitivy exists in today’s game, when parity rules and your playoff seed is no longer as important as simply getting to the dance.

    Sure it’s easy to point out that Scott Gomez really isn’t that good, and that his giant contract is a whopping albatross as we move forward. Sure, it’s easy to point out that he’s got three goals in his last 47 games (the same amount that Hall of Fame talent Raffi Torres got in one game recently).

    But the team is 8-4-1 without much of a contribution from Mr. Gomez. He cannot be any worse and his track record suggests he’ll eventually pick it up and get his 12-15  goals. So hang in there folks, give my man some time.

  12. dh says:

    So how were the new D pairings?  <g> 

    I guess if they’re the same tonight, they must have worked.  At first I wasn’t happy to see Gill and Gorges split up since they have been great (well except for the Columbus game but then no one was great that night) but then, thinking about it, Subban and Gill could be interesting and we already know that Gorges and Markov can be good.

    For the top 6, I would have kept the Pleks line together.  For the G & G line I think that Gionta is slumping for whatever reason.  I can’t see that it’s all Gomez.  A consistent third on the line would probably help.  I thought Pouliot, but given the 3rd line production last night, I hope JM keeps them together.  Imagine if Gionta wakes up, maybe with Eller as a winger and we have 3 scoring lines. 

  13. novahab says:

    Its time to sit Spacek and Hammer or at least Spacek I think after last seasons long run they may have hit the end of their upside. Spacek has cost us in the last three games he doesn’t seem able to stay up with the play or get back. Now maybe he is hurting but Picard played well when he was in the line up and he deserves to play again. They can’t just keep sitting O’Byrn he needs to plays and having two younger d-man as your 5-6 would work.

  14. mike g says:

    Ah damn..

    You’re gonna be there, great…. lol.

    Nice, mee too.

    You know who else is going?

     

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

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

  15. Exit716 says:

    Who was the GM that traded away Iginla instead of the legendary Todd Harvey?

     

  16. punkster says:

    Bring it on baby ;)

    Looking forward to meeting you Mike.

  17. filincal says:

    Cap world…deal with it.

     

     

     

    I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  18. Bugs says:

    2nd in the LEAGUE behing L.A. and Washerburg, dog.

    Can I get an amen?

    Spuriously furious, I swear as

    L.Bugs Potter, esq. Minority Owner of the Habbalicious Bubble-Gum Emporium, Proprietor of the Flanneltop Pop Shop, and Beaming Tenant in Mama’s Basement, i.e., Habsbros Central: http://habsbros.blogspot.com

  19. filincal says:

    or Atlanta smarter than Chicago for getting Byfuglien?

     

     

    I BLEED BLEU BLANC ET ROUGE!!!

  20. mike g says:

    So who’s going to Hurley’s tonight?

    Would like to know if I can come and argue with some of you there….

     

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

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

  21. newbrunswick troy says:

    I did not get to see the game last night!!!!

    How did Gomez, Gio, A.K   do together….???? i know they had no points but was there chemistry  or another bust?????

  22. mike g says:

    Well…

    Out of his 3 or 4 games with MTL last year, he looked good in one of them; against PIT.

    And if I recall well, that’s the game where MA Fleury stank it up, again, letting Darche score on a 1 on 1 slap shot from just inside the blueline…

    The other games he played, he looked intimidated. And I can’t blame him, he’s a 4 foot tall centerman. And for a centerman to have any impact during a game, he’s gotta stay in the middle of traffic and survive.

    Not sure he has the size, or will to do that in the NHL.

    If he was a winger, he would have gotten his chance. It took Pleks 5 years to become who he is due to his size.

    And Tomas Plekanecks don’t grow on trees.

     

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

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

  23. JoeC says:

    The only way this guys is gonna get better is if A he gets traded, or B, he actually gets to play. Honestly, Gomez and Gionta dont look NHL ready, nether does Spacek or Hammer.  Eller is built for the NHL, brings us SOMETHING we LACK , SIZE.

     

    Im sick of JM benching Eller, not playing Obyrne or Picard, but letting Spacek and Hammer screw up EVERY GAME, Gill being slower then molasis, and Gomez just stinking up the place.  How bout we let ur kids play a bit?JM DO YOU HEAR ME???

  24. Propwash says:

    Thanks!

    Notice how G&G looks waaay more involved in the game than what we’re seeing this year?

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  25. CanadienBoy says:

    Gionta resume way back to pewee is way above Deharnais

  26. habs4ever2894 says:

    We have to see how he plays against NHL competition first before we judge him. He played 3 or 4 NHL games last year and did not look out of place at all. If not for healthy bodies being put back in to the lineup he probably would have had a longer stay with the big club.  I just want to at least try to get him in the lineup before he rips up the AHL again all season , doesn’t get a shot with the habs and leaves town only to become a player we could have used.

  27. mike g says:

    Thanks alot, man…

     

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

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

  28. PrimeTime says:

    8-4-1 and 1st in the division. Stats don’t lie.

  29. mike g says:

    Really?….

    Was Dallas the smarter hockey city because they traded a not-NHL READY Jarome Iginla for Joe Nieuwendyk?

    Sure Dallas won the Cup with Joe, but Jarome’s been scoring 40+ per year for 10 years, on a very defensive-minded team.

    So, even though Jarome wasn’t NHL READY, he became that with time.

    So please don’t bash someone like Eller who hasn’t had enough time to become something.

     

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

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

  30. mike g says:

    Please no….

    Desharnais is a special type of player. The kind that will dominate the AHL, and will look out of place in the NHL.

    The few chances he’s had in MTL in the preseason, he looked good because the competition was similar to AHL play.

    But in the everyday grind of an NHL season, he hasn’t looked like he’s able to take it.

    Fringe NHL player, dominant AHLer..

    That’s how I see it…

     

     

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

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

  31. habs4ever2894 says:

    Yes we did trade Halak for a player that’s not NHL ready at the moment .Yes ,the trade was not a fantastic one and we did lose the deal for now…. Listen , you have to come to terms with the fact that what is done is done , were not getting back Halak, Were not turning back time and maybe getting better value in return for Halak either. Price is and will be an elite goalie in this league and it doesn’t take a genius to see it. The point is stop crying about it because there is no point . Our team is 8-4-1 whch is pretty good , just enjoy it.

  32. VancouverHab says:

    Oh bless you! That was so obviously the situation that, when I started to read a bunch of posts here blaming Gomez for ‘stopping on a breakaway & passing,’ I got dishearted to post against the tide of (I won’t say ‘idiocy’) ….negativity, say.

    Gionta just screwed up there, because he’s in a scoring funk. Gomez is trying everything possible to get Gionta scoring, even to the point of taking flak for him.

    I’ve said before, Cammi, AK, & Gionta aren’t scoring, yet the Montreal media & on H-I/O lose their rationality and use Gomez as a whipping boy. (Your point about the contract is a good one: more irrationality, because his contract has nothing to do with the team situation–and I havn’t seen an argument from anyone with ANY economic credibility to say that it is.)

    We’re witnessing a limited-group psychopathology–and credit to you, MG, for having the independence of mind to not be distorted by it.

  33. Propwash says:

    Carey played fantastic since the start of the season, deal with it.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  34. Propwash says:

    Clearly, I don’t remember that game then…

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  35. Xtrahabsfan says:

    That being said you just admitted that we just traded the best tender in the WORLD for a prospect who isn’t N.H.L. READY….That being said …it make’s St.Louis a smarter Hockey city than Montreal and fools of us all ! Well not me but you all can gnaw on it for a while! Now for some but Carey’s our man nonsense which proves we can’t read either….

  36. Mr. Biter says:

    Moving MC back to the point gives us someone who can shoot from the point but how many goals did MC score from the faceoff circle from cross ice passes during the PP last year? Lots. When MAB gets well and were are still 3 for 99 (and counting) on the PP we have to sign him or someone who can “one time” from the point. Better a “one trick pony” than the last place PP in the league. From 1st. to last and the only player missing is MAB. Stats don’t lie.

  37. lavie says:

    He looks like Gionta of 5 years ago – fast and productive.

  38. habs4ever2894 says:

    Nope, it was last season when he ,trotter and White were called up for an afternoon game against Pitt at the bell centre we won 5-3.


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