Game 61: Habs salvage win in Western Canada

Canucks’ Ryan Kesler is hit by the puck while standing in front of Carey Price on Tuesday night. Rich Lam, Getty Images

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Hits/About last night …
| Stubbs on Twitter | Stubbs’s game story

• AUDIO: Jacques Martin, bilingual | Carey Price 1 and 2 | Brian Gionta | Hal Gill

• At a Glance: After losses in Edmonon and Calgary, the Canadiens were able to salvage their Western Canadian road trip on Tuesday night with a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks, the NHL’s top team. It was Montreal’s first win in Vancouver since Nov. 30, 2000, snapping a run where they went 0-7-1. The Canadiens jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period thanks to quick goals by some of the smallest players in the NHL. David Desharnais opened the scoring at 6:07 of the period when he was sent in alone on Roberto Luongo by a Benoit Pouliot pass. Desharnais made a little move and slipped the puck between Luongo’s legs. Brian Gionta scored about a minute later when he gathered a rebound from a P.K. Subban shot and slid the puck into the open side of the net. Scott Gomez collected his 500th career assist on Gionta’s 22nd goal of the season. Carey Price put his team in trouble early in the second period when he was called for delay of game after shooting the puck over the glass. Only 26 seconds later, Henrik Sedin scored to cut Montreal’s lead to 2-1. Andrei Kostitsyn restored Montreal’s two-goal lead at the 10:36 mark of the second period when he won a puck battle along the boards and Lars Eller found him in the slot for a one-time past Luongo. It was only the Canadiens’ second shot on Luongo in the period. The Canucks closed the gap to 3-2 only 1:06 into the third period when Mikael Samuelsson scored a power-play goal with a slap shot from the point the Price never saw. Price made 37 saves to earn his 28th win of the season.

• What It Means: Montreal snaps a three-game losing streak and improves to 32-22-7 on the season for 71 points, three points ahead of the New York Rangers for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens are back home for games against the Maple Leafs on Thursday and the Hurricanes on Saturday night.here.

85 Comments

  1. RC-51 says:

    Price looks like he’s determined! Maybe allowing 7 goals last time he played in that building is his motivation?

  2. kmachabs27 says:

    wooooooooo

  3. slapshot777 says:

    Wasn’t the greatest game, but I’ll take the two points and get back home to face the Leafs on Thursday.

     

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  4. dre1744 says:

    We needed those 2 points   way to hang on to the win.   Stupid Flames    lose to boston!!!!!!!

  5. shootdapuck says:

    The “sitting back” happens way to often to be anything other than “systematic”!

    JM might say not to sit back but absolutely he is also screaming not to forget the defensive responsibilities at a ratio of 10 to 1!

     

    “I only like to watch and takes notes” JM

  6. JF says:

    What a team.  We lose to the bottom team in the league and a few of days later beat the top team.  Anything can happen…

  7. dre1744 says:

    Why does JM  only play White  5 min  the kid  had  4 hits  in that time. I hate JM……

     

    Man did we ever get schooled in the face off circle tonight!!!!!

  8. Sportfan says:

    Are you serious ?? Wth is Martin seeing that we aren’t to penalize these guys ? I think Martin might be a bit of a  crack head

  9. Sportfan says:

    Thank god im a big habs fan wasnt expecting use to win but im very pleased we did :D

    Cause on a persoanl stand point id like to face the ailing Pens cause image if sid cant come back it would be very interesting to see how we play and honestly im not down to play philly or boston int the first round. SO keep on wnning guys GO HAB GO

  10. SeriousFan09 says:

    Subban leading the Habs in TOI again, 26:17 and that’s w/o much PP time, JM used him in the go-to PK pairing and to match against the Sedins as a rookie who people thought had soft defence. Potentially, the best player out of the 2007 draft not named Patrick Kane.

     

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

  11. kmachabs27 says:

    desharnais or pouliot didnt see ice the last 10 minutes of the second period and the whole 3rd period

  12. LA Loyalist says:

     

    Well cheers to the guys for working so hard tonight against a very good team — and coming out with some fire in their belly. DD got the ball rolling and that was quite inspirational.

    Good job habs!

  13. SuperYogurt says:

    He’s played a grand total of 24 NHL games, and only 8 this year. Not exactly the kind of experience you look upon to hold a lead and win against the top team in the NHL.

  14. Trisomy 21 says:

    You know I’m becoming a real Pouliot fan, for how much ice time he gets I think he’s got decent points. The problem is why is he getting so little ice time? is he that big of a liability? Is Gomez really more deserving? Gomez btw is -17 and got 17 minutes of ice time today. I don’t have to remind anyone here how unfruitful he has been lately

  15. LA Loyalist says:

    in other news, Jacques Lemaire has righted the ship in New Jersey – they are 16-1-2 in their last 19 and Kovalchuk has points in 11 straight games. 

    I would laugh to see Devils sneak into the playoffs and blow Philly into golf season.

    My point is how important good coaching is.

  16. kordic says:

    YAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

     Finally, I can congratulate and drink with the boys at the roxy instead of yelling nasties at them.

    Thank God for that first period and Carey Price. Subban played awesome too!!!

    For all you crapuck fans, just to add insult to injury, I’m first cousins with the aquilini’s and sorry to tell all of you. THEY ARE ALL HAB FANS!!!!!!!!!.  Paolo especially!!! he is like me. They bought the canucks for business reasons and for the show, but if they lived in Montreal, maybe things would be different. They are pretty cheap so i don’t think they would have bought the habs, but let me tell you on the outside they are playing the sad game. IN THEIR HEARTS THEY ARE SMILING LIKE ME AFTER 12 SHOTS OF PETRON PLATINUM..

    GO HABS GO. thank YOU BOYS, THAT WAS MY STANLEY CUP………..FOR NOW.

     

     

     

     

     

    “The ghosts are gone. The Canadiens have two choices, try and win the cup or be French Canadian” – Ken Dryden

  17. LA Loyalist says:

    post of the day — though I think it’s “Patron” otherwise it sounds like Petro-Canada making vodka in their spare time (though maybe they do).

  18. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    So incredibly strong on his skates. Before scoring, he just bowled over the ‘Nucks d-man.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  19. HardHabits says:

    If the Habs can continue drafting and developing players from the later rounds I might have to rethink my tanking strategy.

    Nah!!

    But seriously. How many teams are kicking themselves for not taking PK.

    Subban, Price, Pacioretty, Eller, Pouliot. That’s a decent of core young players to build a team around.

    What impressed me most with this game was that after the ‘Nucks scored to make it 2-1 the Habs didn’t fold or panic and score an insurance marker as well as continued to skate and press for more.

     

  20. Trisomy 21 says:

    Nice one. and I thought they said he had to work on his skating

  21. Habs_Fan_In_Edmonton says:

    Anyone else loving that diving effort by Gill on that late icing call? Amazing

  22. Trisomy 21 says:

    That’s the Hal Gill that makes me forget he was a Maple Leaf. He can be outstanding when that Gill shows up

  23. HabFanSince72 says:

    I always said we got the wrong Jacques.

     

  24. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Yeah, but JM just HATES those ill-timed penalties. He’ll screw your ass to the bench everytime if you do that. Unless you are Gomez, for some reason.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  25. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Imagine how MacLean must feel. Not so good, I’m guessing.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  26. Mike D says:

    Yup, absolutely! The icing on the cake from that play was when he was skating back to the nucks zone for the faceoff and a few of the guys gave him the “nice play” taps, and Skillsie just looks at them with a serious face and says “let’s f*ckin go”.

    Tell me that guy doesn’t want to win.

    Some people give him flack at times for his lack of speed, but the guy always gives 100% and wins his battles way more often than not. Very effective defensive dman, money in the playoffs, cup experience, willing to pay the price, leadership, good team guy in the room, inexpensive, etc. I really hope we re-sign him this summer.

    - Honestly yours

  27. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs prospect C Michael Bournival with a nifty goal

    http://bit.ly/ikdcBZ

     

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

  28. Mike D says:

    Dude……your avatar pic – HAHAHAHA ROTFLMFAO LOL

    - Honestly yours

  29. daveho29 says:

    They’re cheap alright. Did some work on some of their apartments last year and doing some more when the rain stops.

  30. daveho29 says:

    Well that was definitley worth the $100 I spent on my ticket. No voice left though.

  31. Mike D says:

    Sometimes I wonder if certain guys (like Pouliot maybe) are actually more effective as 3rd liners than they would be playing a top-6 role. Maybe some guys can be more productive playing around 12 min. a game instead of 20.

    I realize this is very counter-intuitive, but it seems Benny has been much better playing with the likes of Halpern, Darche, DD, and White than he was with Pleks, Gomer, Cammy, and Gio. Perhaps it’s a pressure thing or a mental thing, I don’t know.

    Personally I have no problem with this. I think having a 3rd line that can generate offense and give the guys an energy boost without being a defensive liability is a winning formula. Much better than having your bottom 6 be strictly checkers and bruisers. It also makes it hard for the opposition to match up defensively cuz they can’t afford to have a lackluster bottom 2 D pairing, or have their top 4 guys out there all game.

    - Honestly yours

  32. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Nice win to end this frustrating road trip.

    Parade back on.

  33. Rainrocket16 says:

    These 2 goalies are something else to watch! I think overall everone played great tonight, for once we actually cleared bodies in front of the net, the 2 times we didn’t we got burned. What the hell can you do when the Zebras attack! Big Win, rest up Les Boys, The wan to make you Laughs are thursday!!

    That snake that bit Gomez is mean sonuvaBeach!!

  34. slapshot777 says:

    AK46 had one of his better games tonight.

     

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  35. WindsorHab-10 says:

    A typival JM coached game, take a 2-0 lead & protect it. I was very impressed with the energy & start by this team firing 16 shots on Luongo & creating many chances. Very disappointed in this crappy system sitting back & firing 9 shots the last 2 periods. Hate the  guy & his system because he’s ruining our skilled players but what do I know?

  36. The Cat says:

    Its true that JM ruins the offensive upside of the forwards, but if he didnt, the habs D would collapse every game.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  37. The Cat says:

    Man, New Jersey is going to make this interesting. I wouldnt want to face that team in the first round, or any round for that matter.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  38. Haligonian-Hab says:

    I wish we were CBC royalty like Toronto. We could have seen that sweet W at 7pm!

  39. Miltie01 says:

    I don’t know why everyone still attributes this to JM and his system. I have on so manny occasions heard Elliot Friedman and others say that they talked to the Habs coaches during breaks and they always say the coaches are warning the players not to sit back, to keep on doing what got them the lead, to keep pressuring the other team. Sitting back is not JM’s system at all.

     

    I think it is more a natural tendency in the players, and also the fact there is another team on the ice. Vancouver is a very good team, do you not think they were likely to up their game to try and win the game ?

  40. Billyboy says:

    Yes, but it was a dumb penaly that he took. I could tell it was going out before the puck left his stick. A really stupid penalty which just might turn the game around.

  41. habstrinifan says:

    You must have been delighted with the first ten minutes. Watching Suuban and Desharnis, and everyone actually, skate with such flair was man-o-man just what the doctor ordered.

    Glad you got a game like that.. with a WIN too..

  42. wd40 says:

    I’m guessing a little inadequate… 

    … pretty amazing what Lemaire has been able to do in the last 19.

  43. kmachabs27 says:

    its funny to see what we can do when we actually skate….canucks didnt know what hit them the first 10 minutes….maybe its our home jerseys?

  44. RC-51 says:

    Great start, let’s hope they don’t fall asleep and try to protect a 2 goal lead!

  45. bcheng81 says:

    is it me, or is vancouver wearing nameless jerseys?????

  46. Mark C says:

    I’m with Ed, I remember from somewhere that Canada’s WJC head scout Kevin Prendergast loves him as a player.  He was one of the very last cuts, and he seems to be a player on the raise. From all the information I’ve seen on him he might only be a 3rd liner in the NHL, but that odds he makes to the NHL seem very high relative to most bottom-6 type prospects.  

    I did find this following quote:

    “He hasn’t been on the radar a whole lot but everybody has the same opinion of him, he’s just an excellent hockey player,” Prendergast said. “He’s not great at anything, but he’s good at everything. I think we’ll probably want to have a look and see if he’s versatile. Can he play the wings as (well) as playing centre too? We think the centre situation is going to be taken, but he’s got the kind of hockey sense and the grit that we think he has a chance to maybe be part of the camp.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/juniorhockey/blog/buzzing_the_net/post/Bournival-boosting-Team-Canada-chances?urn=juniorhockey-283557

  47. ed lopaz says:

    saw him play a few weeks back, he totally controls the ice at the Q-level.

    excellent prospect.

    also heard joel bouchard talk about him – bouchard is often behind bench for Mtl Juniors.

    Bouchard is very high on Bournival.

    we traded an NHL ready player for a guy in the Q.

    believe me, the Habs brass knew that Bournival will be NHL ready in about 2 years time.

    1 year in Hamilton.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  48. SeriousFan09 says:

    Nice to hear Ed,  scouts aren’t always right, otherwise the concept of a draft steal wouldn’t exist and Tobias Enstrom wouldn’t have gone in the 8th round of the 2003 draft. However I always temper my expectations, I’ve read very strong praise of Bournival but at the same time he went 3rd-round for a reason so I’m tending towards cautious belief he’ll be a future solid role player.

     

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

  49. Malreg says:

    He is still a +20, and has as many points as Gionta, and 2 more points than Gomez and AK46….as a defenceman.

  50. Hobie Hansen says:

    Goligoski is one of the best young defensemen in the league…?

    How has he been without Crosby and Malkin…same as Gonchar in Ottawa without those guys.

  51. SeriousFan09 says:

    As a 3rd-round pick, Bournival’s not likely going to be gushing over with natural talent, especially since he’s not a potential unknown from a European league. I’d say the projection as Bottom-6 is accurate, but then again OB is a 3rd-pair D on most NHL teams if he isn’t getting carried by a Markov or Liles.

    The key with him will be his training and work ethic, how hard he works to make himself a better player.

     

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

  52. ed lopaz says:

    what just happened to the exchange you were having – its been deleted?

    regarding bournival, this article is not worth publishing Serious.

    its really way off.

    I have seen the kid play.

    he is a full fledged NHL prospect.

    excellent talent in all skill areas, especially hockey IQ, leadership, vision, poise with the puck, decision making.

    take this article, print it, and send it back to these idiots when Bournival plays for the habs.

    he will be an NHL player.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  53. Displaced says:

    Yuck.  Is this consistent with your expectations?

    Whose leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  54. SeriousFan09 says:

    From Hockey Prospectus regarding Habs Prospect C Michael Bournival

    “Drafted by Colorado in the 2010 Draft, Michael Bournival was dealt to Montreal this year in the Ryan O’Byrne trade. While Bournival has put up decent counting numbers over the last two QMJHL seasons, he doesn’t have much offensive upside and projects as a bottom-six guy at best. He is solid physically around the sideboards and is displays good work ethic. He excels in the cycle game when he can protect the puck and work it around to his teammates. His puck skills are fair, but his skating is the real issue that will hold him back. He’s a fringe skater and looks very awkward at times especially when trying to burst up the ice. His even-strength defensive awareness is fine, but his penalty killing could use some work.”

     

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

  55. fbkj says:

    lol thats just… mean

  56. samTHEman says:

    Watching that video reminds me of how much i hate that gregory campbell son of a b****! little punk does what he wants cause daddy is there to protect him.

  57. habstrinifan says:

    You just set my Boston Beatdown recovery back two weeks.

  58. NightRyder says:

    I’m suggesting that spending $9.3M worth of cap space on your third defence pairing isn’t a recipe for long-term success.

  59. Mark C says:

    Yes, he signed as a older than 35 y/o player, their cap hits count no matter what. Montreal would only save $100K if they sent him down.

  60. Hobie Hansen says:

    Hamrlik is still solid yes but Spacek is a #6 at best!

  61. Hobie Hansen says:

    Really, is that true? If that’s the case you’re 100% right. Even though I’d rather see six other guys including Weber and Picard on the ice in front of Spacek. Maybe send him to Hamilton next year like Souray… 

  62. cautiousoptimist says:
    He’d be one of the better 3rd-pairing D-men in the league, behind a healthy corps of Markov, Subban, Gill and Gorges.  It’s not his fault that he’s got to step up and play mega minutes because our entire D corps is in the clinic.
    1. Flickering Pictures: not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  63. Mark C says:

    Hopefully not, his contract still counts on the cap even if he retires. He’s still at least a #5/6 D.

  64. oshawahabsfan says:

    Very true, him and Hamrlik would be great as 5/6 but they’ve been forced to cover so much in their time here due to injuries

  65. NightRyder says:

    It’s just a game. If we get fed by an excellent team that we wouldn’t otherwise see until the Stanley Cup final, it’s not the end of the world.

    We play in the Eastern Conference, home of many mediocre clubs. That’s where we need to make hay. What have we won four of our last 30 games out West in recent years anyway? I’ve kind of given up on Lafleur hat-tricks and Shayne Corson kicking the living shyte out of Bob Mason while every single Canuck sits around and watches it happen.

    Again, I will be there tonight, cheering unabashedly for Scott Gomez and the Montreal Canadiens and reminding the loser ‘Nucks fans that we don’t throw parades for finishing second.

    Then later, depending on the level of alcohol consumption, I will be here, pointing out all the reasons Scott Gomez should play somewhere else.

  66. Hobie Hansen says:

    Ya Goligoski doesn’t knock my socks off, maybe it’s because we need a guy like Benn badly… 

  67. oshawahabsfan says:

    Neal alone should have brought a return of more than one player, they gave up him plus another for a defenceman, not a good return at all. I don’t see Richards being resigned as it hinges on their ownership, management situation getting resolved, and it’s probably not going to work out that way

  68. HabFab says:

    They have another named Benn coming up, this frees up money to keep Richards and get their QB defenseman.

  69. Hobie Hansen says:

    It would take one of the two and a pick, not both, in my opinion. And I like both of those guys on our team at the moment…no sense in trading a power forward for a power forward either.

  70. G-Man says:

    Hope he is struck by lightning. Cam Cole- tool of the West.

    And to think I always wondered why he held an anti-Habs bias.

    How about his Canucks in their 41 years of retooling?

  71. NightRyder says:

    Cammy Cole doesn’t think much of the Habs anymore: http://bit.ly/hJEsan 

    My thinking: the Canadiens (and their 24 jewels in the Stanley Cup crown) will always be royalty, even if Scott Gomez is allowed in the palace.

  72. emann_222 says:

    Gonna be a tough one tonight – but almost a MUST WIN. Hope to see good D from Mara and the rest of the boys. But the offense needs to get firing.

    For a game preview … check my thoughts on my BBBR WordPress Site listed below. I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts.

    Visit me at http://www.bleedbleublancrouge.wordpress.com and http://www.thehockeywriters.com

  73. cautiousoptimist says:
    The FOX article on the Goligoski deal manages to ask an extremely stupid question and use the word “impact” as a verb in the same headline: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2011/02/21/does-neal-goligoski-trade-impact/
    1. Flickering Pictures: not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  74. habs001 says:

    we will probably be short handed min 5 times in the game…to win this game we will have to be perfect on the pk and probably need 2 pp goals..

  75. HotHabs says:

    OK, so game over, right?  Well, that saves me the heartache of having to watch the game.  Thanks!

     

    Alright, I’m watching anyway – sucker for punishment, I guess.  But, outside of a perfect Defensive game, good luck winning this one boys!!!

  76. cautiousoptimist says:
    To be fair, we have no idea if the Habs are in the running or not.  It might just be that Gauthier was unwilling to part with prospects like Subban, Weber, Pouliot, Pacioretty, etc… to get the deal done.  The deal for Neal and Niskanen cost Goligoski, who’s going to be one of the best defencemen in the league for a long time. It might have been wise to uotbid Pittsburgh, but then again, it might not….
    1. Flickering Pictures: not a hockey site, but still kinda neat
    2. Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”
  77. oshawahabsfan says:

    That was a horrible trade by Dallas, trading their best young forward and likely not resigning Richards

  78. shiram says:

    We have no idea if we we’re in the running or not.

    Unless you got privileged information?

  79. HabFab says:

    It would take PK and MaxPac…are you still interested??

  80. Hobie Hansen says:

    The Prices were pretty high for Jamie Benn and Chris Stewart but man it gets pretty frustrating to see power forwards moving around without the Habs in the running…EVER! 

  81. Hobie Hansen says:

    Hopefully he retires…

  82. Maksimir says:

    What’s the news on Spacek? Is he gone for the season?

  83. habstrinifan says:

    The deployment of players contribute to the the play of Habs on the ice. This is JM’s STYLE. If they had lost everyone here would be rightly posting on it. But a win covers up the ongoing problem which, as one poster said, undermines the effectiveness of ‘small skilled team’. Check Desharnis minutes.. ridiculously too little.

  84. HardHabits says:

    I dare not watch.


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