The Canadiens’ best penalty killer took three penalties.
The Canadiens were called twice for Too Many Men. That’s a league-leading dozen this season.
Two power plays were negated by Canadiens penalties.
The Canadiens went more than 10 minutes without a SoG in the second period.
The 10th-place team in the Eastern Conference, a team that was busy on Deadline Day, outshot your Montreal Canadiens 41-23.
And still they won.
They won – stop me if you’ve heard this before – because Carey Price is arguably the best goaltender in the National Hockey League.
The Canadiens won because they were opportunistic and lucky.
And that’s cool, because God knows Lady Luck has smiled on the other bench often enough this season.
But ask yourself this: How many shots and goals would Atlanta have had if there were 21,000 Thrashers fans in their building?
The Antichambre gang were all over the usual suspects: Scott Gomez, a defence corps that’s slower than climate change, Jacques Martin and his staff for all those bench minors.
“Jacques (Martin) has both hands in his pockets,” Michel Bergeron said. The coach’s hands should be restraining the players who hop on to become sixth skaters.
Ah, they get paid to nit-pick.
Did the Canadiens deserve to win?
Probably not. But it’s a road win to start the trip, two points in the bank and a firmer grip on sixth place.
And the coach may be overly fond of playing pocket pool, but Martin made some good moves:
• Watching the havoc wreaked by Cliff Thorburn and Evander Kane, it was wise to dress Paul Mara in preference to Yannick Weber.
• David Desharnais was used for 13:50. DD responded with a solid game, including 11-2 dominance in the faceoff circle.
• Lars Eller got 11:07 ToI, went 5-2 on draws and was used to protect a one-goal lead in the dying minutes. That’s a confidence-builder for the kid.
For me, Eller was the best centre on the ice – largely because Tomas Plekanec took those three minors.
They hate him on L’Antichambre, but I’ve seen him worse. How’s that for high praise?
Gomez set up Brian Gionta for the empty-netter and was plus-2 on the game – first time he’s been a plus since Vancouver, which was another road win.
Max Pacioretty was the Canadiens best winger, by a lot, and that has to help Gomez get untracked down the stretch.
As usual, P.K. Subban and Hal Gill were the best of the Dmen. James Wisniewski scored the winning goal on the PP, had three shots and blocked two.
Roman Hamrlik’s ToI was back up to almost 21 minutes, and it showed. With Atlanta pressing, Hamrlik loked tired in the third period.
Brent Sopel is slow and had a gruesome turnover that led to Atlanta’s goal. If Weber draws in, it might be an interesting choice between the two Band-Aid Dmen, Sopel and Mara. But to their credit, Mara and Sopel played 4:10 on a PK that pitched an 0-for-5 shutout.
How good would this team be with Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges playing in front of Carey Price?
Ah, whaddaya gonna do?
I’ll have more to say in the morning.