Quick Hits

You have to like the way this is trending:

On Nov. 20, Carey Price shut the Leafs out 2-0.

It was the first time a Canadien goaltender had hung a goose egg on Toronto since Nov. 12, 1977, when Ken Dryden did it.

So after a 33-year gap, Price has two DSos against the Leafs this season.

And thanks to an outstanding team effort, he made it look easy.

Playing for a national Hockey Night in Canada audience and their adoring fans in the HNIC studio, the Leafs pretty much sucked in every aspect of the game.

They were outscored, outshot, outskilled, outskated … even outhit, which is embarrassing for a team that prides itself on truculence.

The Canadiens dominated “from the front of our net to the front of theirs”, as Price said.

The dominance and shutout were all the more remarkable because the Canadiens had surrendered 15 goals during their three-game losing streak.

The problem, Jacques Martin said, was surrendering “too many chances off the rush” and extended periods of defensive zone pressure.

That didn’t happen tonight.

Granted, Toronto isn’t as offensively talented or physically imposing as Boston, but you play whom the schedule says you play. And Martin lauded his team’s work ethic, his players’ effort without the puck and the “very intelligent” way the Canadiens managed the game.

Those qualities were exemplified by Roman Hamrlik, who was the mainstay of the Canadiens’ depleted defence. Hamrlik logged a team high 25:15 (he’ll enjoy the Sunday off), including 4:50 of three shorthanded situations. The old man had five shots on goal, blocked six Toronto shots and had three hits.

Like the best Dmen in the league, notably Nicklas Lidstrom, Hamrlik controlled the pace of the game when he was on the ice. He was magnificent.

At the other end of the age spectrum were the kids, particularly David Desharnais.

I’ll admit it: I thought there was no way a player as small as DD would make it in the sweet savagery that is the NHL.

So wrong.

Since his call-up on the day after New Year’s, Desharnais has progressed from game to game to the point where he and Scott Gomez are the team’s co-Number Two centres behind Tomas Plekanec.

DD set up Benoit Pouliot for the goal that opened the scoring. He converted Gomez’s pass to drive a nail into Toronto’s coffin.

He went 12-4 on draws and played 4:12 on the power-play.

What doesn’t show up on the scoresheet are the pinpoint passes Desharnais put of the sticks of linemates. And the allegedly tough Leafs couldn’t line up a hit on him all night.

Martin praised Desharnais’ dedication and commitment. The coach rhapsodized about “the kind of person (Desharnais) is”, meaning a character player who has exceeded limited expectations, based on his size, at every level of hockey.

This was a huge win for the Canadiens.

A four-game losing streak would have sown seeds of doubt, with surging Buffalo here on Tuesday, before a trip to the West.

Now there’s some breathing room. The Canadiens are comfortably in sixth place, with a points total that matches fifth-place Washington’s.

More tomorrow.

•  •  •

Schadenfreude report:

Mike Komisarek had less ToI than any other Toronto defenceman. The big thumper of yesteryear had one hit.

Two more seasons, at $4.5 million per.



  1. punkster says:

    Yah, but BALLS would be at a loss as how handle them.

    Man, just like the Saturdays of bygone days. These Leafs/Canadiens tilts were the best. I have 3 younger brothers and back in the day it was down to the rink for public skating until 8 then run home to catch the game, two Leaf fans vs two Canadiens fans fighting in the TV room. Only one of the brothers is a Leaf fan now (since I finally saw the light) and of course he’ll get the razzing phone calls first thing tomorrow from the rest of us.


  2. Chuck says:

    I looked. Surprisingly, there isn’t.

  3. Robert L says:

    That Roy shutout was in Toronto.

  4. Mike D says:

    It does, but you have to dig to find it. It’s called the “Colie Clause” and can be found in Appendix Douchebag; Article 10; Section 2.

    – Honestly yours

  5. Sheldon says:

    Nothing like a shutout of the Leafs in Montreal on a Saturday night to put a bounce in one’s stride!

  6. Chuck says:

    Or maybe the Cialis and Viagara don’t hurt either, eh?  😉

  7. Chuck Chuck Goose says:

    Penguins/Isles suspensions handed down (from Dmitri Chesnokov on Twitter)

    Eric Godard 10 games, Trevor Gillies 9 games, Matt Martin 4 games, NYI $100k team fine

  8. Sheldon says:

    You want to have some real fun? Cocktail Rongaine with Viagara or Cialis and you’ll end up looking like Don King!

  9. punkster says:

    Not to mention the secretary I hired.


  10. Chuck says:

    No word yet on the Bruins?

    Oh, silly me.

  11. Propwash says:

    Im guessing they’d make one walk kinda stiff…….

  12. christophor says:

    Word of the day: Nepotism.

    Now, say it with me boys and girls. 

  13. Propwash says:

    And you know this how????

  14. Matt_in_TO says:

    I’m sure somewhere in the rulebook it says that it’s perfectly fine to beat an opponent with an elbow pad.


    – In Price We Trust

  15. Sheldon says:

    You were on fire. I was envious. My posts are generally short because my typing sucks. If HIO was voice activated, I would post text bricks that would be things of memory!

  16. Matt_in_TO says:

    Godard’s 10 is automatic.  I’m kind of surprised Martin only got 4 but it’s hard to say if it was premeditated.  It’s not like he went looking for and stalked Talbot.  If you watch the video he sort of does a double take and then when he realizes that it’s Talbot, he drops him.  I think it’s a joke when you put it in perspective and compare it to how many games Cooke gets for the crap he does.


    – In Price We Trust

  17. Matt_in_TO says:

    Probably in Colin Campbell’s copy, scribble in his hand writing somewhere in the margin


    – In Price We Trust

  18. Sheldon says:

    What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!!!

  19. Chuck says:

    Ah… like the Teacher’s Edition.  🙂

  20. PeterD says:

    Never mind the co-number two center thing…DD has in my mind and I hope in the minds of the coaches surpassed Gomez as the number two center behings Plekanec.

    Tonight I loved the DD, Pouliot, White line…what a great 2nd line…I noticed they played more even strength minutes than the Gomez line…so I make them line #2 and Gomez Line #3…make lots of sense to me.

    Even strength TOI — Gomez = 9:59, DD = 11:27. 

    With Gomez mired in a season long offensive slump, it makes more sense to make room in the offensive lines for a more productive offensive oriented player, and the Mighty David Desharnais seems to taking all the opportunities provided to make that a reality.  Gomez still has some quality offensive skills and he has some good defensive skills for the PP and PK, but I think he needs to be established in the 3rd line role and accept that he is no longer a top 6 performer on this team.

    When Moen showed up on the AK and Gomez line, some of us thought, oh no here we go again with Moen inthe top 6…but I saw it dfferently, on this night I saw it as Gomez and AK dropping down to form the 3rd line with Moen and the elevation of DD, Pouliot and White into the 2nd line status. With Pleks, Patches and Gio as our 1st line.

  21. Klondike Habs Fan says:

    Speaking of Ken Dryden. The senator was up here in Whitehorse for Hockey Day in Canada, and he paused and chatted and signed my jersey. and took a photo with me.! It was cool. 

    Gallagher was here since the Giants were playing the Blazers here, and Gallagher scored 2 in the win, games first star. Future Hab! Hey YukonHab, saw you watching the Gallagher interview on CBC.

  22. HardHabits says:

    Hopefully the NHL doesn’t award a franchise to Vegas then. It’s bad enough that what happens in Phoenix stays in Phoenix!!!

  23. RJB says:

    Really satisfying win. Glad I took a study break to enjoy it!!! Price is out of this world.

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” – Bilbo Baggins

  24. Propwash says:

    LOL, too bad Vegas isn’t how it used to be. Mind you, I’ve never been there.

  25. Bobby Ward says:

    OKAY – Did some more digging – Patrick Roy shut out the Leafs 3-0 in Toronto on February 26th, 1994…

    I think Dryden (before Price) was the last goalie to shut out the Leafs IN MONTREAL… Here’s the wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993%E2%80%9394_Montreal_Canadiens_season


  26. Bobby Ward says:

    HEY BOONE – Patrick Roy shut out the Leafs in the 1993-94 season – I know for a fact, ‘cuz I was at college in Ontario that year, and hung it on the door to my dorm room to gloat/taunt my fellow residents… I think the exact Gazette headline said, “Habs start fast, then Roy Shuts the Door” … or something very close to that effect… Either way, Dryden may have been the last shutout IN TORONTO, or something, but not the last Hab goalie hang a goose egg on the Laffs…

  27. Da Hema says:

    Campbell’s copy of the NHL Official Rule Book is the only one that refers to the fans as “suckers.”

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