Archive for the ‘Game Recaps’ Category

Flat Habs Overtaken by Panthers

The Habs came out slow and flat last night in Florida, resulting in a 2-1 nipping by the Panthers and a bump out of the playoff picture.

A slow first period saw the goalies at each end, Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Voukon respectively, hold the fort, keeping the game scoreless. The second period was more of the same but the Habs couldn’t seem to generate any offense, registering only four shots on net. Luckily a swat out of the air on the powerplay lead to Tomas Plekanec scoring a pretty goal and putting the Canadiens up 1-0.

Montreal seemed to get even lazier in the third period, being outplayed and dropping two goals, one on a penalty shot and both by the Panther’s Shawn Matthias. The loss marks the first time this season that the Canadiens have lost when leading after two periods.

The loss drops the Habs to ninth in the Eastern Conference; they’ll try to recoup those two lost points tonight when they face Vinnie Lecavilier and the Tampa Bay Lightning. I expect Halak to get the start despite the loss.

Canadiens Pound Rangers 6-0

After taking a 6-2 beating at the hands of the New York Rangers last week, the Habs rebounded to lay a 6-0 whooping on the blue shirts last night.

The game was highlighted by Mike Cammalleri’s two goals and two assists along with Jaroslav Halak’s 32 save performance for his third shutout of the year. Jaroslav Spacek and Marc-Andre Bergeron contributed another two assists each and Scott Gomez scored against his former team, the first of the game.

The Habs are onto Florida for games this week against the Panthers and Lightning. Watch Ryan O’Byrne put the fists to Aaron Voros in the meantime:

Game 11: Canadiens 3 – Islanders 2 (OT)

Hal Gill can hit?The overtime success and winning streak continue as the Habs got goals from sources other than the top line to defeat the New York Islanders for the second time this week. Jaroslav Spacek notched his first as a Hab, Glen Metropolit continued his hard work to earn two assists (did you know that we’re 5-0 with Metro in the lineup?) and Tomas Plekanec made a huge effort during the overtime period to saucer a perfect pass onto the tape of Roman Hamrlik, allowing him to notch the winner.

The Habs have now won four straight games to improve to 6-5-0 on the season and the continued winning of Jaroslav Halak leaves me wondering who will get the start against the tough teams we’re facing this week; a short two-game road trip takes us to Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Chicago on Friday before we return home to host Komisarek and the Leafs on Saturday.

Eight wins in a row to end the weekend? Yes we can!

Game 10: Canadiens 5 – Rangers 4 (OT)

Cammalleri celebrates his first Habs hat trickMike Cammalleri snagged a hat trick and the Habs overcame a 4-2 deficit to defeat the hot New York Rangers in overtime 5-4. Cammalleri had a four point night and Jaroslav Halak managed his third straight win, further fueling the goalie “controversy” that has had Habs fans gossiping for the past couple years.

The Canadiens brought their six game home stand record to 3-2 and move on to face a couple of tough teams on the road this week after hosting the New York Islanders again on Monday.

Game 9: Canadiens 5 – Islanders 1

The Habs had their first moment to really shine tonight against the (admittedly weak) New York Islanders with a great cast of characters making the scoresheet in a 5-1 victory. Jaroslav Halak got the start and was very solid (yeah, except that), presenting a clear challenge to Carey Price and the potentially available starting position.

A thought on the Halak misplay: Halak played an excellent game, clearly showing both the team, Carey Price in particular, that he has what it takes. The gaff, from Price’s point of view, allows him to recognize the challenge and step up his game while not feeling completely outdone by his “backup.”

Game 8: Canadiens 2 – Thrashers 1 (SO)

Halak stops a puck from a Thrashers shooterJaroslav Halak was stellar in regulation and overtime and even better in the shootout to help lead the Habs to a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers, ending the five-game losing skid that had Canadiens fans everywhere in a panic.

Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez each notched a pretty goal in the shootout to clinch the victory.

Jaroslav Halak was solid in nets for the Canadiens on Tuesday night, but as has been the case often so far this season, the netminder at the other end of the ice was just a little better. Only this game had a happy ending for once as the Canadiens pulled out a 2-1 shootout win, with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta sealing the deal to snap a five-game losing streak. They were able to beat Ondrej Pavelec, who played his junior hockey in the QMJHL, in the shootout after the young goaltender was stellar for 65 minutes, stopping 34 of 35 shots. Halak stopped 22 shots in only his second start of the season for the Canadiens. Gionta opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season – only the third time this season the Canadiens have scored the first goal of the game. Colby Armstrong, wallpapered Marc-André Bergeron behind the Canadiens net in the second period, tied the game early in the third period.

Game 7: Senators 3 – Canadiens 1

The Sens celebrate a goal while Price looks onAlex Kovalev, the Canadiens’ former floating Russian, made his return to the Bell Centre last night and notched a goal and an assist to help lift his Ottawa Senators over the Habs. The loss marks the fifth straight for the struggling Habs.

Montreal blew a 5-on-3 in the first period before giving up a pair of goals on two 5-on-3 opportunities they handed Ottawa in the second. The crowd came out with the boos for the home team before giving Kovalev a standing ovation following his goal; bad times, to say the least.

Forgive the lack of analysis and witty banter, I’m in the middle of a very busy couple of weeks and will return in full-force to HabsFeed for Thursday’s game against the Islanders!

Game 6: Avalanche 3 – Canadiens 2

Colorado 3 - Canadiens 2The Habs played a good game on their 100th home opener against the Colorado Avalanche with strong first and third periods especially but bad bounces and a soft second combined for another loss for Montreal. The Avalanche outshot the Habs 31-23 but the Av’s netminder, Craig Simpson, was excellent, holding down the fort as Colorado took advantage of Carey Price’s misfortune.

Tomas Plekanec and Roman Hamrlik scored for the Canadiens. Four straight losses; here’s hoping for better things against on Kovy’s return Saturday night.

Game 5: Oilers 3 – Canadiens 2

Oilers celebrate in front of PriceI’m mucho late with this recap; my apologies, the lag between the Oil game and the home-opener on Thursday made me lazy! I’ll keep this short and sweet: the Habs played a fairly strong game in Edmonton on Saturday but came up short just the same, losing 3-2. Mike Comrie exposed Price’s weak glove hand for the first goal with the Oilers eventually scoring three goals on 19 shots. The Montreal offense just couldn’t get going but my new favorite Hab Brian Gionta did manage to pot one, as did Roman Hamrlik late in the game.

Andrei Kostitsyn, playing as well as usual, was benched by Jacques Martin for the entire third period.

So we’re finally home on Thursday to open against the Colorado Avalanche and, in the meantime, the Maple Leafs are now 0-5-1 to start the season, so it’s not all bad!

At a Glance: The Canadiens dominated the faceoff circle, and they dominated the shot clock, but they once again fell short where it counts most, the scoreboard. The Canadiens dropped their third straight game Saturday night with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers had only 19 shots, but were able to get three of those shots by Carey Price, including Mike Comrie’s first-period goal on a nice shot over Price’s glove hand. It was the fourth straight game in which the Canadiens allowed the first goal of the game. Brian Gionta scored the lone goal for the Canadiens with a blistering shot of his own on a 2-on-1 with less than a minute to play in the second period. Roman Hamrlik scored the second Montreal goal with three minutes to go in the third period, but it was too little, too late for the Canadiens. Andrei Kostitsyn, who has been a disapointment so far this season, was benched for the third period by head coach Jacques Martin.

• Key Moments: The Oilers scored two goals on only six shots in the second period, with the goals coming five minutes apart, putting the game out of reach for the Canadiens.

• What It Means: After a promising 2-0 start to the season, the Canadiens fell to 2-3 with loss to the Oilers. The Habs were outscored 14-6 in their three losses.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens will return home and begin preparing for their home opener on Thursday when the Colorado Avalanche visit the Bell Centre on Avenue des Canadiens de Montreal. There is a possibility we will see Marc-André Bergeron join the Canadiens for the game after a conditioning stint with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Game 4: Canucks 7 – Canadiens 1

Eff you, CanucksThere are two important points to make here before I even begin discussing the particulars of the game: the ‘Nucks had previously gone 0-3 and the Habs played two games in two nights, both at late hours due in light of the current west coast road swing.

The Habs, Carey Price in particular, got positively pounded by Vancouver last night. In Price’s first ever game in his home province he allowed seven goals on 31 shots and the rest of the team managed to float for a full 60 minutes. Price is hardly to blame; besides a good effort for half of the second period that saw the Habs outshoot the Canucks 13-0, Price faced a pair of Sedins who the Canadiens defence had forgotten about and everything from 3-on-1 to 2-on-0 breakouts by the home team.

Awesome

Roberto Luongo, one of the few non-Canadiens that I give my attention to, was in much better form and came through the few times he was called upon. Awesome might be a stretch but compared to his first three games…

Awful

The Montreal Canadiens. The whole team sucked. The defense was awful, the PK was worse (three goals on five Vancouver powerplays), the penalties were often needless and the goaltending wasn’t where it needs to be.

We can only hope that this 7-1 blowout embarrasses the boys enough to get a few key things together moving into Saturday’s game in Edmonton and the home opener next Thursday. Bad penalties taken, an ineffective PP and a useless PK are all points that need some work if we want to avoid a string of beatings like this.

I’ll say also that the entire team should take turns buying Price dinner each night for the rest of the season. Playing in B.C. was a big deal for him and they absolutely left him on his own in there. Price was solid but I think this is a game we can safely ignore in future judgments. Let’s see how he fares in Edmonton if he gets the start and, more importantly, at home against the Avalanche on Thursday.

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