The Habs rolled into Denver tonight desperate to snap out of this slump but it seemed as if only a few players showed up, as usual. Luckily one of those players was Jaroslav Halak and his 46 saves stole the Habs a win that they definitely did not deserve.
Things were looking good in the first period with Montreal up 2-0 going into the second on a great goal for Francis Boullion and a powerplay mark for Brisebois; the goal for Boullion was his second in two games after a 16 game drought. As has been the norm, though, things simply fell apart after the first 20 minutes. For the last two periods the Habs’ defense was non-existent, allowing 36 shots. Meanwhile the meager offense managed only nine in return. Outshot 36-9 in the second and third period!
Another of the players that showed up was Mathieu Dandenault. He’s been a great addition to the team since returning from injury two games ago and he earned an assist on the perfect flip pass that gave Andrei Kostitsyn the breakaway needed to steal the win. Tom Koustopolous added an empty netter from his own zone for a final score of 4-2. Maxim Lapierre also stood out with his gritty play and great PK.
The only thing different last night was the goaltending – everything else looked worse. I’m not typically one of these fans who switches positions often and I do have confidence that the foundation of our team is clear going forward. I also believe that it’s long past time to dump Kovalev and consider Pleks, Higgins and a few others in a trade for a solid d-man and a big center. Talks are apparently on between the Habs and Phoenix where Olli Jokinen and Derek Morris are concerned – I say go for it.
In the meantime, who gets the start in Vancouver? Will Carbo go with the hot-hand or allow Price a shot in front of his home crowd? I love Price and have complete faith that he’ll pull it together beautifully in days to come, Halak earned the start with his single-handedly earning us two sorely needed points in Denver.