Win: 3-2 (SO)
Habs Goalie: Halak (W)
Opposition Goalie: Rask (L)
Habs goalscorers: Metropolit, Hamrlik, (Gionta-SO)
Opposition goalscorers: Recchi, Wheeler
This one was a no-brainer for me and, again, it was series of saves. These particular saves took place after the Habs went down 0-2 and looked lifeless at the beginning of the 2nd period. Halak, a bit despite himself, saved Ryder and then Wheeler pointblank on what were lucky, but well-positioned saves. Without those saves we lose the game, with them we got to see Boston crumble.
Brian really saved his best for last tonight when he went upstairs to become the unique goalscorer in the shootout. It was a nice goal and one that I felt the Habs needed. Throughout the game he was pretty decent and was definitely one of our top 3 forwards, but I was actually hoping for a bit more from him and his line.
Scott, like Gionta, was pretty decent tonight, but not at his best. He was, however, able to pick up a couple of assists and actually played over 21 minutes. I liked when Martin put Darche up with him and Gionta as I felt that made it a much more competitive line than when Maxwell was there. Scott's face-offs were bad tonight, but other than that his stats looked fine, especially the team-high 4 shots.
Glen has certainly seen his ice-time and responsibility go down a lot over the past few weeks, but I still think he has an important role to play. With all the injuries we really need Metro to be able to find a way to score once in a while and to contribute on the PP. I don't need 15+ minutes, but a consistent contribution from him and his linemates will go a long way. His goal tonight was sweet to see as that is exactly the type of thing we needed to get us going. The fact that it was on the PP has, hopefully, secured his spot for games to come.
Markov could have won the game-puck tonight had it not been for Halak's play. He was solid enough in his own end, but it was his offensive play that really stood out to me. In fact, he came very close to winning the game for us in the third and in OT with some dazzling moves. He led the team tonight in a few categories including shots, ice-time and hits.
Like we need our 3rd and 4th line to produce for us we also now need our defencemen (mainly Hammer and Spacek) to get in on the act too. So, I was happy to not only see Hammer play solid in his own end, but was ecstatic to see him score the tying goal. Hopefully he'll have a good ten days and then he'll get a nice two weeks to rest after what has been a hard 60 games for the veteran.
Jarsolav Halak - Game Puck
Wow! Are you kidding me? Halak, again, was too good and is the reason we won this game. It was another 45 save performance and another 2 points courtesy of him. There were spectacular saves and crucial penalty-kills, there was solid play and superb rebound control. With Jaro playing this well you just never know what could happen this season. Would we be higher in the standings had he started 20 more games? Would we be lower? Can he win us a playoff series? Can he even get us there? Will he be given the chance to answer those questions? Or, will he be traded? All stuff that we can't answer, but as long as the Habs win I can't say it really bothers me anyway.
Montreal looked bad tonight and, again, it looked like we were waiting for the PP. Whatever defensive style that Martin has us playing doesn't seem to work and the fact that he was angry about our open style on Tuesday (which was enough to beat the Northwest Division leader) tells me that something is wrong. It seems that the Habs actually opened up towards the end of the second and into the third and it looked like that was when we got a handle on a game. Boston, luckily, is going through a rougher patch than us right now and their delicate confidence really showed when we did get that first PP. I honestly think that it is a joke that we hardly get PPs anymore as I see no real difference between our play and that of our opponents (if there is a difference it certainly isn't to the order of us being 3x as dirty each game). That said, however, we know we won't get PPs so we have to stop waiting for them and we have to learn to score another way. It would also help if we could learn how to not take so many penalties ourselves. I often feel that we deserve ours, but that the refs are simply not calling enough in our favour. This weekend, Super-Bowl weekend, promises to be a good weekend, as it always is, and nothing would be better than bagging 3 points. It may be a long shot, but if we can put 6 more points (5 games) in the bank before the Olympics then I think we'll all have an easier 2 week layoff than expected.