Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Ward (L), Peters
Habs goalscorers: Plekanec, Cammalleri, Gionta, Lapierre, Pouliot, Kostitsyn, Darche
Opposition goalscorers: Babchuk, Kostopoulos
I had so many beautiful goals to choose from, but when Price makes a save like that I don't even worry about which one to choose. The save, if you didn't see it, was the highlight-reel type glove save that was simply tantalizing. A Pitkanen pass went to a wide open Larose who had a certain goal on his stick. His shock, however, was simultaneous with the roars of 21,000 fans who were excited that they'd just witnessed a play that will be on the highlight reels all season long.
Kostitsyn played a good game tonight and found a way to do what all Habs fans would want: get onto the ice with Plekanec. With Gomez things are OK, but he did bag some time with our top player and it led to a goal an assist. He was also very active along the boards and in the corners as he led the game with 6 hits.
Tomas Plekanec - Game Puck
Tom had the Game Puck locked up after the 1st period so it was quite a treat when he added 2 more very good assists. He was all over the ice again tonight and chipped in with 4 points. He is playing his best hockey of his career right now and with 18 points in 17 games is on pace for what could be a second straight breakthrough season. No matter who the wingers he is getting the job done and is making 2 players' lives very enjoyable on a nightly basis.
Do you think that Gomez would switch to the wing for a chance to play with Plekanec? If I were him I would consider it. Gionta is now playing well with 3 recent goals, one of which was a beauty tonight. The captain is playing like the assistant from last year and it is great to see that passion, not despair, back on his face. There was also an assist tonight as he quietly makes his way up the team' scoring charts.
Jaro has turned a corner as he is playing well in both ends and is playing with both confidence and reliability. Tonight he made two very good plays which led to goals and at least another two that prevented goals. He also led the team in take-aways which, to me, shows that he is playing a more patient, more 'one-step-ahead-of-his-opponent' game than even two weeks ago.
Roman has been our leader of late on D as Markov has eased his way back in. Well, with Andrei potentially out again (please, oh please no) we'll need more from the steady #44. He led the team in ice-time and blocked-shots tonight and I know that, if needed, he'll be able to continue carrying those loads while his teammate recoups.
At times spectacular, at times solid and no bad moments. Over the past few weeks this has become the book on Price, and tonight was no different. His special save tonight, and the win of course, will simply add to his confidence which must be at a 36-month (possibly career) high right now.
The old Habs would have let that blown 2-0 lead get a lot worse than 2-2. Now, I know that we got a bit lucky and dodged a few bullets, but as well as Carolina played in the early going I did feel that we were playing just as well. Then came the goals of the second and third where it seemed we were scoring on every nice set-up and they weren't. 7 goals is always a treat and I feel that our team deserved a night off from heavy scrutiny on offensive production - 7 different forwards scored tonight which is very nice to see. Of those who didn't score we have Moen and Pyatt who may never score and I am OK with that. Halpern, who was due for a quiet game. Eller, who isn't getting too many chances, but is playing well. And, of course, the infamous Scott Gomez. 2 assists, though, for Scott and a very good night in the face-off circle and I am continuing to believe that he is on his way back.
The bad news tonight, however, has to be the loss of Markov. Losing him for one game would hurt, 5 games would be painful, but losing him long-term would be devastating. We have proven that we can cope without him, but he has also proved to us, time and time again, that he is our best player. When we go through tough times we'll need him, when the PP needs a boost, we'll call on him and when nothing is going right in our own end it is he that can settle it all down. I am happy about this win, but all I care about right now is his health. It will be a long couple of days till we hear anything, but can you even imagine how hard it must be to be him; what a rough 13 months.