Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Niemi (L)
Habs goalscorers: Darche, Plekanec, Cammalleri
Opposition goalscorers: Ferriero
San Jose are a good team, so I felt that a save Price made, on the PP, was the most crucial play of the game; the biggest reason we won by two. It was a point-blank save on Heatley who had just taken a nice feed from Pavelski. San Jose, in fact, worked the puck around very well and seemed likely to score and get back within one with about 3 minutes to play. Carey, however, followed the play very well and made a very hard save against a very good player and made it all look so easy.
Darche had a very nice game today and he got it going early. His goal was another example of how this guy seems to know where to go and how he likes getting to the net. I was also quite intrigued by the goal as he had two cracks at it. The first was a miss which hit the back-boards and came right back to him. The second was an easy shot on a goalie who committed to the original miss. I wonder if this type of play, from where Darche was, could be used intentionally, because I see that play as having great potential to fool a goalie each and every time.
Has Pouliot been playing well enough to deserve a shot with Gomez again or should we keep his line intact while we are getting the most out of all three players? I think we should leave Ben with Darche and Eller as the three players all work hard, all have skill and are clicking right now. Today Pouliot didn't score, but any time you take more than 20% of your team's shots you know that you had a good game.
The Markov of the forwards, Tom just doesn't seem to have bad games. His goal was a prime example of his focus, skill, patience and determination. If you want to know how he played all game re-watch that goal.
It's official now that Markov is gone and, so it's official that the Hammer is our new #1. He gets the job done in all zones, every game, but to get a breakaway (or partial, at least) which leads to a goal tells me all that I need to know about this player - he cares. The effort is there on each shift and, with 12 assists so far, he is getting rewarded with a few points too.
Price was the best penalty-killer today, but after that it was Gorges. There was only 4 minutes to kill, but of that Josh was on for 63% of the time. He has been playing well lately and is often beaten out of a dome spot, but I felt that tonight he deserved a mention. He is rendering the Habs a great service and is essentially now playing like top-3 on every shift, a lot of times like a top-2.
Carey Price - Game Puck
I am not sure what happened on San Jose's goal and I don't even think that Carey is, but aside from that this was a pretty flawless game. He made all the saves that he should and a lot that many goalies wouldn't have. He now has a .935 save %, a 1.96 GAA, 16 wins and 4 shutouts. Those are insane numbers for 27 games in and he is, obviously, the biggest reason that we are where we are today in the standings.
I didn't think that the Habs were going to pull this one off. We never got on the PP for a reason and that reason was that we played with little intensity, we gave the Sharks no reason to foul us. Now, that wasn't entirely our fault as San Jose is quite the good team. Other than that Hamrlik break I can't remember any odd-man rushes. Every time that I expected us to be on an odd-man rush (based on how they look in other games) I was shocked to see another defenceman come into the picture; he had been in position all along. What we did do, however, was make the most of our limited chances. These are the types of games that can as easily be losses as wins and the types of games that you just have to be thankful for. We are a good team, so when we are on we generally win. It is nice, though, to know that even when we are off we can beat some good teams too.