Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Brodeur (L), Elliott
Habs goalscorers: Pouliot, Plekanec (2), Gionta, Pacioretty, Kostitsyn, Subban
Opposition goalscorers: Kelly
Let's choose a goal, shall we? I felt that the nicest goal, the one that had the most to do with our good play (and not the goalie's poor play) was Plekanec's second. At the blue-line he stole the puck from Phillips (sadly for Ottawa Phillips has become one of the worst deals in the league, I mean who knew he couldn't play D?) and did very well to get the puck to his stick. With incredible speed he went in on Elliott and did what I wish all Habs would do in the shootout as he shelfed the puck so quickly and efficiently that the goalie really had no chance.
Andrei did very well in his first full game back with Plekanec. He had a very nice pass early on, on Plekanec's first, and then scored a goalscorer's goal for his 13th. He also led the team in takeaways and +/-and just generally looked comfortable the whole night.
Gomez set up his line's two goals very nicely as he now finds himself one assist shy of 20. He isn't having a great season, but is doing what one would generally expect of a 2nd centre (forget the start, forget the salary). If Pacioretty can continue to play like he did tonight (and do it against good defence) then he'll just keep making Scott look good, but will it be enough to quiet those that have already seen enough?
Tomas Plekanec - Game Puck
Plekanec probably could have had 5 points tonight if he had kept going at the Sens. He didn't really push it too hard, though, and seemed more concerned with playing smart, classy and efficiently than scoring the hat-trick. We often think of his as a playmaking centre, but now at 16 goals one has to wonder how close to 30 he could get? 25 seems a strong possibility at the very least.
Since this game was all about offence I went with the only defenceman that scored a goal. Sure, the goal was on the PP and it was our 7th, but in a way I like that. Why not keep working on things for the whole 60 minutes? Embarrassing to Ottawa and their fans that we drove up the score? Come on, if you want something to be embarrassed about, Ottawa, take a look at your depth charts.
James was the most on the ball of our D tonight, I felt. He picked a couple of helpers (albeit neither really had anything to do with the goals) and led the team in blocked-shots. One thing I do really like about him is that he moves the puck quickly on the PP and that he opens so much space up for his teammates. At age 26 he was quite the pick-up (try getting a 2nd rounder that good) and it may just be worth considering a re-signing this summer as he and Markov on the PP together would be lethal.
33 saves? When? Ottawa was bad tonight and Carey made sure that they didn't get lucky. Losing this game would be near impossible, but it still takes a focused goalie to make sure that a romp stays a romp and that we don't end up letting in a few that we shouldn't have.
I have been reading about Ottawa, but, boy, I didn't know that they were this bad. That was a pathetic display, and, from what undertstand, this was par for the course. The whole orginization has made poor choices over the past ten years and they have turned one of the most promissing teams in the league into one of the most laughable. Heatley for Michalek and Cheechoo? What is that? How is that your best offer? Redden over Chara? Not taking Hasek back? Trading for Leclaire? Spezza at 7mil? Disastrous and disappointing for a team just down the road that I would like to see succeed.
Montreal didn't play a bad game, but this was hardly a good gauge of anything other than how many Habs fans can fit in a Kanata arena on a Friday night. Tomorrow will be a better test. Tomorrow, however, is so much more than a hockey game. Tomorrow marks the return of one of our heroes and of our best player of the past 15 years. Think of that, for 15% of this team's existence, and a very big percentage of all of our times as Habs fans Koivu was the man. He was not only a great player, but had so much class and dignity that one didn't feel silly mentioning him in the same breathe as Beliveau. I am excited to see our hero come home, but also sad once again. It was hard losing him (imagine Alfie leaving the Sens) and having him in Anaheim made it easier. I think that his true home is in Montreal and tomorrow is his first time back in his house. I do hope that somehow, down the road, there will be a way to bring this warrior back into the organization in one capacity or another because he, as a person, and as a hockey player, inspired a generation. Without the likes of Koivu my guess is that LIW would have never started and I wouldn't be the fan that I am today. It will always be Montreal for me, above all, but at the same time there will always be room in my heart, wherever he may go, for Saku.