Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Kiprusoff (W)
Habs goalscorers: Kostitsyn
Opposition goalscorers: Bourque (2), Hagman, Moss
We had some good chances throughout the game, but all lacked conviction, save one. That was our first real chance, the one that gave us our only lead of the night. A 2-on-1 shaped up with Pacioretty on the left and Kostitsyn on the right. Max waited, faked the pass and then shot. He missed the net to Kipper's right and it came right out to Andrei who essentially had an easy shot to make (although it took incedibly fast reflexes to pull it off). At first I thought that it was an accident that Max missed the net, but after watching the whole game I need some positive reinforcement, so, of course, he meant to do that.
Tomas Plekanec - Game Puck
I liked how Tom tried very hard during the whole game. He was at the centre of a lot of our chances and he could have easily picked up a point or two. He has been our best forward so far and I think that he'll be required to keep it up so long as Cole, Gionta and Gomez remain quiet and Camms is on the shelf.
I didn't know what to expect from Lars after such a long lay-off, but must say that I was pleasantly surprised. He started the game on the 4th line, but quickly proved that he has a place on the top 3. He was creative with the puck and showed an offensive flare that was was starting to be displayed towards the end of last year.
Kostitsyn started the game well with a goal and kept up the good play for most of the night. He was used with a few different people tonight as Martin looked for something. I am not sure where he will settle, but if half of the top-6 is absent (literally or figuratively) over the next little while there will be a serious opportunity, as there is every year, for some big minutes and big assignments.
It seems that we can't count on too much steady play from our D this year, but if there is one player who seems like a sure bet back there it is Josh. Tonight he was the best of the group and managed to stay out of any real trouble. There were a couple of goals on the PK while he was on, but those can't really be attributed to him. No, instead I'll remember the 5 blocked-shots and solid even-strength play.
Weber, Gill and Subban made this an easy choice, a choice between Diaz and Emelin. I liked Alexei better on this night because I felt that he was getting involved more and seemed more comfortable than in Winnipeg. I think of the two he will be the better player and tonight he was. He joined rushes, made good breakout passes and used his body as we all knew he could.
The first slip of Carey's season happened on a night that the team in front of him let him down anyway. Price didn't cost us this game, the whole team did, but he certainly wasn't at his best. He did look pretty ordinary on most of the goals, though, as usually he saves 2, maybe 3 of those. Also, his stick-handling was casual and at times dangerous/bad. This is a game to forget for the kid because no one doubts that he can be better, almost all of the time.
A big win in Winnipeg and an early goal tonight had me really thinking that we were ready to go places this season. The loss hasn't completely dispelled those thoughts, but I am left wondering a few things that I had been taking for granted since Sunday. First and foremost, our passing was bad, bad enough that good chances were flat-out lost because of it. Secondly our defensive zone coverage was pretty poor. From our wingers to our D we had too many break-downs, too many give-aways. Lastly, why so many penalties? Why do we have to be that team again? Taking penalties with the frequency that we have been taking them is one of the dumbest things you can do in this league. We know this, the coaches and players know this, yet it continues. These are three basic issues that should be worked out in September, but now must be worked out, in a hurry. We have the skill and talent to beat a team like Calgary, but as long as we play a sloppy, careless game we will be beaten by pretty much all of the teams.
Help is not on the way, this is our squad. It isn't ideal, but it is what we have to work with. The coaches should be working overtime to make sure that we are using the right combination, the right personnel on special-units and the right tactics. Tonight, we did not look great and you won't win many games when that is the case. Colorado isn't a bad team, but they aren't a great team either. Let's see what we can change by Saturday and hope that the Habs will be more responsible and careful in all aspects of play starting in 48 hours.