Loss: 5-6 (SO)
Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Varlamov (W)
Habs goalscorers: Pacioretty, Plekanec, Moen, Gionta, Desharnais
Opposition goalscorers: Kobasew, Jones (2), Stastny, Quincey (Hejduk - SO, Duchene - SO)
A line that I think could go somewhere hooked up for a very nice goal tonight. It was a goal that put us ahead after I was sure we were done for. The play started with a great stop by Kostitsyn on the boards and a quick pass to Patches. Max then could have shot, but instead sent a bullet pass to the side of the net. There, Desharnais deflected home with ease, up and over Varlomov; t was truly a thing of beauty.
Max Pacioretty - Game Puck
It could certainly be argued that Pacioretty is on the third line. I hope that no one tells him though, otherwise he may be in quite the mood. But wait, when your line is the 3rd line, but you are clearly the best line, again, does it really matter what RDS show you as one their chart? He was our best player tonight and his line was by far our best. His goal was fantastic, his pass on Desharnais' was superb. If he keeps playing like he has done over the past few games there won't be any reason for him to worry, for a long time, about not being one of our top-4 wingers.
I didn't think that Brian had one of his better games, but he did end up with a very impressive 3 points. The goal was a goalscorer's goal and his assist on Moen's goal was what we expect and need from the captain. It was his best game of the year, so let's hope he keeps it up. Let's also hope, for the club's sake, that Gomez follows his buddy's lead.
David led the forwards in ice-time tonight with 23+ minutes, not bad for a 3rd line centre. I can't say this with certainty, but I am pretty sure that this is the first time in his career that that has happened. Well, he certainly didn't let down his coach with all of this playing time as he chipped in with a fantastic goal and managed to get hit in the back (while providing necessary traffic) on our first goal.
This was not an easy choice as I thought the D were pretty bad, all of them. Weber, however, did manage to end the game at +2. I also felt that he was our best offensive threat from the back tonight and that his shots were the most dangerous of our D-men.
At the end of the day Diaz, by the stats, impressed me. He wasn't on for any goals-against (our only D to do that), picked up an assist (his first NHL point) and played for 22 minutes. I didn't like his penalty, but am starting to think that we may be on to something with this 'kid'.
The Avalanche could have won in regulation with better goaltending and so could have we. For the second straight game Price looked downright weak at times. Of the five goals I would say that 3 are ones we expect (and need) him to stop. He was also pretty bad, especially early, at handling the puck. Then there was the shoot-out which couldn't have gone much worse. He made little attempt to stop the first shot and the second was a nice play, but a shot that an elite goalie stops with regularity. The Price from last year took this week off, let's hope that he is back next week, because without him we aren't that good of a team, we are the type of team that loses more than it wins.
We had 43 shots on net and managed to score goals when we needed them, so that wasn't the problem. In fact, that was a welcome surprise as we got varied production as we seem to be gelling more and more offensively. The big problem was a 19-player problem - our defence. We take too many unnecessary chances, we don't get the puck out when we need to and often times there are multiple defensive-zone breakdowns on the same play. We hung Price out to dry and, unlike most of last year, he didn't bail us out. We can't always just rely on spectacular goaltending, though. We have to be better than that, we have to limit the amount of quality chances that go Price's way. With solid (not even great, just solid) defence we could have won this game 5-2. Instead, we let a quick, offensive-minded squad (at least tonight they were) take advantage of mistakes too many times.
At this point it all comes down to coaching as I believe that we have enough of the right pieces in place to be a good team. The coaches can start by working out the play in our end and, if they have any time left, can start seeing if they could get the players, if they don't mind, to take less penalties, or better yet, less stupid penalties. Then, if we can fit it in (and I know 3 games a week makes it hard to do all of this), maybe we could start working on a strategy for the power-play, who knows maybe one from the past 5 years could work?