Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Bobrovsky (W)
Habs goalscorers: Nokelainen
Opposition goalscorers: Giroux (2), Voracek
One big problem with our PP is that we let up chances, a lot of chances, against ourselves. It is bad enough that we can't score, but for some other reason the other teams are getting their fair share of attempts on Price. Today, in the first period, with the score locked at zero Price made a fantastic save on Matt Read on a 2-on-1 while we were a man-up. We could have been down at that point, but instead Carey kept us in the game, and did so for much of the second period too.
Cole tried hard today, he wasn't at his best, but still looked the best among our top forwards. He led the team in shots with 5 and had some of our best chances. He can't do it himself, though, that was plain to see.
I hardly ever notice Petteri, which I suppose for a fourth-liner is a quasi-good thing. It could be better, however, as we have had players in his position work their way to the top-3, even top-2 lines. That isn't going to happen in his case, but he still can be of use as he was today when he put the Habs in the lead.
A better game from any of the 'big-name' forwards would have probably earned a dome today, but instead Lars, who played alright, gets in. Let's just say that he was one of the players who played the closest to his best and, dare I say, competed in this one. He is still looking for a home on this team, but if he keeps being a top-3 forward, as he was today, they'll have to give him more ice-time and more opportunities than he is currently getting.
I almost gave the game-puck to Gill today. It wasn't for the weak (as always) shot that he took that became an assist, but instead for outstanding play in his own end, particularly on the PK. Earlier this week I started to wonder if he had his place in the top-4, top-6 or even top-7 D-men on this team. I concluded that he did, but just. Today, however, he reminded me what he can do against strong teams and I am suggesting that if he plays like he did today he will be as valuable to us this season as he ever has been.
Diaz, Weber and Subban all looked unprepared throughout the game. They were making mistakes that they shouldn't be making and were making quite a few of them. Emelin was good for the most part, but also didn't look his best. That leaves me with Gorges who I realized didn't look bad at all. It was another solid game from Josh and he even picked up a whopping 10th point.
Carey Price - Game Puck
Price has played much better than this, but, this afternoon, he was our best player by quite a bit. In fact, apart from some more poor puck-handling adventures, he was dominant for half of the game. It was big save upon big save early and I certainly felt that this was the type of game in which he wouldn't be beat. Maybe his teammates felt the same way because at one point (sometime early in the second) they just stopped playing. The onslaught was too much and no goalie would have had the solution.
It was never going to last, was it? A 1-0 lead against Philly, in Philly, just wasn't going to be enough. When we scored that lucky goal, however, we tried to hold on. The Flyers, however, have too much offensive power to just sit back and hope for the best, but that is what it looked like we were doing. Our only sustained chances came on the PP (just not as good chances as we are used to) and towards the end of the game which is becoming predictable as this team seems to wait far too long to go all-out for a goal. It almost seemed, from the start, that this was a game that we couldn't win. The question, of course, becomes why good one night and bad the next? The answer, as usual, is that this is the NHL. Teams like Columbus can win, ones like Detroit can lose. It wasn't a fun game today, but I am in no way worried that because of it we will play poorly tomorrow.
Next up are the Penguins at home. Yes they have Crosby back, but we have beaten the Crosby-led Pens before. I really believe that we have to find a way to get the two points tomorrow. Otherwise, it will be 3 losses in 4 games this week with the only success being a shootout win vs. the 'Canes. It's not a must-win and the season won't be lost if we don't win, but a win, a hard-fought one, would be very good for our beat-up squad and would just be more fun to watch.