Opponent: Maple Leafs
Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Gustavsson (L)
Habs goalscorers: Bourque, Diaz, Eller
Opposition goalscorers: Lombardi
In a weird way the play of the game tonight was Kaberle's penalty. With two minutes to go I trust our PK more than I trust us at even-strength. So, once we went man-down I was much more confident that we would hold on. In the end we held on and Toronto couldn't even get one of the two goals they needed. We needed a win and we needed a clean last two minutes - a penalty (who would have thought?) was just what the doctor ordered.
We were told that he would score goals by being on the doorstep and, after 4 games, that is what he finally did. The goal was his highlight, but it wasn't a bad game otherwise. We'll need more goals from him if we are to keep winning, if that is what we want to do of course.
Erik was the best forward again, surprise, surprise. At times he was too much size and too much speed for the slow Toronto D. His play on the first goal was a big reason for the confusion and for the goal. He ended up at +2, the night's best.
Eller was fast tonight and he was rewarded with a goal that sealed the game. In all that is ten goals now - could he hit 20? Kostitsyn and Moen were on tonight too, so once again there were two or three lines that TO had to worry about. When that happens we often do well.
The true warrior in this one. When Komisarek looks across the ice he sees the player he could have been. Now, however, he fits the Toronto mould better than most and it is hard to believe that we once thought he was captain material. Josh for his part is and showed that again with his leadership tonight. After Toronto's goal I liked how he discussed what went wrong with PK. No matter who's fault it is Gorges seems interested in making this team better.
He scored the game-winner and showed why he should not be in the press-box, but should be playing. The same can't be said for Campoli who really offers little to this team. Diaz didn't just score tonight, but also chipped in with 4 hits. When he plays like he did tonight he is easily in our top-4.
Carey Price - Game Puck
I was worried after the Leafs scored their goal as Price looked weak. Before and after that, however, he was stellar as he turned away 32 shots. He was our best player tonight, but I did like how the team really limited Tornto's chances throughout. When Price plays like this and the D is strong in front of him it hurts to know just how bad this season has gone.
Every time we win I regain hope, but logic and reason then kick in (and a quick look at the standings). I still enjoy a win as it is more fun to watch. Of course, a top-5 pick could mean a huge change to the future of this team, but it is hard not to cheer for the win each and every night. So, I have decided to just let be whatever will be.
Tonight the Habs played a decent game, the type of game that suits them. They scored even-strength goals, were good on the PK and played strong as a group. In the end, however, the best part was that we handed the Leafs the loss, in regulation. I would be almost as happy with the Leafs missing the playoffs as the Habs making it in most seasons. So, tonight was a great feeling. Saturday, in Toronto, what could be better than reminding a fellow bad team that they are indeed not that great. It just goes to show that a hot start means little when you face the hard, cold fact that the season is 82 games long.
It would be nice if the Habs kept this up and if they can have a strong couple of weeks we'll see where we are and see what we are hoping for. Until then, enjoy having some days off from the Habs (only one game in the next 10 nights) and enjoy the most boring hockey game on the earth next weekend in Ottawa.