Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Game #54

Very Solid Effort Lifts Habs Over Pens

Details



Date: 07/02/2012
Opponent: Penguins
Location: Pittsburgh

Win: 3-2

Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Fleury (L)

Habs goalscorers: Leblanc, Eller (1, SO), (Bourque, Plekanec - SO)
Opposition goalscorers: Dupuis, Neal, (Malkin, Kunitz - SO)



Play of the game


The play of the game was the shootout, our lowly, pathetic shootout. Price contributed with some big saves and we got 3 goals. The best of the bunch was Bourque's as it put us up right off the bat and gave the team and the fans confidence that a win, against the Pens in this fashion, was indeed possible.



Dome hockey team

The 6 players we're playing in a no changes, do or die contest in the dome

Forwards

Tomas Plekanec - Game Puck
He was dynamite on the PK early on and did a fantastic job at shutting down the league's best player all night. In the end he was rewarded for his selfless efforts when he scored the game-winning goal in the shootout. When he plays like he has done the past few games we are a better team. Let's hope that he keeps it up.

Lars Eller
Lars had an up and down game. He wasn't that dominant at times, but still managed a very timely goal and a beauty in the shootout. He didn't stand out too much beyond that, but it is notable that he was our only player that was +2.

Louis Leblanc
The kid scored a fantastic goal to put us up and played a pretty solid game otherwise. He was a threat in their end with 4 shots and played very well along the boards. I hope that he continues to progress, wherever he plays for the rest of this season, as there seems to be hope that he could be a good one in the years to come.

Defencemen

PK Subban
He was in their top players' faces all night and you could see the frustration building within the Penguins. Tonight he did everything right and was at his best. It has been a long season of realizing that he isn't a PP specialist, but it has been a thrill to watch him excel in our own end. He made the save of the game in the second when Price got caught; it was an impressive sliding stop.

Josh Gorges
Like PK, Josh was outstanding in our own end. He played the type of game against Malkin and Neal that Spacek and Hamrlik did two years ago in the playoffs vs. Ovechkin then Crosby. Josh is a coach's dream in the way that he works and follows the plan; is it just me or are more and more people following him?

Goaltender

Carey Price
Carey's weak aspects were on display tonight, but boy, so were his good ones. He made poor choices with the puck a couple of times and was almost caught way out for a goal. In the shootout he could have easily let him his usual 50% (4), but thanks to two posts only let in two. He also made 4 very good saves. Throughout the game, however, he was alert and was a huge reason why Pittsburgh never had a lead. Are he and his team heating up at the same time? Surely it is too late, right?


Comments


This was a fantastic game to watch and may have been the closest thing we'll have to a playoff game all year in Montreal. The fact that it was scorelss for so long made things get really intense and really exciting. Our PK generated some serious chances that got the fans into it and so, there was a great atmosphere in the building. We scored a very good goal and then a very lucky one thanks to a bit of cheating by Fleury. We didn't have too many offensive chances beyond those, but we kept it close. That is because our defensive play was spectacular. The short-handed goal was another demonstration of how bad our PP is, but otherwise our play was sound as we respected the gameplan.

Cunneyworth impressed me a few weeks ago when he started using 7 defenceman all as D rather than putting one on the 4th line. I like that concept and am happy to see it is still in effect. Another concept that I really like is the creation of a defensive line. Tonight Plekanec (probably our best all-around player) skated with Darche (who played 21 minutes; second amongst the forwards) and Moen. Having such a solid defensive unit which can shut-down the opposition's best is genius. Yes, Tomas is 'wasted', but we are then able to slip a 3rd and 4th liner on there and get better results than if we had Bourque or Kostitsyn on that line. This then frees up the Desharnais line and players like Eller, Leblanc, Kostitsyn and Bourque to play more freely. I liked what he did as I always am for new thinking in the game. You never know, the concept of having your top centre play with your two bottom wingers on a checking line is something that just may catch on!

No comments: