Habs Goalie: Price (W)
Opposition Goalie: Anderson (L), Bishop
Habs goalscorers: Cole (3), Nokelainen, Eller
Opposition goalscorers: Spezza
There was a good handful of plays to choose from tonight. Cole's goals were all very nice, Nokelainen's was good, Price made several nice saves. But my play of the game nod goes to PK Subban for his save on Jason Spezza to keep the game out of reach at the time. Only moments after being hit by Spezza (without retaliation from PK), he kept his head and his coverage to save Habs blushes and momentum in the early game.
Erik Cole - Game Puck
If one scores three goals in a NHL game, it doesn't really matter what else one does in a game. Cole happened to play well the rest of the night and set a record for fastest hat trick by a Montreal Canadiens player from opening faceoff as well.
Desharnais was slick in the offensive zone in this one. He got two assists thanks to Cole's huge efforts. But it was his play on non-goals that impressed me. But for the first 5 minutes of the game, Desharnais was the stand out forward for me.
White played a major role in fending off the Sens in this one. While the team chasing 3 goals probably should have gone for goals, thanks to White's urging, they ended up trying to pull out his gold locks instead. White sort of fought, he was penalized for it. His real impact came as the agitator and distractor.
Subban looks sharp. He's a spring-time player, that's becoming more clear. Tonight he was unleashed on a few occasions to rush and I very much enjoyed seeing that again. It's easy to forget how young PK is, and how really he has lots still left to learn. Highlight moments for me were that save, a rush that Bourque (brought in to stand in front of the net) botched by not being anywhere near the net, and a nice clean body check after an offside (but during the whistling down). He was doing it all in this one.
This player just exudes quality. There are things he makes look so simple that once we maybe took for granted. Seasons without his hands and feet make one realize how important keeping a puck in is, how vital to a PP a laser-guided one-touch pass can be. He's still avoiding the contact, I'm noting. But that's just fine with me. I'll gladly take the efficient defender's passing on its own.
Played a very good game. The stops were flowing and he was for once in sync with his defenders. It's a shame that this comes now and not earlier in the season. We could have used the winning before and the losing now. Whatever desire the Habs fans have for Grigorenkupov, Price counters with disregard for losing.
5:41 into this game and it was over. A team that desperately needed to win allowed a team that desperately needed to lose to get these first three goals and pouf. The strategy from there out consisted of a lot of scuffling and some decent PP action from both sides. The game ended up being long and drawn out in the end because of all the penalties and silly scuffling. In the end, that was all for naught. Neil will have earned some pooler that deals in PIMs a wonderful payout, but beyond that it's just later nights for everyone.
One can't blame the Canadiens for the approach they took, the result or the Senators behaviour. But in an ideal world, this game would have ended 8-9 in regulation after such a flying start. Both these teams are now playing with fire, as lottery and playoffs hang in the balances. As I root for Montreal to go quietly into the night. I am also hoping that Ottawa prevails in their impressive season to make the playoffs. I fear for us all if the two teams on display tonight continue into the next two weeks in this form.
Tomorrow a dose of the Flyers should aid the Canadiens to find their former quest, as the Flyers usually have something to prove and often end up proving it against the Habs. At the finish now, Toronto has won, so has Edmonton. So a victory of less cost can be enjoyed for the beautiful 5 minutes and hat trick it produced.