Loss: 2-3 (SO)
Habs Goalie: Price (L)
Opposition Goalie: Clemmensen(W)
Habs goalscorers: Cole, Leblanc
Opposition goalscorers: Wolski (1, SO), Samuelsson
St. Denis made a great play at his own blue-line to take the puck that totally caught Florida off-guard. A pass to Leblanc came with the interception and, wouldn't you know it, the Habs had a are 3 on 0. Leblanc was in first and instead of trying to get All-Star game cute he did it all himself as he deked the goalie and put in a beauty of a goal.
Max Pacioretty - Game Puck
Max was buzzing all night in the offensive zone, especially during OT. He didn't score tonight, but did take an incredible 9 shots on goal. He hasn't scored in a while which actually suits me and the Habs just fine. We all know that he is playing well and that he is a good player, we no longer need numbers to tell us that.
Tonight was actually one of Leblanc's better games of the season. I was already thinking of giving him a dome spot when he took a high-sticking penalty. That I didn't like, but I have seen worse. But then his goal sealed his spot as it was truly a nice one. Even after tonight I am not convinced that he is top-6 material, but it is nice to know that come next Fall he will be realistically competing for a spot on one of the top lines.
Cole scored his 31st tonight which is a career high for him and that was also his 56th point. He is now only 5 points from his best in that category too. It is a surprise to me that after all of the signings gone wrong in Montreal over the years Cole would come in here and be our best player and have one of his best years. If anything, Erik has made this season fun to watch when he and his linemates are on the ice.
Frederic St. Denis
I really liked what I saw from Fred tonight. He seems to know when to keep it simple and when to go for it. In my opinion, he is a superior defender to Campoli in every aspect of play and that should be enough cause to let Chris (as if they would keep him anyway) walk away this summer. His pass on Leblanc's goal was just one of many strong offensive plays St. Denis offered up tonight.
Markov and Emelin had rough games and Campoli wasn't that great either. So, of PK or Gorges I go with Subban tonight. He offered more than Josh in each zone throughout the game, but I can't say that I was too thrilled by some of his give-aways. He did, however, play 28-minutes of +1 hockey and added 4 blocked-shots to his season total.
Price was very good again tonight and can't really be faulted on either of the goals. The second one was a fluky goal that should have been whistled dead anyway. On top of that I don't think he had a good look at it and I don't think this was a case of losing focus because of a presumed offside. That kind of stuff happens way too fast for someone to just stop playing.
There wasn't much to that game really. The Habs had a couple of nice plays and Florida, quite frankly, got lucky to bag two points. The loss is what we wanted though, so it is a shame that it had to come after regulation yet again. 1 point, at this point, is still better than 2, however.
What I don't really understand is why the organization is trying to win at this point. I don't think that there is a rule that states you have to try to win (and even if there was we could have easily lost while still making it look like we wanted to win). From a coaching perspective I feel that Cunneyworth may want to win as he is likely gone anyway, so each win is better for his career - fair enough. The players should be torn here, though. Maybe certain guys want to stay in Montreal and, thus, don't want too many good players, via the draft coming in, but surely our top players (Cole, Price, Patches, Subban, Markov) must see the advantage of losing. And, seeing as those players are the reason we win (or get to OT) I am a little surprised with the constant desire to win. I think that losing on purpose can breed a losing attitude, but I am talking about 5-10 games here, not a season, surely these players could take a break from character-building for a few weeks, no? Lastly is the front office, now why would they want us to win. Revenue is what it is as the games will sell out and tv deals are done. A good businessman must know about short-term pain for long-term gain, shouldn't they? I think that the message should come down that we are happy with the points we have now, that from now on we ensure we finish 29th.
The league has made a stupid rule where losers are rewarded and there are a few former Habs execs that would be all over taking advantage of this flaw in the system. I see nothing wrong or unethical with trying to lose as the fans, players and management are all in this together for the long haul, with one goal in mind; to be better next year than they are now. We have 5 games to get that 29th spot and I hope that the team can do that for us. I mean, isn't that the least they could do after making us sit through what has been a very disappointing season?
On a more comical and heart-warming note we are now just three points back of Toronto. They will miss the playoffs again this year which comes after a start that many believed would carry them into a playoff spot. My hope is that they win their last few games and don't get a top-5 pick. I would especially enjoy a win when we play them in the last game of the year.