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Monday, December 20, 2010

Rocky Mountain Loss

Disappointing result for the Canadiens last night in Denver, falling 3-2 to the Avalanche in a game where the Habs had the lead twice, but ultimately couldn't hold back the enthusiastic... and speedy, Colorado offense.

The skinny: Ultimately it was a dirty goal that did the Canadiens in late in the 2nd period... Price made a nice stand up save, but the puck hit him high in the chest, then popped out right into traffic and somehow pushed the puck back through the goaltenders's legs and into the net.

Canadiens had some nice chances in the 3rd period but couldn't seem to finish, missing rebounds, open nets etc. That's the way the puck bounces sometimes. Can't fault the Habs as the effort seemed there last night, it just didn't go their way. Anderson made a couple of solid saves but wasn't really a factor. It really did look like the team was going to tie the score.

Price made some terrific saves in the 2nd period, namely on a 2-on-1 and a great glove grab later or it might not have been close. He probably would want the 2nd goal back but really hard to fault him on a backhand shot coming off a rush which was the result of a Picard turnover.

The Habs lost because they were beaten 5 on 5. Their only goals came on the power play.

The team had a good effort, but just came up a little short. It happens sometimes. The Gomez line didn't contribute on the scoreboard, but they had some good opportunities and just couldn't close the deal. But they're playing well in my opinion. MaxPac is bringing some good energy and winning battles along the boards.

Honestly, if the Habs could reign in their neutral ice turnovers, they'd be really close to playing excellent hockey. OH, and stop taking penalties at the end of periods. Again the team got burned with a goal in the dying seconds of the 1st period. Those hurt.

This was the first time we got to see Ryan O'Byrne since his trade. He's happily playing a lot of minutes and is regaining his confidence. He was solid last night -- but should have been called on a crosschecking penalty against Darche in front of the Avs net last night which would have resulted in a 5-on-3 for the Habs. He got away with one. Good for him.

Quick comment in support of Andrei Kostitsyn: not sure why the commentators on RDS are so quick to diss AK46.

It's true, he's not going through the most prolific stretch of his career, but in my opinion, it's not that he's playing poorly, it's just one of those things.

Let's be honest, Plekanec has had more productive stretches too. Pierre Houde and Benoit Brunet were very quick to point out, and harp on, how Kostitsyn's giveaway led to Spacek's late period penalty that resulted in the Avs tying the score at 1-1.

But there was no mention about how the Habs' first goal was the direct result of Brother Andrei winning a battle on the boards and passing the puck to Plekanec, which started a nice give & go ending with Cammellari whipping the puck past Anderson.

Moving AK off this line will not prove to be productive in my opinion. Give him the time to find that synergy this line was showing early in the season.

So not the start we wanted for this road trip -- but the Habs get to show off their "bounce back" abilities tomorrow night in Dallas where they'll shoot for a win against Mike Ribeiro and the Stars.

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