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Monday, January 16, 2012

Three Out of Four Not Bad

The Canadiens surprised the New York Rangers last night and were able to come out of this weekend's action with three of a possible four points. Not bad. But they still didn't gain any ground in the standings.
Too bad they couldn't squeeze out a full four after losing in a shootout to the Sens on Saturday. But on a positive note, the team was good to even get that single point by scoring late to tie the game and send it to OT.

Camma who? Rene Bourque made his Habs debut on Sunday night. He actually has Kovalev's old number 27. Pic: Habs Fan in HabsLand, Gary Rothstein.

It's starting to get kind of tiring, this losing in a shootout thing. If only the team had a winning record in the shootout this year. Currently after 45 games played the team has 17 wins, 20 losses and 8 losses in OT/SO. They're 1-6 in shootouts after losing to Ottawa on Saturday.

If they were 4-3 instead, their record would be 20 wins, 20 losses and 5 OT/SO losses for a total of 45 points. Marginally better, true. But psychology factors into this and being at least even in wins/regulation losses can give a struggling team a bit more jump. In any case, they're leaving a lot of points on the table.

Unfortunately, the Habs remain in 12th place, still 8 points out of 8th. This week however could be an opportunity for the proverbial glimmer of hope, as the Habs play three of the teams they're chasing if they want to even think about the playoffs: Washington, Pittsburgh and Toronto. Good luck:
"We can't be satisfied when we're sitting in the 12th seed. Ask me again in a month and a half when we're fighting for a playoff spot."—Montreal right winger Erik Cole on whether he was satisfied with taking three of a possible four points in weekend games against Ottawa and the New York Rangers.  
Rene Bourque played his first game as a Hab last night and came as advertised: he hit, he was hard along the boards and he got a few good shots on net. He has some good speed for a man his size and is reminiscent of Erik Cole in that way. Bourque had a nice rush early in the game when he used his speed to barge into the Rangers' zone, only to have his backhand shot stopped by King Lundqvist who, by the way, is more of a pauper when he comes to Montreal. The Rangers have now lost 6 straight at the Bell Centre and Lundqvist now has a  4-5-1 record at the Bell Centre, including a goals-against average of 3.86 and a .887 save percentage entering the game.

Well at least we play good against one team at home.

It was also positive for the Habs to score first and win the game. And goaltender Peter Budaj -- who got the start -- finally got his first win in front of the Bell Centre faithful.

The weekend also saw the return of Scott Gomez to the Canadiens' lineup. Pretty much absent against Ottawa, the Alaskan-born forward always seems to play well against his former team the Rangers. He made a nice pass on Blunden's goal in the second period and made his presence known much more than on the previous night.

Michael Cammalleri scored the only goal in Calgary's 4-1 loss to Los Angeles on Saturday. How about that "losing mentality" in Calgary, eh Mike!?


1 comment:

  1. Go Habs Go! As for Cammalleri, all I have to say is "Wah waaaahhhhh!"