It wasn't the prettiest of games. But in the end, it's the two points that matter.
In a tilt that at times was a complete snoozefest, in front of a crowd that consisted mostly of Montreal Canadiens fans, the Habs were able to sneak out of Florida with all four points by beating the
Kind of makes you forget that Michael Cammalackey guy, eh?
Power forward Rene Bourque celebrates with Josh Gorges and Alex Galchenyuk after scoring the game winning goal in OT against the Panthers. Montreal beat Florida 1-0. AP
There wasn't a lot of flow to this game. The Habs definitely had the advantage in scoring opportunities vs. the Panthers but none of them were of the bang-bang play or gaping wide-open net variety. Still, former Hab Jose Theodore was solid in nets for the Panthers and when they came on with a push of their own in the third, Carey Price stood tall to earn his first shutout of the season.
Definitely not a classic. But there were some positive points for the Habs to continue to build on:
- The team took only two penalties on the night, one right off the bat on a debatable call against Bourque running into Theodore; and Gorges in the third which was a key kill;
- After two periods, the Canadiens were 34% in the faceoff circle -- verging on the pathetic; but the team rallied in that area in the third especially by Lars Eller and Tomas Plekanec winning some key defensive zone faceoffs, ending the night at 46%;
- Although he didn't end up on the scoresheet, Erik Cole had a lot more jump and played more of that physical up-tempo game like last year;
- Big bodies count: Therrien looks like the man by putting Galchenyuk with Rene Bourque in OT resulting in the game winning goal. New lines next game?
So now there's a new trend on twitter: #bourchenyuk!! The winning goal was the result of a great individual effort by Galchenyuk, driving the net and staying with the puck when it looked like the play was done, then getting the puck on net for Bourque to knock in the rebound.
On to Montreal to face the Flyers Saturday night.
Although they are the Habs' rivals, I have to say I got shivers up my spine for all the wrong reasons watching Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators take a skate to the achilles from Matt Cooke of the Penguins. As you may know in reading an earlier post of mine from January, I tore my achilles this past summer and let me tell you, it's no fun at all. After surgery today, Karlsson is officially done for the season, suffering a 70% tear of his left achilles tendon. And there's no getting around it. He's got at least a month in a cast where his achilles needs to stay immobilized. After that, his leg will have atrophied, and he'll need to do physiotherapy for months to start walking again let alone skate. I really wish him well and it's too bad as he's a good, young player who is exciting to watch. The Senators as a team are in deep doo-doo -- GM Brian Murray looked like had suffered a coronary last night in Pittsburgh when he learned the news.