12-1-1. Unbeaten at home (a record 9-0). Their captain and perennial 30 goal scorer is stuck on two goals. Their #2 centre is stuck on one goal. Their #3 centre is now stuck in the press box.

THE GOOD

    • Carey Price. The Habs didn’t have to rely on Price to bail them out of this one. But they sure did lean on him in the third period when the Kings woke up. Most notable of his saves was one of pure desperation when he was down and out and at the mercy of Anze Kopitar but still managed to get a glove on the puck to keep it out. Price has been in full on Stanley Cup winning mode for four years. The rest of the Habs might be slowly catching up to him.

  • Alexander Radulov.  Once again dominated puck possession down low. Turned Jake Muzzin into a pretzel. Ok, here it goes – Radulov might be the best Habs right winger since Guy Lafleur.

  • Alex Galchenyuk. He’s been a full-time NHL centreman for how long?
  • Paul Byron. He must feel like he’s gone to hockey heaven.
  • Phillip Danault-Andrew Shaw-Max Pacioretty. Same wingers so yeah, the guy in the middle made all the difference. Shaw was noticeable for the right reasons. And while Pacioretty’s goalless drought reached six games, he did pick up a pair of assists to become the fourth Hab to hit double digits in points. At least he’s smiling again. Actually chuckling on the bench after the Danaut goal put Habs up by three. Or maybe somebody said they saw him outside the White House on election night.

  • Shea Weber & Alexei Emelin. Solid like a rock. Or maybe more like a boulder.
  • Jeff Petry & Andrei Markov. Seem to be settling in nicely as a pair. Biggest test coming up this weekend with a back to back at home vs Detroit and especially the next night in Chicago. Coaching staff should try to keep Markov’s minutes (Avg 20:47) well under 20 vs Detroit.
  • Nathan Beaulieu & Joel Hanley. Them too. Montreal did limit Los Angeles to just 24 shots on goal. Hanley, described by his coach as a “cerebral” player, looked good down the stretch last season. But what does his call up say about Mark Barberio (10 points in 12 games in AHL)? Unless it’s cap related.
  • Sven Andrighetto. Looked good after putting up 11 points for St. John’s Ice Caps. Robbed early on from in close by Peter Budaj.
  • Torrey Mitchell. One of his best games of the season.
  • Daniel Carr. First goal of the season followed a clean Mitchell face off win against Jeff Carter and a Markov wrister. So much for the angst over “breaking up” the productive 4th line.
  • First Period. It’s been an issue. But Montreal was clearly the better team outshooting LA 13-7.
  • SOG. Not an issue either. Still got outshot (barely) but limited opposing team to under 25 shots for only the second time this season (Boston in October). For one of the very few times this season the Habs were in fact the quicker team on the ice.
  • Steve Barton. NHL linesman worked career game #1000.
  • Peter Budaj. It was good to see him again. Solid dude.
  • Rogatien Vachon. It was great to see him again. Especially wearing a Habs jersey for the first time in 45 years. One of my childhood heroes.

THE BAD

  • Brendan Gallagher. Nothing wrong with the way he played. When some people say Pacioretty doesn’t have to use his big frame because “he’s not that type” of player point to Gallagher who knocked Zdeno Chara to the ice in Montreal’s last home game and followed that up with a couple of more big hits on bigger impact players. But – for the second time in less than a week – Gallagher was careless with his stick, resulting in a double minor for high sticking. It allowed a struggling Kings power play (0-November) to get them back in the game. Gallagher has 18 minutes in penalties in 12 games. Too many.

THE UGLY

  • In honour of Leonard Cohen there is no ugly. Only beauty.

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3 Responses

  1. dra58

    Mitch the Ugly part was the best way to honor a man like him. So nice,keep up the good work.

  2. Pat

    Mitch:

    I would think unless there’s some trade of assets or a season ending injury on D Barberio will remain in the AHL…they will not recall him because he is capable of playing in the NHL and will never clear waivers going back to St John’s. I assume they value him enough to not lose him for nothing coming back…they got lucky he wasn’t picked up the last time he was sent down