All good streaks come to an end. And so it is with the Habs on home ice this season and Carey Price just falling short of George Hainsworth’s franchise record of 11 straight wins to start a season (dead puck era or not – how did Hainsworth record 22 shutouts in 44 games?). But there is another streak that ended when Aaron Ekblad’s stick exploded – the Price/Shea Weber duo lost for the first time since first hooking up as teammates at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. If you’re counting – through Sochi/World Cup/NHL – they were 21-0.
- David Desharnais. Habs needed somebody to step up offensively without their hard working star right winger and there was Desharnais with his first assist since October 20th vs Arizona and his first goal since his two goal night against Pittsburgh October 18th (13 games). When he decides to shoot the puck he’s deadly accurate from in close (career 15.3% shooter) as exhibited by his 2nd period shot when he beat Roberto Luongo over the right shoulder. Maybe he heard Florida’s Jonathan Marchessault (listed at 5’9″ – no way) refer to him after the morning skate as “inspiring”. Is Desharnais as LW a viable option?
- Max Pacioretty. Rebounded from a poor final 40 minutes in Chicago to flash a wicked release from the right face off circle which Luongo is still looking for.
@HunterZThompson that wrist shot off the half wall a la Kovalev on the PP is what I’ve always wanted to see from Pacioretty
— G-money (@gem12131972) November 16, 2016
- Paul Byron. Another breakaway while killing a penalty (where are those stats people?) and just when Montreal needed a goal, there he was avoiding Panthers captain Derek Mckenzie to get to the front of the net to pick up a rare Luongo mistake and tie the game at three. Byron has now scored in five of the last six games.
- Brendan Gallagher. It was his shot from his off wing that Luongo couldn’t find that Byron pounced on. Gallagher’s first point in six games. Hasn’t scored in 11. Who’s worried? You worried?
- Tomas Plekanec. Yes, you should worry about this guy. He did have his chances but those were some ugly, weak looking shots he had, especially when he found himself alone in front of the net.
- Chris Terry. Looked better in his first game as a Hab than Bud Holloway did. Holloway is in the KHL if you were wondering. Maybe Terry will get another shot against his former team in Carolina where he scored 18 goals over the last two seasons.
- Daniel Carr & Sven Andrighetto. Both had their moments, especially Carr. One of these guys is going to stay. The other will likely be dealt.
- Andrei Markov. Incredible pass through traffic to set up Desharnais. I want some of what he’s taking.
- Power Play. Another game, another goal. That was a good looking designed play by Markov-Desharnais-Pacioretty. PP clicking at 23.5%
- Mike Matheson. Welcome home, kid. That was quite the pass from behind the Montreal net to set up Kyle Rau.
- The flu. Habs are a very different looking team without Alexander Radulov.
- First Period. Habs fell asleep after the Pacioretty goal. Outshot by Florida 13-6 and outscored 2-1. “More shots” said associate coach Kirk Muller to Marc Denis of RDS. Over the final two periods Montreal outshot Florida 30-8.
- Phillip Danault & Andrew Shaw. Left a lot of their energy in their old home building in Chicago.
- Alex Galchenyuk. Extended his point scoring streak to six games (and 9 out of 10) but the overtime winner by Ekblad was on him. Forget the broken stick and whether or not he should have gone straight to the bench (probably). He spent way too much time on the ice even before his stick broke. He had a chance to get to the bench after his shot just missed the net to Luongo’s left while the Panthers prepared to counter attack. He’s still learning.
- Greg Pateryn. Can’t afford to make mistakes like he did on Florida’s second goal when he failed to tie up Matheson. Again benched for long stretches. Played just 10:47. He has the look and feel of a guy who has played more than 70 games in the NHL. But it’s something to keep in mind, even at age 26.
- Carey Price. Was due for one of these. The old law of averages came back to kick him in the pads. Or to modernize the terminology – his play was “unsustainable”. The second time he’s allowed more than two goals in a game (also 4 vs Philadelphia 10 days ago). Save percentage has slipped below .950. Goals against average ballooned to 1.63. Uncharacteristically beaten 5-hole on the first two Florida goals while the last two (Dennis Malgin knuckleball bounce off of Jeff Petry and Ekblad’s flying stick blade) were almost as ugly as the current public political discourse in America.