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.

THE GOOD

  • 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.

  • 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 BAD

  • 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.

THE UGLY

  • 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.

About The Author

7 Responses

  1. Joshua Lemish

    I think as much as I hate it Therrien maybe gets a nod, if PK had made those errors in OT he would have thrown him under the bus and driven over him a few times. He didn’t do that with #27…(maybe he is learning)

  2. Shane Oliver

    The Good: Gerard Gallant, PEI’s favourite coach (sorry Dave) makes Therrien and the Canadiens look like crap every time they play.

    2. Local talent from the Panthers looked like ALL Stars.

    3. Two Day Break. The team needs it and I need it from stinkers like that Panthers game.

    4. Carey Price. He’s the reason they win and the reason they lose. Sign him long term and pay him dacish!

    5. Desharnais. I could almost hear Lunongo say to himself. “Oh MY GOD, did David just score on me.”

  3. Ian London

    When Rads is out (and given Montreal weather that will happen) we need to make up for his loss. Juggling all the lines didn’t help, But with that many shots, we need to win that game.

    In the OT 3 broken sticks – what are the chances? But you don’t abandon your zone in OT because of no stick. And if you do why didn’t Byron jump onto ice since he’s the fastest skater? Finally, the puck would not have been on goal if it wasn’t for the broken stick that changed the speed and direction of puck and then deflected off of our player. Carey had no chance to react.

    Still that’s a game we have to win. I know we’ve won games we didn’t deserve to but I quickly bank those points and forget it. So let’s take this point and get on another roll.

    • Mitch Melnick

      Actually most coaches would want a guy to scamper to the bench if his stick is broken in OT. It becomes a 3 on 2 – way too much room to set up a shot.

      • Shane

        In the Panthers situation I would have wanted Galchenyuk to stay on the ice and stick with Ekblad, there are 3 on 2 situations where it’s safe to leave but in this situation, Galchenyuk was gassed. Speaking of gassed, that line had the opportunity to change earlier to make the shift short, but they choose to carry the puck one rush more than they should have. When the Panthers got a change on them they should have been bookInEr to the bench for their change. Regardless, it was a crappy loss.