Good, Bad, Ugly - Bienvenue au centre, Daniel Briere
By Mitch Melnick
TSN 690 and MitchMelnick.com
On Sunday, the Montreal Canadiens defeated the New York Islanders 4-2 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
If you go back to last season - including playoffs - David Desharnais has not scored in 28 straight games. Bienvenue au centre, Daniel Briere.
Montreal - November 11, 2013 - Those of bemoaning the lack of creativity and excitement in recent Canadiens games got plenty of it thanks to a trio of youngsters who will presumably stay together for the foreseeable future. Good thing the kids were flying, otherwise the Habs would have struggled big time to come up with two points against a banged up Islanders team (missing Thomas Vanek, Cal Clutterbuck & Lubomir Visnovsky) that had played the night before and was finishing up a stretch of three games in four nights, having lost all three.
•Brendan Gallagher. He wasn't named the first star but he got things going with a nice play at the blue line to stay onside and then beat Kevin Poulin with a stoppable shot after hinting that he might go wide right. And it was Gallagher's hustle that led to the Habs 4th goal when he outraced Andrew MacDonald to a loose puck and then beat the Islanders best defenseman Travis Hamonic one on one. Big bounce back from performance in Ottawa. Did you expect anything less?
•Alex Galchenyuk. Led all skaters with six shots on goal. Nights like this make you shake your head when you realize he won't turn 20 for another three months. And how could you not love his goal celebration?
•Lars Eller. Ended long goalless draught (15 games) and a stretch of five games without a point. Anchored trio that combined for 3 goals 8 points +6. Looks like the good Lars is back.
•Max Pacioretty. Getting close. Played a lot (20:37) because Travis Moen couldn't finish and seemed to thrive with occasional double duty.
•Tomas Plekanec. It was one of those defense-first nights (again) for Plekanec and he did a terrific job on John Tavares. Also won 59% of his face offs.
•P.K. Subban & Andrei Markov. Ditto for these guys on Tavares line.
•Michael Bournival. Perfect deflection of a Raphael Diaz shot for his first NHL power play goal. Is there anything this kid can't do? Scrap? Based on his physical strength I wouldn't doubt him.
•Power Play. 2-5. Important that second unit - with Diaz & Bouillon on points - combined for a rare goal. Habs power play up to 26.4%; second in NHL behind only Washington's 26.7%.
•Michel Therrien. Career victory #250. Another 250 and he'll tie Toe Blake.
•PK Unit. Surrendered both Islanders goals. They were the first power play goals allowed by Habs since Douglas Murray started to play seven games ago. It should be noted that Murray was not on the ice for either goal. With Murray on the ice Brock Nelson doesn't get to stand upright and unmolested in Carey Price's crease to direct the puck in with his skate.
•David Desharnais. No shots on goal. No shots at the goal. Extended shift led to bad hooking penalty. In the box when Nelson scored to give Islanders some life. Won just 38% of his face offs. If you go back to last season - including playoffs - Desharnais has not scored in 28 straight games. Bienvenue au centre, Daniel Briere.
Mitch Melnick is the host of Melnick in the Afternoon on TSN 690 - Montreal's Sports Authority. Mitch also has his own website at MitchMelnick.com where you can find his blog, music links, upcoming events, neat photos and more. Listen Live to Melnick - weekdays from 3:00 - 7:00 pm. If you have questions or wish to contact Mitch, you can email him at email@example.com
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