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Title - Hockey is Canadien
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Follow Me on TwitterDean Eastman is the Montreal Canadiens' correspondent for OurHometown.ca Dean was born in Cornwall and raised in Long Sault and has been a loyal Habs fan since the days of the Pocket Rocket and the Roadrunner. He now calls Whitby, Ontario home to his wife Heather and young son Eric. Dean is passionate about his hockey, whether it be from the junior or professional ranks. Dean will provide current news and views on the Montreal Canadiens' organization from a global perspective. If you have questions or wish to contact Dean, you can email him at deastman@ourhometown.ca
Canadiens win streak ends at four as curtain falls in New York
Dean Eastman
OurHometown.ca

Hockey is Canadien
Canadiens win streak ends at four as curtain falls in New York
The win streak is over for the Montreal Canadiens. Questionable calls made by the officials combined with undisciplined play by the Canadiens resulted in Montreal suffering a 5-3 loss versus the hometown New York Rangers at Madison Square Gardens on Saturday night.
PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com

Whitby - Nov. 6, 2011 - The win streak is over for the Montreal Canadiens. Questionable calls made by the officials combined with undisciplined play by the Canadiens resulted in Montreal suffering a 5-3 loss versus the hometown New York Rangers at Madison Square Gardens on Saturday night.

Brad Richards scored what proved to be the game winner late in the second period for the Rangers. New York got goals from Erik Christensen, Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto in the first period that put Montreal in a hole they would never be able to climb out from. The Canadiens played short-handed for 10:59 minutes in the opening frame.

Habs’ bench boss Jacques Martin was not pleased with his team being assessed a five-on-three man disadvantage as a result of a thundering Mike Blunden open ice hit on Brandon Dubinsky in the neutral zone at 4:18 of the first period which resulted in two separate ‘Saturday night fights’ between Blunden and Ryan Callahan and Petteri Nokelainen versus Michael Sauer.

Martin felt that the Rangers’ players were the aggressors and the net effect should have been nullified with five skaters aside, post-penalty assessment. Martin was pleased with the way his team bounced back after the 3-0 deficit in period one.

The Canadiens would mount a short-lived comeback by getting goals from Max Pacioretty and Andrei Kostitsyn (PPG) in the second period, but the straw that broke the camel’s back would be the Brad Richards goal at the end of the second period that saw both teams head to their respective dressing rooms with the Rangers leading 4-2.

Montreal would fight to realize their second comeback in the contest when Brian Gionta finally scored at 18:10 of the final frame to bring the game into reach at 4-3. Ryan Callahan then potted an empty net goal at 19:21 to put the game on ice.

With the Rangers’ win, head coach John Tortorella became the 9th coach in New York Rangers’ history to win 100 games. Tortorella was pleased with his team’s ability to ”scratch and claw” to ”find a way again to snag two points”.

The announced three stars of the game were dominated by the blue shirts. Defenseman Ryan McDonagh (3rd star, plus+3, one assist), Dan Girardi (2nd star, one goal, 30:50 ice time) and forward Artem Anisimov (1st star, two assists) were the stars of Saturday night’s contest in Manhattan in front of 18,200 spectators.

Super-pest Sean Avery made his return to New York on this night but only saw less than five minutes of ice time primarily as a result of the nine power-play chances awarded to the Rangers. The Canadiens’ next opponent will be the young, but red-hot, Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, November 8th at 7:30 p.m. in Montreal. Habs’ netminder Carey Price will be awarded the Molson Cup award in a pre-game ceremony on Tuesday for his stellar performance during the month of October.

For the complete NHL.com boxscore and individual Canadiens’ player statistics, please click on the link below.

View from the Whitby Cheap Seats

Game Summary
STATS & PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com
For any Habs’ fanatic that watched Saturday’s game, they must be shaking their head to see the Canadiens come out with a lacklustre effort against the Rangers. The Canadiens’ final period performance on Friday night versus the Ottawa Senators was eerily similar to the opening 20 minutes of the Rangers’ game.

The Canadiens were horribly outshot 16-3 in the first period by the Rangers. To make matters worse, there is no way Mike Blunden should have been assessed an interference penalty on Brandon Dubinsky. Blunden delivered a solid open ice hit in the neutral zone, but unless I was watching a different contest, Dubinsky was carrying the puck and had every right to be hit by Blunden.

It isn’t Blunden’s fault Dubinsky had his head down.

Carey Price struggled tonight. Price stopped 24-of-28 Rangers’ shots on goal. Henrik Lundqvist netted the win for New York as he stopped 25-of-28 Canadiens’ shots.

The New York Rangers worked harder at avoiding needless penalties. Speaking of needless penalties, what the ‘bleep’ was P.K. Subban thinking giving Henrik Lundqvist a snow shower resulting in Subban being assessed a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the third period. Teammate and captain, Brian Gionta was quoted “we need to be smarter than that”.

Two Canadiens’ skaters that stood out on Saturday night for all the wrong reasons - Michael Cammmalleri was guilty for his lack of effort; for going through the motions and for not backchecking, and defenseman Yannick Weber who did not have his best performance.

The Canadiens’ defense in general were exposed against New York. The defense corps backed up alot tonight and allowed the Rangers’ forwards to gain the offensive zone.

Montreal could not win any faceoffs and was one of the reasons they lost tonight. Collectively, the Canadiens realized a 38% winning faceoff percentage against New York. Lars Eller went 3-for-13 and Tomas Plekanec went 9-for-25 in the contest.

Montreal went one-for-two on the power-play while New York went one-for-nine.

Positives on the night had to be the Max Pacioretty, Brian Gionta, Michael Cammalleri line. The trio clicked. Brian Gionta who has been criticized as of late for his lack of play, actually has four points over the past four games.

Erik Cole is proving to be the complete package for Montreal. Cole was all over the ice tonight.

Until next time, play every game as if it is your last one…


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