Top Left Header
Header
Sports
Arrow
Columnists
Arrow
Title - Hockey is Canadien
Follow OurHometown.ca on... Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow us on RSS
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 sons Eric and Ryan. 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
Luongo horrid but Canucks still win in Shootout over Canadiens
Dean Eastman
OurHometown.ca

Hockey is Canadien
Luongo horrid but Canucks still win in Shootout over Canadiens
Montreal Canadiens’ stellar netminder Carey Price deserved better on Thursday night. Hands down, Price was the better goaltender but had a less than impressive team playing in front of him. The Canadiens had no finish nor any killer instinct as they had ample opportunities to slay the dragon on this night. The Canadiens jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but managed to lose 4-3 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks.
PHOTO CREDIT - VancouverCanucks.com

Whitby - December 9, 2011 - Montreal Canadiens’ stellar netminder Carey Price deserved better on Thursday night. Hands down, Price was the better goaltender but had a less than impressive team playing in front of him. The Canadiens had no finish nor any killer instinct as they had ample opportunities to slay the dragon on this night. The Canadiens jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but managed to lose 4-3 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks. Canadiens’ goal scorers were Frederic St. Denis, Rafael Diaz and Erik Cole. Montreal seemed to be the better skating squad in regulation time as they took the game to Vancouver for 40 minutes. It was the other 20 minutes that sealed Montreal’s fate. Scoring for the Canucks were Mason Raymond (short-handed goal), Cody Hodgson and Sami Salo (power play goal) in come-from-behind fashion.

Vancouver Canucks’ backstop Roberto Luongo was absolutely horrible in nets, facing his hometown team. Luongo couldn’t stop a beach ball as the Canadiens’ three goals were not unstoppable by any stretch of the imagination. He did improve his netminding skills late in the third period, redeeming his earlier play and giving the Canucks a chance to win. Apart from the overtime frame and shootout, the Canadiens were the better skating team for 60 minutes. The mistake the Canadiens made against the Canucks was the fact Les Bleu-Blanc-Rouge tried to defend a lead in the third period.

Game Summary
STATS & PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com
The announced three stars of the game were the Canadiens’ Frederic St. Denis (3rd star, first NHL career goal), Erik Cole (2nd star, one goal, one assist) and the Canucks’ Cody Hodgson (1st star, one goal and shootout game-winning goal).

The Canadiens now travel to New Jersey to take on the Devils on Saturday afternoon for a 1:00 p.m. start. The game will be televised on CBC and RDS.

View From the Whitby Cheap Seats

Time to show Martin the exit door, stage left
In the post-game scrum, Canadiens’ Head Coach Jacques Martin blamed the team’s young guys on the team as well as the special teams for the loss rather than for a lack of effort.

If I may, Coach Martin is off-base. The young guys have been consistently strong so far this season. In contrast, the veterans have not played up to snuff. Brian Gionta, who left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury and did not return, needs to be consistently better, as do other veteran players like Michael Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec among others. The Habs need their foundation shaken, not stirred"best to move Martin before this crack in the floor (losing streaks) becomes a giant hole (missing the playoffs) that can’t be closed up.

Price a Human Highlight Reel
Unfortunately, the game of hockey is a team sport and there is no ‘I’ in team, but Carey Price has done it all for Montreal all season long. Other than for practically standing on his head, Price has not been the reason for the Montreal Canadiens’ (11-11-7) woes this season.

For instance, in Thursday night’s five-on-three man disadvantage, Price was aggressive and effectively challenged the Canucks’ shooters and made various highlight reel saves. Price was flipping and flopping around his crease, making save after spectacular save.

The same could be said for Price’s performance late in the third period as well as in the overtime frame. This kid is going to have a huge windfall at his next contract signing.

Gill - It’s not Pretty but it Works
Veteran stalwart defenseman Hal Gill is exceptionally strong on the penalty kill unit. Yes, he does have some knocks to his game, but they way he was performing his downward dog routine on the five-on-three penalty kill in the first period was quite the scene. It wasn’t pretty, but hey, if it works, don’t break it.

I guess when you’re 6’7" and have a wingspan like a Wandering Albatross (I know you’re going to look this one up), you’re entitled to apply unique techniques to defend against your opponent. This is also one of the reasons why the Canadiens’ had the league’s second best penalty kill percentage going into Thursday night’s contest.

Canadiens’ Rookies - Spy Versus Spy
There was good versus bad on Thursday night at the Bell Centre. The good: rookie Louis Leblanc. Seeing 8:09 minutes of icetime over 13 shifts against the Canucks, Leblanc’s most effective shift came at the five-minute mark of period two when he displayed great puck control down low in the corner of Vancouver’s end of the ice. Canucks’ defenseman Aaron Rome tried and tried again to separate Leblanc from the puck but was unsuccessful over a 30-second span. Too bad Coach Martin wouldn’t use Leblanc more effectively throughout the game.

The not-so-good: Lars Eller. You have to love the potential and creativity this youngster displays in every game. However, Eller took a selfish and needless cross-checking penalty late in the third period which eventually led to Vancouver scoring the game-tying goal on the power play. Eller has to be more cognizant of his surroundings and the consequences of his actions - if he didn’t know before, he definitely knows now.

Whistles left in Referee’s Pockets
With the game tied at three in the final minute of regulation, Vancouver Canucks’ defenseman Kevin Bieksa must be counting his blessings. With Montreal’s speedy centreman David Desharnais weaving around with the puck in Vancouver’s zone, Bieksa tried to defend against him and ended up being draped across the back of the much smaller Desharnais.

The Canucks were fortunate that the on-ice officials were either looking the other way or couldn’t get their hands out of their pockets because in this writer’s estimation, the Bieksa smothering of Desharnais was a definite penalty that should have been called. Oh well, no muss no fuss. The Canadiens need help and need it fast - head coach firing or not.

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


Follow OurHometown.ca on... Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow us on RSS Follow Us with E-Mail Updates!
Send Us Your Thoughts


Title - Story Count
8,374 Stories & Growing Daily...

To date OurHometown.ca has posted a total of 8,374 stories! News, sports, hockey, lifestyle, opinion and more!

Be sure to check out our Contributors and Columnists archives!


Title - More OH Headlines
Click on Photo or Story Title for more info
Detroit Grand Prix Canceled for 2020
Team Canada will not send athletes to Games in summer 2020 due to COVID-19 risks
NBA to suspend season following Wednesday
Lyn St. James to Race in Historic Trans-Am Series at the 2020 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix
2019 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear Fast Facts
OurHometown.ca News Database Last Updated:
Dec. 4, 2020 @ 11:51 AM EST





Footer
Free Sitemap Generator