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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 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
Canadiens on a two-game winning streak after beating Islanders
Dean Eastman
OurHometown.ca

Hockey is Canadien
Canadiens on a two-game winning streak after beating Islanders
The Montreal Canadiens kept things interesting for spectators at the Bell Centre on Tuesday evening and held on for a 5-3 win over the visiting New York Islanders. With the win, the Canadiens have ended their consecutive loss record against the Islanders at three games. Both teams came into Tuesday night’s contest as the two lowest scoring teams in the NHL Eastern Conference but played an entertaining and nerve-wrenching affair.
PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com

Whitby - December 14, 2011 - The Montreal Canadiens kept things interesting for spectators at the Bell Centre on Tuesday evening and held on for a 5-3 win over the visiting New York Islanders. With the win, the Canadiens have ended their consecutive loss record against the Islanders at three games. Both teams came into Tuesday night’s contest as the two lowest scoring teams in the NHL Eastern Conference but played an entertaining and nerve-wrenching affair.

The Canadiens have now won back-to-back games for the first time in over four weeks. The win almost wasn’t to be as the Islanders were resilient and never gave up the will to win. Montreal avoided a complete third period meltdown for a change and came out on top as the victors.

Scoring for the Canadiens were Andrei Kostitsyn, Mathieu Darche, Erik Cole, Petteri Nokelainen and Hal Gill with an empty net goal. Scoring for the Islanders were Matt Moulson, Josh Bailey and John Tavares.

Carey Price recorded the win for Montreal (13-11-7). Islanders’ Al Montoya registered the loss for New York (9-13-6), making 24-of-28 saves (.857 save percentage).

Canadiens’ fourth line centreman Nokelainen scored what proved to be the game winning goal with just over six minutes to play in the final period. Montreal had entered the final frame with a three-to-one lead, only to see the two-goal lead disappear.

The announced three stars of the game were the Islanders’ Matt Moulson (3rd star, one goal, plus-1), the Canadiens’ Erik Cole (2nd star, one goal, six shots on goal) and Petteri Nokelainen (1st star, game winning goal, one assist) in front of a sold out Bell Centre. The Canadiens face the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.

View From the Whitby Cheap Seats

Game Summary
STATS & PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com
Why Sit the ThunderBolt?
Kudos go out to Chris Campoli for making his way back onto the Canadiens’ active roster as he played in his second regular season game as a Montreal Canadien. Campoli saw 16 minutes of icetime in the game. It really is good to see him back in the lineup after being hurt for so long. Couldn’t the Montreal coaching staff had chosen a defenseman like Yannick Weber rather than the ThunderBolt we have come to love, otherwise known as Alexei Emelin? The Canadiens did manage to deliver 26 hits to Long Island’s 11 hits in the contest, but who other than Emelin has been turning in fantastic physical performances on the blueline, game-in-game-out?

I am appalled that Coach Martin would choose to sit Emelin over a less-than-stellar Weber. Weber has not delivered on the type of performances he displayed last season, to date. The Canadiens are a much better and physical team with Emelin dressed and playing in every game"he is keeping the opposition honest and accountable. Opposing players are quickly learning to keep their collective heads up when entering the Montreal Canadiens’ defensive zone.

Let us hope that Coach Martin will rectify this injustice and inserts Emelin back into the lineup on Thursday night.

Another Injury?
Looks like the Canadiens’ most dependable scorer, Travis Moen is on crutches with a foot injury that is considered day-to-day. Moen blocked a shot in the first period on Tuesday night and had to leave the game. Let us also hope Moen is not away from action for too long; the Canadiens desperately need offence from every possible player on the roster.

Is It Too Early To Eat My Words?
On December 9th, I reported that Tomas Kaberle had been traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Jaroslav Spacek. I also added my two cents that General Manager Pierre Gauthier must have been out to lunch to make such a trade as Kaberle is not the player he once was when he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs. After two games played with Les Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, Kaberle has three assists and is looking like the defensive piece the Canadiens were missing on the blueline. While I am pleased by his recent outburst in offensive production, I am going to reserve my opinion until after Kaberle’s tenth game with Montreal.

I am trying to stay objective as a reporter, but it is extremely hard to cheer for a former Toronto Maple Leaf…

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


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