Montreal - Nov. 17, 2011 - A much needed home ice laugher for the Habs. They did what they had to do against a reeling Carolina Hurricanes team that looks like it's about to either fire its coach or trade anybody not named Eric Staal or Jeff Skinner. Only a prevent - let's 0 make - sure - we - get - the - shutout - defense in the third period kept the score respectable. Yes, the Habs were good. But Carolina was awful.
Erik Cole. Got it done early against his old pals with a perfect set up to Yannick Weber on the Power play.
Mike Cammalleri. Finally hit the back of the net.
Scott Gomez. Finally got his second point of the season, mere seconds after I tweeted that if he couldn't pick up a point in a game like this then maybe he should consider retiring. Now on pace for a nine point season.
Travis Moen. Scored his 6th goal of the season, equalling his total from last year. And of the six he has scored only this one was truly Moen - like ugly.
Alexei Emelin. Easily his best game as a Hab. A double seven peformance with seven hits and seven blocked shots. Set the tone early with a thunderous check on Jiri Tlusty.
PK Subban. Finally scored his first goal of the season. Last year, he scored 9 of his 14 goals in the second half of the season. The kid is alright.
PK Unit led by my choice for early season MVP - Josh Gorges. Carolina was 0 - 6 on the PP. It's been awhile since Montreal has given up a power play goal. Only Subban (24:49) played more than Gorges' 24:30. He was also +2 and now sits tied for 5th in NHL at +11.
Frederic St. Denis. A solid NHL debut and didn't look out of place albeit against a crappy Carolina team.
Thomas Plekanic. Ho hum. Another 2 assist night.
Jacques Martin. For moving Mike Cammalleri up with Plekanic and Brian Gionta while allowing Gomez to get off the 4th line and play quality minutes with better players. And for making sure, with the big lead, that nobody logged too many minutes with Thursday's road game coming up on Long Island.
Carey Price. Followed up frustrating loss with a perfect night in goal. True, he wasn't busy until the third period but don't forget about the early save he made on Eric Staal who came in alone on the left side on a Carolina power play early in the first when the game was still scoreless. And it was Price who got the play started leading to the opening goal by Cammalleri, picking up his first assist of the season to go along with his first shutout. And the way he handled the puck all night made you think of Martin Brodeur in his prime. Finally worked his save percentage over the .910 mark (.913). Now, onward to .920 territory.
The Habs finally with more victories this season (8) than losses (7). But please don't tell me they're over .500. They've played 18 games and lost 10 of them. They're also now tied for 8th place in the Eastern Conference.
The two penalties Lars Eller took. Both lazy and unnecessary. They kind of bookended the game. No big deal, in the end, and he was plus +2 on the night but he gave Carolina an opportunity to open the scoring and then gave them an opportunity to spoil Carey Price's shutout.
Scott Gomez in the face off circle (20%).
Gord Miller's attempt at humour. Now I must admit I was boiling pasta at the time but I think Gord made some reference to the possibility of St. Denis having a career year but not having a Montreal street named after him. Maybe outside of Quebec...
The Hurricanes. Dead team skating.
TSN Quiz asking what Habs should do with Gomez. Even Bob Mckenzie suggested sending him to the minors, "at the appropriate time."