Montreal - Nov. 22, 2011 - A "good" loss. Tough to blame anybody or anything other than the power play. Kind of a weird Montreal - Boston game. Where'd the hate go? One thing is obvious - again - after watching Erik Cole do what he could while the rest of the forwards were pretty much neutralized by Zdeno Chara and the Boston defense - is that the Habs, if they are to once again go through Boston, are going to have find another winger like Cole. Maybe not as talented but perhaps even bigger than Cole's 6' 2". Aaron Pulashaj on the 4th line against a team like Boston is kind of useless, don't ya think? Not exactly "thinking outside the box" but that's what I'd be shopping for, without waiting until Boxing Day.
Alexei Emelin. Another solid performance on the blue line. Led all defensemen on the ice with 5 hits. He's been doing this for a solid stretch now but a very good sign that he might have had his best game as a Hab against the Bruins. And unlike The Booner, I don't give a crap what Gaston Therrien might show on his chalk board. Emelin is definitely a keeper. Which means he'll probably sit instead of his older, softer defense mate Raphael Diaz.
Thomas Plekanic going 58% in the face off circle and, with some help from his fellow centremen, holding one of the NHL's best - Patrice Bergeron - to 33%.
Erik Cole. 6 shots on goal and five hits. Imagine this team with Ryan Clowe as well. Or Chris Nilan. See what we've been missing? Repeat after me - "No more small forwards, enough already". Hab highlight of the night might have been Cole stripping Benoit Pouliot and driving hard to the net. Imagine the roar had he been able to bury that one.
148:11. Carey Price's shutout streak before Andrew "We're Number 1" Ferrence beat him with a perfect shot high on the glove side.
PK Subban played career NHL game # 100. He'll have a lot more memorable games than this one on his way to 1,000.
Tim Thomas. Best goaltender in the NHL. Still doesn't get all the respect he deserves. Not a real tough night for him but nobody in the league is better.
Sydney Crosby back doing his thing. And an already hot ticket for Saturday night suddenly becomes a scorcher.
Scott Gomez. Nothing wrong with his effort from the Boston blue line in but he stopped skating on the way back, arriving a split second too late to stop Ferrence from scoring the game's only goal. A last second dive doesn't hide the fact that he didn't hustle back until it was too late. This is what happens when a player, in any sport, isn't going well. The puck, or ball, seems to find you when you're trying to hide.
Lars Eller. Even his coach addressed his lack of finish. As I tweeted during the game Eller can be a star if he ever manages to finish his plays. Frustrating or tantalizing, I asked. Better yet was Conor Mckenna's reply, "frantalizing".
Aaron Palushaj. Using his considerable speed to force a 2 on 1 in the second period, Palushaj completely botched the play when he decided to pass the puck backwards resulting in a turnover.
Habs power play. Fired blanks (0 -4) even with a double minor to Pouliot.
Benoit Pouliot. Taking a typical Pouliot retaliatory penalty in the offensive zone was bad enough. Don't know which was more surprising, taking another stupid (double minor) high sticking penalty or the fact that he was actually sent back on the ice by coach Claude Julien. Different city, different coach but same dumb Benny.