Mitch Melnick is the host of Melnick in the Afternoon on the Team 990 - Montreal's Sports Authority. Mitch also has his own website at MitchMelnick.com where you can find his blog, music links, upcoming events, neat photos and more. Listen Live to Melnick - weekdays from 3:00 - 7:00 pm. If you have questions or wish to contact Mitch, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Good, Bad and Ugly - Can't ask for much more from Kaberle
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Has Martin Brodeur really become just another NHL goalie? When did Larry Robinson start looking lost behind the Devils bench? Does Lou Lamoriello have to approve the Devils Dancing Girl routines? Will Pete DeBoer ever get into the playoffs? Is the NHL really in Newark? Did Lamoriello really sign Ilya Kovalchuk?
Montreal - Dec. 11, 2011 - Has Martin Brodeur really become just another NHL goalie? When did Larry Robinson start looking lost behind the Devils bench? Does Lou Lamoriello have to approve the Devils Dancing Girl routines? Will Pete DeBoer ever get into the playoffs? Is the NHL really in Newark? Did Lamoriello really sign Ilya Kovalchuk? Why can't the Habs find a David Clarkson? Please tell me Zach Parise won't wind up with either the Flyers or Rangers.
This is what happens after I'm fed by Knuckles Nilan. I pay more attention to the other guys. But I got to see the newly - cut edition of "The Last Gladiators" at the Nilan screening room in Dorval. Extremely moving and powerful. It's headed to the Sundance Film Festival in January. Don't miss it when it eventually hits Montreal, likely in the early spring. (And maybe you too can enjoy a meal prepared by Chef Nilan. Thanks Knuckles.)
Carey Price. Every aspect of his game is in sync. He's a joy to watch. Especially get a kick out of those moments of intense activity around his net followed by a Price smile/chuckle. Beaten only by a deflection. Loved his reaction to stopping Parise on the penalty shot with the game on the line (but it does make you wonder about the Devils advance scouting - no short side shot?). After a long, slow steady climb Price finally has his save percentage at .920. Reasons 1 - 5 why the Canadiens still have a shot at the playoffs.
David Desharnais - Erik Cole - Max Pacioretty. Keep them together. Extremely strong road game by the trio, especially little Desharnais who also dominated in the face off circle (78%) and is now over 50% for the season (51.1).
Mathieu Darche. Apparently there is some life in those 35 year old legs. His best game of the year.
Montreal PK unit led by Hal Gill (4:28) & Josh Gorges (4:28).
The power play. It scored. At a rate (1-5) we've become accustomed to.
Tomas Kaberle. Can't ask for much more from a guy in his first game than to ignite the power play and set up both goals.
Andrei Kostitsyn flashing an in - game smile, courtesy of Carey Price.
The fan in the stands wearing a Habs jersey holding up the sign "Will Coach For Food".
Thomas Plekanec plays so many hard minutes but on the lone NJ goal he lost a battle behind the net. Late in the game on a NJ PP and with Brodeur on the bench, Plekanec lost two consecutive crucial face offs. Thankfully, the guy behind him with the pads on is pretty good.
Mike Cammalleri. I don't really care about Cammalleri's game without the puck. Everybody seems to be crapping on his game right now but I'm not as concerned. He was signed to a rich contract to score goals and create offense. He's not doing it. Yet. But at least he continues to get quality chances. He was credited with two shots on goal vs NJ but he hit two more goal posts (If they had enlarged the nets this season Cammalleri would be the leading candidate for the Rocket Richard trophy) and fanned on a one timer in close. I happen to think a bucket of goals are coming but in the meantime, when was the last time he scored a non - deflection goal?
The long delay to fix the glass with the Canadiens leading 2-0. Did they have to call in a crew from the Meadowlands?
The injury to Brian Gionta. Face it. This team will never be 100% healthy. Besides, if the NYR can become one of the better teams in the east without their best defenseman (Marc Staal) and the Pittsburgh Penguins can keep winning without their best player(s) and the Philadelphia Flyers...
Referee Dean Morton. He committed an officiating sin when he guessed that Josh Gorges handled the puck in the crease. He didn't really know. He couldn't have.
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