Game 11 Recap: We Thought The Habs Had Problems

The Montreal Canadiens are on a roll now!

They close out the month of October at 4-5-2, after a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins.

The boys from Beantown fall to 3-7-0, the worst record, after a Stanley Cup winning season in 17 years.

During the game, with the Bruins down 3-0, Joe Haggerty tweeted, "It’s really difficult to see #Bruins going into Tuesday night w/the exact same roster and coaching staff intact if the B’s lose this one." He's likely right, though coach Claude Julien will likely get a grace period.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has been quoted he's giving it a 20 game window, but you gotta wonder, considering they have scored two goals or fewer eight times this season, including seven of their past eight games.

But we're less than a dozen games in. I'm not ready to write a eulogy just yet.

The Canadiens hit the score sheet first, on the power play, when Brian Gionta tipped in a Tomas Plekanec point shot at 15:26 of the first period.

A minute and sixteen seconds later, Lars Eller fired in his first of the season on a wrist shot that beat Tuukka Rask. It was long overdue goal for the Danish center, who has had some missed opportunities this season. I can't wait to see this kid in another year or two.

The Canadiens added to their lead at 12:24 of the second period, and again with the man advantage. This time the diminutive David Desharnais benefited from grunt work by by Erik Cole in front of the net as he snapped the puck into the net behind Rask.

The game could have been completely lost for the Bruins, who played some brutally undisciplined hockey. They were spared by Rask, who aside from a 3-0 shutout two years back, has had some bad nights at the Bell Centre. One of his biggest stops was a suicide poke check on Max Pacioretty that apparently gave Boston play-by-play man Jack Edwards a heart attack.

The Bruins finally struck at 16:28 of the period. With Eller clearing the puck from behind his net, and being pursued by David Krejci, he eventually coughed up the puck. It was clearly a hook, but a giveaway is a giveaway and Eller admitted that post game. The puck worked it's way over to Milan Lucic, who then slapped the biscuit past Carey Price.

With a 5-on-3 man advantage early in the third period, it appeared the visiting team had a chance to come within one but Josh Gorges sprawled across the crease to prevent a goal off the stick of Lucic. Missed it? Well here it is!


But the key to killing that Bruins power play? Coach Jacques Martin actually calling a timeout, after the second call, to get his best three penalty killers on the ice.

With 55 seconds left to play, Tyler Seguin managed to slide a puck between Price's pads, but it was of little consequence as Plekanec netted the empty netter at 19:48.

Carey Price picked up his third straight win, and second at home on the season. The Habs netminder faced 28 Bruins shots and had 29 blocked by his teammates. Another seven were wide of the goal and at least three of those hit the iron solidly.

The Canadiens now have to find a way to keep the momentum going. Their next game is on Friday when they visit the Ottawa Senators.

"You don't control the schedule," coach Jacques Martin said on the upcoming break."You get what you're given, and we have to make the most of it going into a busy November."

But with Andrei Markov spotted at the Bell Centre, we get a week of speculation as to whether or not he'd be ready for next weekend.

Other notes;

Mitch Melnick made a good observation during TSN990's post game show that Jaroslav Spacek is playing like he's ten years younger. Spacek has 18 blocked shots in the last three Canadiens wins.

Erik Cole led all Habs in power play minutes and battled Bruins captain Zdeno Chara all night, coming out on the winning side of most of the battles.

I've always felt that Mike Cammalleri's passing skills are undervalued. He had two assists tonight on the power play.

David Desharnais is making me forget about Scott Gomez.

The fourth line came out to play from the puck drop and did what they needed to do. Though still a small sample, The deal for Petteri Nokelainen is promising.

Not sure what score sheets HNIC was using all night, but the team of Lee and Campbell was atrocious, more-so Lee, citing numerous statistical inaccuracies. Raphael Diaz did NOT lead the Habs in TOI, only on even strength. Cassie Campbell is a competent analyst knowledge wise, a great public speaker, and has the hockey resume, but on the fly she trips over her words too much. Pairing them up on a Saturday night with the Habs and Bruins was a let down for viewers.

How they're taking things over at Stanley Cup of Chowder

Game's Three Stars: 1. Carey Price 2. Lars Eller 3. Tomas Plekanec

 

Advanced Stats: Shift Charts / Head to Head / Corsi Fenwick

Olivier's Scoring Chance analysis

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