Coming off of a game yesterday afternoon where they lost their best player, a middling team that's been riding a sky high team shooting percentage absolutely trounced the Montreal Canadiens.
Through two periods, the Lightning had over 80% of the even strength shots in the game, and they'd been leading since the 5 minute mark when Ryan Malone was left alone in front of the net by Douglas Murray and Francis Bouillon, tipping a shot past Price.
It was a drubbing, a curb stomping, an any synonym for beat down that you can think of. Montreal had no business being in this one, and it really should have been a blowout. How did they manage to get a point? Well...
I don't believe in any gods, but I do believe in Carey Price.
Last night was the ultimate example of why you don't judge goaltenders by their win/loss record. Carey Price is 7-7-2 over 16 games, during which he's put up a .933 save percentage, which sounds ridiculous on its own. You'd think that with those kinds of numbers the wins would be rolling in, but they haven't been. But it gets even worse. Over his last seven games, Price is 2-3-2, with a .930 save percentage. In his last five losses alone, he has a .926 save percentage. In his last five losses!
Whether the 26-year-old Price has finally put it all together, or whether he's on a run of fantastic play that won't last, the Canadiens are wasting it right now. A good team should be able to pump out a .500 record with .915 goaltending in the NHL.
When I began to write this recap, I was going to talk about how Price was the lone positive from last night's game against Tampa Bay, but I've changed my mind on that. Well, I haven't changed my mind, P.K. Subban has.
Lost in Price's brilliance last night and the rest of the lineup's lack thereof, was a phenomenal performance by P.K. Subban. While P.K. was on the ice last night at even strength, the Canadiens got 17 shots on net in 21.9 minutes. While he was off the ice, they got three shots on net in 27.6 minutes. Please look at that sentence and read it aloud.
Subban was on the ice for 44.2% of all even-strength ice time, during which time 85% of all Canadiens shots on net occurred. Eighty-five percent.
These numbers carry through to other possession proxies, as while Subban was on the ice, Montreal put up a 64.7% Fenwick, without him? 27.9%
This not only serves to illustrate the dominance of Subban, but the black hole that was the Habs last night when he was resting. Apparently Don Meehan was at the game last night, as contract negotiations with Subban and Raphael Diaz have begun. I have to wonder if after watching Subban play tonight, did he go out and buy a bigger wallet?
One more positive in a game that had few, was the continuing dominance of the kid line. For the first time in a while they actually took more draws in the defensive zone than the offensive zone, and they significantly outchanced the Lightning at even strength.
Alex Galchenyuk isn't quite at the level that Subban and Price are on, but eventually he's going to be. Those three players are as good a group as any three in the NHL, and as bad as things are right now, it's worthwhile to remember that.
And don't forget to check out reactions from the winning side at Raw Charge.
More from Eyes On The Prize:
- Top Six Minutes: Building Another Carey Price Shrine Edition
- P.K. Subban and Lars Eller face off in Jenga Tetris
- Alexei Emelin to return this weekend, but where does he play?
- Catching the Torch: Nov. 4-Nov.10 Edition
- Tuesday Habs Links - Briere in means Desharnais out