1. The Canadiens made it easy for the Blues to score first.
It looked like the Habs would come out strong, with a good 20 second shift from the top line that generated a shot and a scoring chance, but that was short-lived. Galchenyuk-Desharnais-Weise jumped on the ice and it was the a land of confusion in the D zone. St. Louis was essentially allowed to do what they wanted with the puck. They created traffic, used body motion to confuse defenders and draw them out of position and took advantage of poor rebound control from Mike Condon and his D corps.
2. After their rough start Montreal completely took over.
At the 12:47 mark of the 2nd period the shot totals were 30-11 in favour of the Habs. At that same mark in the 2nd they had a 13-2 shot advantage in the period. That's nuts.
3. Tomas Plekanec needed that.
One of the Habs' least productive players over the collapse. You could tell how happy and relieved he was to get that goal. It was a hell of a goal too. One of those shots that had to be completely perfect for it to beat the keeper.
4. Galchenyuk was on a mission.
I don't think there is a difference in effort or style of play between Galchenyuk on the wing or Galchenyuk at center. He's just a great hockey player who will thrive in any role he's placed in. He was impressive tonight. Pursuing puck-carriers with ferocity to create jumbled passes that led to turnovers, stripping dangerous attackers and turning possession the other way, generating high-danger scoring chances off the rush. He had a great game for a player who is looking to gain his coach's confidence.
5. The powerplay was excellent.
I know they went 1-1,000,000,000 but the Habs were possessed on the man advantage last night, that much was evident. They were confident in all aspects of their strategy. They carried the puck in well, established efficient puck movement that got the penalty killers moving and put a ton of pucks at the net. It took them a few tries to make it count but by the way they were peppering Elliott you knew it was a matter of time before the twine was tickled. For me, the amount of shots that went on net was very encouraging. They're not scoring wroth a damn, why not just play the percentages and throw everything you have?
6. The Habs' second goal was a set play that the Blues completely fell for.
It was a thing of beauty. Plekanec won the puck cleanly back to Beaulieu who picked it up on his strong side. Beaulieu immediately dropped down low while Plekanec covered his point. Beaulieu shook off his defender with ease and coasted to find his passing lanes. The same defender who should have stuck with Beaulieu along the wall ended up drifting to the slot to pick up Pacioretty but by the time he got to the high-trafficked area Bealieu had made the centering pass and Pacioretty cleaned up the garbage. Good stuff Nate.
7. The Habs were relentless, the Blues got lucky.
Right after their second goal the Habs were right back on the attack. They didn't give the Blues an inch. That's what they're going to have to do to prevent this season from being a waste. The Blues scored two lucky goals but the Habs were the better team for the majority of the game by a wide margin.
8. I fast-forwarded through the brawl but the refs got the call right.
If you know anything about me you know I hate hockey fights. I saw Gallagher get pushed into the crease. I saw him nudge Elliott ever so slightly. I saw Elliot flop backwards and knock the net off. I saw a Blue punch Gallagher. I saw all hell break loose. I watched on super-speed until the Habs went on the PP. Gallagher didn't do anything, the Blues deserved to be shorthanded. That's all I have to say about that.
9. Emelin is playing like he did before his game fell off the face of the earth.
At least in terms of high impact hits. That hit on Stastny was ferocious. I watched it a few times and it's incredibly borderline but it looks like he just stays onside in terms of body on body. I couldn't believe Emelin avoided a penalty given the speed and power of the hit. That penalty late in the 3rd was a doozy.
10. The Blues were ridiculous.
Talk about a lack of composure. Were they every sour. They gave the Habs every opportunity to win the game with their total lack of discipline. Elliott was terrific for them, incredibly solid.