Canadiens vs. Rangers 5 Takeaways: The offence is coming around
It wasn't pretty, and they almost lost, but Habs still beat Rangers 5-4 in a Saturday night clash.
1. Phillip Danault, take a bow, sir.
For the first time in his National Hockey League career, Danault recorded a four-point game. He hustled to the net for his first goal, before scoring in the slot for his second, which ended up being the game-winning goal. He also assisted on Alex Galchenyuk’s and Max Pacioretty's goals.
Without a doubt, he was the best Hab on the ice. It'll be a night he won't soon forget.
2. The Rangers clawed their way back into the game
The Habs had their best first period of the season with their three-goal outburst (coming into the game, the Canadiens had six first-period goals all year), so of course Habs fans had to feel jovial, and perhaps a little cocky. The Rangers comeback started after some Olé chants in the first period.
The Rangers responded with two goals in the second, and they eventually tied the game at four in the third period. Chalk it up to bad puck luck, or the defence playing haphazardly, but the Canadiens almost choked a victory away. Heaven help Marc Bergevin and Claude Julien if they had blown 3-0 and 4-2 leads on Saturday.
3. "You see what happens when you go to the net?"
Good things happen when you go to the net, in three parts:
Alex Galchenyuk gets the PP goal after a nice feed from Brendan Gallagher. 2-0 #Habs pic.twitter.com/Js31W15ZAH— Jared Book (@jaredbook) October 28, 2017
Another angle of the #Habs third goal. pic.twitter.com/9RchjaFAa7— Jared Book (@jaredbook) October 28, 2017
Max Pacioretty with the huge goal to take momentum back and make it 4-2 #Habs pic.twitter.com/NPUNWPHpxz— Jared Book (@jaredbook) October 29, 2017
Whether you're in the goalie's face, or even a touch outside the home plate area surrounding the net, good things can happen if you're in its vicinity. The team has been working on their net presence and it paid dividends on Saturday.
Look at how RED the Rangers net is. Any more and it'll scorch whatever device you're reading this piece on. Also note where all of the G's are.
4. Alex Galchenyuk, power play specialist
Galchenyuk has 50% of the #Habs powerplay goals this season.— Robyn Flynn (@robynlisaflynn) October 28, 2017
That fourth-liner's doing pretty well on the power play, isn't he?
All three of Galchenyuk's goals this season have come on the man-advantage. But there's still more work to be done for the first-round selection. He was nearly invisible at five-on-five, as he just had the one shot on goal that went in the net in over 10 minutes of ice-time.
But hey, Claude Julien still felt Galchenyuk played well enough to move from the fourth line ... and play with Tomas Plekanec.
It may only be a matter of time before Galchenyuk returns to the first power-play unit.
5. For the sixth time in 10 starts, Carey Price has allowed four goals or more.
The defence hasn't helped him, but this statistic is concerning, even in a winning effort. I lament the Price of old, the one who consistently made great saves and kept the Canadiens in games they had no business winning.
Price allowed four or more goals 15 times last year, and he didn't reach his sixth time until December.
The good news for Price: there's more than enough time this season for him to return to form, and he's unquestionably the Canadiens' best backstopper in their stable. We know he's better than this, and more importantly he knows he can be better.
Thankfully, there were no Bronx cheers for the 30-year-old last night, either.