Habs Outduel Rangers, Reach .500 Mark

The Canadiens 5-4 win over the Rangers last night will mark the date that Habs' fans starting falling in love with their new team.

With Mike Cammalleri paving the way with a spectacular hat trick goal in overtime, the come from behind win is exactly the dramatic type of contest Montrealers love.

The Habs top line of Scott Gomez (0-2), Brian Gionta (0-2) and Cammalleri contributed 8 points in the win, and have pointed in eight of ten games this season.

Prior to the game, it had been said that the Rangers would present a much stiffer test than the hapless Islanders two nights before, but lo and behold the Canadiens tallied as many times against one of the better clubs in the league.

It was a pivotal contest, an early season challenge that marks a certain turning point. The team is playing with confidence not seen in the first five games.


What is truly good to see is the contribution is coming from all over, as is typical of winning teams. While solid games from players do not always translate into scoresheet points, sustained and consistent efforts allow everyone to concentrate on their work.

On that note, the line of Kyle Chipchura, Guillaume Latendresse and Matt D' Agostini looked like a keeper against a deep Rangers team. With Tomas Plekanec and his linemates having a so-so night, their performance enabled coach Martin the ability to match lines without sacrificing pace and momentum during crucial second period moments.


What a difference a week makes!

With three wins strung together, there is almost a logjam at the top of the Northeast Division standings. The Canadiens are two points back of Ottawa, who have a game in hand, one point behind Boston and Buffalo, who have three games in hand. The Leafs in all this are being equal to themselves.

Most importantly, the Habs have a .500 record again and have scored 10 goals in the last two games.


With the first ten game slice of the season now in the books, I thought it would be interesting to check the progression of certain facets to gauge how far the team has come. Nothing scientific here, just a game by game listing of shots on goal, PK and PP efficiency, and the goals and assists for Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri.

Game 1

Canadiens 4 Maple Leafs 3 (OT)

PK 2-4 PP 2-7 SOG T46-M27

Cammalleri: 2 assists

Gionta: 1 goal

Gomez: 0

Game 2

Canadiens 2 Buffalo 1 (OT)

PK 1-5 PP 1-6 SOG B35-M22

Cammalleri: 0

Gionta: 1 goal

Gomez: 1 assist

Game 3

Flames 4 Canadiens 3

PK 1-3 PP 0-2 SOG M30-C28

Cammalleri: 1 assist

Gionta: 0

Gomez: 1 goal

Game 4

Canucks 7 Canadiens 1

PK 3-6 PP 1-5 SOG V35-M28

Cammalleri: 0

Gionta: 0

Gomez: 0

Game 5

Oilers 3 Canadiens 2

PK 0-3 PP 0-2 SOG M35-E19

Cammalleri: 1 assist

Gionta: 1 goal

Gomez: 1 assist

Game 6

Avalanche 3 Canadiens 2

PK 0-4 PP 1-6 SOG M31-C23

Cammalleri: 0

Gionta: 0

Gomez: 0

Game 7

Senators 3 Canadiens 1

PK 1-4 PP 0-5 SOG M28-O21

Cammalleri: 1 goal

Gionta: 0

Gomez: 1 assist

Game 8

Canadiens 2 Thrashers 1 (SO)

PK 0-5 PP 0-7 SOG M35-A23

Cammalleri: 1 assist

Gionta: 1 goal, 1 SO goal

Gomez: 0, 1 SO goal

Game 9

Canadiens 5 Islanders 1

PK 0-3 PP 2-5 SOG M43-I22

Cammalleri: 1 goal

Gionta: 1 goal

Gomez: 0

Game 10

Canadiens 5 Rangers 4 (OT)

PK 0-3 PP 1-4 SOG M31-R27

Cammalleri: 3 goals, 1 assist

Gionta: 2 assist

Gomez: 2 assist

After being badly outshot in the first two games, the Canadiens have now outshot their opponents six games in a row. In the last eight games, the most shots they have surrendered is 28.

The penalty kill, which given up 7 goals in 16 opportunities after 4 games and was ranked 29th, has now given up only one goal in the last 21 chances in the last six games. The PK is now ranked 17th, with a 78.4 % ratio.

Through the first five games, the Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri trio accounted for 4 goals and 6 assists for ten points. In the last four games, they have added 7 goals and 7 assists.

Photos courtesy of Habs Inside out

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