CFN – Carey Price deserved better Saturday night at the Bell Centre. Montreal nearly won a game that should never have been theirs. A strong first period had them ahead 2-1. It was 3-2 Montreal after two periods in spite of two Pittsburgh goals being negated, but the Penguins were allowed to run amok out shooting Montreal 42-27 on the night and 16-5 in the second period.
Without Carey Price this could’ve been a blow out. I give Pittsburgh a lot of credit for having character. Chris Letang, who scored the winner in OT, can play on my team any time.
Montreal also showed that you can’t win at a high level with only one line working; that of the Erik Cole, who impresses me more with each game I see him play, Max Pacioretty, and David Desharnais.
If I were Pierre Gauthier I’d wait until Brian Gionta had a point streak and then see if I could muster anything in the trade market for him as the days of Gionta and Gomez in Montreal should probably be coming to an end by the finish of this season.
Tomas Plekanec needs some wingers to play with. Lars Eller is not an offensively gifted player and it showed last night against Pittsburg on the power play. The boy can skate, but the puck on his stick is not something you want to see in clutch moments.
Andrei Kostitsyn did not shoot the puck. He did play well, but he needs to get it into his head that his value to the team and to himself can only go up if he can manage 3 shots a night. Alexei Emelin also looked good out there as he starts to round out his game and if Markov does come back I can see the two of them making quite a combo.
The clock is ticking on Montreal’s 2011/12 season. You can’t just keep wishing and hoping on the return of Markov and Scott Gomez. As I write this I feel sad for Geoff Molson as the repairs needed to this team to get it to the level where he can really sell a lot of beer are not slight ones.
In the meanwhile whoever is running the Habs power play needs a break and they need to bring in someone who can make it work.
In other NHL scores: The Islanders 3-2 over New Jersey; NY shut out Philly 2-0; Colorado 5 Edmonton 2; Boston kept on winning, doubling Winnipeg 4-2; Buffalo gored Washington 5-1 as the Caps situation gets worse game by game.
Tampa 5-1 over rival Florida; Detroit 4- Nashville 1; Phoenix shut out Dallas 3-0; Vancouver edged San Jose 3-2; and Chicago nipped LA 2-1 in Los Angeles.
So Hab fans; do you think Montreal has what it takes to make the play offs without some major moves? You can post your comments below.