Yes it is true Carey Price got his first shutout on the season. A shutout that he didn’t have to really work hard to get. In reality, every goalie in the NHL would have got this shutout. That’s just what happens when you play a team as bad as Carolina was tonight.
Montreal was out shooting the Canes 20-5 early in the second period and at that point had a 2-0 lead on goals from Cammaleri and Weber. Cammaleri’s a slapper coming off a beautiful pass from Plekanec and Weber’s coming on the PP for the third time this season. The game was basically this way for the entire game. At game’s end the score was 4-0 and the shots 36 to 25 in Montreal’s favour. Carolina did increase their shot total in the third, but really only one shot had a chance at going in, and Carey slid across the crease a shut the door to avert the threat.
In a game like this, one cannot praise nor criticize the Canadiens. Yes they won by 4 goals, but 3 if not all the goals were a direct result of a Carolina defensive blunder. Even when Montreal made mistakes, there were absolutely no repercussions, Carolina was just that bad.
To Montreal credit, they played well considering the injuries currently plaguing the Canadiens. The squad that suited up tonight was the most under experienced Habs’ fans have seen their team all season. Take a look at Montreal’s sick bay.
With the abscesses of Hal Gill and Jaroslav Spacek, both Emelin and Diaz were in the lineup along with Frederic St. Denis who played his first NHL game tonight. Gorges was by far the most experienced D-man tonight, being the only one with over 100 NHL games under his belt.
Not an exceptionally great game, but a W is a W. For the first time this season, Montreal are .500% and hopefully they never look back. Also, exciting news for Montreal fans in Toronto, the Canadiens are now only 3 points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs. No longer do I have to listen to the incoherent babbling about a Stanley Cup being in Toronto at season’s end.
Another positive stat is Montreal’s record since their epic 6 game losing streak. 7-2-1. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Habs are back at it tomorrow against the Islanders. Will the hot streak continue? Hopefully.