Kukla's Korner Hockey
by The Upper Canadien on 11/18/10 at 11:59 PM ET
Not a great game for the Habs this evening, as they were blanked by the Predators 3-0. But hey, it happens. Nice to see Francis Bouillon tally two assists and get second star. Also nice to see Sergei “The Mobster” Kostitsyn get roundly booed each time he touched the puck.
My big takeaway from this game? Jarosalv Spacek looked lost. He was reasonably good for a brief few games, because his ice time was down in the wake of the return of #79. But with the absence of Markov, Spacek is being relied on for too many minutes, and his age is showing. He was out of position on two goals, and it was glaringly obvious. Not to mention he missed a perfect chance in close to score early on in the game.
Spacek is a 15 minute defenceman now, a solid #4 or 5. Unfortunately, he’s being paid like a #2 or a 3. He’s a Janne Niinnima for the 2010s. Ryan O’Byrne has stepped in admirably for the Colorado Avalanche. With his size and strength, I really believe he would be a better fit on this defence. But no one was going to take Spacek’s enormous $3.8 million salary, with another year left on the contract. Pierre Gauthier couldn’t give Spacek away right now (of note, for those who didn’t see the game, Spacek injured himself late while delivering a hit and did not return).
The other takeaway? Carey Price is tired. But he should be, after starting 18 of 19 games. Luckily tomorrow is an off day, and then it’s the Leafs on Saturday.
Oh, and Pekka Rinne is very, very good.
Will recent call-up Yanick Weber, he of eight goals and the league lead among defencemen in the AHL, be inserted into the lineup Saturday night versus Toronto? Does Jacques Martin have the chutzpah, as Mordecai Richler used to say, to sit Spacek for a game? He threatened to earlier in the year, but it has yet to happen. He may have no choice if Spacek proves to be hurt. And with all this free cap space, are the Canadiens going to make a move? Things continue to be interesting for Les Glorieux.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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