Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Habs hold on for sixth win with Markov on the horizon

Carey Price started his ninth game straight in style, making a number of big saves early in leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-3 victory over the New York Islanders. The Habs managed to hang on in a dramatic third period in which the teams traded goals back and forth, and Benoit Pouliot missed on a penalty shot. Andrei Kostitsyn capped the scoring with an empty net goal, his fifth in the past five games.

Tomas Plekanec and PK Subban led the way for the Montreal offence, also benefitting from the strong bottom-six play of Jeff Halpern, Mathieu Darche and Benoit Pouliot. Halpern recorded a goal and an assist while Darche also tallied a goal, as Montreal’s checkers brought energy and presence against a gritty Isles offence. Montreal’s power play continued to struggle, lacking presence on the point and a big body down low. The good news: ranked 30th, it literally can’t get any worse.

In any event, the Habs will be back at it against the Islanders on Friday night, this time in New York. Alex Auld is likely to see his first start in net, handing back to Carey Price for a Saturday night tilt in Montreal against the Florida Panthers.

The return of #79

Of significance to Montreal fans and poolies everywhere, Andrei Markov is due back this weekend, with many pundits speculating on a Friday return. This is big news for the Canadiens, who will immediately benefit from Markov’s calm presence in his own zone, as well as a much more threatening power play. 

The Hockey Sweater

So I’ve purchased a brand new Canadiens home sweater, but I can’t decide who to put on the back. I’ve narrowed it down to PK Subban, Mike Cammalleri, Max Lapierre and Josh Gorges, the former two for talent and importance to the team, and the latter pair for the grit and guts they show game in game out. I have been burned many-a-time by putting a player on the back who was traded, or left as a free agent, almost immediately (I still miss ya Kovalev), so naturally I’m having a tough time with this one. Well Kukla’s Korner world, whaddya think?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrei+markov, carey+price, jeff+halpern, mathieu+darche

Comments

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Here in my bilingual, working-class quartier of Montréal, the two most popular jersey numbers on the backs of kids and adults are Cammalleri’s #13 followed closely by Lapierre’s #40.  Me, I’d go with the former, or Plekanec’s #14 or Price’s #31.

Posted by Ransacker on 10/28/10 at 09:50 AM ET

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It is great to see the Habs playing so well, but can Price keep it up for a whole season? Also, how do you think they will match up against some of the bigger teams from the west?

Posted by Etterbeekers on 10/28/10 at 09:56 AM ET

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Hard to go wrong with Cammalleri or Price on your Jersey.

At this pace, I think the Habs are looking at Price to start 65 games this year. He’s playing a lot early because he’s been good and he gives the team a chance to win every night. That being said, I think they’ll get into a routine of playing him 3-4 games in a row, and then starting Auld.

Posted by Briney on 10/28/10 at 10:51 AM ET

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Don’t let the score fool you, this one wasn’t close. Canadiens were superior all night and the Islanders power play and Roloson kept them close.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/28/10 at 11:31 AM ET

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The Habs are in trouble when Auld has to start. This guy simply can’t get it done in the league anymore. Then they are going to have to overwork Price. Price has proven he has no durability and it is all going to come crashing down. Who put this roster together????

I vote for Subban on the jersey. He is the only one who will be here 3 years from now anyways.

Posted by BlackXinu on 10/28/10 at 12:18 PM ET

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I think Auld can handle 15-20 games. I doubt he’s going to have anything more than that on tap - Price is going to get into 60 or 70 starts at this rate.

As for matching up against the West, they should be better than last year, as they’ve added size in Boyd and Eller. Their defence is still physical, and will push back when necessary. They played Phoenix well on Monday, so I think that’s a good sign.

And finally, thanks for the sweater feedback. The more I think about it, the more I am leaning towards Subban. As one poster pointed out, he’s likely to be there in three years, perhaps many more - and in professional sports today, even three years a pretty good run. Not sure I see anyone else sticking around as long as him, other than perhaps Price. I’ll make a decision soon, and I’ll be sure to mention it in a future post.

Also: Dwayne Roloson was the difference last night. It is mentioned above and I neglected to note his performance. He was intense and brought his best game to Montreal - without him this could have been a rout. I could see him playing another two or three years. It will be interesting to see if he starts tomorrow night. 

Thanks again everyone for the feedback.

Posted by The Upper Canadien from Toronto on 10/29/10 at 12:27 AM ET

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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