Kukla's Korner Hockey
by The Upper Canadien on 10/14/10 at 10:00 AM ET
Carey Price deserved much, much better last night as the Montreal Canadiens fell 4-3 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Habs were up 4-3 with about a minute to go when PK Subban went to the penalty box. Tampa Bay then scored a controversial power play goal, as Dustin Boyd was tripped by Ryan Malone in front of the referee and no call was made. The goal was scored in the moment following the trip.
The Canadiens showed good pressure in overtime, but faded as Tampa Bay continued to press. Price appeared to have the puck under his glove with less than a minute to go but it came free, and with 51 seconds left Ryan Malone scored the winner.
Price was phenomenal the entire game, facing 47 shots and turning away 43. This loss in no way rests on him. Indeed, in a theme familiar to last season, the Canadiens were horribly outshot, 47-27, and missed on many of the scoring chances they did manage to generate. Andrei Kostitsyn provided the Canadiens best play of the game mid-third when he rushed back to the Habs zone, laid a body check on Vincent Lecavalier to turn the puck over, and rushed up the ice resulting in his scoring a beautiful goal off a Tomas Plekanec pass.
Other highlights for the Habs included great puck work by Lars Elle, and strong physical play from Benoit Pouliot. The Pouliot-Scott Gomez- Brian Gionta trio has yet to start firing on all cylinders, and Pouliot missed many chances, but credit where it is due, as he kept working in the corners and playing hard. PK Subban continued to dazzle with rush after rush and was also strong in his physical play.
An ugly lowlight? Max Lapierre’s hit from behind on Steve Downie in the second period. Lapierre received a five minute major for boarding, and while I don’t think he’ll get a call from the league, these hits have to stop. Furthermore, for Lapierre, if he continues to goad players into dropping their gloves when he does not drop his own, along with hitting people from behind, word is going to circulate around the league, and that is not a good thing. Lapierre scored a goal in the first period and is off to a good start this season; however, he needs to rein in his energy and exert self control. He has the potential to be a very effective pest, a la Darcy Tucker, but he needs to put more energy into scoring goals and less into cheap-shotting the opposition. Let’s see of he can focus on his game and become the impact pest that he has the potential to be.
Montreal has tomorrow off before heading to Buffalo to face the Sabres on Friday night. The Habs face Ottawa Saturday, so its likely Alex Auld will see his first action as a Hab in one of these two games.
Also of note, Andrei Markov is expected back before the end of October, likely on or around October 25th, according to the Team 990’s Tony Marinaro.
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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.
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