Kukla's Korner Hockey
by The Upper Canadien on 11/10/10 at 12:05 AM ET
The Montreal Canadiens looked very good Tuesday night. They played a complete game, start to finish. Carey Price was sensational at times, making 33 saves, and everyone from Tomas Plekanec on down to Tom Pyatt had scoring chances.
More importantly, somewhere in the world last night, a pig must have taken flight, because not only were both Canadiens goals scored by defencemen, the second one was – brace yourself – scored on the power play. By Roman Hamrlik. Assisted by Jaroslav Spacek.
That’s right folks, the Canadiens have a power play. Sure, the first wave might be Benoit Pouliot, Mathieu Darche and Jeff Halpern (where else but Montreal could Mathieu Darche be on the power play?) but who cares, a goal was scored. Regardless of what you may think of the long-term potential of the PhD line, they work really, really hard. Some other Habs need to enroll in the same program if the team wants to keep winning.
Carey Price deserves a lot of credit for this one. Last time he was in BC, he gave up seven goals to the Canucks. Tonight, he recorded his second shutout of the season in style, making a flurry of great saves at the end before he took a cheeky shot at the Vancouver net (he didn’t come close).
Otherwise, Lars Eller continued his frustrating play, looking great at times and disinterested at others. This may have been his best game since the start of the year, but he was still held off the scoresheet. I am reticent to issue a real opinion on the Jaroslav Halak trade until Eller actually gets a chance to play on a scoring line, but given Halak’s play, it’s probably fair to say at this point that the Habs got hosed.
However, given Carey Price’s propensity to suddenly make big saves and win games, maybe it won’t matter too much down the line? The truth is we won’t know who won the Halak trade for another three or four years. True, Eller needs to develop, but we also need to see how Halak holds up. He’s been as hot as can be for six months of hockey, but we’ve seen that before, from the likes of Patrick Lalime, Ray Emery and many others. I believe Halak is a great goalie, but we really won’t know whether he is for another few seasons.
Boyd to the box
So Ryan O’Byrne has a press-box mate for the foreseeable future in Dustin Boyd. That was driven home by his being waived on Monday afternoon. While no one picked Boyd up, the Canadiens can still send him down to the AHL to save cap room. This would allow for a small signing, or perhaps could pave the way for a trade. No concrete rumours or word on who the Canadiens may be interested in, but logic would dictate the shopping list includes either a big defenceman who can shoot and run a power play, or a big forward to stand in front of the net on said power play. Regardless, it seems illogical to have $1.5 million in cap space sitting in the press-box on a daily basis for the foreseeable future. I’m sure Pierre Gauthier is thinking the same thing.
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