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The Upper Canadien

Carey Price: THE reason the Canadiens continue to win

He was brilliant again tonight, making over 30 saves yet again in a 3-2 win. However, he saved his best for the shootout, stopping a Martin St. Louis spin-o-rama, and then a Ted Purcell Linus Omark-esque stop and flip. And what did Price do in both instances? Stared the shooter down after the stop and tapped the puck their way.

You have to love that intensity.

Price continues to play his way into Hart Trophy contention, something he seems to build a stronger case for just about every evening. But Price wasn’t the only Hab to shine tonight.

Credit to Jacques Martin for going with Nigel Dawes in the shootout. Not only did it pay off, as Dawes scored, but it also rewarded a player who worked his butt off in his first game for the Habs. Aaron Palushaj also looked very much part of the team, pushing to the net and generating multiple scoring chances. He certainly didn’t look out of place. Brian Gionta, who scored a shorthander in the third, has some of the best work ethic I’ve ever seen in a hockey player. Perhaps it’s rubbing off on the youngsters, because I saw that same dogged game in both call-ups. The Habs may have another diamond in the rough in Palushaj.

And lastly, I want to cite the performance of Travis Moen. Sure, he didn’t get a point, after getting 6 in the previous 6 games, but he continued to do what he does best: plug away. He was hitting, creating havoc in front of the Lightning’s net, and never gives up on a play. Moen was a key piece of the Habs beating Washington last year, checking Ovechkin into the dressing room, and he’ll need to be a central part of any success to come this year. The amazing part? Lately, he’s creating more offence than his linemate, Scott Gomez. I just wanted to mention that, because Moen rarely gets a nod in the media. And he’s a heckuva hockey player.

No rest for the weary

The Habs head to New York for another big game as they try to pull even with the Boston Bruins for the Northeast Division lead. No word yet as to who will start. Tomas Plekanec and Jeff Halpern are still day-to-day, so either could slot back in. However, given the performances of Dawes and Palushaj this evening, there doesn’t seem to be much to be worried about.


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About The Upper Canadien

The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.

I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

Questions or comments? theuppercanadien@kuklaskorner.com