Blogging Period By Period: Canadiens 4 Devils 0 (#71)



    1st Period:

    • Great start for the Canadiens……lots of speed and good passing out of the defensive zone.
    • Love the way the defense are physically challenging the Devils forwards and finishing their checks……..especially Hamrlik and Bouillon!!!
    • The Kostopoulos/Smolinski/Latendresse line is hopping and seem to have found some chemistry over the last three games. Carbo, please keep Kostopoulos in the lineup……he’s a gamer and will be a strong playoff contributor!!! Nice shot by Smolinski to fool Brodeur who looks a bit shaky handling the puck…..very unusual for him!!!
    • I’m pleasantly surprised to see Tomas Plekanec in the lineup tonight, he’s not a 100% but even at 80% he’s better than Grabovski!!!
    • Sergei Kostitsyn made a beautiful pass to Saku Koivu for the Habs second goal…….you can see how great Sergei’s on ice vision is and the nice touch he has on his passes (he can flip, soften or give a hard accurate pass). Koivu is coming alive at the right time with Sergei building some great chemistry with him. You can see the jump in Koivu’s skating as he is finally playing with another offensively gifted player…….now if we can get the hard working Chris Higgins to remove some of the cement from his hands then imagine the possibilities!!!
    • Wow, doesn’t Carey Price look like he’s in a zone. He is making every save look easy and his rebound control is almost flawless the last three starts (including this game). I was surprised that the Devils had 20 shots on net in the first period.
    • Canadiens kill off a 4 minute high sticking penalty on Andrei Kostitsyn and were very aggressive pursuing the puckhandler, something I hope they do with more frequency until the end of the season.

    2nd Period:

    • All four Habs lines are flying and the Devils seem to be having a difficult time dealing with it. We have to keep in mind that the Devils are missing two of their better defensemen in Colin White and Paul Martin.
    • Price makes a great save on a pass/re-direction in front of the net by a Devils palyer.
    • Little Kost is having a great game with another great set up pass to Maxim Lapierre for the Habs third goal………Lapierre has raised his game to another level (with the exception of the Anaheim game….a few bad giveaways) and like I said about Tom Kostopoulos, Lapierre is another type of player who will thrive in a playoff style of game when the stakes are higher. He did it with the Bulldogs in last year’s Calder Cup playoff run.
    • Do you think Mr. Price likes to show up his boyhood idol, Martin Brodeur……..if he wins this game, he’ll be 2-0 against Marty. I certainly think Price uses Brodeur as a motivation factor especially the way he is playing tonight.

    3rd Period:

    • The Canadiens are starting to push the rush even more as the Devils are starting to look tired…….so much for “the first game after a road trip” syndrome!!!
    • The Habs have given up a ton of shots again but a majority of them were from afar and Carey Price could see them. The defense did a nice job of clearing the front of the net tonight especially the O’Byrne/Hamrlik duo.
    • Brodeur made a few good saves especially the toe and glove saves on shots by Michael Ryder.
    • Wow, Sergei Kostitsyn is flying tonight and is relentlessly pursuing the puck. He reminds me of Tomas Plekanec when he is constantly chasing the puck like a dog chasing a bone…..great work!!!
    • Final minutes…..dare I mention the s____out for Price!!!
    • Games over and Carey has his 2nd shotout of the season……..Habs are back in first palce in the Eastern Conference and will be facing the Senators on Thursday….hopefully minus Alfredsson!!!