Canadiens Lucky To Escape With OT Victory Against Leafs

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    Photo credit: Mike Cassesse, Reuters

    Habster:

    Guy Carbonneau and his team should have bought some 6/49 lottery tickets after last night’s 4-3 OT victory over the Maple Leafs as they were lucky to leave the ACC with the two points. If it wasn’t for the strong play of the KPK line (formerly known as the Kostitsyn/Plekanec/Kovalev line) and Carey Price standing on his head making difficult saves look incredibly easy, the Canadiens would have been dealt a lopsided loss.

    The Habs were badly outshoot 40-25 and with the exception of the KPK line, had difficulties moving the puck up ice with any effectiveness and allowed Toronto to dominate in the puck possesseion throughout the game. Toronto effectively clogged up the middle of the ice and the Canadiens were not skating or using their speed against the slower Leafs. I guess the bottom line is that the Habs got…….or should I say stole two points from TO.

    Here are some positive and negative game points:

    • I still feel like I’m going to wake up from a bad dream with Carey Price removing his mask at the end of a game to reveal the face of David Aebischer!!!!! Price is becoming an unbelievable story so far this season and is making every Habs fan (including me) who questioned his selection in the 2005 NHL draft, eat their words and bow in admiration to him and Trevor Timmins. It’s still early but Price appears to be the real deal, making tough saves look downright routine.
    • WE HAVE A SECOND LINE THAT CAN SCORE!!!!!!……ABOUT %$@#& TIME!!!! The KPK line is quickly becoming the Canadiens first line with the Koivu line struggling to score (they have a combined 3 points in the last 5 games). Christopher Higgins has had his chances to score with 21 shots on net the last 5 games while the Koivu/Ryder duo have a total of 14 shots on net during that time. Ryder didn’t even register a shot on net against the Leafs (TOI: 14:38) which would explain his demotion to the third line for Friday’s game against Buffalo. Can you imagine the offensive output if both lines were producing!!!
    • Like Carey Price, Kyle Chipchura is starting to show Hab fans why he was selected 18th overall in the 2004 NHL draft. There are more talented graduates from that draft year(Ovechkin and Malkin come to mind) but Chipchura has the drive, heart and leadership qualities that every team needs from its players to win championships. He is incredibly strong along the boards and has formed a solid and gritty line with Begin and Kostopolous. I even think his skating has improved and he has shown some offensive flair with some neat moves and play making abilities.
    • Andrei Markov may have scored his 6th goal of the season but took 8 minutes in penalties and at times was fighting the puck. Yapper/cry baby, Darcy Tucker was able to get under Markov’s skin causing him to take two retaliation penalties which took Markov away from his usually strong/composed game. Mission accomplished by a fourth line agitator like Tucker.
    • Alex Kovalev is finally playing with offensively gifted players who can react/keep up with his creative genius on the ice. The days of Samsonov and hopefully Latendresse playing with Kovalev are behind us, he needs players like Plekanec and Kostitsyn to thrive. Long live the KPK line!!!!!!