Game Points: Canadiens defeat Boston 6-1

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    By Habster

    30% shooting percentage is not too shabby for a team that has a difficult time finding the back of the net. The Canadiens made the most of their chances against the Bruin by scoring 6 goals on only 20 shots against Manny Fernandez who didn’t have a lot of help from his teammates.

    His goaltending counterpart, Cristobal Huet had another solid game making 31 saves on 32 shots with one of his better saves on a Glen Murray shot. Though he didn’t have to make too many difficult saves, Huet was good when he had to be and looked technically solid by always being square to the shooter/puck. He also doesn’t appear to be dropping to his knee as quickly as he did last year.

    The Bruins made some key mistakes by losing two key face-offs in their zone which led to goals by Alex Kovalev and Christopher Higgins. Zdeno Chara also made a bad decision by pinching at the Canadiens blueline which allowed Begin and Kostopoulos to have a two on one rush up the ice leading to Steve Begin’s goal.
    “They’re a very good team at sending forwards with speed and creating odd-man rushes,” Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference said. “On the 2-on-1 goals, we just got caught a little out of position. We had a couple of failed assignments there. Then we had a couple (of goals against) off faceoffs and the other ones were power plays. I guess it was broken down into two goals in each of those situations.”
    Chara had a rough night with a -3 rating and was benched by Claude Julien for part of the third period. Bring on the Hurricane, we’re ready to weather the storm!!!

    Game Points:

    • It appears that a little goaltending competition from Carey Price has brought out the best in Cristobal Huet’s game, something the dearly departed David Aebischer wasn’t able to do last season.
    • Patrice Brisebois owes Mr. Huet a fine bottle of French wine for making saves after giveaways. From shift to shift, you’re never quite sure which Brisebois will show up: the one who looks confident with the puck and makes good decisions or the circa 1993 Brisebois who had no confidences and was a giveaway machine. Carbonneau made a solid coaching decision by putting Brisebois on the third pairing with Mark Streit in the second period when he noticed Patrice was struggling a bit.
    • Begin/Chipchura/Kostopolous line had another solid game with some offensive contributions as well. Steve Begin has responded well to his one game benching and has a lot of jump in his legs.
    • Christopher Higgins is finally getting rewarded for his hard work with 5 points in his last 3 games.
    • Hasn’t the Grabovski/Smolinski/Dandenault line look good the last two games? Bryan Smolinski is a solid two way center with decent size and should remain at the center position. On the flip side, Mikhail Grabovski looks more comfortable as a winger with less defensive responsibilities to deal with, something he has struggled with against bigger forwards in down low/center slot containment ( a center’s responsibility). He can use his speed more often on the outside as a winger. I didn’t notice Dandenault as much and I think he didn’t see too much ice time in the third period. Carbonneau also agrees that Grabovski is better on the wing:

      “He’s great on the wing,” said Carbonneau. “He can use his speed and he doesn’t have to worry about coming back in his zone and spending a lot of time defending.”

      • Mike Komisarek had a solid game: 5 blocked shots, 4 hits, 1 assist and +1 rating. A good night’s work!!!!
      • Souray who???? Roman Hamrlik had another solid game and the powerplay went 2 for 7 to add to the Canadiens PP stats ( ranked 2nd in the NHL at 26.8% or 11/41).
      • I saw Guy Carbonneau yelling and pointing at someone from the Boston bench at the end of the second period. I guess Carbonneau didn’t like the two cross checks that Chara gave Komisarek after he made a clean hit.
      • And finally, what did Kovalev do again? Winning games has a tendency to make “silly” things seem like a distant memory…don’t they!!!!