It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it: NORTHEAST DIVISION LEADER. I don’t think anybody, media/hockey pundits or Hab fans would have predicted the Montreal Canadiens would be division leaders, let alone be in second place in the Eastern Conference.
The Habs played another solid game against a Buffalo Sabres team that has been playing better hockey of late (11-3-3 in their last 17 games). The last two games, the Canadiens appeared to have found their defensive game without sacrificing their league leading offensive game.
Guy Carbonneau’s charges now lead the NHL in goals scored with 209 potted behind the opposition’s goalies……not quite the Canadiens of the mid 70’s but they certainly have a well balanced attack especially with the Koivu line coming alive the past few games. The Habs also have the most 40+ point players on one team with seven……..now that’s what you call a well balanced attack.
The KPK line had been uncharacteristically unproductive the last few games (Kovalev: 2 games: 0 points -3, Plekanec: 4 games: 0 points -4, Kostitsyn: 3 games: 0 points -4) but broke out of their mini slump with Tomas Plekanec (G-3 A-1) and Alex Kovalev (4 beautiful assists) each tallying four point games. Mark Streit also had a strong offensive night with a goal and two assists.
While the offense is clicking on all cylinders, the defense and goaltending is starting to play better allowing only three goals against the last two games. Carey Price was solid in nets making 31 saves on 33 shots and appears more comfortable handling the puck around the net which helped his defensemen.
Bring on the New Jersey Devils and native son, Martin Brodeur……….he’s due for a loss in front of his home crowd!!! Oh, by the way…….thanks Cristobal, we owe you a big thanks for handing the Devils a 4-0 loss in Newark!!!