Recap – Flyers vs Canadiens: Special Bond Provides Will to Win

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(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
Game 53, Home Game 28 | Tuesday February 10, 2015
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

2-1

FLYERS
Philadelphia

(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
Lineup scratches: Mike Weaver, Manny Malhotra

Game Notes:

Shooting gallery.  It’s rather obvious that Michel Therrien has urged his team to shoot often and from anywhere on the ice. And for the past few games, they are doing just that. Shot attempts were 90-44 for the Habs in this game. But Therrien needs to add one additional step to the game plan: get to rebounds for secondary chances.  Astutely, Carey Price noted post-game that the Canadiens struggled to get second and third shot opportunities.

Where’s the plan? Once again a well-coached opponent came into the Bell Centre with a well-defined game plan that flummoxed the Canadiens for the better part of the game. And once again Montreal looked ill-prepared.  The Flyers slowed the game down considerably particularly in the first period.  The Canadiens speedy forwards should have been able to exploit Philly’s slow-footed defenders.  And the Habs power-play should have been able to take advantage of one of the league’s worst penalty-kills (28th in the NHL.)

Team dynamics.  Despite the lack of a solid game plan designed to take advantage of the weaknesses of a non-playoff team, the Habs players simply refused to lose.  This is a special team. And of course then there is there Vezina-worthy goaltender. After Philly’s Matt Read rifled the puck through a multiple-player screen to score just 51 seconds into the game, Carey Price seemingly declared ‘You shall not pass.’ Price made spectacular saves on Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier, and a huge pad save on Claude Giroux who had a clear breakaway from the blueline.

JDLR belongs in Montreal. We have been so impressed with Jacob De La Rose when seeing him at Lake Placid the last two summers and encouraging readers to take notice.  De La Rose is big, skilled, strong on his skates and can play with a physical edge.  Add to those physical abilities, he is defensively responsible while displaying strong leadership qualities and hockey sense. We have been concerned that Sylvain Lefebvre hasn’t been giving him ice-time and special teams opportunities in Hamilton. But De La Rose has really showcased his talent since the callup. De La Rose was brilliant in overtime to break up a scoring chance by Vincent Lecavalier on a 2-on-1 Flyers break which in turn set up the winning goal for Montreal. As a bonus De La Rose was 57 per cent in the faceoff circle and had a successful shift on the penalty-kill.

With Tomas Plekanec, Lars Eller and an emerging De La Rose, the Canadiens are very fortunate to have three talented two-way centres.

KaBoom. It needs to be said that this game turned on a blowup hit: Alexei Emelin on Chris Vandevelde. Emelin has been targeted this season by certain media outlets as the player they want run out of town. But no other Montreal defender can deliver an impactful hit that can change a game. Emelin did just that on Tuesday night. The energy level in the Bell Centre among the players and fans spiked following the hit. Emelin played yet another good game for which he gets precious little credit.

Plus / Minus

▲    Carey Price, Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Markov, P.K. Subban, Alexei Emelin, Jacob De La Rose, Lars Eller, David Desharnais

▼     Michel Therrien, Nathan Beaulieu

 Statistics
CANADIENS FLYERS
41 Shots 24
0 for 3 Power Play 0 for 1
56% Face-offs 44%
2 Penalty Mins 6
15 Hits 30
65 Fenwick For 30
90 Corsi For 44
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens  (35-15-3) 0 0 1 1 2
 Flyers (23-22-9) 1 0 0 0 1
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL:  Plekanec (16), Desharnais (9)
  • PHI:  Read (4)
  • MTL: Price (W) 30-11-2
  • PHI: Emery (L) 9-9-2
 NHL Three Stars
NHL3stars
  1.  David Desharnais  MTL
  2.  Tomas Plekanec  MTL
  3.  Carey Price  MTL

 Video Highlights

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien
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  • “Honestly, we had a slow start. But at the start of the second period I saw the intensity and the compete level was there for us, and we kept pressing the game and pushing, and this is a group of guys that refuse to lose. They’re going to push. They show a lot of character and again they found a way to win that game.

P.K. Subban

  • “We have to find ways to be aggressive right from the start of hockey games. At this point of the season, we can’t afford to come out flat. We have to come out with the right mentality and the right attitude right from the start.”

Carey Price

  • “That’s been our philosophy these last few games, is just try and funnel pucks towards the net, just find ways to pick up those loose pucks. That’s been our bread and butter over the last couple of games and it’s been working.”
  • “They’re a pretty desperate team. They’re in that hunt and they played pretty well [Tuesday]; Ray Emery played very well, gave them a chance throughout the game. We still were able to get a good number of shots on net but they did a great job of clearing rebounds and made it really difficult to get second and third opportunities.”
  • “Yeah, big play (in overtime by Jacob De La Rose). It’s good to see that the coaching staff has confidence to put him out there in those situations and it’s really good to see him come up with a big play, and I’m sure he’s really enjoying the moment right now.”

Jacob De La Rose

  • “I want to play as much as possible and it’s up to me to show that I’m good enough to play here.”

Flyers forward Matt Read

  • “Every point matters. It’s tough to swallow, coming into the third period in Montreal with a 1-0 lead, you’ve got to find a way to win that game. I thought we penalty killed well, we played well defensively. On their first goal, I think we had all five guys in front of our net and it just kind of bounced to their guy. It’s a tough break, but we have to find a way in the last six minutes there to get another lead.”

Flyers goaltender Ray Emery

  • “It’s a tough building to come into, we know that’s a good team. I thought we played real well again defensively. They buzzed around a bit with a bit of zone time, but we sorted it out pretty well. We had a lot of chances actually in the first half of the game; (Carey) Price made some big saves.”

Flyers head coach Craig Berube

  • “We had it right there. We let them come at us too much in the second half of the game.”
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5 COMMENTS

  1. “Despite the lack of a solid game plan designed to take advantage of the weaknesses of a non-playoff team”

    Lets not forget that Philly was well rested coming in to this game, and also one of the hottest teams in the NHL. The Habs started slow, as can be expected, but went on to out-shoot Philly almost 2-1 by the time it was all said and done. Will of the players has nothing to do with it; Philly was outplayed for the majority of this game.

    • Thanks for your comment Sovtech. It is true that the Canadiens dominated in shots on goal and shot attempts. But as mentioned in the recap, they were playing a perimeter game without challenging a weak Philly d-core. 5-on-5 scoring chances were much closer than shots with a 25-17 advantage for the Habs.

      The Flyers had earned points in each of their previous six games but were no better than the Hurricanes (currently 28th) in their last 10 games. During the streak goaltender Steve Mason was largely responsible winning three games and being named as a star in the overtime loss to the Islanders. With Mason injured the Flyers were forced to go with Ray Emery and backup Anthony Stolarz fresh from his first NHL callup. Emery is a below-average backup with a 3.25 GAA and .891 Sv% and was certainly beatable had the Canadiens employed a plan to break down a weak defensive team.

    • To be honest with you I was a bit nervous for the Habs to play the Flyers as you mentioned they are @ present a non-playoff team.
      Habs have not faired well against non play-off teams just look @ the outcome from Arizona & the Sabres lmao.
      Habs had me on the edge of my seat from the get go after the Flyers scored the early goal.
      Habs need to try & get better starts as playing from behind can get to be a little to much for the players on a continual basis what do you think ?
      Go Habs Go !!!

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