Saturday, 10 December 2011

Game 30: Montreal 2, New Jersey 1

An early game for the Canadiens today, and it seemed like both teams were asleep as the game began. The Devils really started waking up after the break in the third when rink glass had to be replaced. And wake up they did, coming very close to tying the game late.

There's not really a theme or an angle or overriding subject I can think of to focus on in this recap. The guys on l'Antichambre are riffing on Mike Cammalleri's poor performance, and that is a bit of a concern with me as well. I've been trying to defend him, telling others to be patient and that he's probably hiding an injury. Today, he hit a post on a two-on-one with Andrei Kostitsyn, and missed on a golden chance on a wide open net with Martin Brodeur out of position. The worrisome aspect is that Chantal, who has access to the dressing room and practice sessions, mentioned that he seems perturbed, and not as upbeat as he was last season. I'm still hoping that he has a couple of dings that will get better, and he'll regain the form and confidence we need from him if we're going to be successful.

Carey Price was his usual calm self, and showed some emotion when he stopped Zach Parisé on the penalty shot late in the game. It's good for him and good for us that he was successful in such a situation, he's been struggling in shootouts, and it would be great if he regained his stone-cold bravado. He certainly looked more prepared and technically sound on this attempt, as he came out to cut down the shooting angles, and retreated under control and with good balance, so that he made the save look easy, and Mr. Parisé relatively pedestrian. I'm not sure if he's been working with Mr. Groulx, but he certainly looked more like the World Junior tournament-version of Carey Price, instead of the more recent version.

Brian Gionta was announced to be injured severely enough that he will miss all of next week. This is going to complicate matters, in that while he has not shown up on the scoresheet regularly, he works hard every game, and we don't have a valid replacement option. It means more games for Louis Leblanc with the Grand Club, and not that I think he looks out of place, but I was really hoping that he'd get a lot of icetime in Hamilton instead of 7 minutes a game up here. This also points out how unrealistic it is to expect the Canadiens to at some point have a full, injury-free roster. Those who fret about the glut of defencemen on the team right now need only wait a game or two before someone's hamstring goes pop or someone blocks a shot with their wrist.

No comments:

Post a Comment