Habs Recap: Week of February 9th

February 5th: Anaheim Ducks

Tuesday against the (Mighty) Ducks scoring opened up with Brendan Gallagher putting the Habs up (1-0) at 7:11. Soon after, Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored for his third game in a row extending the Habs lead (2-0). With three minutes left in the first, Gallagher was able to snap another one, raising the Habs lead (3-0). The Ducks with 54 seconds left drew a penalty, giving the Habs a (previously dreaded but slowly getting better) power play but weren’t able to get anything in before the first period ended. The Habs not only leading in goals but also SOG 12-7.

The second period began with the last minute of the Habs power play, in which they were not able to capitalize. With 11:31 left in the second, the Habs were gifted another power play as the Ducks were caught slashing. Although no goal on that power play, it still looked exceptionally better than the last, proving the power play is in fact improving (or it still is awful and the Ducks PK was as bad as their game tonight.) Ryan Getzlaf gave the Ducks the first goal of their game tonight (3-1), as the Habs defence forced Carey Price to make multiple saves before he was unable to get back to the net, allowing the goal. The Ducks soon after got their first power play of the night after Brett Kulak was called for high sticking; no fear, the Habs were able to kill it off. That would do it for the second period. Habs leading shots on goal once again 26-16.

The festivities start the of the third with a goal by Phillip Danault that wasn’t caught by officials at first but did make it’s way past the line (4-1). Max Domi got hit with a high stick with ten minutes left which gifted the Habs their third power play of the night. This power play disproving my hope of the power play improving. The Habs win 4-1 not due to the Ducks slump but because the team on the ice stayed consistent with great passing and creating chances. The only heartbreaks of the game being Gallagher not receiving his first career hat trick and Victor Mete unable collect his first career NHL goal. Nonetheless, this is a game fans like to see as playoff chatter brews.

Three stars:

  1. Brendan Gallagher
  2. Jonathan Drouin
  3. Joel Armia  

 

February 7th: Winnipeg Jets

Skip to Thursday the Habs begin their multiple games against league leaders starting at home with the Winnipeg Jets. Scoring for this game opened with the Jets’ Mark Scheifele due to one unfortunate defensive mistake on a bad line change. The Habs not long after responded with a pass by Gallagher to Drouin tying the game (1-1). That would end the scoring of the first period. Although a tie, the Habs absolutely dominated this period with many great sequences and leading SOG 8-11.

The second period almost immediately, well 43 seconds in, began with yet another Drouin, giving the Habs the lead (2-1). The Jets received a huge chance in front of the net by Bryan Little but our goalie of greatness (Carey Price, if you’re new here) made sure the Habs kept their lead. With 7:47 left in the second, the Jets were called for tripping ending the penalty drought in this game. The Habs power play started out rough but gradually did get better but no pucks in the net so it doesn’t really matter (arguably). Tomas Tatar later was called for interference making the Habs have to go on the kill. The Habs able to keep the puck from their zone killing the penalty keeping the game in an almost comfortable position. The second period ending with the Habs leading 2-1 and SOG 37-24.

The next period, would be the third. The Habs cushioned their lead with a one-timer by, of course, Shea Weber making it 3-1. With 9:49 to go, Drouin and Mark Scheifele were called for roughing and slashing making it 4 on 4 hockey. This allowed Danault to add to the Habs lead making it 4-1. A Jet was called for cross checking giving the Habs yet another power play. In which not only did the Habs score making it 5-1, Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored his fourth goal in four games continuing his streak. Nearing the end a brawl broke out sending Domi, Charles Hudon and Mathieu Perreault to the box, the Jets to the power play. A very odd play allowed a goal in for the Jets by Brendan Lemieux as the puck got mixed in with Prices pads. The final score was 5-2 with the shots on goal total benefiting the Habs 53-34, a huge win continuing on a three game win streak. It feels like the good old Montreal Canadiens are finding a pace they enjoy and slowly but surely becoming a team that could become a threat in the playoffs. The only downside, still no Victor Mete goal regardless of what a part he has played the last few weeks. The fans know it’s coming though, and it will be worth the wait.

Three stars:

  1. Jonathan Drouin
  2. Phillip Danault
  3. Brendan Gallagher

 

February 9th: Toronto Maple Leafs

A good old rivalry game that makes everyone a bit nervous. This Saturday night game started relieving a bit of nerves with a early welcome back goal by Andrew Shaw. Unfortunately, the Maple Leafs’ Andreas Johnsson quickly tied it ruining the fans celebrations for Shaw. Ruining it even further with another goal by Nikita Zaitsev giving the Maple Leafs the lead (2-1 Leafs). Danault was caught tripping making the Habs go to the kill where Artturi Lehkonen almost tied it up short handed but it remained an almost. The penalty was killed. Jordie Benn got caught with a stick in the face and headed down the tunnel, John Tavares giving the Habs a four minute power play. That power play looked like a typical Habs power play, which means they didn’t score. The first period ending with the Maple Leafs leading (2-1).

The second period started with a similar situation as the first, Tomas Tatar scored early tying the game. One after another the Habs are forced to go to two penalty kills in a row. Lehkonen called for tripping then Drouin for interference. The Habs then got their chance at the power play but weren’t able to take advantage of it before it would have to be carried over into the third. The end of the second remaining a tie (2-2).

The third period would be a bit more eventful. Domi was able to get the puck in the net but it wouldn’t count due to it being a high stick. The game would remain tied. Toronto took another penalty sending the Habs to the power play where Gallagher would give the Habs a lead (3-2).

 

You read that right.  The Habs scored on a power play.

 

Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, William Nylander of the Maple Leafs would tie this game once again (3-3). The Habs were given yet another power play that would carry on into overtime. Overtime started with 4 on 3 hockey but the Habs were’t able to take advantage of it as Toronto killed the penalty. With 2:17 left in OT John Tavares scored getting the win for the Maple Leafs. The final score being 4-3 ending the Habs winning streak.

Three stars:

  1. John Tavares
  2. Andrew Shaw
  3. Andreas Johnsson
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