Montreal - Nov. 11, 2011 - They seemed to be playing in a mausoleum (dead arena walking?) but credit the under-manned Canadiens with a gutsy effort, led by the little defenseman who could. Who spills more blood for his team than Gorges?
Josh Gorges. Mere moments after nearly being splattered into the glass by 6'6" 240 pound Martin Hanzel Gorges pounced on a loose rolling puck and fired the overtime winner past Mike Smith who burned a hole through one of his defensemen with a Guy Boucher - like death stare. Tells you all you need to know about a guy who just might be the most popular player on the team. Don't ever wonder why. After 15 games he's got seven points and is a +7. Not worth a longer term deal?
The line of Thomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta - Travis Moen. Two goals, four points, +6. A real sign that the captain might be awakening. Moen is now one goal behind his total from last season.
PK Subban. Led all Hab skaters with 25:34 and +3.
David Desharnais actually dominated in the face off circle at 72%.
Continued strong efforts by Max Pacioretty & Eric Cole. But right now they're part of a line without a centre (aka a doughnut line).
Carey Price. Several big saves from in close all night but especially in the dying minutes - and seconds - of regulation time.
Desharnais. He's not making plays. He's regularly losing puck battles. He's at least a half step behind where he was the first 8 - 10 games of the season. He's not helping his linemates right now. Lars Eller should be moved between Cole & Pacioretty. Desharnais has obvious skill but he might be playing himself into the role of an offensive specialist. There are worse things to be in the NHL.
Mathieu Darche. Out of position on several occasions and at one point, while killing a penalty, looked to be slower than even Hal Gill.
Is Darche (16:14) really that much better than Mike Blunden (1:43)?
Petteri Nokelainen. Not a good Phoenix homecoming. Not focused. Allowed Keith Yandle to move in several feet from the blue line to help set up the tying goal.
Jacques Martin deciding to bench Alexei Emelin (7:07). Was he really that bad? The Canadiens need a physical presence on the blue line. After a strong start Rafael Diaz has slowed considerably.
Plekanec getting pushed into the boards and not getting up. The fact that he eventually did gives Montreal hockey fans some hope. Because if the Habs' best player so far this season is out for a prolonged period of time, they are finished. As in last.