4.23.2010

Game of the Night (Pt. I)


2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 5: Montreal Canadiens vs. Washington Capitals @ Verizon Center
2-1 Final
Looking to avoid an early elimination, the Canadiens lay it all out on the line without forgetting their responsibilites.

Jacques Martin went back to his original goalie after Carey Price had a bad lost to the Caps the other night.  After a night off and a lost that wasn't all his fault, Jaroslav Halak was back between the posts.

Montreal got off to an early start before the 2 minute mark of the game could be hit!  Off of the faceoff, they had a good rush, but was stopped by the Caps' goaltender, Semyon Varlamov.  Their next chance, the Habs weren't going to miss.  A fancy drop-off by Tomas Plekanec for Mike Cammalleri gave Cammy the perfect chance to just shoot and score!  And that's what he did with Brian Gionta coming into the net and causing a disturbance without actually touching anyone or the puck.

Martin mixed up his lines and put Travis Moen on a scoring line with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta, and it paid off.  After a good cycle down low between Gio and Scotty G, Moen got the puck at the top of the crease and got his backhand flipped in over Varlamov.

Montreal played with a desperation that was missed for a couple of games.  The desperation gave them beautiful chances, and an aggressive PK that gave them a couple of really good short-handed opportunities.  And after mistakes of mistakes done by the Montreal defence, they got their act together, went back to the drawing boards, and found the ice back underneath their blades.

In the end, Montreal wanted it more, needed it more, and in the end, their relentless, die-hard, nothing-to-lose attitude won them the game.  And credit Jacques Martin for the good goalie switch to Halak.  The right decision at the right time.  And it's true, the hardest games to win are the elimination games.  But someone always comes out on top.

3 stars:
1) Jaroslav Halak
2) Mike Cammalleri
3) Hal Gill







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