Vancouver Canucks vs. Montreal Canadiens @ Bell Centre
The start of Vancouver's 5-game road-trip starts in "La belle province". Two of the most talked about Canadian goalies (Roberto Luongo and Carey Price) face off. Will Vancouver continue their winning streak or will Montreal snap another Vancouver winning streak?
From puck-drop, Vancouver looked to be the stronger team in terms of play, but it was Montreal to start the scoring with a wrister from Andrei Markov. Despite starting and finishing strong, the Canucks failed to find the equalizer in the first 20 minutes, but did dominate in the special teams.
During the double-minor to Andrew Alberts in the second period for high-sticking, the Canucks proved themselves as one of the best penalty killers in the NHL. The Canadiens got just one shot on goal (despite a bundle of GREAT chances), but the Canucks spent the majority of the first half of the PK in the offensive zone, generating some really good chances to even the playing field. The Canadien's power-play on the other hand wasn't so hot. Not only did they just get one shot on goal, but they didn't really seem all that into it. Canucks' PP didn't fair too well either. Possession and offensive pressure wasn't executed well by the team in white, but the men in red did quite well killing. Albeit, it wasn't as good as the Canucks PK but it was solid and kept the Canucks away from their zone and allowed only one shot on goal.
After a scoreless second, 5 minutes into the third, the Habs get a PPG from Roman Hamrlik after the puck bounced off of the end boards onto Hamrlik's stick. Hamrlik's first goal was such a quick release, it took me a second to react. As much pressure as the Canucks put on the offence-burner, they just couldn't get one past Price. I think Montreal has finally woken up from their little nap. The third period looked a lot better than their first 2 and there was more spring in their step.
Montreal looked a lot better in this game than they did in the game against the Ottawa Senators. Not only did the offence get going, but the defensive play of the Habs bettered. They helped Price out in their zone, but also caused a little ruckus with the Canucks. But I still want to see a better PP! And possible scoring from the OFFENCE! Our defence has been great on both ends of the ice, but I don't want to have to look at the blue-line for a lot of the scoring.
It wasn't that I didn't like what I saw from Vancouver tonight; it's just that they just couldn't beat Price neither did they get as much offence generated as Montreal. Price has been more than excellent, being there and big when he needed to be. The Canucks have been playing great defensively, but the types of chances they were getting weren't as what they wanted or needed. Price was just too brilliant for the Canucks, and he earned the shut-out (and if you saw the last 15 seconds of the game, you know why he got the shut-out). Not that Luongo wasn't good, just he got beat by the Habs.
(1) Carey Price
(2) Andrei Markov
(3) Tomas Plekanec
As much as I love Price, I have to make fun of him. He slipped behind his net and it was comedic!!