Here are the game highlights from the Montreal Canadiens vs the Atlanta Thrashers played on December 21th 2009…. but first some comments.
The Canadiens won the game 4-3 in Overtime (which was predicted with little time to play in the 3rd on Twitter by Arpon Basu). It wasn’t the prettiest of games. Montreal were again outshot by a very large margin. Overall team defensive play has to be improved to cut down on the shots that make it to either Jaroslav Halak or Carey Price.
You can’t expect to win very many games in the NHL if your opponent is in your zone firing rubber at your goaltender most of the evening. Although I will say that in the case of the Montreal Canadiens at least Jacques Martin has 2 very capable young goalies to rely upon. But they won’t steal every game.
Jaroslav Halak was, in the end, left to face 53 shots (that made it through to him) stopping 50 of them. Is that not scary? If I was coaching this team that would be one of the most frightening numbers that I would have to face…. never mind they somehow won the game. The last several years the Montreal Canadiens were outshot alot and though this year it seemed that it was getting a bit better early on it’s pretty much back to where it was in terms of these shot totals.
Nik Antropov was around Halak’s net last night and was effective for the Thrashers. He had 2 goals. It’s something the Thrashers did in an earlier game too…. if you can put big bodies in front of the net and throw the puck out there… good things happen.
Hope the Habs adopt that style a bit more at some point…..
One of the bright spots this year has been Tomas Plekanec. Last night he fired a terrific shot to score Montreal’s first goal and then he assisted on the next 3 Habs goals to finish the game with 4 points! Plekanec now has 40 points on the year in 38 games played. That ties Tomas with Zach Parise, Nicklas Backstrom, Brad Richards and Martin St Louis…. tied for 6th in the league in points.
VERY good Tomas!
Marc-André Bergeron scored 2 goals last night. At times Bergeron is a defensive liability. He gets pushed off the puck when he’s on defense and sometimes looks like he struggles to move the puck up to his forwards out of Montreal’s defensive zone.
But put Bergeron on the point on the PowerPlay… or have him join the rush… and he’s been pretty effective. He seems to move the puck much better while entering or while in the offensive zone. And he’s got one heck of a shot.
Bergeron scored the overtime winner last night and it was really a beautiful goal.
Finally… I’m sure mostly everyone has notice Andrei Markov is back in the lineup which is truely one of the best Christmas gifts the Canadiens could have received. Andrei looked rusty in his first game back… for about 2 shifts. Since then he’s looked pretty good. Markov has looked really good moving the puck… Bergeron’s frist goal last night came off the quick puck moving of Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov. Just beautiful to watch.
And now… the highlights and stats!
You can also find the game stats here: