Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Attempt at Optimism

Over the course of the past week, I've tried very hard NOT to dwell on the bad things. This is becoming an increasingly difficult task. With Markov, Gorges, Darche, Spacek, Sopel & Pacioretty out of the lineup, the only thing that hurt worse than the 4-2 loss to the Capitals was losing Halpern and Plekanec. As of yet, the only status on their condition we have is that Plekanec suffered a lower body injury, and Halpern will be evaluated tomorrow. We should have more information in the coming days about exactly what's wrong, what the prognosis is, and how they'll be out for. Habs fans were also nearly given a heart attack when Wisniewski took a puck to the skate and limped off to the dressing room, but the trainers must have given him a transfusion of Pacioretty blood (which I already believe to be infused with Gorges blood), because he was back on the ice in no time.

But, in keeping with my recent bout of optimism, I'd like to focus on something positive. CAREY PRICE. If you weren't watching the game, it would be easy to pin the 4 goals against on him, but if you were watching, you know that's not the case. While I would pin Johansson's 1st period goal on Price (who went behind the net and lost control of the puck on a bad bounce, leaving an empty net for the Washington forward to score a powerplay goal early in the period), he was an absolute SUPERSTAR for the rest of the game, making 37 saves. Unfortunately, his teammates didn't show up to play in the 1st period, and were plagued by injuries in the latter 2, making it a miracle the Caps made off with only a 2 goal lead.

At this point, I think it's become a given that the Habs would not be where they are without Price. If you were listening to the Franchise on the Team 990 this Sunday, I said I was pretty sure the Habs would be 13th without the 23 year old netminder. That being said, I not only believe he is a CANDIDATE for the Hart trophy, but is the undisputed winner. Perhaps this a bold statement to make with a chunk of regular season games still remaining & the playoffs just around the corner, but I honestly wouldn't want to think about where we'd be without him. His consistency and ability to play well under pressure have been wonderful assets to go along with the incredible flashy saves he makes time after time, game after game.
While it's nice that the Halak versus Price debate has finally been put to rest, and it's nice to be able to depend on our goaltender as we head into the playoffs, the Habs need to generate more offence. Being outshot game in and game out is not a way to win hockey games. It's simple, if you don't shoot, you can't score. Cammalleri hasn't looked the same since returning from his shoulder injury, and our leading point-getter since the All-Star break is out right now with a broken neck & a concussion.

I've been scouring the Bulldogs roster, searching for a solution, and barring a rumoured injury, I just don't think the answer is Nigel Dawes. He's easily roughed up, and that's not what the Habs need. What do the Habs need? I honestly don't know at this point. I feel like the team is being held together with glue & string, and I'm holding my breath waiting for it all to fall apart. Oh and the Bruins won tonight, giving them a 3 point lead on the Habs with a game in hand. Yuck. How's that for optimism?

While I may sound grumpy and disenfranchised, I still think the Habs have a chance of making a legitimate playoff run this season. Just you wait.

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