……Messy – It was hardly a masterpiece on the part of either team. The Canadiens excuse was a second game in twenty four hours. The Flyers played lackadasically and might have lost the game but for a pretty good effort from Ilya Bryzgalov in their goals. The total result was a sloppy uncoordinated effort that couldn’t end soon enough.
……..Bryzgalov – If the Canadiens had any presence around Bryzgalov they might have won this game. The Flyers were very casual in their own end at times but on the occasions where the Canadiens mustered the energy, Bryzgalov was there. The Canadiens only had 14 shots through the first two periods, but there were eleven solid scoring chances.
……Penalty Killed – This game was won by the Flyers power play. Five-on-five it was even, maybe even a little tilted to the Canadiens, which isn’t saying much. The Canadiens went into the game with the league’s best penalty killing record on the road (92.2%) and then proceeded to give up three goals on only three Philadelphia power play shots. The first came six seconds into a penalty to Tomas Plekanec. Briere tipped a point shot past Budaj for the second and Briere got behind Subban and scored on a breakaway to make it 3-1.
…….Bright Light – Tomas Plekanec was one of the few forwards who had jump in his legs. He scored the only goal on a breakaway, missed the net on another breakaway while killing off a second period penalty, set up the hamhanded Rene Bourque with what should have been a sure goal. the sum total of his night was a goal and a team-leading four scoring chances. The down side – Claude Giroux ate him alive in the faceoff circle winning eight of eleven draws.
…….The Good Soldier – Peter Budaj once again received little support. He faced 33 shots and could do nothing about any of the four goals but fish the puck out of net behind him. Getting a start every two and a half weeks or so, he still has a .905 save percentage. He deserves better than only three wins in 13 starts (3-7-3).
…….Mixed Review …..One of those up and down nights for Subban. He was on the ice for three of the four goals and could have been faulted for allowing Briere to get behind him for a breakaway while killing off a penalty. He also took six shots, three of them on-goal and logged his usual 25 minutes of ice time. I wish he would stop telegraphing his slapshot on the power play the way he does. All the big windup does is allow defenders to line up to block him.
Also Worth Noting – After a brilliant night against Ottawa Friday, the Desharnais line came back to earth against the Flyers. Cole and Pacioretty had two scoring chances each and Desharnais one. Mostly they were held in check by 19 year old Sean Couturier, Maxime Talbot and either Voracek or Rinaldo. ……. Frederic St. Denis managed to arrive just in time for the game. He was coming from Rockford Illinois where the Bulldogs played Friday night. He played with Chris Campoli, and the pair put in more ice time together than even SubbanGorges. Couldn’t see where they did any harm. St. Denis seems to have an offensive component to his game. I think he’ll be part of the Canadiens plans for next year. ……..Alexei Emelin added six to his season hit total. I get the feeling that, like Diaz before he suffered his groin injury, Emelin is beginning to feel the effects of a much longer season than he was used to. He doesn’t seem as mentally sharp as he was a month ago. …….Petteri Nokelainen did some good things offensively, which is totally unexpected. Three shots on goal and two scoring chances in just under nine minutes and 15 shifts. He played with Staubitz and Palushaj. ……Lars Eller’s alert pass sent Plekanec away on the breakaway resulting in the Canadiens lone goal. The salient statistic – Plekanec had three shots, Eller two and the leftwinger on the line, Rene Bourque, had none and totally messed up his only scoring chance. …..Andrei Markov played a second game in twenty-four hours for the first time and wasn’t seen limping after the game, which can only be a good thing.
……..Up Next – The Canadiens are home against Florida on Tuesday and then on the road for two; the Rangers next Friday and Washington on Saturday.
The Draft Lottery Race – Overall Standings Updated
22nd – Tampa Bay 75 pts. 8 games remaining
23rd – Anaheim 75 pts. 7 games remaining
24th – Carolina 75 pts. 6 remaining
25th – Toronto 75 pts. 6 remaining
26th –Minnesota 72 pts. 8 remaining
27th – NY Islanders 71 pts. 8 remaining
28th – Canadiens 71 pts. 6 remaining
29th – Edmonton 69 pts. 7 remaining
30th – Columbus 55 pts. 8 remaining