The Injury – It happened at 14:50 of the third period with the Canadiens leading Carolina 4-2. Markov went knee on knee with Carolina’s Eric Staal and fell heavily into the boards. The incident had an eerie resemblance to the injury Markov suffered in Pittsburgh last April that took surgery and six months rehabilitation to get over.
In the Front Office
Dustin Brown on Waivers – On Monday, the Canadiens asked for waivers on centre Dustin Brown. After clearing he remained with the team and was a healthy scratch through the week’s three games.
O”Byrne to Colorado – After being buried on the depth chart, Ryan O’Byrne and his 942 thousand dollar contract was traded to Colorado Thursday in return for junior prospect Michel Bournival, who is playing for Shawinigan in the QMJHL. O’Byrne had been a healthy scratch the previous twelve games.
On The Ice –
Lineup Changes – In an effort to halt scoring slumps Jacques Martin shuffled his top two lines. Brian Gionta joined Tomas Plekanec and Michael Cammalleri while Maxim Lapierre and Andrei Kostitsyn joined Scott Gomez.
Three Games – Three Victories – The week started with a 2-0 shutdown of the Vancouver Canucks at the Bell Centre. Carey Price stopped all 35 shots, 20 of them in the third period. Markov and Hamrlik scored the goals. On Thursday in Boston another defensive masterpiece and a 3-1 win over the Bruins. Saturday night Carey Price kept the Canadiens in the game with 15 first period saves before the team woke up and scored the final five goals of the game.’
Out of the Slump – Putting Brian Gionta on the Plekanec line immediately pulled him out of his slump and reinvigorated Plekanec and Cammalleri. In three games the line registered fifteen scoring points. Gionta had two goals and two assists, Plekanec one goal, five assists and Cammalleri a goal and four assists. Each member of the new Gomez line had a goal.
Spacek Checks In – After seeming to struggle through the first 14 games of the season, Jaroslav Spacek found his game. With Hamrlik, the defensive pairing was the Canadiens best through the week’s three games. As a bonus, each had three points.
P.K. Gets His First – He did score in last year’s playoffs, but it took sixteen regular season games for Subban to get his first goal. On a power play in Boston, he got a perfect setup for a one-timer from Markov for the game’s opening goal.
Coming Alive -The AWOL power play. They went in to the week with 3 goals in 47 opportunities- worst in the NHL. In the week’s three games they scored 6 in 13 advantages. And now they rank 14th in the league at 14.7%.
Stars of the Week – First –Carey Price – named a star in all three games. He stopped 97 of 100 shots for a .970 percentage. In three game his goals against average dropped from 2.45 to 2.18 and his save percentage rose from .911 to .923. Second – Tomas Plekanec – A third star against Vancouver, first star against Carolina. A six point week. His father picked a good week to visit from the Czech Republic. Third – Jaroslav Spacek – 3 assists, plus-1 and rock solid defensively. Honorables – Gionta, Subban, Hamrlik, Cammalleri. You could even throw in Pouliot.
Ahead – The homestand continues. Philadelphia Tuesday night (Note 7:05 start); Nashville – Thursday; Toronto Saturday.