It’s a rare occasion in the NHL a goaltender fails to get either first or second star recognition after registering a shutout. Carey Price was named the game’s third star after stopping 25 shots in the Canadiens 5-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night. Carey was good when he had to be, especially on Niklas Kronwall, Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening in the second period and on Gustav Nyquist’s third period breakaway, but there was a long list of players who were more important than he was in this game. We’ll have more on Carey later.
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin traded two second round draft picks in order to get Andrew Shaw from Chicago. For fourteen games we weren’t much of the edginess that made Shaw so valuable to the Hawks through their recent two Stanley Cup runs. Shaw finally got it all together against the Wings with a goal and two assists to double his season points output. Playing on a line with Phillip Danault and Max Pacioretty, Shaw took 7 shots, four of them on goal. It was great timing as the Canadiens head into Chicago for Sunday’s battle of the early season giants.
Last season Phillip Danault scored four goals in 51 games. In the two games since he came off the fourth line left wing to replace as the third line centre, Danault has 2 goals and an assist. In 15 games with the Canadiens he has equaled his goal total for all of last season. All of this while he playing shutdown defense. Chalk another one up to Bergevin.
The Canadiens took a 3-0 first period lead. It allowed Michel Therrien and the coaching staff to roll the four lines and three defense pairings almost equally. Shea Weber led the defensemen with 21:38 which is like a night off for him. Joel Hanley had the least icetime among defensemen at 16:42. Similarly, the top forward was Max Pacioretty at 16:41. The fourth line was around ten minutes. What this means is a decently rested team going into Chicago for the second game in 24 hours..
Carey Price now is now 10-0-0 to start the season and one victory away from tieing George Hainsworth’s 1927 Canadiens record for consecutive wins. Dating back to April 2015 Price has won 17 consecutive games at home. Price went into the game second to the Wings Jimmy Howard in both goals against average and save percentage. Howard gave up five goals, Price got his second shutout of the season and now Price leads Howard in both categories with a 1.40GAA and .957 save%.
ALSO WORTH MENTIONING
….Another plus-night for Shea Weber. He now leads the league at plus-17. He also scored his 6th goal, his 5th on the power play. He has also made Alexei Emelin a much better player.
….There was much discussion about Andrei Markov’s decline through the first ten games of the season. I think that can be put to bed. With Weber in the lineup, Markov has been averaging about 5 fewer minutes per game than he did last season and his game has been rejuvenated.
….Again the Galchenyuk line was prominent. I’m still trying to understand why they took Paul Byron’s second goal away. There was no doubt about his 5th goal of the season on a breakaway with Alexander Radulov right beside him. Radulov drew another first assist on the Weber power play goal giving him eight points his last six games.
….Brian Flynn was a late scratch so David Desharnais got in the game as the fourth line left wing. He stuck to the business of checking with no apparent problems.
The Canadiens are 13-1-1 to start the season. The only team close to them is Chicago at 10-3-2. They will meet Sunday night at the United Centre. Lots of story lines going into this one beyond their season starts. Al Montoya, who was born and raised in Chicago will be in the Canadiens nets. Andrew Shaw and Phillip Danault will be playing against the team that drafted them.