PRICE GETS SUPPORT – Canadiens-2 Ottawa-1 (Nov. 29, 2017)

Nov 30th, 2017 | By | Category: Canadiens, Canadiens Game Story, Latest News

Everything centers around Carey Price.

Simply put, when Price is playing badly, the Canadiens play badly.

With Price’s game returning to it’s customary level of excellence, so have his teammates.

It’s clearly psychological.

Price didn’t have to stand on his head to win Wednesday night’s game against the Senators. The story of the come-from-behind 2-1 victory was the confident way Price’s teammates played in front of him, especially while protecting that one goal lead through the final 34 minutes.

IT STARTS WITH THE “D”

The Canadiens have been without Shea Weber for five games now. Over that stretch somehow the Canadiens have managed to hold opponents to seven goals.

Considering the chaotic nature of the defense through the season’s first 21 games, who could have predicted this?

 

THIRD PAIRING?

David Schlemko came off injury reserve to play his first game as a member of the Canadiens. I thought he had a pretty good night for somebody who hasn’t played in a game since last spring.

What stood out with me was his puck handling ability and the crisp way he cleared the zone. Schlemko logged 15:54 and his partner Jakub Jerabek, who was playing in his fourth career game, put in 14:14. Those are not the minutes we’ve been seeing from third pairing defensemen this year. Jerabek also blocked four shots.

GETTING IT RIGHT

Claude Julien was forced to backtrack on the makeup of his first two lines after moving Max Pacioretty back on a line with Jonathan Drouin and Alex Galchenyuk proved to be a disaster for the second time.

Both reconstructed lines scored. Drouin on a penalty shot after he was hooked from behind by Cody Ceci early in the second period. That tied the game up.

Two and one half minutes later, Pacioretty did the heavy lifting behind the net to win a forecheck and force the puck over to Andrew Shaw who then put it in front for Phillip Danault for the game winner. Everyone now seems in a comfort zone, except maybe Galchenyuk, who was fouled up and allowed Mark Stone to score a shorthanded goal on a breakaway in the first period.

ALSO WORTH MENTIONING

….Nobody is counting on Tomas Plekanec to score goals any more. His contributions these days come from a different direction. It is probably a sign of how well his line was playing that he had five high-danger scoring chances in the game.

….The Canadiens fourth line of Jacob de la Rose, Nickolas Deslauriers and Byron Froese is hardly going to scare anyone offensively. As fourth liners they have combined for 31 games this season with zero points. But once again they were effective for what the line was put together to accomplish, which is shut down opponents.

….Jonathan Drouin entered the game a 39% in the faceoff circle so the fact that he won eight of nine against the Senators seemed like a misprint. The Canadiens won 35 and lost 19. Plekanec won 9 of 16 and Danault, 11 of 18.

MOVING ON

After the game the Canadiens announced the recall of left wing Daniel Carr from Laval.  He replaces Drouin who did not make the trip. to Detroit,   Carr will be part of the back-to back games and the first of the back-to back games vs. the Red Wings on Thursday and Saturday.  Shea Weber is also on the trip although it’s questionable he’ll play. Another question mark will be the goaltending. Will we see Antti Niemi Thursday night or will Price see action in both?

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