It was close. For the most part, the two teams alternated goals, and while
1. With the Habs rocking one of the best goals-per-game averages in the League, it seems (insha’allah) like the days of worrying about scoring are behind us, but I fear that the days of worrying about defense will never end. Granted, Price was shaky and that can often be a recipe for over-anxious, scrambling D, since (I suspect, anyway) playing positional defense relies rather heavily on trusting your goalie to be solid on certain ‘easy’ shots. When the Canadiens are nervous about their goaltending, they tend to crowd the net and the slot as if they’re one second away from linking arms to try to form a human wall, which is sometimes effective but definitely fucks up the transition to offense. There’s been a lot less of that in recent games, in fact I don’t think I’ve seen it happen regularly in a game the past two months or so, but once upon a time it was routine for them and certainly made an encore appearance here.
2. And let’s face it, Price was not great here. I’m inclined to cut him a little bit of slack because he was blatantly interfered with on 2 of the first 3 goals he let in, once by the Sharks and once by his own team. He lost his famous cool, and apparently he’s not (yet) one of those goalies who can translate anger into a more effective performance. Rather, he got progressively wobblier as the game progressed, and by the end even his much-lauded puckhandling had turned into risky, desperate turnovers. But this is what you get when you put a baby goalie in the unquestioned #1 slot- a certain lack of poise is going to break through from time to time. Even if he is mature beyond his years, he’d have to be a good decade ahead of himself to match the professionalism of a veteran. The key thing is going to be how he responds to this. In other words, we reserve judgment for now. Thursday, however, we’ll judge the hell out of him.
3. Speaking of goalie interference, this game was also horrifically officiated. Possibly because apparently Zdeno Chara’s larger brother was reffing (we now assume that anyone in the hockey world who is unaccountably large is either related to or cloned from Chara). He was probably angry about the Capitals blowing out the Bruins earlier in the evening, and of course Big Brother Chara has no love for
4. I’m assuming the only reason Smolinksi is still in the lineup every night is faceoffs, because… because I miss Bégin… [sniffle]...
6. But turquoise is still the least hockey-ish color in the universe, and I don’t think the Sharks will redeem it even with a hundred years of perennial quality play. Hell, even pink is more hockey-ish than turquoise, being the color of ice smeared with blood.
7. I hope
8. Just kidding.
Dear Ahbabi: Let’s review: Western Conference 5, Habs 1. Come on guys, salvage a little pride here. You represent