1. There are bad wins, and there are good losses, and all too often getting one of the former means that there’s one of the latter in your near future. If Martin Biron was playing normally, the Habs would have taken this game decisively. As it was, the puck was snuggling into his pads like a sleepy kitten all night, no matter how much force the Habs tried to get behind it. At least you can say they made Biron and the Flyers’ D work hard for this one.
2. Good things: Koivu, who’s been a force every night since he’s been back and is getting more confident, more ambitious play out of Higgins. Smolinski/Kostopolous/Begin are still way more dangerous offensively than they have any right to be. Bouillon is playing better and especially smarter than he tended to in the regular season, which is a pleasant surprise; Hamrlik remains unbelievably cool under every kind of pressure. And hey, look, another power play goal. Those are always nice.
3. Bad things: Remember back when Markov and Komisarek were our best D pairing? I miss that. The Lapierre line has yet to do anything that gives me any confidence in them. The Pleks line played well but Biron was completely on top of them all night. Price blew epically in the first and intermittently thereafter. Kostopolous marred an otherwise good game with an unfortunate suckerpunch at Timonen which was only the most successful (I use the term loosely) of a lot of attempted post-buzzer shit-fits by the Canadiens. When you’re playing the Flyers and you’re the ones with the discipline problem, that’s an inauspicious omen. Good thing the refs were in willfully-oblivious mode all night.
4. Ugly things: Every time a Hab gets one of those playoff haircuts, a small child in
Somebody go ahead and point out that, the day after I said that I didn’t think Biron would slaughter us, he went out and slaughtered us. This is because every time I say something about the future with any degree of confidence, the opposite happens. Behold, I am the anti-Cassandra: I predict things inaccurately and for some reason people occasionally believe me (which, incidentally, is far more common in hockey than Cassandra-ism proper, so at least I feel included for once). So for next game, I’m going to say that the Flyers will win 3-0, getting two goals by Steve Downie, who will also decapitate Josh Gorges and ritualistically devour his glands after the game. The Habs will absolutely not win 5-2, the Plekanec line will not step up dramatically, and Price will not bounce back with a much better effort. No way.