Confession: I missed the first period last night due to a terrible meeting that took far too long. Needless to say that by the time I got into the car and drove to my favorite hockey watching spot I was stressed to the max and anxious for a beer.
Imagine my elation when I heard the score was 1-1 and our goal came on the POWERPLAY! The game just got statistically better as the night wore on. A second powerplay goal by none other than Gionta followed by a go ahead goal by Gomez. (Look how big that tag is getting in the right hand column!)
All that could go right did, and the Montreal Canadiens are proving that they aren’t a playoff bubble team.
Lars Eller played over 10-minutes, including 1:14 on the PK. The Martin-bashers question why he is putting an offensive guy on the penalty kill, and why his minutes are often low. I will tell you why:
It’s because the Jacques Martin system is a TEAM system. It is only as strong as the weakest member on the ice. It is a system where offense comes from defensive responsibility. Lars Eller is learning this system. He is learning it at a manageable rate. Eller is being molded to play like Plekanec and even when Pleks goes through an offensive dry spell, is defensive responsibility keeps him afloat. That is what Martin is trying to do with Eller. So no more criticizing his ice time, or his use on the PK.
Some fun numbers from last night:
- 1: Number of breakaways Darche had that made Kovalchuk look good
- 4: Number of times Rask got a puck to the face
- A million years: Since the Habs last scored two powerplay goals in one game
On to Saturday night and the Hurricane. Lucky me, I have tickets to the game, so I will *try* and take some hot photos, but you know what happens right? I order a beer, I get riled up, I forget to take photos. So no promises, but I will try.