The Canadiens Grab Much-Needed Win As Price Gets Shutout
This team, man…
Every time pundits doubt the Canadiens’ durability, fight, or anything else for that matter, the Canadiens come back surging. They make pundits feel like idiots. This time, the Canadiens beat the usually-good-defensively Islanders 4-0. Carey Price made some key saves to earn this shutout. All of the Canadiens’ lines contributed on both sides of the ice. At the time of this writing, the Canadiens are in a playoff spot, and can stay there if Columbus loses to Edmonton in regulation, which is unlikely. The Canadiens can only control their own game, and that is certainly what they did tonight. Joel Armia got his first ever power-play goal to open the scoring. More importantly, the Canadiens actually scored a power-play goal. Shea Weber made it 2-0 with a bullet of a shot that went into the very top corner of the net. Jonathan Drouin ended his 18-game goalless drought on a beautiful 3-on-2 play to make it 3-0. Jordan Weal tipped a Jordie Benn shot to ensure that the Islanders will not embarrass the Canadiens with a comeback. The Canadiens dominated the pace of the play, and only when they had a substantial lead did they sit back a little and let Price do some work. I would have preferred for the Canadiens not to sit back at all, but they won, so I’ll take it. Here are some thoughts on the game:
1. When did Victor Mete get so confident with the puck? He’s like the new P.K. Subban out there, taking the puck from one end of the ice to the other. If only he could get a goal…
2. Jonathan Drouin showed us tonight what he’s never showed before… that he can play defence. One of his best games of the season, in my opinion. 2-point night for him.
3. The Canadiens did a great job of keeping all the Islanders’ scoring chances to the outside, and not allowing the Islanders to get into those high-danger scoring areas in front of Carey Price. Speaking of Price…
4. He earned that shutout with a 28-save performance. On the rare occasion that the defence faltered, Price was there to save the puck. His best stop was on Jordan Eberle in the second period.
5. This was a rare occasion that the Canadiens’ power play did better than the opposing team’s. Led by Nate Thompson, the Canadiens’ penalty kill stifled the Islanders’ power play, which is a big reason the Canadiens didn’t allow any goals.
6. THE CANADIENS SCORED A POWER-PLAY GOAL. BY JOEL ARMIA.
7. Fun fact: this was the first power-play goal of Joel Armia’s career.
It’s great for the Canadiens that they have the ability to win important games, and not have to rely on other teams losing so they can keep their playoff hopes alive. This playoff race will be a fight to the death, and the Canadiens demonstrated tonight that they won’t go down without a fight. Go Habs Go.
Signed, Le Bo