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The Day Goaltending Was Forgotten

Regular season game #21

If ever a game was played to define the “last shot wins” cliché, it was the Penguins vs Habs. On a night where neither team was interested in such things as team defense or goaltending, the only question to be answered was how many goals would these teams combine to score? The answer was 13. The Habs gave up a touchdown while only managing two field goals.

It was the sort of wild game that leaves neither team extracting much value. Goaltending was too atrocious for either offense to take much credit, and defense was a word totally lost to both teams. And yes Habs fans, Price was simply awful. His excuse-makers still tried to pin all seven goals on a porous defense, but if Price was a shred of the phenomenal goalie that he is on most other nights, the Habs win this one easily. He had issues with virtually every aspect of his game; from rebound control, to positioning, to tracking the puck, and handling the puck. That is not to say that the loss is necessarily Price’s fault. In a weird and wacky game such as this was, we are all better off in taking it for what it is: a gong show.

If you’re looking for a glimmer of hope as a Habs fan, put stock in the likelihood that Price won’t have a repeat performance tonight vs Boston. Giving up seven goals is just not in his repertoire and Therrien would be wise to throw him back in between the pipes tonight against the Bruins. In the Montreal Bias’ podcast, recorded on Friday night, I alluded to the possibility that the Canadiens would look beyond the Penguins game and to Sunday’s big game in Boston. I won’t go so far as to say that I was right, but given the odd and almost anomalous nature of the game, you’d have to think it really is possible. If that’s the case, then we can be pretty sure that the Habs will be the polar opposite of the team that wanted to play shinny instead of professional ice hockey.

Here’s all you need to know about the insane nature of this game, and the only stat that I’ll reference tonight: on a night where the home team coughed up a converted touchdown, maligned defenseman Tomas Kaberle had two assists and was plus three. Yeah, it was that weird.

Follow me on twitter: @kyleroussel

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