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Habs rally in back-to-back comeback wins

Posted by Andrés / January 9, 2011

20110109_canadiens.jpgGo Habs go! The last three words from my previous post have borne two victories. The first against the Pittsburgh Penguins was in large part thanks to Carey Price. Malkin & co. came on strong despite Sidney Crosby's absence and managed to outshoot the Habs 32-23. The match was oddly reminiscent of last year's playoffs as it was a heavy grind as opposed to skill that eked out a win. It was a difficult thing to do considering Gorges is now out for the season. Pittsburgh took the lead in the first. After a second period goal by Pouliot the game went to third and overtime periods - both goalless. It took a fifth shoot-out attempt for Pouliot to double his score with a beautiful deke and puck slide to the right of the Pittsburgh goalie. This was the Canadiens' first shoot-out round of the season.

Last night's game against the Boston Bruins was a different kind of grind. It wasn't until the Habs were trailing by two goals that Jacques Martin decided to switch around the lines in the third and count his lucky stars. The result were two arguably fortuitous goals by Gomez and Gionta in the last 2:22 of the third. This late pressure in which the Habs outshot the Bruins 23-8 was a complete turnaround from the game's first 40 minutes. It was a return-to-form performance that continued into overtime when Pacioretty beat out Boston goalie Tim Thomas to close out the game at 3-2.

These four points have maintained our 8th position and positioned us closer to taking the Northeast division. We may be tied at 49 points with division leader Boston but they also have a two game buffer on this score. To claim these two games were tough grinds should not come as a shocker - both the Penguins and Bruins are tough teams to beat. The trick is for the Habs to make easy wins out of the lower ranked teams. This is something we won't able to see for a while as the next three games are against higher ranked teams. On Tuesday we play the New York Rangers (6th) who we'll also host next Saturday. In between we get another shot at the Crosby-less Penguins (4th) on Wednesday.

The Canadiens were faced with a similar challenge this time last year when coach Martin seemed to continually mix and match players. The notable absences (Gorges and Markov) have made way for a myriad of line changes that may have affected their poor pre-New Year performances. It also gives room for improvement as the newly acquired players (especially Desharnais and Wizniewski) find their places and coalesce into the whole.

If there are any budding sports writers who would like to take up the mantle of writing about the Montréal sports scene for Midnight Poutine please contact us and let us know! While I have omitted using commas (to present) and Gallicisms in this post, be advised that here at MP, such contentious uses of English grammar are perfectly acceptable if used appropriately.

Image courtesy NHL.com

Discussion

14 Comments

j2 / January 11, 2011 at 11:59 am
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Ugh looks like we taught boston a lesson - they just (last night) came back and beat pittsburgh in a late third period effort.

(good job)
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