ESPN's Bottom Line Widget

Saturday, April 13, 2013



MTL:   D. Drewiske (13:08 - 1st)
TOR:   T. Bozak (PPG, 01:59 - 1st) , L. Komarov (08:08 - 1st) , J. McClement (10:25 - 1st) , D. Phaneuf (17:06 - 1st) , P. Kessel (04:42 - 2nd)

 TOR: J. Reimer (W)

        Earlier tonight in Toronto, the Montreal Canadiens clashed against the Leafs for the 4th time this season in a potential playoff match up. Carey Price got the start for Montreal and was sporting new pads for the playoffs, something that he will regret. 2 minutes in with the Leafs on the powerplay, Van Riemsdyk played the puck to Bozak at the side of the net and he scored to make it 1-0 on Toronto's first shot on goal, 6 minutes later, Komarov had the puck at the right circle and he dumped it on goal and it slipped through the pads of Price to make it 2-0.

     McClement would score a few minutes later on a similar play and that would be it for Price as he gave up 3 goals on 4 shots. So in comes Peter Budaj. 3 minutes later, Drewiskes shot from the point beat Reimer for his first goal as a Montreal Canadien to cut the lead to 2.  With under 3 to play in the period, Phaneuf had the puck on the left wing and he fired a shot past Budaj to make it 4-1. The Habs out played the Leafs in the first, winning all the puck battled and races for the puck and they threw 13 pucks at Reimer, while only allowing 5 on Price/Budaj. But there was 4 problems, 4 goals on 5 shots.

            5 minutes into the second it would go from bad to worse, as Kessel scored to make it 5-1. The shots in the second were 16-14 Habs but they once again couldnt score. There were no goals in the third as the Leafs would win 5-1 and are guarenteed to win the season series against the Habs as they have only lost once in four games and theres just one more game to be played between these two. In the loss, Price (who was pulled after 10 minutes) made 1 save on 4 shots and Budaj made 22 saves on 24 shots. In the win, Reimer made 36 saves.

       So what happened to Montreals rock solid goaltending tonight?"I put us behind the 8-ball right off the bat," Price said. "You can't come out with a start like that." The Canadiens coach also spoke about Price."It was a tough night for (Price), but those things happen in your career," coach Michel Therrien said. "He's a good kid, he cares, he's had a good season, he's got character and he's going to bounce back. I have no doubt about that." But the good news for Montreal is that they're still second in the East by 1 point as the Boston Bruins lost 4-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes. Another good thing for Montreal is that theres only 7 games remaining until the playoffs and they have already locked up a spot.

     But back to the Canadiens performance tonight. They played well and deserved to win, but when you have a goaltender who is having an off night, its not possible to win unless you score 7 goals like Pittsburgh did earlier this season in Montreal (7-6).  The Habs were shooting, taking the puck to the net (especially Gallagher who had a few jawing matches with Kadri). But they werent scoring and that was one of the two problems for Montreal tonight and its been a problem against Toronto all season.

    Game 1 against Toronto they lost 2-1, game 2 was a 6-0 blow out, game 3 was a 5-2 win and tonight they lost 5-1. Montreals been outscored 15-7 in 4 games against the Leafs this season and trail the season series 3-1 with one more game to go on the last day of the Regular Season. "I call it maturity," Carlyle said Saturday night. "And it's maturity as a team, understanding in hockey games that the momentum can switch on one bounce, one power play, one turnover ..."

       " You can't really jump on people when you win 5-1, so as a coach you've got to really be cautious in how you deliver your message and how you get them to understand that there's a different way when the score's lopsided like that.You've got to really remain focused 110 per cent to make the safe play and make the right play. We did that for a good part of the hockey game."But I believe, come playoff time if these two teams meet that Montreal will turn things around.

Written By Andrew Di Pardo


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