Canadiens-Caps recap

Remember when this team was desperate for a win and it looked like just about everything was going wrong? Would you believe that was only a couple weeks ago after watching tonight’s game? Ever since breaking that 8-game losing skid, the Caps are 4-0-1 and seemed to have gotten over the hump at least for now. An even bigger hump for this team to get over was beating the Montreal Canadiens again, the team who knocked them out of the playoffs last year. However, that task was somewhat easier tonight due to two key players for Montreal not in the lineup; Jaroslav Halak and Josh Gorges, the former not in Montreal anymore. Aside from the penalties, this was one of the better games Washington has played this year as they contained Montreal well for most of the game and shut them out 3-0.

– Carey Price isn’t the brick wall that Halak was last year but it’s tough to put this loss on him if you’re a Habs fan. 27 saves and he was under fire in the second period. Not as aggressive as he usually is but he did play a solid game, nonetheless. In fact, he made a phenomenal stop on Alex Ovechkin in the first period on what would have could have been an amazing goal. Watch the replay if you can see it.

– In the other crease, Semyon Varlamov earned his 2nd shutout of the season with a 25 save performance. He wasn’t tested heavily but he still got the job done. Stoned the Habs on a few big chances early in the game.

– It’s great to have Jeff Schultz back even if he was playing in a limited role (3rd pairing ice time). It’s going to be interesting to see how Boudreau manages the ice time between him and Hannan since the latter has really settled into this team as of late.

– The crowd shouldn’t be booing PK Subban even if he was trying to hit every Caps player in sight. In fact, they should have been cheering him after he tried to hit Jason Chimera at center ice which led to a 4-on-2 and a Mike Green goal late in the first period. I do know why he has been scratched for Montreal lately.

– How about Jay Beagle’s goal? Wow. I didn’t know he had that in him. It’s great to see that the guys from Hershey are producing while they’re up here even though I don’t expect it to sustain.

– Speaking of guys from Hershey, Keith Aucoin was the 10th different player we’ve had play center for us this year. If no one begins to stand out then we know what we need to acquire come the trade deadline.

– Powerplay was 0/8 on tonight and we were having no problems with cycling the puck or getting shots on goal, we just couldn’t finish any of our chances. No complaints here since we came away with the win but this is something that’s gonna come back to haunt us very soon.

It’s always great to head into a big game coming off a win like this. Here’s hoping we can carry this momentum into Heinz Field on New Years Day for the Winter Classic. I can feel a big game coming for one of these players and it’s going to come sooner rather than later. Also, here’s hoping 74/27 can keep a certain team’s top line off the scoresheet then like they did with Montreal’s big three tonight. 😉

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