– Credit to Paul Byron for his penalty killing. He earned yet another breakaway. However, he’s not scoring on these breakaways this year like he did last season when he had his magic 22 goals. He may have caught lightning in a bottle last season. Confidence comes and confidence goes. If I were Byron I would ask the video staff to bring together all of his breakaways from last season and watch them over and over. One because it would naturally increase confidence and two because it would help him to see what worked then. Byron provided the spark even without scoring on his shorthanded breakaway that woke the game up a bit. Byron then got the goal by going hard to the net to send it to overtime.
– Joe Morrow was a first-round draft choice. He has a big shot and great wheels. On Saturday, he showed the shot. In this one he showed the wheels. Artemi Panarin had a clear look in the first. He was just about to shoot from 10 feet out and Morrow caught up and neutralized the play completely. I am still holding out hope on this player.
– Alex Galchenyuk is the Habs most dangerous forward at the moment. He has his skating stride going when he is stick handling. He is so much more dangerous when he does this. Very hard to defend. I’ve been quite impressed with Galchenyuk turning his season around. He’s taken on the challenge and worked his way out of the doghouse.
– Wow that shift from Max Pacioretty in third period was something. The strength to push through and keep striding, fighting off his check to get off a great shot. He then kept the legs moving and circled around again for a second chance. Superb shift as the Habs woke up in the third.
– The best chance of the game for the Habs before their goal was Jacob De La Rose all alone but Sergei Bobrovsky made a remarkable blocker save. De La Rose was there. He had it. He probably would have liked to get the shot away sooner but credit to Bob The Goalie as well.
– Another stellar effort from Charlie Lindgren who is now 3-2 on the season. In the two losses, the Habs supported him with one goal. He has allowed seven goals in five games and is 3 and 2. Hmmm.
– The strategy on the Habs power play for the opposition team is clearly to go after Pacioretty when he has the puck. The swarm is on as soon as Pacioretty has it on the right side. Teams attack him relentlessly. Why? It works. By this point, it’s a third Pacioretty’s fault, a third the good scouting of the opponent, and a third a fault of the Habs coaching staff to keep going back to this failing alignment. Pacioretty has a point in half a season on the power play. This is David Desharnaisesque. The real bizarre thing here from Claude Julien is he has the right player on his roster. Add to that, that that player is the best forward on the team at the moment but Alex Galchenyuk can’t get a sniff on that first unit. Weird. Don’t get it.
Galchenyuk has the shot to one-time on the right. Galchenyuk has the stick skills if they swarm him unlike Pacioretty who doesn’t have that particular skill set but …. Nope; they won’t use Galchenyuk there. They’re not going to do it. After Pacioretty’s entire career there on the right side with no results, why is he still there? Pacioretty should be in front of the net. He’s a big body. He can slide out to the high slot on occasion. Here’s what I like: Galchenyuk on the right. Pacioretty net front and slot. Drouin on the left wall. Mete on the right point where he has great vision. Weber on the left where he has a better chance of getting the easier feed where he has had good success for the cannon as he slides low. These five guys in the right position is more than enough talent.
Good tweet from Grant following the game on Julien, and I agree – “Julien just can’t bring himself to start his best offensive players in OT. Seriously..what Columbus forward duo is better than Drouin/Galchenyuk? Nope…more afraid of losing than trying for a win..Claude “Safe Is Death” Julien loses to the coach who coined the phrase.”
– I understand with Torrey Mitchell getting the flu that they had to put a D man up at forward but I still can’t understand how they lost confidence in Victor Mete. It almost feels to me like it is confirmation bias that he’s young and can’t cut it. All I see is everyone else but Weber cutting it less than Mete. The D-Corps in my mind is frankly not that good. They’re plodding. They arrive second on most pucks in the corners. They’re all playing contain so there’s so much pressure in the Habs zone. Mete gets to pucks first far more than the others. I don’t find he is a physical liability either. Perhaps the organization is equating winning more with using Mete less. I think it’s a mistake. I think the kid is the second best defender on the team right now. But I am up here so maybe there’s something I am not seeing.