The Montreal Canadiens bounced back from a terrible showing against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night to take out one of the best teams in the NHL last night. Montreal controlled most of the pace of the game, and ultimately defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 in overtime.
Chicago boasts one of the deepest and strongest offenses in the entire league, but they were shut down completely by the Canadiens. The most interesting part of shutting down the potent Hawks attack was that it did not even take a Herculean effort from Carey Price to do so.
Habs fans have seen the story before where they are utterly dominated by a superior opponent by a great goaltender, whether it was Jose Theodore, Cristobal Huet, Jaroslav Halak or Price would be flat out amazing and steal the win. This was not the case at all last night, as Montreal simply outplayed the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
In fact, it was Corey Crawford who had to be great just to keep the Blackhawks alive in this one. The Canadiens held a 38-20 shot advantage at the end of the night and kept Crawford working with a 65-45 edge in shot attempts.
It was tough to narrow this down to just three stars as pretty much every Canadien who played could have been a star in this one. So, I would like to make a few honorable mentions here to guys who played extremely well, but did not make my three stars list.
Carey Price: Hard to fault a guy who allowed one goal on 20 shots against one of the best teams in the league, and comes away with a win. Price made big saves when called upon and kept the dangerous Hawks to just one goal on the night. He was great when needed, but the guys in front of him played so well, Price was not very noticeable in this one.
George Parros: I expected Parros to be a complete disaster on his return to the lineup. He was hardly on the ice, playing less than four minutes, but his line with Brandon Prust and Michael Bournival manufactured some offensive chances. Parros provided the screen in front that led to Andrei Markov opening the scoring in the second period.
P.K. Subban: Subban did not get any points, but he was on the ice against the Toews line all night, and shut them down. He was a physical presence, and won battles against the exceptional two way line of Toews with Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa, which minimized their chances.