That wasn't a pretty game. And although I run the risk of getting called a sore loser by Montreal Canadiens fans for saying this, it was a boring game. Yes, boring. That's Jacques Martin for you.
But give the Canadiens credit: It worked. They held the Ottawa Senators to just 19 shots on the night, and Carey Price was there to stop all the shots headed towards the net. Winger Andrei Kostitsyn wristed a couple of shots past Brian Elliott, Benoit Pouliot tapped in a bank-pass, and the Canadiens left Ottawa with both points and plenty of reasons to be satisfied with their game.
Sens Hero: David Hale
Hale's doing what the Sens wanted him to do when they called him up, just playing a simple game and clearing the puck whenever he can. One thing that surprised me about Hale is that he's actually a pretty smooth skater, and that's something that will help him in the defensive end.
Sens Hero: Mike Fisher
Big game for Ottawa's top-line centreman tonight, even though it wasn't a top-line centreman kind of game. He was a presence, pushing and shoving (and probably should have had a couple penalties), and fighting for the puck. But Fisher is barely a second-line centre when it comes to his offensive abilities, so he's a little mis-cast as a top-liner. Still, fun to watch.
Sens Zero: Milan Michalek
This is undoubtedly a little bit harsh, but it's frustrating watching how lost Michalek can look on the ice when he doesn't have someone making decisions and setting up plays for him. Perfect example of this: The short-handed 2-on-1 he had with Daniel Alfredsson, where he just couldn't decide what to do so he stickhandled into the corner. WTF?
Sens Killer: P.K. Subban
Heck of a game for this guy; I had to look it up, and can't believe he was drafted 43 overall in 2007 (player we drafted ahead of him: Jim O'Brien). He had a MoNsTeR of a game, great offensively, very good defensively, physical, and just intense through the whole night. I'll be honest, I'm not looking forward to seeing this kid on the Canadiens' blue line for the foreseeable future. Won't be fun.
Sens Killer: Goalposts
If the count in the game-thread was accurate, the Senators hit four goal posts in the game. Half an inch the other way, totally different game. Not to say Ottawa deserved a different result, but it's frustrating to know how close one was.
Entertainment Killer: Jacques Martin
The only thing worse than being forced to watch your team play a boring-ass Jacques Martin style is being forced to watch your team lose to a team playing a boring-ass Jacques Marting style.
Mixed messages: Alex Kovalev
It was tough to assess Kovalev's game tonight. He was controlling the puck well, trying to make plays, and looked good in the offensive end. But he was also giving the puck away, sending blind passes into double coverage, and--frankly--getting embarrassed by the new generation of Habs players. If he thinks he might head back to Montreal after this season, he's got another thing coming; he fits in to the Habs system like a square peg into a round hole.
Renewing old friendships: Chris Neil and Alex Picard.
Alex Picard laid out Chris Neil with a clean hit in the second period. Neil didn't like it. Neil wanted to fight Picard. Picard, wisely, declined all invitations.