My Habs 3 stars of the game:
First Star: Carey Price
- Price was called upon to make save after save, especially in the third period when the team simply ran out of gas. Price finished with a stellar .970 sv%, allowing only one goal on 33 shots against. Price flat out stole this win for the Habs tonight.
Second Star: Max Pacioretty
- Not only did Pacioretty eliminate a Bruin with a hard hit (who thankfully appears like he isn't seriously injured), but he scored the game winning goal. Pacioretty and Gallagher are rapidly turning into the top two most valuable forwards on this team.
Third Star: Josh Gorges
- Gorges had a solid game defensively tonight, and was the only Hab to finish with a +2 on the evening, while playing both on the PK (1:59) and the PP (1:14), and finished the night with a whopping 21:08 of ice time, behind Markov (27:50), Subban (26:50), and Pacioretty (21:34).
- Prust also deserved a mention tonight. Not only did he get pasted from behind by an illegal check with absolutely no reaction from the officials, he then fought his own fight against Boston's toughest, Thornton. While Prust looked like he was hurting, he held his own, and showed exactly what kind of warrior he is. So, my hat went off to Prust tonight.
Playing their third game in four nights, the Habs simply ran out of gas. By the third period, they could barely get out of their own zone. Price, however, found a way to hold the fort and the Habs wound up taking first place in the Eastern conference.
If anyone can explain to me how Pacioretty winds up with a boarding penalty for a shoulder to shoulder hit, but Prust gets plastered into the boards directly in the numbers from behind with not so much as a twitch from the referee, I'd love to hear it. This kind of inconsistency is what drives everyone crazy. Simply because Prust got up and started skating again doesn't negate that it was a clear penalty.
I'm not sure if it's the schedule, or if it's the amount of ice time Subban is getting, but he definitely had a bad game tonight. Hopefully, it's not a trend, and some rest will pull him out of it.
Markov is looking really good out there, and could easily have been one of the stars tonight. He was caught flat footed on the goal against, but he's learning to adapt to his physical limitations and is getting better at not being caught. The way he's playing, it's hard to imagine trading him. While PK may be younger and more mobile, no one else in the league has Markov's savvy. His hockey IQ is extremely high, as are his skills when he's not caught out of position. He and Subban provide a defensive pairing that is the envy of the rest of the NHL.
The Habs are on a roll right now, the big question is, can they keep this pace up for the rest of the season and the playoffs? The amount of ice time Subban and Markov keep logging every game worries me, and I hope they still have some gas left in the tank come playoffs. Otherwise, the team is looking great, and it's always nice to beat a rival team like the Bruins.