Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hockey at its mind-numbingly finest

Thursday night's Habs tilt with the Predators at the phone booth was likely one of the least exciting games I've seen in quite some time. Not too sure what it was like on TV, but I haven't heard the Bell Centre this quiet since the dark days of the Houle era.

Regardless of the lack of entertainment value (easy for me to say when I haven't had to take out a second mortgage to buy a ticket), the Canadiens once again found a way to win, and that's all that really matters.

Two very encouraging trends continued when the Habs finally managed their first of only two shots in the second period at the 8:46 mark: Andrei Kostitsyn nabbed himself another goal and the Canadiens power play found the net for a fifth straight game.

Since scoring a hat trick in Pittsburgh on Dec. 27 in his first game after a two-game absence with a suspected knee injury, Kostitsyn has been on fire. The Habs 3-2 victory was Kostitsyn's fourth straight game with a goal and sixth straight with a point, and he has six goals and four assists over the span of his point streak.

Kostitsyn took off around the same time last year, scoring 19 of his 26 goals after Dec. 27, a span of 45 games. Not coincidentally, he has really started to produce since being paired with his brother Sergei, which is probably something that should have happened right from the start of the season.

The power play, meanwhile, is on its longest streak of the season with goals in five straight contests, with the previous high being three games. It's no coincidence that the Habs goal came as a result of a quick entry into the offensive zone after Robert Lang lost yet another power play faceoff. In the Canadiens first two power play opportunities, it took them a minute simply to get set up in the zone after losing the initial faceoff. On this one, it took only 20 seconds, and Kostitsyn scored shortly thereafter.

It's not rocket science.

Heading down to grab quotes, check back later.

No comments: