Really, it was a great night for every Czech player in the lineup as Jaro Spacek also chipped in with his first goal of the season, and though he's Slovak, Jaro Halak had a pretty credible night at the office as well.
But the player that stood out for me was easily Glen Metropolit. For the second time in less than a week, Metropolit burned the Isles for two assists, and this time it was in spite of a flu bug that prevented him from attending Monday's morning skate.
"Obviously," Jacques Martin said, "he was all right to play."
Yes indeed, Jacques, thanks for that. Metropolit played 11:16 on the night, including 2:21 on the penalty kill. The PK did not have a good night, allowing both Islander goals, but Metropolit was not to blame for either one.
It was, and I'm dangerously treading into over-dramatizing it, but a Jordan-esque performance for someone who was too sick to even make it to the rink that morning. He didn't speak to reporters after the game, but was seen working out in the gym, so maybe he wasn't actually that sick.
Regardless, his play to set up Spacek's first in a Habs uniform was sheer beauty, forcing a turnover in the corner, deking a player and finding the defenceman cutting in on the backdoor with a perfect feed for a one-timer.
Metropolit's play was one positive, the play of linemate Travis Moen was another with a goal and an assist, but I think Martin nailed the biggest positive on the night when it came to the play of his team.
"It was four lines tonight that shared the work," he said. "Our special teams weren't up to the task and we took a lot of penalties tonight. We'll need to improve our concentration for the next game. But it's a good sign when we can win games even if we're not playing our best."
Now for the negatives, and it starts with the enigmatic Andrei Kostitsyn, who doesn't appear to understand the urgency of the situation he's in. He began the game on a line with Kyle Chipchura and Matt D'Agostini, and appeared to have trouble keeping up with his far less talented linemates. Then Martin gave him a shot to play with Plekanec, still nothing. In 10:53 if ice time, Kostitsyn got one shot on goal and had another attempt blocked. That's it. The enduring image I have of him in this game was having a slow rolling puck coming around the boards slide right by him, simply because of a lack of concentration.
To me, that's his problem. He can't get going because he always appears to be lost mentally. And it might be time to legitimately wonder if that's not a chronic problem with this guy.
Otherwise, tune in Tuesday for another episode of As the Goalies Turn. Martin obviously won't announce his starter until Wednesday's game in Pittsburgh, but I find it hard to believe he won't go with Halak.
"No," Martin said when asked if he was ready to anoint Halak his No. 1 goalie. "We're going to take one game at a time, it's a long season. I'm happy for how he's performing. I said even before the season started that both goaltenders would have to do the job."
Right now, one goaltender has been watching the other do the job for quite a long time.