"O.K. team, this is a process," Martin surely began in his pre-game address to the team. "The process will start with us scoring a bunch of goals against a goalie who couldn't stop a beach ball, then we'll allow the worst team in hockey to bombard our own goalie with shots so we can increase his trade value, and we'll be 3-for-3 on this interminable road trip of ours. Sound good? Alright, let's go out there and do it!"
Honestly, the Habs earned their 2-0 lead in this game, nearly pissed it away when Scott Gomez decided to mouth off the ref and got an extra two minutes for it, and then took advantage of a very weak Cam Ward and an even weaker Manny Legace to rise out the win.
In the meantime, Jaroslav Halak made save after saved in the Habs net, stopping 46 of 47 shots, running his total to 133 out of 137 shots in his last three games. Does anyone in this room honestly believe the Habs would have even won one of the last three games without Halak? Didn't think so.
This, of course, begs the question as to Halak's value right now. The Flyers remain desperate for a goalie who can steal a game, something they haven't really had since Ron Hextall. Cristobal Huet, just days after being named the NHL's first star of the week for his stellar play, totally blew it in Chicago's biggest game of the year to lose 3-2 to the Sharks, despite the 'Hawks winning the shot count 47-14. And Detroit, well, they're just a mess dealing with a far more severe injury situation than the one facing your Habs, and a goalie like this could help them stem the tide until the Franzens and Kronwalls and Zetterbergs return.
But, are the Canadiens not a better team with Halak than without him? That's what a lot of you must be thinking right now, and I don't blame you. But if his value reaches a point where Bob Gainey can legitimately fill another hole on the team, then he has to trade him. Simple as that. If all that's coming back is a draft pick, then he can't trade him. You can trade him for a pick at the end of the year.
Aside from Halak, Tomas Plekanec has continued his skyrocketing climb into the NHL's stratosphere with three assists, giving him 43 points on the season, one behind Alex Ovechkin and ahead of guys like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. Pretty impressive stuff, I can't say it enough.
That's it for now, as I'm about to head on the air for Hump Night on the Team 990 with my partner in crime Dave McGimpsey. But I'll leave you with this: how many teams win consistently while allowing 45.7 shots per game, as the Habs have the past three games? Not too many. Something has to change.