Thursday, February 21, 2008

Game 62: Malkin & Co

Evgeni Malkin stepped his game up to a new level when Sidney Crosby went down with a high-ankle sprain. He has 27 points in his last 14 games and leads the NHL in scoring with 79 points. He has five points in three games against the Habs this year. His speed, vision and great shot make him one of the top talents in the league right now and certainly the guy who the Habs need to contain if they want to get the win.

Ty Conklin, the guy who was in net for Edmonton at the Outdoor Classic a few years back, has emerged as the Penguins starting goaltender and leads the NHL with a .932 save percentage.

The Canadiens have matched a season high by winning their fourth straight game. They remain tied with Ottawa and New Jersey with 75 points, though the Sens still hold a game in hand.

Trying to make sense of Tuesday night's magic has been difficult. Jay Onrait of TSN called it the greatest game Habs fans under the age of 30 had ever seen. It was the most amazing game I have ever seen and I was lucky enough to experience it firsthand. It said so much about what this team is all about. They are a resilient bunch who go to war for each other. Say what you will about their lack of a tough guy, Steve Begin is out there punishing opposing players. Mike Komisarek is the scariest blueliner in the Eastern Conference. He has the ability to take over a game. Andrei Markov is among the best, if not the best passing defenceman in the NHL. Alex Kovalev is on another level. He explodes past opposing defenders seemingly at will and his one-timers are scary. He kills penalties, lays guys out with hard hits and is a true leader on this team.

All the talk of trades, Sundin, Hossa et al provide interesting fodder for debate but this team has chemistry. I would be reluctant to make a major lineup change, especially after Tuesday. On the other hand, it's not every day you get the chance to add a guy like Sundin or Hossa. I'm just less enthusiastic about a Tanguay or Havlat and don't really see those as positives.


Le Journal: Carbo is Thinking About the Cup

TSN's Jay Onrait on Tuesday

La Presse says Hossa deal all but done

Edmonton Journal: Lowe is After Hossa

Le Journal: Hockey Madness has Officially Set In

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