Thursday March 17, 2011
Montreal Bulldogs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
It says a lot about your depth, when you can go into a very important matchup against a conference rival, with tremendous playoff implications, with 4 of your top defensemen, 3 top 6 forwards and a grinder all on the IR, and still have the expectation to win.
The Habs have been absolutely decimated by injuries this year. How they have managed to remain comfortably in a playoff position all year round is astounding, but can be summed up in 3 words. Carey! Carey! Carey!
The young netminder has been unbelievable this year, and is starting to get recognition as a candidate for the Hart Trophy, the league’s award to the player deemed “most important to his team” How anyone else can even be considered for this award is a mystery to me, but we all know there are some politics involved in these awards.
With leading scorer Tomas Plekanec and his winger, Jeff Halpern going down to injuries last game, Bulldogs Aaron Pulashaj and Nigel Dawes have been called up to fill the void. Both of these guys are capable players but have yet to prove themselves at the NHL level. Dawes does have 209 NHL games to his credit, but questions arose about his conditioning in Atlanta that made him expendable. Montreal picked him up in the trade that brought Brent Sopel in exchange for Ben Maxwell.
- Andrei Markov (Torn ACL-out indefinitely)
- Josh Jorges (out indefinitely)
- Max Pacioretty (Broken Neck)
- Tomas Plekanec (Day to Day)
- Jeff Halpern (Day to Day)
- Brent Sopel
- Mathieu Darche
- Jaroslav Spacek
- Alex Picard (healthy scratch)
- Pavel Kubina (suspended)
- Randy Jones
- Ryan Malone
- Steve Downie
Keys to the Game
Carey Price will play a huge factor in this game. Tampa’s speed will surely beat Big Hal Gill a few times to the outside, so it could make or break the game that Price stymie these chances.
With all these young kids getting their chance in the big league, effort and passion shouldn’t be a problem, however patience and defensive care could be.
Montreal 4 – Tampa Bay 3