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Carey Price Posts Shut Out In Return + Pettersson Hurt By Kotkaniemi

January 4, 2019, 12:17 PM ET [180 Comments]
Brandon Smillie
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Carey Price returned from injury in a big way last night leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-0 victory over the surprisingly competitive Vancouver Canucks.

Price put up a 33 save shut out for his 2nd SO of the season and 42nd of his career, 4 back of 3rd place Ken Dryden on the Habs all time SO list. The win was also the 302nd of his career which puts him 12 wins back from Jacques Plante for 1st all time in Canadiens history.

History update aside, it was a pretty good hockey game last night between the two Canadian teams. Playing Vancouver likely has a bit of extra meaning for the BC born Price and it seemed to show a bit last evening. Price looked calm, composed, and unbeatable…. So he looked like Vintage Carey Price.

The Canucks goalie J Markstrom was exceptional in his own right and has been on fire lately going 9-2-0, after last nights game, over his last 11 games. His .926 SP% last night won’t be a point to harp on for Canucks fans, especially when All Star Carey Price pitches your team a shut out.

The 2-0 win gave the Habs their first win of 2019 and their 5th win in their last 6 games (5-1-0). The victory allows the Canadiens to keep pace with division rivals Boston and Buffalo, but kept them in 8th place in the conference with the NYI’s still only 1 point back with 2 games in hand.

These wins are of incredible importance as we hit the halfway point of the season. Buffalo has been around .500 after a 10 game win streak and the Bruins have won 3 in a row to jump into 3rd in the Atlantic. The multiple Stanley Cup favorite Maple Leafs are finding life a bit more difficult when your over achieving goalie finally gets burnt out and on IR. Who knew that a garbage defense core would be exposed when your .923 SP% goaltender is gone and your GM has no decent back up (after losing 2 for nothing earlier in the season in a event the TO media completely glossed over to give Kathleen Wynne’s glasses a free pass). As of right now, 2nd place in the Atlantic is completely up for grabs.

Last nights game had a little bit of controversy as well as Canucks fans are livid with Habs rookie J Kotkaniemi.

We all saw the play and I would be upset as well if the tables were turned. However, you can’t honestly think that Kotkaniemi hooked Pettersson with the intention of throwing a leg lock around his legs (putting himself at risk of injury too) with the intention of bringing him to the ice. It looked like two rookies battling hard and trying to out do the other without realizing sometimes you have to protect your knees. Again, I would also be REALLY upset if that was Kotkaniemi and I completely understand the Canucks fanbase being PISSED. Pettersson was the hands down favorite for Rookie Of The Year and has had great chemistry with Boeser. But it wasn’t intentional.

Speaking of Boeser, he put up a ridiculous 73.5 CF% (36 SAT-F vs 13 SAT-A) to lead the Canucks in that category. He also started about 82% of his shifts in the offensive zone to help that but still, wow! The Habs had a few high quality Corsi outings themselves with Tatar’s 77.4 CF% and Reilly’s 74.3 CF% also dominating when they were on the ice. FUN FACT: Benn scored a huge goal for the Habs last night, the GWG actually, but finished with a game worst 17.1 CF%. Yikes….

With the two points in the bag the Habs look forward to hosting PK Subban and the hockey team he plays for, I think. I know he was hurt for a while and has some new shows starting soon or something about style and food. I don’t know exactly what it is or if he’s playing but you can bet there’s going to be some MTL media that have made this the game they have looked forward to the most all year so expect to see some pissed off Canadiens in the dressing room clips after they answer their 10th question about PK Subban.

I sure would like it if the Canadiens win the next game….

Go Habs Go!

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