Ryder’s goal ended his scoring drought and the Capitals wall fell shortly after allowing 3 goals in a a couple minutes. The Ryder goal will hopefully be a turning point for him and the team on their way into the playoffs. It seemed a weight was lifted off the team and they exploded immediately.
The Habs have few goal scorers and Ryder has to be firing game to game to give them a chance on the scoreboard.
Saku Koivu gave a "no coaches" speech/meeting at practice before the game and apparently it paid off.
Mike Komisarek got his first National Hockey League goal. Over 100 games and only 1 goal. Maybe he was enrolled in the Craig Rivet school of offense for too long. It was nice to see and hopefully he can keep them coming. Komisarek also rose to the challenge of watching Alex Ovechkin closely while Andrei Markov was still not 100%.
I was impressed with Todd Simpson‘s debut as a Canadien. Simpson had no problem dropping the gloves on his first or second shift after Ben Clymer tried taking off Garth Murray’s head. It’s nice to see a ‘tough’ defenceman willing to muck it up every time he’s on the ice. Sheldon Souray and Craig Rivet can’t take fighting penalties and Simpson could be of value somewhere down the road.
Speaking of Garth Murray, this guy continues to impress. I’d wager he’d win a skating contest with anyone on the Canadiens and his fore-checking is fierce. He brings it every shift. He waited until the opportunity came and delivered a thunderous vengeful hit on Clymer and didn’t back down when 6’3″ Johnson came at him. Took a punch and shrugged it off in the box, came back and fore checked like an animal. I love that style of play compared to an underachieving floater like Marcel Hossa. All the Gainey critics should acknowledge when he makes smart moves.
The win means the Canadiens didn’t lose ground but have not made much progress. They managed to gain a point on Tampa but Atlanta destroyed Buffalo and are still right behind the Habs.
Every game is crucial now and a win tonight will all but mathematically eliminate the Islanders. The Thrashers, Devils and Leafs all in action tonight to mix up the pot even more. The Habs need 2 points, no less.