Wilde Horses

  • Gallagher with a buzzsaw game that one has seen from him in important games throughout his career. He is one of those guys that gets you through the playoffs. He has simply been the best or close to the best in every Habs playoffs that he has been in. He had the same profile in this one: tenacious on the puck, active around the net and forever in the face of the opponent.

  • Alex Radulov had all the energy that Habs fans were hoping that he would be able to bring. Hungry for the puck and playing smart when the emotions were high for everyone.

  • Jordie Benn sent the signal he was ready early, dishing out a 'destroyer' hit on Tanner Glass. It goes a long way when you show that you're ready to take the body and nothing will come easy for your opponent.

  • Benn and Petry made an excellent partnership. Petry was back to his old playoff self. This player was the Habs best defenceman in the playoffs last time and he picked it right up in game one. He timed a huge hit and cleared the puck smartly.

  • The entire fourth line was strong in the first before a couple tough shifts in the second. So much was made of Alex Galchenyuk playing down in the depth chart but it doesn't matter what number is attached to your name. What matters is that you create chances for your club and win the shift that you are on all the time. Galchenyuk, Ott, and Martinsen didn't look like any fourth line you're going to see. They were a handful in the first. Galchenyuk clearly enjoys hockey more the bigger the game. Ott's work ethic outstanding. Martinsen won pucks in the corners. Does Galchenyuk belong here? No. However, he and his mates won most of their shifts. Forget the number. The three had a good game.

  • Max Pacioretty trying to make a difference so badly that he at times wasn't the Max that we know. He seemed to have hurt his shoulder trying to deliver a massive hit. That's not what Pacioretty does, but he sure showed that he wants to do all that is required and even more.

  • The best Montreal Canadiens player by a healthy margin was Shea Weber. He laid out the body all night and they weren't light hits. They're the type of hit that change attitudes. He has so much respect from refs that he laid out Zibanejad three times straight with cross checks and didn't get a penalty. He also had scoring chances but was robbed all night by Lundqvist. Whenever Weber and Markov were out, it was calm for the Habs overall.

  • A massive 5-on-3 kill for the Habs for almost a minute. Remarkable how that dynamic has changed for the Habs since Julien arrived. 22nd in the league under Therrien. Under Julien they were top 10. The passive has been switched to aggressive. The don't go at all is now the 4-go.

  • You sure don't want to let one in early if you're Carey Price when you haven't seen a lot of shots and the other guy is getting peppered, but like a pro he recovered very well off the first goal. Price looked rock steady. His usual outstanding. Still hasn't learned how to score though.

Wilde Goats

  • The third pairing faced a lot of zone time. Often the third pairing of Nesterov and Beaulieu were also out with the fourth line in the second period and this seemed to be more than the Habs were able to handle.

  • Third period was a disappointment for Habs fans. The Habs needed a goal and generated very little. The Rangers adjusted well and now it's up to Julien to adjust back.

Wilde Cards

  • Expect Nesterov to not play game two and Davidson to come in. Just feel like that third pair needs a change. The first 2 had solid nights. The third pair soaked up a lot of pressure.

  • Overall, Lundqvist stole the show. He was supposed to be the weakness considering his injury and season; instead, he was the Rangers' best performer. The Habs have scoring woes some nights. This was a night where there wasn't enough finish. It happens. You can't rewrite your entire strategy. You have to keep doing what led you to get the chances. Goalie is a big part of hockey. The Habs usually win this battle. That is the way it goes. If I am Julien, I make a couple changes. Nesterov for Davidson and Galchenyuk up the depth chart to get more ice time. As I said earlier, the line was strong but if Galchenyuk is going to play that well, give him more and see if he can ignite something. It was a 1-0 game with an empty netter. It wasn't 5-0. They didn't get dominated. They just couldn't score on a hot goalie. That's hockey. It isn't what you want to hear but there is nothing to hear.