MTL Game 1: Habs on pace for 0 points in ’11-’12 after opening loss in Leafland

Ok, perhaps that is an exaggeration. But ’tis true.

Recap: The Canadiens played a good 1st period, then fell off the map for the 2nd and half of the third. Matthew Lombardi, in his first regular season game in more than a year, scored the Leafs’ first goal shorthanded, while Dion Phaneuf scored the Leafs 2nd goal on a rocket.

Plus: James Reimer got the shutout in the first game of the year, always a nice way to start things off. It was his 4th career SO…If anyone was going to score for the Leafs, glad it was Lombardi…David Steckel won 18 of 25 faceoffs, good for 72%…Phaneuf added an assist on Lombardi’s goal…The reason the Habs were able to keep it close during the 2nd and 3rd periods was Carey Price. Look for this to continue in about 85% of the games this year…

Minus: There were still a couple issues from last year apparently still present for the Habs, most notably their lack of compete against lower-level teams and subsequent lack of offense…Erik Cole was nowhere to be found, probably because Martin played him so bizarrely on the 3rd line, which brings me to…Not a well-coached game by Jacques Martin. The Cole thing was glaring, plus neither he nor Pacioretty, who played well, was out at the end of the game with the Habs down 2…I thought Subban (-2) and especially Mike Cammalleri did not play well this game…The Canadiens went 0 for 5 on the PP while the Leafs went 0 for 3…

Injuries: Chris Campoli (of course!) left with an apparent leg injury after falling down awkwardly and bending his leg. And so it begins…Newest Hab Blair Betts did not play. Jacques Martin said he has a lower-body injury, is day-to-day and hopes to play in the next game…

UPDATE: According to Damien Cox of the Toronto Star, Campoli has a hamstring injury and will miss 3 weeks. Damn it!

3 Stars: 1. Reimer 2. Lombardi 3. Phaneuf

Nightly Nugget: As previously mentioned, Matthew Lombardi played and scored in his first game in over a year after he sustained a concussion in the 2010 preseason. Great to see him work so hard to come back and to have an immediate impact (even though he’s on the Leafs).

Next Up: The Habs head to the ‘Peg on Sunday night for the first Winnipeg Jets game in Winnipeg in over 15 years. That should be fun.


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