Scott Gomez led the forwards, while Roman Hamrlik led the defensemen, as the Montreal Canadiens snapped their losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers. Montreal's final grade (62) was 1 percentage-point below their season average.
Team averages by period
The Canadiens were below their season averages in all categories except offensive-zone puck-battles. Montreal own 58% of their OZPBs; two percentage-points above their season average. The Habs got progressively worse in the neutral-zone as the game wore on. Particularly in the second period, when the winning percentage for neutral-zone puck-battles dropped 16%. The Thrashers scouted the Canadiens well, as Montreal struggled getting the puck into the offensive zone; running 6 to 10% below average in successful skate-ins and shoot-ins.
|METRIC||AFTER 1ST||AFTER 2ND||TM WIN%||METRIC|
|%SKI +||69||69||73||%SKI +|
Individual percentage by metric
Scott Gomez was the top Montreal forward in the offensive-zone. Number 11 was puck-hungry, winning 76% of his offensive-zone puck-battles. Lars Eller and Travis Moen were at the other end of the spectrum winning only 38 and 33%, respectively.
Roman Hamrlik was the top defenseman in both the offensive and defensive zones. Number 44 won 92% of his offensive-zone puck-battles and 71% of his defensive-zone puck-battles. That said, Hamrlik did struggle in the neutral zone; winning only 25% of his neutral-zone puck battles.
The top forwards in the defensive-zone were Gionta and David Desharnais. Gionta won 88% of his defensive-zone puck-battles, while Desharnais finished with a perfect winning percentage.
|%SKI +||71||67||100||100||100||80||100||100||67||100||0||0||50||0||100||100||%SKI +||73|
Individual and team averages for faceoffs by situation and zone
Montreal had a tough night in the faceoff circle at even strength. The teams' only saving grace was Tomas Plekanec's faceoff work in the defensive-zone; number 14 won 70% of his defensive-zone faceoffs. For some unknown reason, Plekanec did not take any offensive-zone faceoffs at even-strength.
Individual and team averages for point shots through / blocked
Atlanta did a great job getting in shooting lanes, while Montreal defensemen did a poor job walking the line, Habs defensemen were only able to get 56% of their point-shots through to the net. James Wisniewski was the only d-man to have success in this category, as number 20 was able to get 83% (5 of 6) of his point-shots through Atlanta shot-blockers.
|%PS THRU||0||83||25||25||100||67||0||%PS THRU||56|
Individual grades by period
The Canadiens team average went from 66 after the first period, to 62 after the second. Only to even out at 62 to end the game.
Despite a drop of 9 percentage-points through the final 2 periods, Gomez still finished with a grade 7 percentage-points above his season average. Roman Hamrlik's grade was 9 points above his season average. The lowest marks went to Lars Eller, Benoit Pouliot and Andrei Kostitsyn. Eller's final grade was 10 points below his season average, while Pouliot and Kostitsyn's were13 and 9 points below average, respectively.
The biggest drops through the last 2 periods went to Brent Sopel and Paul Mara. Both players had exceptional first periods, but saw their marks fall 33 and 40 percentage-points, respectively.
Gomez won a solid 13 of 17 offensive-zone puck-battles, while Roman Hamlik won 11 of 12. Subban was also strong in the o-zone winning 7 of 8 OZPBs. Interestingly the Habs had more defensive-zone takeaway than giveaways.
The biggest offender in the defensive-zone was Andrei Kostitsyn. While most people are lauding his play against Atlanta, the numbers tell a different story. Yes, Andrei competed hard. But his compete didn't translate to won puck-battles. In fact, on the play where he scored the empty net goal, he lost 2 defensive-zone puck-battles, and gave the puck away in the defensive-zone once. He then won a neutral-zone puck-battle, and subsequently shot the puck from the defensive side of the redline to score the goal; had the puck missed the net Atlanta would have had an offensive-zone faceoff with 1 minute and 15-ish seconds left in a 1-goal game.
|SKI +||5||2||7||1||1||4||1||2||2||1||1||1||2||SKI +||30|
|PS THRU||5||1||1||2||PS THRU||9|
|OZ PS BL||1||1||3||1||1||OZ PS BL||7|
|POINTS X2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||POINTS X2||14|
Why they won
-Price kept them in the game early with some stellar saves
-Made the most of their chances by winning an above average amount of offensive-zone puck battles, despite struggling to get the puck in-deep most of the game.
For a preview of tonight's game against Carolina, here's a link to the numbers from the last game the 2 teams met.