Zdeno Chara will be a co-star in two highlight reel goals this week. Unfortunately for him, it involves the hulking defenseman being undressed...twice, by Alex "The Magician" Kovalev. The Canadiens win their 10th straight game against the Bruins, but in the process, they lost a big part of their defence when Mike Komisarek had to leave the game at the 6 minute mark of the first with what is now being called a lower back injury.
The many Habs fans that packed the TD BankNorth Gardens had to wait until the 8:19 mark of the second period before a goal was scored. Much to their enjoyment, it happened to be an Alex Kovalev Special. Zdeno looked like a pylon next to a pothole as the Russian sniper pulled a spin-a-rama move to completely baffle Chara and on the backhand, beat Tim Thomas who seemed to have it, until it slithered through his pads into the net. Zdeno, we Habs fans know how you feel... we had Sheldon Souray on our team for a while, remember?
Goal number 2 by Kovy was even sweeter than the first, coming 5 minutes later as Alex skated from centre and upon reaching the Bruins' blue line, completely split the defence (Chara and Wideman) before slipping the puck five-hole on a seemingly awestruck Thomas.
The Bruins made a game of it when they scored during the Kovalev goal announcement (Mark Stuart at 13:48) but the Habs never looked back. Picture perfect goals by Kostitsyn (from a blind back pass from who else...Kovalev) and a tic-tac-toe play à la Latendresse, Koivu, Ryder sealed the Bruins fate while Boston scored one on an already down and bewildered Carey Price, who was looking for an interference call that never came.
Good News: Habs win and move into sole possession of 1st in the East (Jersey and Pittsburgh have 2 and 1 games in hand respectively)
Bad News: The extent of Komisarek's injury is as of yet unknown...Dandenault, are you ready?
Good News: I take back what I said in my previous post about Tom Kostopoulos. The man is a stand-up guy and does what he is put on the ice to do, in the minimal amount of time he has to do it. Not known as a scorer or a prolific fighter, the never say die forward had opportunities for both and answered the call for the latter when he took objection to a Jeremy Reich hit to Andrei Kostitsyn. Sorry Tom, my bad.
The rematch is this Saturday at the Bell Centre where Carbo's clan will try to make it a season sweep of 8 games, or 11 straight from last season. I'm sure the Bruins will have something to say about that, since they will probably see their playoff spot fade if the do not eke out a win.
You can take this to the bank : Price, the game's second star, will be in net. Lapierre, the game's 3rd star will stay in the line-up. Depending on Komisarek's injury and unless Mathieu Dandenault has royally ticked off someone on the coaching staff, see him to crack the line-up either on the blue or red line.