Sunday, February 03, 2008

Price, Bulldogs Shut Out Moose 2-0

From Our Sports Central

Backed by unbeatable goaltending courtesy of Carey Price, the Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Manitoba Moose 2-0 Saturday night, sweeping the two game series between both clubs. Duncan Milroy and Corey Locke scored for Hamilton, while Moose netminder Drew MacIntyre made 25 saves in his 12th loss of the season.

The Moose - Bulldogs rematch started slowly, with both teams registering a combined three shots on net in the first eight minutes. A hooking penalty to Zack FitzGerald offered Hamilton the game's first powerplay at 2:38, but the visitors were unable to beat Drew MacIntyre on the man advantage and both clubs continued to strive for the game's opening goal.

Manitoba and Hamilton traded powerplays through the latter half of the first period, but with the notable exception of a Bulldogs shot that rang off MacIntyre's post, scoring chances were limited through to the first intermission.

Consecutive Bulldog penalties early in the second gave the Moose a one minute two man advantage. Although the home team was unable to beat Price, Manitoba used the powerplay to overtake the shot lead by tallying 16 to Hamilton's 10 by the 10 minute mark.

Despite carrying much of the play five-on-five and firing 11 shots on Price, the Moose couldn't break the stalemate and both clubs headed off the ice without a goal.

Hamilton narrowed the shot gap in the first half of the third, but Price and MacIntyre - as well as MacIntyre's posts - stayed solid.

With six minutes left on the clock, Hamilton's Daniel Corso shattered the scoreless game. The persistent center plugged at the puck at the corner of the Moose net and slipped it past MacIntyre to put the Bulldogs up 1-0 late in the game.

In a last-minute attempt to tie things up, the Moose pulled MacIntyre and played six skaters, but the strategy resulted in an empty-netter for Corey Locke and the Bulldogs stole two points for the second straight night with a 2-0 victory.


Anonymous said...

Curious on your thoughts on the Halak/Price switch. Personally, I can't see the logic. Price can use the practice in the AHL. He has the talent, but could use the experience. Halak, however, has learned all he can in the AHL and wasn't given a chance in his recent call-up. The latter is especially perplexing considering a) Huet could have used the rest on Sunday, b) Halak's play last year and c) if Halak is not in our plans, why not show him to scouts?
If the response is that the Habs are going to ride Huet, then why bring up Price? And if Huet needs a break, then past performance seems to indicate Halak is a better bet at the NHL level. What am I missin' Rob?

Sam L.

Robert L said...

Sam, you're not missing anything. Everything you say is totally logical.

I thought Halak would have gotten the Islander game and Huet the Rangers on Sunday.

The best answer I can add to this is that the Habs are not going to ride Huet down the stretch as much as they have. He has, in fact, never played so much in one season as he has this year.

Could Huet tire? Can they afford that chance?

Price, with increased work in Hamilton, seems to have sharpened rather than gotten tired. He had a shutout in his second of two consecutive weekend games. If the Habs are looking to rest Huet soon, perhaps the Toronto game, then Price is in a comfort zone, having beaten them three times already - he'd get the nod.

If Halak is not in their plans, it still does not mean that they have to trade him now.

Should they have chosen at some point to "show him", and he failed the test, then it has reverse consequences. A trade is also not the only manner of getting return on him. Should he be signed away as a RFA, then the draft pick Montreal receives could be higher than what a trade brings them. If not, they match the offer, retain the asset and carry with him as a card they can play later.

I guess it all boils down to Montreal assessing Price as a higher long term value than Halak. It will take some time, and an incredible performance by Halak somewhere, sometime to change that.

I imagine there are many ways the Canadiens could have proceeded, but my biggest worry at present is overplaying Huet to the point of injury while they pursue first place, and the Senators.

Don't know if this helps you Sam, but it's the best logic I can add to yours!