Montreal Canadiens: Habs' Pivot Benefits from Another's Misfortune

Jason HitelmanCorrespondent INovember 24, 2011

MONTREAL, CANADA - NOVEMBER 16:  Travis Moen #32 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates his second period goal with team mate Lars Eller #81 during the NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre on November 16, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Canadiens defeated the Hurricanes 4-0.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Last night marked the first time this season that the Montreal Canadiens were able to successfully mount a comeback after falling behind by two goals. I think it says a lot about the team.

They were, after all, playing the Carolina Hurricanes, a team they utterly dominated last Wednesday night, giving Carey Price his first shutout of the season (and week).

They certainly expected to win the game last night and were probably very disappointed when they were trailing in the first period.

Price gave up a very soft goal and did not look like the same goalie early in the game that we have seen as of late.

Thankfully, he did not need to carry the team in this one, unless you are only considering the shootout. 

Lars Eller must have been tired of playing on the wing. The natural centreman has to have been a little out of sorts after thoroughly impressing and then being "demoted" upon the return of Scott Gomez.

Well, as players looking to get more ice time usually do, Eller had to take advantage of his opportunities.

The Dane scored his second goal of the season last night midway through the second period. The goal was scored short-handed. Scoring on the penalty kill is certainly opportunistic.

Then, as if the hockey gods were smiling upon him, they graced him with a stroke of luck—which happened to be pretty unlucky if your name was Scott Gomez.

Gomez would not take the ice in the third period due to an injury, and Eller once again regained his spot as a pivot.

He had an assist on Travis Moen's game-tying goal late in the third period and finished the game with a team-leading plus-2 ranking (and two points).

As they say, one man's loss is another man's gain. Eller will continue to improve as a centre during his counterpart's absence.

That may not just be his gain—the Habs and their fans may stand to benefit with the progress of the man traded for Jaroslav Halak.

The Canadiens were unable to score on the power play last night, even with a four-minute opportunity. The Habs currently sit at 23rd in scoring on the man advantage.

If the Habs hope to start gaining from losses, Andrei Markov needs to come back soon.

As pleased as I am with the team's resolve last night, their ineptitude on the power play is really starting to get to me.

A win is a win, I suppose.

I guess we can't have it all...

Jason is on Twitter:Follow @jhytel


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