Unfortunately, I had to go to bed before the best part of last night's Habs/Yotes matchup. But in the two periods I saw, I have come to some unalterable conclusions, including:
-Carey Price MUST wear a neck protector. I've always had a problem watching that long expanse of exposed throat sticking out of his sweater. Those too young to remember Clint Malarchuk's brush with death in the '80s, courtesy of a slashed corotid artery, might recall Richard Zednik's horrible encounter with Olli Jokinen's skate blade two years ago. I think all players should wear throat protection, but goalies especially. They're constantly exposed not only to flying pucks, but sticks and skates hacking and slashing at random during crease scrums. And nine times out of ten, the goalie is down at skate level while those scrums are taking place. If Price was wearing a throat protector last night, Paul Mara's stick wouldn't have dropped him like a cannon and the first Coyotes goal wouldn't have gone in. He should take the incident as a warning and realize it could have been a skate. He practices with the guard on, anyway, so it's not like he's completely unused to it.
-Bob Gainey MUST re-sign Tomas Plekanec in January, before he heads into free agency. The man is currently the first-line centre on the team, without any wingers. He's a no-quit worker with the wheels of an F-1 car and the hands of a brain surgeon. If he leaves via free agency without Gainey doing his damnedest to keep him, I will lose all faith in the GM.
-Tom Pyatt is surprisingly good. His acquisition is making the Gomez trade almost palatable.
-If Glen Metropolit doesn't win the team's unsung hero award, there is no justice. I love everything about the guy, from his gap-toothed, incredulous grin when he scores to his dogged work on the PK. He's got to be one of the best waiver pickups in Habs history. It's hard to believe he's as good as he's been when you remember the first shift he took as a Canadien last season. Remember? He gave the puck away and the Flyers immediately scored. Then he took a boneheaded penalty right after. Boy, was THAT game misleading! Too bad he's not five years younger.
-If Spacek is seriously hurt, the team's patchwork D will not be able to compete with most teams. It's going to be a very tough stretch if he's out.