NHL Musings: Canadiens Hang Six on Rangers, Avs and Wings Get Physical

Dino MoriAnalyst IFebruary 20, 2008

Some Wednesday musings from around the NHL.

Turnabout is fair play, so the saying goes. Just ask the Montreal Canadiens.

The Habs overcame a 5-0 second period deficit and upended the New York Rangers, 6-5, in a shootout at the Bell Center.  It was on Superbowl Sunday when the Canadiens blew a 3-0 lead to the same Rangers squad, and fell 5-3.

It marked the first time in Montreal's illustrious history that they completed this feat.  The underachieving Michael Ryder scored twice and added one assist for the Habs.  On Tuesday, Ryder was rumored by TSN to be going along with a draft pick to the Calgary Flames for Quebec native Alex Tanguay.  Tanguay has been on the trading block for quite some time, first rumored to be headed to Florida for Olli Jokinen.

I think  Habs general manager Bob Gainey will be very active before the trade deadline on February 26.  The club has a wealth of young talent, with players such as the Kostitsyns—Andrei and Sergei—as well as Tomas Plekanec and Maxime Lapierre.  Gainey is rumored to have inquired about the availability of Martin Havlat of the Chicago Blackhawks, according to the Ottawa Sun.  What a coup if the Canadiens could land enigmatic Havlat, the former Ottawa Senator. 

Habs forward Christopher Higgins has too been mentioned in trade talks.  But, Gainey would be cutting his own throat  by letting go this blue chipper.

What a treat it was to watch Nikolai Zherdev of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

The slick, smooth skating forward of the Blue Jackets had the puck on a string against the Toronto Maple Leafs.  He scored the Columbus' lone goal in a 3-1 loss to the Leafs, one-timing a perfect two-on-one pass from center Michael Peca.

My only criticism of Zherdev is he tends to hold on to the disc a little too long.  But, man this dude can dangle. 

Detroit Red Wings' defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom is expected to miss the next three weeks, recovering from an injured right knee.  He suffered the injury on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche, after being wallpapered into the boards by Ian Laperriere.   After the collision, Lidstrom looked like a baby fawn at birth, as he attempted to make his way back to the Wings' bench.

The game conjured up memories of prior Red Wing-Avalanche matches, filled with emotion and bad blood between the two Western Conference adversaries.

The loss of the NHL's top scoring d-man couldn't come at a more inopportune time for the Wings, who also are without another blueliner Brian Rafalski, who was put on injured reserve today with a bad groin.

You may see Detroit make a move at the deadline for a defenceman.  Maybe Brian Campbell of Buffalo, who may be too costly for the Sabres to re-sign this summer.