Big Red

Sunday, 05.02.2012 / 5:30 PM / News
canadiens.com

MONTREAL- The Canadiens came out on top Sunday afternoon against the Winnipeg Jets, after a hard loss against the Capitals on Saturday.

A regular on the hits sheet, Alexei Emelin did what he did best, and even a bit more Sunday afternoon by scoring a shorthanded goal in the second period and dishing out six big hits.

“The second goal was important because it gave us the confidence to play the rest of the game,” shared the hard-hitting player who became the first defenseman to score on a penalty kill since October 6, 2007 in Toronto. “It was really important for the team”.

The goal stemmed from an impressive pass from Tomas Plekanec to the Russian defenseman, of which Emelin boasts: “It was an assist from Tomas Plekanec so I knew it was good for a goal!”

Alexei Emelin is surely making an impact on his teammates as well as on his head coach.

“His decision making skills have been most excellent lately. There’s a lot less hesitation,” praised Randy Cunneyworth while talking about Emelin who ranks first among rookies in the League with hits. “He does not hesitate when it comes to hitting and he certainly seems to love it.”

It seems defenseman P.K. Subban might be taking a few tips from the Russian blue-liner who ranks fourth among all defensemen in the League for hits.

“Maybe there is some competition between both of them. I think P.K. played well,” said Cunneyworth of Subban who didn't hesitate to drop the gloves against Jets' Blake Wheeler late in the second period. “He was a target, as he often is, but it didn’t bother him. He kept his mind on the game and worked hard.”

Cunneyworth concluded: “Anytime they’re trading hits, Emelin and P.K., it’s good with me.”

With the two young defensemen dishing out big hits as they have, Randy Cunneyworth won’t be the only one encouraging the healthy competition.

SEE ALSO

Boxscore: Canadiens-Jets
Highlights
Post-game rundown
The Numbers Game - Feb. 4, 2012