So many good things on a night when the Habs win a convincing 4-0 game over the Carolina Hurricanes. I just need to list them while the giddiness lingers.
Montreal took advantage of a flat and disoriented Carolina team and scored four big ones.
Carey Price notched his first shutout of the season, and Montreal scored a rare power play goal as Yannick Weber fired one home.
Frederic St-Denis, in his very first NHL game, played well and even managed to get himself on the stats sheet, albeit for two penalties. He carried himself well and his family must be very proud.
PK Subban scored his first of the year and came through as a blueline leader, just when we needed him to.
Travis Moen added his sixth of the season, and if he keeps this up, I’m going to start saying I told you so.
And finally, and I want you to take a deep breath – Scott Gomez had an assist. And you know what that means? It means Gomez manages to stay ahead of Carey Price in the points department. Gomez has two points, Price, with an assist on Mike Cammalleri’s goal which opened the scoring, remains one behind Gomez.
What a race. Can Price catch Gomez? Or can Gomez continue this torrid pace and leave Price in the dust?
Yes, Carolina is out-of-sorts presently, but we don’t care. Imagine if this out-of-sorts team had won the game? It could have been as low as Montreal could sink. But instead, the Canadiens were solid, and they were so without backenders Jaraslav Spacek, Hal Gill, Chris Campoli, and of course Andrei Markov.
TSN colour guy Ray Ferraro called PK a veteran, and I suppose on this night he was, even though he was a fresh-faced rookie just a year ago. It was PK and Josh Gorges as the mainstays on defence, with St-Denis and Raphael Diaz, Yannick Weber, and especially Alexei Emelin, who bumped and thumped and definitely adds a nice, new dimension to the Canadiens. Old-time bodychecks. A Russian Bobby Baun. And like Baun, he hurts people in mostly a clean way.
If Jacques Martin sees fit to give this Russian regular minutes on a regular basis, I see an important guy in the lineup. Because there’s nothing like a heavy hitter on a smallish team.
Now it’s off to Long Island for a Thursday night tilt against the Islanders. Such a roller coaster ride we’re on with this Habs team. And such drama with the Price/Gomez points race.
Habs outshot the visitors 36-25.
The boys are a hair from a playoff spot, tied with New Jersey who hold down 8th, but Montreal has played one more game so they sit in 9th. For a few minutes at least, they owned that 8th spot.