A Fine Night To See The Habs

It had to be one of the coolest nights of live hockey I’ve experienced in years. And it wasn’t only because the Habs began slowly with just five shots after the first period, would fall behind 1-0 in the second, and then come back and win the thing 4-1.

It was so much more than that. Starting with our seats.

They were dead-on behind the net, fourth row, directly behind the goal judge, and was almost like being on the ice. Possibly the nicest seats I’ve ever had, and I could see the stitching on Price’s name and number, and watch as players talked to each other and to the officials.

Hell, I even managed to see Scott Gomez pucker up his lips and make a kissing motion to a male Canucks fan sitting near me. I’ve no idea.

It took awhile for the Habs to find their legs, and I learned months ago to not try and figure out why they do what they do. But they would come on, capitalize on a weak night in goal by Roberto Luongo, overtake the home team, and make an entire city and most of a province question once again the hometown goalie, and maybe not smirk quite so much, at least for a day or so.

“Go Habs Go” filled the rink, and it warmed the cockles of my heart. Especially when it was much louder than the feeble “Go Canucks Go” chant.

All around us it was party time for the thousands of Habs fans who came from all over to see their team on this one night on the West Coast, and the air was filled with whooping and hollering as folks with the CH tattooed on their hearts left the building.

Just a night to remember. So much to take in, and I’ll never forget it.

I watched Andrei Markov closely on this, his first night back in more than a year, and although his shifts were short, his passes were smart and crisp. Maybe more importantly, he talked to fellow countryman Alexei Emelin constantly, and how great that must be for Emelin, and for the team in general, to have Markov settling things down and directing traffic. If this guy had been around since the start, we wouldn’t be in the pickle we’re in. He’s forceful, smart, an absolute impact player, and the climate of the team changed drastically with him playing tonight.

Wait till next year. This won’t be a last place team.

Eight feet in front of us, Blake Geoffrion finally notched his first goal as a Montreal Canadien, and it was a big one, one that evened the score at 1-1 with just 17 remaining in the second after Carey Price had held the boys in as the team was outshot 15-5. The combination of Price playing like he can, Staubitz taking on goon Zack Kassian, and Geoffrion getting his big one, and the boys were awaken from their slumber and they began to take the play to the Canucks, a team, I must say, that is as annoying as any in the league.

In the third, it was Erik Cole with a pair, Subban with a power-play marker in between, and the Canucks were done like dinner. This, after the local media had reminded us all day that it was a premier team taking on a last place team.

What a night. What seats. Lousy hot dogs, but whatever. And what a packed Shark Club afterward. The season has been a disaster, but on this night, I’m singin’ in the rain.

Random Notes:

Alex Burrows is Brad Marchand in blue. If only Brad Staubitz could’ve laid his paws on this hot head. But Staub’s knuckles might still have been sore from pounding on Kassian’s head.

I also paid close attention to PK Subban, and this guy is as intense as there is. It’s like he’s about to explode. And he played a wonderful game. Subban is a star, and he was booed constantly, which of course means that Canucks fans would dearly love to have him on their side.

When PK scored his goal, Price in front of us pumped his arms and fists and went for a big skate. Beautiful.

Shots on goal – Montreal 35, Canucks 33.

Next up – Habs in Buffalo on Monday. I believe we’ll see a much different Canadiens team now that Markov is back. It’s just too bad it’s too late.

42 thoughts on “A Fine Night To See The Habs”

  1. Wow! Great game and your seats as your stories sound awesome. Good on you and glad you enjoyed the game. Now for the real tough question. Will Markov put up more points this season than Gomez? I say yes and in a lot fewer games. Glad to have his calming influence back and I for one do not want us to tank so GO HABS GO!

  2. Dennis,

    The commentators called Geoffrions goal “Historic” for the Habs, being the fourth generations etc, must have been pretty neat to have been there for it . They also mentioned as you did that they did not play like a last place team, I’m glad you saw that as well.

    What I would like to know is Cole as fast as he appears to be on TV?

  3. Oh my! I am so happy for you, Dennis. You must have been like a little kid in a candy store. I wish I was there too. Nothing like watching a game with people who are as over the moon as ourselves.

    Next year when we are NUMBER 1, fly your butt out here and all us enthusiasts will go!! It would be a blast!

    I wish I watched the game; was just a little too late for me.
    Did they pair up Markov with Emelin all night? Emelin must have been so into that.

  4. @Ryan – I’ve seen Cole play live a few times this year (and at training camp) and if anything, tv doesn’t do the guy justice. The guy can fly sometimes.

    Dennis, I am seething in jealousy. What amazing tickets. Were you able to hear them talk at all? I’d be interested to know what trash talk went around.

    After the first period I felt so bad for you Dennis and I kept thinking “ah that poor guy seeing this” but boy did it ever turn out great for you! Now you can rub it in the faces of your co-workers tomorrow. Bet they’ll bitch about PK left and right. I know on tv they showed him going after the Sedins a lot and even Burrows (who looked like he was going to cry at one point).

    I’m glad you got to see a wicked game Dennis. I tried to see you but couldn’t catch you in any of the crowd shots. They even showcased some people in the crowd wearing Habs stuff and I thought for sure you’d be there but unfortunately it was a no-go.

  5. It’s amazing the effect you have on the Habs whenever you are in attendance Dennis.

    Geoff Molson must find a way to send you to as many games as possible.

    I suggest he gives you that stick boy job.

    What are you waiting for Mr. Molson?

    Pick up the phone!

  6. Darth- I was fortunate enough to see Eric Cole play college hockey for 3 years at Clarkson and he had all the tools to be an NHL player then. It was a treat to see him in his youth and is more so now that he plays for the Habs. It sure seems like he has an extra gear when he has the puck coming up ice but what a nice thing to see in bleu, blanc & rouge! GO HABS GO!

  7. HNiC grudgingly acknowledged the legion of Habs fans in the audience. Max Pax on After Hours was tremendous. He was humble, honest in his answers. He truly understands what it means to wear the bleu blanc rouge.

    I hope Staubitz returns next season. He’s a shot in the arm to the team fire. I, however, would take Burrows in a heartbeat because he is such a punk. Imagine the Boston punks with those two in the line-up!

    Glad you were able to enjoy the “home” game!

  8. It is quite something to see Markov do that one timer pass in the past to Souray-Streit & now Subban this is what The Habs PP has been missing all season a PP quarterback with a ridiculous hockey IQ……..

  9. dra, you bet Markov will overtake Gomez. This is a fine , fine player. Gomez is too busy simulating kisses to fans. He really did do that last night and I have no idea why.

  10. Ryan, it was so great last night I hardly slepty a wink. Cole’s a beauty and flies like you see. The other thing too, I heard no whistles, and I was ice level. The buzz from the crowd was unreal.

  11. Marjo, Emelin played alongside Markov for most of the night, and they chatted constantly. It was great to see. Emelin must like this a lot. If I can get out there (Montreal) next winter, let’s all go. What fun it would be.

  12. Darth, it was so fantastic. I don’t even think I described it enough in my post. It felt like playoff hockey. Those seats were unreal, with pucks flying off the glass right in front of us. We couldn’t hear the players, couldn’t even hear the whistles. But they talked constantly, to each other and to the officials. And they gabbed back and forth with Canucks players, only it seemed quite nasty. It was a beautiful night.

  13. Danno, that’s two years in a row that we win when we’re there. And last year, at 8 rows up just over from the goalies, I thought it couldn’t get any better. But last night’s seats were unreal. And yes, Mr. Molson, listen to Danno. He knows what he’s talking about.

  14. Mike Mc, it was so fantastic. Hot damn. Staubitz threw his toughness around and kept the Canucks on their toes. It just shows sometimes how tough can be so important. Gomez didn’t do anything except the kiss thing that I mentioned, which was weird, and yes, Burrows can be such an asshole but also effective. I loved my home game and I’ll never forget it.

  15. Martin, for sure, Markov made a big difference. Imagine if we would have had him all along. And Emelin is going to improve in a big way now that he has someone on the blueline he can talk to. What a blast this has been. What a great thing for me, to see the uniform live, the crest. I’m still very emotional.

  16. Mike you beat me to it. I was also very impressed with Max Patch’s interview after the game. What a family, all those connections to Russian stars. I have to give credit to Oak and Simpson as well for a great interview and as I watched it I kept thinking I hope this guy is a Hab for a really long time. He talked about the chemistry with DD, emulating Cole and modelling his off ice work after Saku. Pretty awesome especially considering he’s what 23?

  17. You bet, AC. It was a beauty. And yes, no unobstructed view. I’ve discovered that just behind the goal judge is a great view and I wouldn’t have changed it for anywhere else in the building. What a night, and we had a sesnsational time. Hot dogs sucked though.

  18. Hey Dennis,Great game buddy,glad you were there and wished I could have been.I was very impressed with the Habs play last nite,very impressed with Carey Price,very impressed with Markov as well,what a nite.

  19. Dennis – maybe Gomez was trying to blow kisses at you but couldn’t find you anywhere.

    If you do come this way it’ll be a blast. Let’s all chip in and get one of those 20,000$ luxury boxes. Hey we can all afford it right? :)

    You do need to see a game here Dennis, that’s without a doubt. I want you to experience a goal here live because it is amazing.

    You got to see Blake’s goal – that’s wicked and I’m glad it happened there.

    This isn’t the same at all but when I went to training camp and sat down low it was one amazing experience. I can only imagine what a real game must feel like. Glad you had a blast and you’ll probably be floating in the clouds for a few days. Enjoy them and try not to toss your coworkers in the drink when the claim we didn’t win fair and square. Also, remind them just how awful Luongo is and how long that contract is…just to be mean.

  20. Well… the Super Bowl will be in my backyard for 2013. Sounds like the perfect reason to catch the Habs in Montreal! I’ve never seen Les Good Guys as the official home team!

  21. Who are these guys?”???? Subban is coming into his own. Funny how JM thought Weber was a better PP trigger man…….. There must be someway the authoritarian NHL rule can come up with something extemporaneously to force the Habs to forfeit the 2 points while retaining the on ice results of the glorious evening.

  22. Congrats on that fabulous evening Dennis. Don’t know how you manage to grab those ducats but I got to know.
    What do those seats retail for and what did you pay for them. Whatever the cost…it sure is a whole lot nicer when you get the win to go with it.
    You get the back to back against the Sens this week.I’ll be there on Friday night. How about throwing 4 points our way.We need the points a hell of a lot more than you.What are you guys trying to do? If you don’t watch out you’re throwing away a chance at a top 5 lottery pick which would give you a shot at #1. Go ahead and tank and we’ll love you here in Sensville.
    JW.

  23. Dennis,

    Really pleased for you. A few nights like this make the disappointment of the season easier to bear in many ways. But also reinforces the sense that there was possibly enough there to have done a lot better.

    Praying to all known deities that Markov can get a healthy season in next year. Along with the core they have, surely they can put together something next season.

    They have to address the coaching issues.

  24. Blue Bayou, it’s all the difference in the world to have Markov. He helps Emelin, the pressure’s off PK, and the power play, the achilles heel, would have been better. Next year will be different but you’re right, the coaching, and Gauthier, needs to be addressed. What fun it was down there this weekend. As much fun as you can have with your clothes on.

  25. JW, I’d like nothing better than for the Habs to win both in Ottawa. Sorry. I feel bad. Wait a minute – I’m not sorry. You used to be a Habs fan. Maybe karma will get you. I heard recently that your owner said that Karlsson might be the greatest defenceman ever. I think your owner may have a crack cocaine problem. And about the lottery pick – there’s no guarantee the top three will even become impact players. Maybe number four or five will be better. What we really need to be concerned with is keeping Markov healthy. He’s the difference. Come back to the Habs, JW. Where you belong.

  26. Hobo, rarely have I ever seen a guy like PK so intense. Like I said, it was like he was about to explode. He’s going to be a great one. Imagine that about JM and Weber. That’s so far off it’s ridiculous. And absolutely, on one hand it’s just so great to have something to cheer about, and on the other hand, we’d like a good draft pick. Damn.

  27. Mike McKim, it would be absolutely sensational if a whole bunch of us could meet in Montreal and cheer on the boys. What a blast it would be.

  28. Darth, the Vancouver newspapers were so pathetic. It was all about how poorly the Canucks played against a basement dwellar. The Vancouver Sun wrote on the first page that the Canucks will meet the sad sack Habs Saturday night. I believe it’s okay for us fans to be hard on them, but anybody else can f…off. It’s like parenting. Hard on the kids, but other people back off.

  29. Derry, it was so much fun I can’t truly express it. And I just love seeing the sweater in person. It’s magical for me.

  30. I congratulate all on Great HABS game.
    Places great also!!
    I thought that it is impossible, but Scott Gomez becomes more stranger for me after your articles…
    It is almost enough to frighten children of his surname…

  31. Denis Brel, never let children in St. Petersburg hear the name “Gomez.” They are too innocent.

  32. Denis, yes. When they were skating in the pre-game warmup, they saw me behind the net and began to shoot at the glass as hard as they can. I’m taking it very personal. Also, who are the Swallows?

  33. Exactly, Danno. You know, after seeing them the other night, I’m now even more anti-Canucks.

  34. Dennis, I’m thrilled you saw your team have a big win in your neck of the woods. Nothing like a rooting crowd for the CH, a WIN and phenomenal seats. They did it for you, I’m sure!

  35. Diane, it was so much fun. And there were so many Habs fan there it was like a home game. Thanks Diane. Hope all’s well.

  36. I hate the Canucks. SO HAPPY Habs smacked them down. CBC was probably expecting them to roll over and die like the Leafs did. Delicious crow for them.

    Awesome you got to be there. I was wondering if you were ;D Best seats in the house! And the Canucks fans are always so quiet, the loudest they are is when they do their “*Team Name Here* SUCKS!” chant.

    The only good thing about it being on CBC is we can all go watch it again online.

  37. 31, it was so great that night I’m still choked up. Just wonderful, with Markov back and the way he constantly talked to Emelin, and seeing Geoffrion get his first, and seeing the boys win. So many Habs fan there and at the Shark Club across the street it was just mind-boggling. I wondered why we coudn’t hear any whistles until it was explained to me that when you’re behind the glass, you don’t. I hate the Canucks too. The media in Vancouver, and so many fans, are amazingly smug. And they haven’t won a thing in their 41 years. All I heard or read in papers last week was how the last place Habs would be there. One writer on a previous Canucks game on TV even started laughing as he said “last place Habs.” The Vancouver Sun, on their front page, said “Tonight, the sad-sack Habs are here.” And we beat them. So great.

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