A Much-Needed Win By Canadiens

It wasn’t perfect, not by any stretch, but the Canadiens right the ship slightly by edging the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2, and for now at least, thing’s are back to where we want them. In the win column. Is there any other place?

It’s a nice combination – winning with Carey Price being one of the three stars – and both of course are polar opposites of what’s gone down in the past week. So even though some luck was involved, and it was against a team 21 points behind Montreal, it was one small step for man, one giant leap for the Habs situation.

Brian Gionta broke the 2-2 deadlock with his second goal of the game with just 46 seconds remaining, and it came compliments of  former Canadien Benoit Pouliot wrestling Subban with a fine headlock when it truly wasn’t necessary. It was a serious lack of judgement on Pouliot’s part, and it seemed the type of thing he would pull on occasion when he was a Hab.

I’m just happy Pouliot came to this decision, and although the Canadiens power play was ineffective throughout, Gionta made no mistake when the final chance presented itself.

Although the first stars were Gionta, Price, and Alex Galchenyuk, I’d also like to give Pouliot honourable mention for his Subban mugging. Maybe at the end of the season, we can say the true turning point of a crucial turnaround came when Pouliot decided to give his best Hulk Hogan impression.

Carey Price was another story on this night. He was often lucky, with a couple of goalposts and a crossbar entering into things, but at times he was also excellent, much better than he has been lately, and we’ll take that thank you very much. It gives us hope.

Random Notes:

Two goals from Gionta, and Alex Galchenyuk once again bulged the twine, his fourth in five games, and has racked up nine points in the last nine games.

As a bit of an understatement, I’d say we need Andrei Markov to pick it up several notches. Hopefully he still has it in him. Markov has 27 points in 44 games, which is the team’s fourth best, but he’s also a minus-11, often unreliable, and has slowed down somewhat. But he’s still a key guy and we need him to get it together.

The Canadiens once again jump ahead of the Bruins with this win, and find themselves a comfortable six points up on the Leafs after Toronto fell 5-3 to the Islanders. It was a fine night in many ways.

Alex Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals are at the Bell on Saturday, and how great it would be if the Canadiens kicked some supreme derriere at this time. And how great would it be if Carey Price once again stood tall and continued his climb back.

It was nice to see Michel Therrien stay out and congratulate each and every player as they came off the ice. That sort of thing can go a long way.




7 thoughts on “A Much-Needed Win By Canadiens”

  1. The good: Carey Price, aided by four (!!) posts, was on his game. Alex Galchenyuk continues to show why he was the third overall pick in the draft, and why, if he can stay healthy, he will be a cornerstone of the franchise for years to come.
    The bad: Andrei Markov looks older and slower by the day. He was bailed out by PK Subban after a horrendous giveaway (to Steven Stamkos, no less) resulted in partial breakaway for Stamkos, and disaster was only averted when PK made an incredible play to take away a great scoring chance from Stamkos.
    End result: A much-needed two points. I won’t get excited about this, however; I want to see the team string together a few “W’s”.

  2. Like you said, they won but the game wasn’t great. Good thing we faced Tampa rather than Capitals last night.

    Is the defense the problem? How did they fall from grace so fast or is it a combination of things?

    On the empty net, Pleky should have passed to wide-open Gionta to give him his hat-trick. My kid says its not the first time Pleky does this. It looked like he apologized to Gio later. Gio shrugged it off.

  3. In other news, The Leafs are on a losing streak, having lost two games in a row. And with only four games remaining they could possibly choke their way out of the playoffs. The Sens won’t make it easy for them on Saturday because they will be battling with the Leafs to take over fifth place in the conference. And the Habs play the Leafs on the last game of the schedule.

  4. Danno, how funny that would be if the Leafs fell out of a playoff spot. So we have to hope for either the Rangers or Winnipeg, five points back. And I also see Ottawa’s Karlsson is coming back. Maybe Emelin can pull off the same sort of miracle.

  5. Small steps to get out of a slump, Marjo. The important thing now is to play a little better against Washington on Saturday. I was happy with Price, even though he was shaky here and there. And about Pleks, it would’ve been nice if Gionta could’ve got his third, but I think if Pleks had passed and the puck was tipped away, we would have said he should have shot. It’s just too bad it didn’t go in. Pleks needs some goals too.

  6. Yep, Ian, we’ll take the end result and hopefully build on it. But we need more improvement, even if it’s little by little, to wind the season down. Going the other way would suck. That Markov pass that Stamkos grabbed wasn’t vintage Markov. He’s been known as the guy who makes short, smart passes, but his overall game has taken a bit of a hit, even though he’s still a key guy in my book. He’s getting beaten to the puck, outskated, and gives the puck up more now.
    It’s been a changing of the guard this year. Subban’s the guy now, and Diaz too, although we’ll see about Diaz. This is a guy we need back, and apparently it’s coming. Hopefully the concussion problems are a thing of the past and he plays like he did in the beginning.

  7. DK, Iv’e read a few articles concerning Price and they say he is wearing a heart monitor. They go on to say his pulse rate at times exceeds 190 beats per minute. I wonder if this could affect his vision ie blurred, high blood pressure can affect your vision. I hope with this monitoring they find a way to decrease his heart rate! The stress of being at the top of your game and the up coming playoffs may be why we have seen a less than steller performance from our main man. Just a thought.

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