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.
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.