I’m not going to go into great detail about tonight’s 3-2 shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes, other than it was a bit of a sloppy affair, with the Habs being outshot 33-25 by the quick-skating Canes. The boys also took several bad penalties, including a puck over the boards by Carey Price with two minutes left, that almost cost them the game.
But Saku Koivu pulled it out in the shootout.
My feeling is, the homestand was too long, and a little road trip, beginning Thursday in Minnesota, then back east for stops on Long Island, Columbus, and Toronto, can’t come soon enough.
There’s things to be worked on, that’s for sure. Yes, I know, it’s only October. I’m an impatient man.
But they got their two points, and that’s what we see on paper when all’s said and done.
What I really want to talk about is something that happened before the game began. The Canadiens honoured their three most successful coaches – Dick Irvin, Toe Blake, and Scotty Bowman, and when I saw Toe’s son Bruce, my heart did a little dance.
Bruce Blake came out for the ceremonial faceoff wearing what probably was his dad’s old team cardigan sweater. And if that wasn’t good enough, he put on a fedora which also probably belonged to his dad. So there he was, dressed like his dad dressed in the good old days of the 1950’s and ’60.
It was a tremendous moment, and I hope the younger generation picked up on this.
Last year I had a nice long talk, for about an hour, with Doug Harvey’s son, Doug Jr., and he told me that when he was growing up in Montreal, his best friend was Bruce Blake. Imagine being young kids with dads who were members of the famed Montreal Canadiens of the late 1950’s?
Bruce and Doug Jr. were. (Although Doug said it was like growing up the same as any other family, which is hard to imagine.)
And Doug Jr. told me that Bruce still has all those huge players’ murals that hung in the old Toe Blake Tavern, which sat just down Ste. Catherines Street from the old Forum.
Thursday’s game in Minnesota should be an interesting affair. Montreal’s record after eight games is 6-1-1 for 13 points. The Wild’s, after seven games, is 6-0-1, also for 13 points.