Canadiens Stomp On Wings

I think it’s safe to say that there wasn’t a Habs fan on the planet who expected a 7-2 thrashing of the league-leading Detroit Red Wings.

We hoped for a win, of course, because that’s what we do. But a lopsided, dominant performance by a struggling team trying to claw back into things, over a team sitting pretty up in the clouds? What a surprise. What a nice freaking, beautiful surprise.

To me it shows character. It shows that the Canadiens, embarrassed on too many nights of this year, just might be sick and tired of the ridicule, the analyzing, and the 1000 word essays about how far a once-great team has fallen.

I’ll bet they’ve had enough, and tonight at the Bell Centre, they played like it. It was all business, almost from start to finish, beginning with Carey Price between the pipes, and every man in front of him. And they were so dominant, in fact, that although they led 4-0 after the first period, it could very well have been 5 or 6 goals.

This was a night that gives us hope. It’s just too bad that the All-Star break is going to give pause to the all-important momentum the team seems to be building upon, but at least it becomes a pleasant break for a bunch of guys who’ve been experiencing a gradual tightening of the noose.

Montreal had a 6-0 lead by the time the second period had wound down, with Wings starting goalie Jimmy Howard chased from his net after the first, and with the Habs’ first two shots beating Ty Conkin. Overall, although Detroit managed two goals before Erik Cole scored his team’s seventh, the Canadiens were in control throughout, and as Crowbar sang, “Oh, what a feeling, what a rush.”

Hab scorers on this big night included Rene Bourque, Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty, Cole, David Desharnais with two, and Alexei Emelin, who notched his first NHL goal and made my heart soar like an eagle as he celebrated and smiled as his happy teammates shared his joy and handed him hearty congratulations.

Lastly, PK Subban will be discussed plenty in these next few days by just about everyone, and I only want to mention it now and be done with it. PK sat for the entire second period after giving up a puck in a weak clearing attempt, and then executing a silly elbow to a head that forfeited his team’s power play, both of which secured him his lengthy stay on the bench.

PK finding himself in the doghouse for this is not a big deal. He’ll learn from it, it’s good coaching, and it’s probably not the last time our young buck will screw up. It’s all part of the process as he moves up the ladder to stardom.

What a great night for the Canadiens and fans. It’s a big two points, and after hearing on TSN that San Jose Sharks were 12 points out at this stage last year and came back to not only secure a spot but also go all the way to the western finals, it shows that things aren’t impossible for the Habs, who now sit at 8 points from their target.

They can do. They just have to keep playing like they did tonight.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Detroit 28, Habs 25

Scott Gomez assisted on the Habs first goal, scored by Rene Bourque.

Now we wait until next Tuesday, January 31, when the Buffalo Sabres come to town.


27 thoughts on “Canadiens Stomp On Wings”

  1. Hey Dennis, What can I say?4-0 for the Habs when I left work and 6-0 by the time I got home,went to the legion for a beerless wing nite once more,maybe this is a signal to quit drinking, cause the Habs have been doing well as my system gets a break from holiday abuse.Erik Cole once more made outstanding plays,Carey Price…well he played a great game too.I only saw Coles goal so cant comment on the other six,what a night.

  2. I’ll post more about this tomorrow and I do have some pics but nothing too great. I also need your address Dennis.

    I’ll say one thing: we were all stunned. 2-0 was something else but when we hit 6-0? Amazing!

  3. There was a TV on at the far end of the restaurant where I was eating dinner. Every time I glanced at it, I saw a Canadien goal and celebration. I was convinced it was only a show recapping the season highlights. Not until it was time to leave did I realize it was the live game and we were winning 5-0. Unfortunately my friend was my ride back to my car and didn’t want to stay. That’s my problem, my friends are either Leaf fans or they hate hockey.

  4. All I can say is wow. Being embarrassed has a little to do with it but I think the coaching change and the trade has made them bigger up front. Erik Cole is MVP material. He is a force and awesome for the young guys to see and play with. Bourque a 100% upgrade of #13. Just amazing teamwork. The boys have been playing well since we lost to the bruins; shoulda beat the pens. The only reason we are this low is we aren’t stealing one pointers like we did last year. We’ve just lost too many regulation gamesit seems. This team has more character and is gaining confidence. Cole should be playing this weekend. Can’t wait for the ASG to be over with.

    I think Ovie shoulda went. What a cry-baby. Glad he’s not a Hab.

    I think Tim Thomas is showing his racist tendencies. If he is that far right, he’s a racist and it probably tears him apart that POTUS is an African American. He’s a non-issue and will be forgotten in five years. He’s not important enough to sway any election.

    Haven’t ranted enough, so couldn’t resist.

  5. Don’t know about you, but I for one LOVED the way Gomez moved the puck from one end to the other, passing it to the center and seeing Bourque crash into the net! My favorite goal of the night!!!

    Desharnais is one hot guy. He’s getting more confidant and comfortable with the first line and I bet he’ll even get better in the weeks ahead.

    Agree with Dennis about Subban. I love him to death but he’s a young buck that needs to be guided. Sitting him out is the best way to make him (and all players) accountable. But remember how much grief JM got when he’d put him in the press box? Looking back now, we can say that JM (sometimes) knew what he was doing.

    Tim Thomas: freedom of speech my ass; that’s the saddest excuse in the world. And then he goes on to say…”this is not about politics or party…”. Oh really? Then you should have pulled up your big boy boxers and presented yourself with the other 18 Canadians who have a better excuse than you.

    Chris, being pulled out of a restaurant by a non-hockey friend sounds God-awful…

  6. Cole is amazing. Every shift that he’s out there you get the feeling he’s trying to do something. I told Dennis that Cole could easily have fit in with the great Habs teams of the past. Without a doubt he would have fit in perfectly.

    Marjo – the problem with Gomez is that he disappears. He has moments here and there where he does something great, then boom – he’s gone. Last night I had to actually look for him on the ice. He does not play a full 60 minutes I assure you.

  7. Sorry Dennis, can’t share your optimism this time around. It was a great victory and truly a pleasure to watch, but by no means signifies that something has magically clicked into place for our boys. I think the results of last night’s lopsided match had more to do with with the red wings spending a few nights sampling some Montreal food, booze and other pleasures — not some form of miracle turnaround by the habs.

    That being said, I also don’t think we’re as bad as our current ranking suggests. As Canadiens fans, we tend to dramatize, both the good and the bad and perhaps this season, and the moment in last nights game (when a Scott Gomez boo erupted into a cheer on Rene Bourque’s goal) capture that spirit best.

    I do think this team will go on a tear in the 2nd half of the year. We may very well claw our way into the playoffs. We may even pull off a first-round upset. But for those things to happen, our players need to overperform, we need a few lucky bounces and Carey Price will have to stand on his head. It’s the only way this team can find success. I never bough into the Fail for Nail stuff, but this team does need some retooling. No major overhall, as many experts and fans have suggested, but just a few significant tweaks. And for the love of god we’d better not trade pk.

  8. Great song! I also wondered about the racist thing with Thomas especialy after his comments about PK last year. Anyway it was a fantastic game but I’m getting more than a little nervous about all the idiots demanding the team trade Pk. I know it just doesn’t make sense but how often does the French media ie the “UUCG – Unemployed and Unemployable Coach’s Guild” on L’Antichambre ever make sense? And with people like them spewing their own brand of racism this is just the sort of thing that PG might pull. God I hope not.

  9. Subban is far from being out of the doghouse. Costing us goals when we couldn’t score is one of a few big reasons we are in position now. I hope we don’t give up on him but I would prefer to see Emelin, Diaz get his minutes and see 76 sit or even go to Hamilton for a game or 2. Both are more mature and now much better than 76. Subban is a liability. He needs to mature to the level of Diaz and Emelin. I don’t think he can do it right now and is more od a distraction than anything. One good rush a game is not gonna cut it.

  10. Dishonest John, I really don’t understand how you draw a parallel between a talk show calling out Subban for the negative he does on the bench and off with racism. When did L’Antichambre ever sound racist in their criticism of Subban. Besides all that, that show is not Subban’s only critic. Some of the fans (as you mentioned) for one and also Team 990.

    In my opinion, his rebel ways are not about his age — this is his character. We all know 22 year olds who are immature and we all know some who are not. Personally, I love him; I can’t help but think of him as a wild horse.

    I hope they don’t trade him but at the same time his instant stardom in Montreal last year inflated his ego (as it would do to all of us) and he needs to learn a few things. I don’t think anyone is being too harsh and especially not racist.

  11. @marjo “wild horse”…that sounds racist to me.

    but seriously, imagine being hailed (unfairly) as the second coming of bobby orr since you were pretty much drafted, having your name chanted by 21,276 screaming fans the second your skates hit professional nhl ice. i think it would get to anyone’s head a little. professional or not, pk is a human being after all.

    given the major regret we’ve felt over trading away young talent with much more serious problems over the years (like drugs) can we overlook his sometime misplaced exuberance and slight immaturity for another year or so?

    not to draw a comparison to crosby, but remember the crtiticisms waged against his “crybaby” attitude his first few years in the league. he eventually grew out of it.

    pk will be great. he’s just overly enthusiastic, a little immature and has been a little spoiled up until this point. nothing to worry about and certainly no reason to trade him for an over-the-hill forward with a multi-year, multimillion-dollar contract.

  12. So Darth goes to watch the Habs and they beat the Wings 7-2.

    I go to watch the Habs and they beat the Sens 6-2.

    I see a pattern here.

    The Habs seem to pull up their socks when they know a follower of Dennis Kane’s Excellent Habs blog is in the house.

    It’s only natural they would show such respect to fans of such a great site.

    Now, maybe Mr. Molson can make arrangements to make sure there is always Dennis himself – or one of his followers – present in the house for each and every Habs game.

    It’s the least he can do to motivate the team.

    PS – We don’t fly coach

  13. Danno, I can’t agree more. There should be at least one of us each and every night. This has to be one of your most brilliant ideas. Hey Molson, listen to Danno. He knows what he’s talking about.

  14. Adam, great points, and yes, PK is just taking a bit more time to mature than others. Everyone’s different, and defencemen take longer. Except maybe a guy like Orr who probably could have cracked the Bruins lineup when he was about 17. But that’s Orr. I think PK’s situation has been magnified because of the overall lousy season the team has had. I think everyone would be much more forgiving and patient if the team was winning.
    I need to be optimistic about the team. They get me down and make me angry, and depress me and want me to throw my TV out the window if I could afford it, but all in all, I need to always hope that somehow they can do it, somehow have turned a corner. I need to hope that this win is huge in many ways, and of course I don’t really know. They could come out against Buffalo and suck. But when things go well, as it did last night, it makes me cheer and makes me feel optimistic. I crave respectibility and success for my team, and when I see it, even in small doses, it perks me up and makes me feel a whole lot better.

  15. Danno, I agree. Desharnais has been one of their best players and shows that a small guy can be effective. We just don’t want too mnay small guys, that’s all. I love the way Desharnais plays, and his line has been outstanding. I’m like you, I can’t wait to see how they do agsainst Buffalo.

  16. It was, Leaf Fan. It’s not been often that they’ve put together a couple in a row, but I’m a greedy bastard who needs five or six now.

  17. Marjo, it was a fine play by Gomez. But like Darth said, he disappears too often. We need him full speed ahead for every shift. That’s how he’ll earn his money, it’s how he’ll help his team win, and it’s even how he might even score a goal at some point.

  18. Chris, what the hell? You need to disown this friend. If you were in Powell River we would have watched every second and then had about 17 DKRSF beers to celebrate.

  19. Mayo, I think he’s not mature like Emelin and Diaz partly because of the way he plays the game. If he was naturally more conservative, things wouldn’t be so magnified. But because he plays pond hockey and freewheels, mistakes happen and the whole world notices.

  20. Marjo you’re right about the racism, my intent was to draw a connection between Thomas’ comments about PK last year and his not going to the White House( bad pun there!) to visit Obama. Even that is a stretch I admit. With regards to L’Antichambre my racism remark is in regards to their whole stance on every aspect of the team. It isn’t just pro-french it is anti-english. I do feel that goes well beyond seeking to support your own culture and these people should be taken to task for the way they attack anyone who doesn’t fit their criteria. And that I believe is racist.

  21. We have one of the better records in the east these days. Only 5 teams have more points than us in the last ten games. This is a very good sign heading into the final 33 games. It will be tough but this team looks 90% better than when Cammy-whats-his-name was here. IF we make the playoffs, I wouldn’t want to play us. I hope Enqvist stays around as he gives us another big body. Subban just needs amature mentor like Gill to get him through this phase. I think he needs to hear the crowd shout his name everytime he is on the icce and this isn’t good. The fans just need to treat him like the others right now. They did spoil him too quickly.

  22. Mayo I didn’t know about our record in the last ten, compared to others. It’s great news and gives us even more hope that they’ve turned a corner.

  23. Actually I’m wrong. Only 3 east (NYR, Philly, Pitts) and 6 West teams have more points than us. Habs have played through a really tough schedule lately (Bos, Pitts, Chicago, Det, Tor).

    Florida (3-3-4) and Winnipeg (3-6-1) are struggling.

    Our next 10 games. 6 Home games, 4 away games.

    – Buffalo
    – @ NJ
    – Wash
    – Winnipeg
    – Pittsburgh
    – @ NYI
    – @ Toronto
    – Carolina
    – Boston
    – @ Buffalo

    4 of those games are against teams below us; At least 4 are four point games.

    After these nese games we will have a much better idea as to whether we are playoff worthy. I would be surprised if we were still 8 points out.

    My guess is wafter the next 10 games, we will be at least 6 points out but if they put together a 5-6 games winning streak, maybe 4 points out.

  24. Hi Marjo. Even though I am critical of their play this year, I believe in the talent on this team. Been looking forward to this season for close to two years. I am certain we can catch Winnipeg over the next week. However,after them, the next team is 9th place Toronto. We will catch Florida before within 15 games. That’llput us into a strong 9th place. The boys have played awesome the last 6-7 games. It is critical we don’t lose any regulation games. We lost way too much the first half. We need a couple of teams above us to falter for a couple of weeks. Not one to want other injuries for other teams but at this point am desperate.

    So yes, I think we will make the playoffs.

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