I’d say there’s a lot of things to smile about tonight. This solid 6-2 win over the NY Rangers had to be the Canadiens’ best game of the season. Everyone contributed, and although Alex Kovalev has now gone 15 games without a goal, he was effective and creative, and at least managed an assist.
From the beginning, when Bobby Rousseau, Pocket Rocket, Guy Lafleur and others including old Rangers greats like Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell, were introduced, it was an outstanding night. This was the first time I’d seen Rousseau in about 35 years. Lafleur got the chant, and everyone was applauded heartily. And rightfully so, Pocket got a standing ovation. If I could’ve been there, I would have been proud to give this little big man a big thank you.
And the team, for a nice, delightful change, was smoking.
This is the Montreal Canadiens we’ve been waiting for. Andrei Kostitysn has come alive, coincidently since his brother Sergei was sat down a couple of games ago. The grinders, Maxim Lapierre and Steve Begin, continue to pick it up a notch and this is a huge turn of events. Newcomer Matt D’Agostini scored again for the second night, and added an assist. And Georges Laraque earned his first point of the season with an assist on Lapierre’s second period goal.
There were no dumb penalties, no serious turnovers, no blunders whatsoever. It looks like a team coming together, and D’Agostini has produced while underachievers Guillaume Latendresse, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Ryan O’Byrne sit in the press box and think that maybe they should have done a bit better job.
The team seems to have tightened up, turned a corner, stepped it up, and maybe, just maybe, are fed up with their lacklustre start to the season and have decided to do something about it.
Let’s see a continuation of this Saturday when the New Jersey Devils are in town. I don’t even mind that I have to go to work tonight for a graveyard shift. This game has made my day.
The Canadiens wore the uniform of the 1915-1916 Habs, the team that won the first of 24 Stanley Cups. And Carey Price wore pads and gloves resembling the old leather ones, although these are state of the art, unlike the ones worn by Georges Vezina who was the goalie back then.
TSN’s Sportcentre listed their top ten Montreal Canadiens and I have no qualms with these choices.
1. Maurice Richard
2. Jean Beliveau
3. Doug Harvey
4. Guy Lafleur
5. Howie Morenz
6. Jacques Plante
7. Patrick Roy
8. Larry Robinson
9. Henri Richard
10. Ken Dryden