It took Max and Lars Eller to come through in the shootout as the Canadiens down the Leafs 3-2 in Toronto, thus avoiding suicides, bricks through TVs, and serious hairpulling throughout Habsland.
Not really a fantastic win, or even a great win. Maybe only a decent win. But it was a big one as they snap a five-game losing streak in the midst of a gigantic slump, and it has to feel good.
Now the boys can relax and maybe take in a late show with Rompin’ Ronnie and the Hawks at Le Coq d’Or on Yonge Street before calling it a night.
It began in splendid fashion as the team dominated the Leafs, outshooting them 14-3, and jumping out to a 2-0 lead on goals by David Desharnais and Tomas Fleischmann, although Fleischmann’s goal appeared to go in off Daniel Carr.
But as we’ve seen before, a quick start can mean little as Toronto slowly found their game and scored in the second and third periods to send the game into overtime.
It would take the shootout to decide things, and now the challenge is for the team to win two in a row, something that hasn’t happened since November 20th to the 27th when they nailed down four straight.
After that, as we all know and need to forget, the roof fell in and continued until tonight, when they grabbed two big points against a team that boasts the despicable Dion Phaneuf.
I feel good about this, mainly because it wasn’t a loss. But not good enough to put on my dancing shoes and head down to the Westview Hotel, though. They’d think the grim reaper just walked through the door.
A loss would continue the nightmarish slide into Satan’s basement. But it wasn’t a loss, mainly because Max and Eller got it done in the shootout, when Galchenyuk, Flynn, and DD didn’t.
Canadiens outshot the Leafs 29-19, and were 0/4 on the power play.
Next up – Monday, when the boys travel to Columbus to take on the BJs.
Extra Random Notes:
Before the game began, Leaf greats Turk Broda, Tim Horton, and Dave Keon were honoured with inclusion on Toronto’s Legends Row, and it was emotional fifteen or twenty minutes.
Broda retired when I was two, but I saw Horton and Keon in their prime, on those great old Leafs teams.
I sat behind Keon and his wife in church in Orillia when I was young. Keon and most of the Leafs had attended Leaf trainer Bobby Haggart’s wedding in Orillia the day before, and the next day in church there was the great centreman, standing and kneeling and sitting and crossing himself, just like the rest of us.
I also have a personal story about Tim Horton. I’ve been to his doughnut shop many times.
Broda was on hand for the opening ceremonies of the arena in Orillia in 1950.