Dick Irvin Sr, who played for the Hawks in the late-’20s before his coaching career, which included Montreal, began. Dick would be 124 if he was still around (125 in July).
The Canadiens couldn’t quite get it done, falling 4-2 to the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, and if you like your glass half-full you could say Montreal sits at 8-3 in their last 11 games.
But if you’re a half-empty type of person, you might say they’ve lost two of their last three.
And the kind of person I am? Mostly a half-full kind of guy except when I’m not. And as I’ve said many times, the regular season will be long forgotten when pucks are dropped to begin the postseason.
Tuesday night in snowy Montreal, the home team fell behind 3-0 in the third frame, but red-hot Paul Byron banged home a rebound to ruin Corey Crawford’s shutout, and soon after, Shea Weber blasted one from the blueline to narrow it to 3-2.
A great comeback by the Habs. Exciting. Tense. Stressful. Stirring. And then Jonathan Toews found the empty net to salt it away for Chicago and ruin all that’s pure and good.
It was an ‘almost’ type of thing. Corey Crawford stood on his head throughout, as the Canadiens outshot the Hawks 39-24, but try as they may, Montreal skaters as a whole are snakebitten. They have a tough time scoring. But again, the playoffs are a different ball of wax completely. The scoring will probably start then!
There’s the half-full thing again.
I’d say that the boys miss the net way too much but they probably know that. But the fierce rally late in the game that would sadly fall short for Montreal made my heart soar like a clown or a duck or something, flying around with an umbrella.
A couple of big games coming up the Habs, as they meet the Sens in Ottawa on Saturday and then host those same Ottawans on Sunday. Yes, as much as the regular season will be forgotten come playoff time, these are huge games for both teams. Time to kick some sand in the faces of Sens players and their fans.
And one last thing. I’m guessing that Alexei Emelin will be an easy target now, considering how he was out of position on a couple of Chicago’s goals.
But I’m sticking up for him because I think the pros outweigh the cons for Mr. Emelin. He lets loose thunderous hits, he’s a bone-crunching bummer for players racing down the side with him waiting, and he has a good shot from the point. I like his old-time hockey style and I appreciate anyone on the Canadiens, including him, who plays a rugged game.
He reminds me of Gilles Marotte, who dished out Emelin-like checks for Boston, Chicago, L.A., New York, and St. Louis in the 1960s and ’70s,
The problem is, quite often the lights are on but nobody’s home for the Russian rearguard.