Isn’t it fun when you see an honest, hard-working, hard-skating team like we’ve seen so far from this year’s edition of the Montreal Canadiens? (Aside from the opening night loss to the Leafs).
Another four-goal game from the Habs, their third in a row, with this going to overtime and none other than Andrei Markov beating Martin Brodeur with just 38 seconds remaining before going to the dreaded shootout. Markov now has four goals and an assist, and nobody is as important to his team as this guy is to the Habs. He’s the man. The swizzle stick that stirs the scotch and water.
Just an excellent effort, although the Habs did blow a 3-1 lead in the third. But I’d go as far as saying that even if they’d lost, I’d be happy with what I saw. This isn’t last year’s Montreal Canadiens by a country mile.
How about Rene Bourque. Energized! Maybe it’s not even Rene Bourque. Maybe it’s his long-lost twin, found in the woods and switched when we weren’t looking. The one who plays like he wants the puck. The one who skated miles and would have popped a few if he wouldn’t keep shooting it over the net.
Brendan Gallagher, second star on the night, scoring his first-ever NHL goal, converting a lovely pass from that other peach-fuzzed new kid on the block, Alex Galchenyuk. And Galchenyuk not only set up Gallagher but also helped Brandon Prust score his first as a Hab.
It wasn’t just a handful who contributed. All four lines were deeply involved, although Lars Eller seemed tentative. But maybe it was to be expected after he sat in the press box for the past couple of games. Erik Cole, to me, played his finest of the four games and skated the way we grew accustomed to last year. Carey Price was again excellent. And Ryan White, with a little help from Alexei Emelin, opened the scoring. How great it is when a plumber helps get the team rolling.
This was a terrific night for the Habs, although they almost blew it before Markov settled things. This new look, exciting squad now has three straights wins and looking good. Can they keep it going?
Montreal outshot New Jersey 32-25.
Next game – Tuesday, when the Jets come to town.
After such a dismal year last year, followed by the pathetic lockout, seeing these Montreal Canadiens of the past three games is a genuine treat. Bring on the Jets.