Domination In Buffalo

It was as one-sided as can be, a 5-1 Habs romp over a lacklustre Buffalo team, and how nice it is to clinch a playoff spot with eight games still to go instead of on the last day of the season, which is what we’ve seen in the past.

Just a great night for the Canadiens, in many ways, from start to finish.

A terrific rebound performance after losing to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. A domination of the other team like we’ve rarely seen this year. And best of all, a solid effort from almost everyone, top to bottom, beginning with Peter Budaj, who wins his seventh straight game in relief of Carey Price, and who said beforehand how proud he is to be a Montreal Canadien.

Maybe the entire team feels that way. Maybe the ones who weren’t proud aren’t there anymore.

Brendan Gallagher was a force all night, scoring Montreal’s third goal and in the thick of most things whenever he stepped on the ice. His joy of playing hockey and getting his nose dirty is written all over his face. This isn’t a small guy. Somehow his personal stats got mixed up along the way. Gallagher’s a huge guy. Just ask anyone who plays against him.

CBC’s Craig Simpson might be wrong when he says that next time around, opponents will play him differently and he might not be as effective down the road. I ask why not? I see no reason why he can’t continue to be an energetic and skilled guy who causes such havoc. Let other teams adjust. He’ll just plow ahead, play the only way he knows how, and maybe it’ll open things up for his teammates.

Ron MacLean said between periods that Gallagher is the modern day version of P.J.Stock……. I have no words for this.

Francis Bouillon took on Steve Ott after Ott had laid a punishing hit on Gallagher, and the super-strong Bouillon got the better of this Buffalo hothead. Ott also licked Jeff Halpern’s visor for some reason, which is a fine example of Ott not being completely all there.

Rene Bourque opened the game’s scoring, and once again he enjoyed a fine game, his second since returning from injury. Bourque’s a key guy, there’s no doubt, because you can never have enough big forwards who can skate like the wind, burst to the net using muscle, with good hands as a bonus.

P. K. Subban was once again sensational in notching a goal and an assist and moving the puck like a guy who’s been around for years. I don’t see a lot of other d-men around the league, but if someone is playing better than our guy right now, I’d like to know who he is.

Alex Galchenyuk scored his team’s second goal and it’s five games now with at least a point. This is a story in itself. Galchenyuk busted out of the gate in the beginning of the season, but somewhere along the line began to struggle. We chalked it up to a young guy learning his trade and the team and fans have been patient. It can’t be easy.

But wouldn’t you know it, this nineteen-year old has come alive again. He’s got a second wind, with the postseason just around the corner. The timing is impeccable.

I thought David Desharnais played a fine game, and he and Max assisted on Gallagher’s goal. Desharnais came close several times and his playmaking often proved dangerous, but until he lights ’em up, he’s going to hear his critics. Maybe even rightly so. We’re a demanding bunch.

Andrei Markov was in charge on this night, adding a power play goal and an assist and quarterbacking like he’s done so often. Although with him being caught up ice, the Sabres were able to score a shorthanded marker and ruin Budaj’s shutout. But aside from this one little pothole in the road, Markov was solid.

It’s a write-off season for the Buffalo Sabres, who, with a 30th-ranked power play and dismal play all-round, remind me a lot of last year’s Habs. So I kind of feel for them a bit. Then I get over it real quick.

Random Notes:

The Canadiens outshot the Sabres 42-15, and it was basically a nice, easy night for Budaj. But he stopped them when he had to, except for one, and what more can we ask?

Michael Ryder posted two assists, as did Max.

On to Toronto for a Saturday night special. With the very real possibility of the Habs and Leafs squaring off in the first round of the playoffs, it would be so great to see the Canadiens thump the bastards and take no prisoners. Montreal plays these guys not only on Saturday but also on the last day of the season, which is coming up fast. We need a serious statement made on both nights.




18 thoughts on “Domination In Buffalo”

  1. Seen the 3rd period last nite. started off GOOD! My[sorry- OUR] boys were doing it in style! The CBC crew were complimenting so many aspects of CH players and management, I thought MR. Kane had thrashed their ears!! But then both teams lost the drive–Buffalo while their done this year & maybe next– Habs-up 4 zip, winning faceoffs ect.-not much competition on this night, got lulled to 1st gear on 10 speed. Crowd gone silent too. Seemed like last how many years at The BELL!!!! Oh how HAPPY IT IS that those DAZE are OVER!!! We got youth, speed, HEART & PRIDE,lots draft picks, a GM that did some tweaking BEFORE everyone else was reminded Apr 3rd was coming –Cole 4 Ryder–NO MORE GOMMER, Kaberle doing dishes. Cudda went for it all this year and lost the future.But he did what we want—not just ONE more banner to raise and then collaspe again–did you say Bruins??–Habs can teach the art of RASIN’ THE BANNER to folks who never know the thrill. Nervous about Sat nite, I must admit. Hey Denny–FERGET YER ANXIETY of yer Twitter gobberty-goop stuff YER DOING GREAT!!!!!!We know our Habs of current and yer treasure chest of goodies helps us remember the days gone by. Bye all

  2. Good bounce-back game against a Sabres team that (with the exception of the disgusting Steve Ott–licking a guy’s helmet? REALLY????) seemed uninterested in playing. How do you get outshot almost 3-1 in your own building? Yes, I know that the Habs had a big edge in power plays, but it was merited last night. I can only think of one penalty on Montreal that should have been called but wasn’t (the high stick on Ott), but that was offset by, shortly thereafter, a missed high stick on Galchenyuk (and the penalty call on Gallagher in the third period was an awful call. Even the CBC announcers acknowledged that).

    Toronto will present a bigger and more meaningful challenge. Montreal MUST win this game, if for no other reason than that it would mean that the Habs have won two straight in the AC Centre, just as the Maple Loafs won two straight in the Telephone Booth.

    One final note on last night’s game: After seeing the way the Canadiens dominated, was anyone else left wondering how they managed to lose THREE times to the Sabres this season??????

  3. And yet another bright yellow stripe appears on the super high-tech sophisticated scientific game chart.

    On to Toronto – in what could be a playoff preview.

  4. I know it was against a team in disarray, but it was a joy regardless. Last year, I couldn’t bear to watch many games; this year, I feel good about the team on a consistent basis. I don’t expect them to win every game, and I sure don’t expect a cup, but I am happy with how they are playing the game. It’s a treat to see all of the kids making their marks. They must be having a blast.

  5. Hey Dennis, Almost as good as a motorboat from a tequila girl but not quite. I think there was a bit of spit on Halpern’s face shield and Ott was helping him out by cleaning it,
    the tequila girl should have had a breast shield.

  6. Derry, that was the strangest thing seeing that. I’m curious to hear what Ott might say about that.

  7. It’s such a turnaround, Anvil Cloud. It’s quite amazing. But they made key changes. They got a decent coach, the kids have been great, and there’s no Gomez. Plus a few other things, like Prust, Budaj, and Subban and otheres really getting it done. And I think last year was as low as it gets and everyone made up their minds this sort of thing can’t happen again. It’s been a great year.

  8. We’re gonna slaughter ’em, Danno. The Toronto crowd will be dazzled by the visitors. Just like the old days.

  9. Clearly, when Steve Ott said that he was going to lick the Habs, he meant it literally!

  10. That’s a great point, Ian. How did they lose to this team before? It was completely one-sided. And yes, they must win in Toronto. We can’t have those Loafs thinking they can win in the playoffs if they meet. And I really want to see Price sparkle. Show that he’s the best. Many think he’s not and I want this changed to the positive. He’ll be the guy in the playoffs and we all know how important a great goalie is at this time. So I’m really hoping for an excellent outing. I’d also like to see Max get it going too.

  11. Hey Dennis, I think the big difference in the Habs this year is in their defence. Markov is healthy, Subban is having a breakout year, Emilin was playing very well and they got rid on Kaberle, as well as the improved play of Budja and Price, all in all a big improvement.

  12. Dennis – apparently PK broke Tyler Myer’s leg with his slapshot! Ouch.

    This was quite the game. It’s nice being the dominating team for once. I do feel bad for Miller though, his team didn’t give him any support at all.

    I’m looking forward to all the stress that the playoffs will bring. It’s going to be a blast and I hope we go really deep this year.

  13. Defence has been huge, Derry, and definitely a big part. Also the energy of the kids, Prust helping in many ways, Eller having a good year. Just so many factors. But definitely, Markov there all season and Subban being so fantastic makes the team a success story. I just don’t think their stick boy is up to scratch and that should be addressed.

  14. Ouch is right, Darth. I didn’t know that. Buffalo really reminds me of last year’s Habs. But the beat our team three times this year so the heck with them. I wish I had a crystal ball about the playoffs. Is the team tough enough? Can their speed make up for a slightly small team? Will Price play well?
    Look at Vancouver. For the past several years they seemed to have it all – size, speed, depth, goaltending, and haven’t been able to do it. A lot of it I think boils down to character, and Montreal has this in spades. I think they have the team to go really deep for sure.

  15. CH knew it needed to win last night to clinch. I think it just goes to show what motivating factors do for this team. They will be on fire come playoff time.

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