Ending A Road Trip In Fine Fashion

Two goals and an assist for Michael Ryder as he and his Canadiens hand the Florida Panthers a 5-2 smacking, and the first-place squad finishes off a highly successful five-game road trip losing only once along the way.

And although he didn’t exactly have to overextend himself on this night, Peter Budaj has now won his last four starts..

It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that the backup is doing the job and can be relied upon, although he barely had to break a sweat against a lackluster Florida squad. I feel bad for saying awhile back that Budaj needed to not play so much. He’s done what he’s been asked to do – spell Carey Price from time to time and win while doing it.

Not only that, he’s allowed just six goals in these four wins. Although unofficially it’s only five.

Francis Bouillon scored twice on this night, one for his team and one for the other, a beautiful shot into his own net from six feet out that Budaj had no chance on. I suppose Bouillon was simply trying to swipe it away and it didn’t work out so well, and as we saw on the TV screen, he sat glumly on the bench afterward while Alexei Emelin, sitting beside him, enjoyed a good chuckle. And it was funny, except it ruined Budaj’s shutout and it could have opened the door for the Panthers.

It was a nice shot, though.

Ryder, on a late power play, gave the Canadiens their fifth goal, put the thing out of reach, and Bouillon can laugh alongside his teammates now that the two points are on the board and he realizes Peter Budaj thought it was funny too.

This team just keeps on rolling. It’s inspiring. A successful road trip without Rene Bourque and Raphael Diaz, plus losing Brandon Prust the other night. Everyone’s chipping in. Michael Ryder has tallied two goals and seven assists in the seven games he’s been with the club. On any given night, the heroes could be Desharnais or Gionta or Subban or Max or Emelin or Plekanec and on and on. None of the guys who are expected to produce are mired in dreadful slumps. The backup goalie is winning. The rookies are excellent.

All we need at this time is for the doctors to step up their game and do some quick healing.

Now it’s a few days rest for this force to be reckoned with before Ottawa shows up on Wednesday. I don’t want to sound greedy, but a trouncing of the Sens would be nice.

Random Notes:

Montreal outshot the Panthers 38-17.

Brian Gionta contributed a goal and an assist. Subban had two assists, as did Plekanec. And Alexei Emelin had an assist, giving him two goals and eight assists on the season, which isn’t chopped liver. The big Russian is looking as comfortable as can be in his Habs uniform, and it’s great to see.

David Desharnais opened the scoring, with Brendan Gallagher (and Emelin) assisting. Andrei Markov contributed on Ryder’s final tally.

I’m sure you noticed the lower bowl of the BB&T Center. Best seats in the house. Empty.




13 thoughts on “Ending A Road Trip In Fine Fashion”

  1. Relying on highlight reels to see my boys play– so only see the goals. So appreciate the write-ups. Grew up with only that & there’s no commercials. To backtrack to season’s start—- are folks still thinking we should trade P.K. ? I hear he’s doing just fine and his game ispicking up –on AND off the ice. No low-fives but more wins. Guess when you finish LAST the few wins are special. The team is distributing the scoring nicely and my TRAIN WRECK Emilin is blooming ,I hear .Bujal is stopping pucks AND allowing Boullion to stack his stats– we can laugh ’cause we still won. We have a team kinda reminding me of yesteryears!! Fast can take & give a hit,can score from many hands , goalies doing good [most nites] . All round fun team to watch!!Oh–hats off to Mr. Molson for bringing in Bergerion as maneger. He’s a working-man’s kinda guy!!No Gomez blahs this year.However far we go this year, let’s support the troops who wear the CH with pride this year!!!!!

  2. Dennis,

    It’s all going rather swimmingly isn’t it old chap. (that’s a term of endearment rather than a speculation on your age)

    I’m not a glass half full man, but neither am I a glass half empty one.

    I just worry that irrespective of the volume of liquid within my glass, some bastard’s going to knock against the table and tip it over.

    Just to let you know I’m keeping an eye on the door to the Rest Rooms (or Gents as we in Blighty would term it). Some big drunk fella rolled in there about 23 games ago after giving the table a real whack.

    Now he’s coming back out at some point. And he’ll be looking to head back past me. I just know it.

    Still in the meantime I’ll have another pint and try not to worry.

  3. Thanks, Beatnik. It’s not great but it’s better than it could have been. He’ll get a nice little rest and be fresh for the final stretch.

  4. Blue Bayou, you’re making me thirsty. And if that big drunk fellow tries to get past you, just call me and the boys (about 20 million of us), and we’ll don our CH and slap him silly.
    Also, are you getting games on the telly over there?

  5. Peter Hab, you really need RDS. But in the meantime, I’m very happy to write about the games and hopefully they’re clear enough that you can get some sort of idea of what happened in those two and a half hours.
    Everyone’s chipping in, and it’s a beautiful thing. One thing they lack, and I completely agree with the pundits about this, is a little more toughness to help Prust. Boston and Toronto have several greaseballs and they need to have their jaws hit by fists..

  6. Sure, I’d welcome someone who help Prust in fisticuffs AND the ability to play some minutes of hockey. White, Moen and Armstrong seem to be on vacation or something. I have teo guys on a team I don’t like– Clear The Track Shack & ‘ole # 17 Wendall Clark. The latter could skate, shoot, score, hit, and/or punch your lights out!! Guess they’re scarce commodity these daze. Maybe Prust could give boxing lessons to the guys.

  7. Officially the attendance was a fairly impressive 19,189. Of course it’s easy to sell tickets when they’re only $7 each. And for most in Florida, it’s easy to burn that ticket when it cost less than the parking or a beer.

  8. Christopher, the Panthers are notorious for padding their attendance figures. I’ll bet it was maybe half that figure. Same thing last time the Habs were there. The place was half empty but the numbers said about 19,000 or so. It’s a bit of a joke.

  9. I think they have to show respectable attendance numbers to get revenue sharing. So when fans in Canada spend the big $$$ to attend a sold-out game, a portion of that revenue goes to keep the teams competitive in those Southern hockey hotbeds. Bettman and those die-hard fans who stayed home rather than fight the harsh Florida weather would never allow the teams be moved North to Quebec City, or Hamilton or Toronto.

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