It didn’t go exactly as planned.
A Habs-Leafs barnburner to be sure, but three or four things soured the occasion. Oh, the agony and ecstacy of watching your favourite team.
George Parros, in his first game as Habs enforcer, lost his balance while tangling with Colton Orr, his face smashed to the ice, and it was the gut-wrenching sight of the stretcher coming onto the scene.
George has been taken to hospital and now we wait to hear.
Another thing that kicks a good Habs fan in the gut is the fact that the team lost the home opener to those despicable Buds, a 4-3 heart stopper that saw the Canadiens play reasonably well, including Carey Price, who may have faltered a tad on some plays but overall was fine.
But the old gut first took a boot when Max hurt his wrist, had it taped up and came back, but we don’t know for sure how he really is. All we need is for our guy to endure wrist problems over a length of time. He’s one of our top guns. We need him locked and loaded.
And Andrei Markov lost the puck in the opening seconds of a Habs’ power play, the Leafs’ Tyler Bozak burst in on Price, and presto, the blue guys had a 3-2 lead. It’s not something I was going to dwell on. The talk will be about how Markov is slower now, and I was going to defend him and say most defensemen get slower when they’re older and they get by on smarts instead. They’ve been doing it for a hundred years.
But then I checked and saw he’s only 34 so he has no excuse. How come you’re slower, Markov?
Lars Eller isn’t slower. He was outstanding on this night with two goals and an assist and was a dangerous Dane all evening. And linemates Gallagher and Galchenyuk showed flash as well.
There were fights throughout, with Parros and Orr into it for the first time in the second frame, followed by a Moen-Fraser card, and in the third, Jarred Tinordi walloped Carter Ashton. And near the end, Brandon Prust and Fraser got into it.
But the second Parros-Orr encounter came just seconds after the Tinordi-Ashton clash, followed by the stretcher, and we wait.
A glorious night sunk like a hitting of an iceberg. Fun and frolic until disaster struck.
It’s going to be quite a season.
Toronto outshot Montreal 38-37.
Next up for the Habs – Saturday, when the Flyers show up.