Montreal may have given us a few stinkers this year, but tonight wasn’t one of them. That was a real hockey game that was played in Tampa on the night before New Year’s Eve; a great game that had everything. If fans ever wonder what games were like when there were only six teams, they were like this one.
And the Habs pulled it out in overtime when Tomas Plekanec used Mike Cammalleri as a decoy, picked a hole, and fired home the winner, and joy reigns supreme throughout Habland.
The guys who are suppose to wheel, wheeled. From both sides. Plekanec was flying. So was Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez and Andre Kostitsyn. On the other side, if Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier played like this every night, their names would’ve been called for the new Canadian Olympic team. Tampa’s dynamic duo were dangerous all night, just as they’ve been in years past.
Carey Price was stellar, as was Tampa’s Mike Smith, and it’s like it was written that each would face 35 shots. Price looked like he hasn’t missed a beat after sitting for the past five games while teammate Jaroslav Halak did everything including garnering NHL first star of the week last week, and Price was especially solid in the third when Tampa poured it on. If Montreal doesn’t trade Halak, this could be the finest goaltending duo in the league.
Tomas Plekanec not only notched the winner but also assisted on Brian Gionta’s goal, and Plekanec, as we all know by now, is a bonafide star in this league. Finally, we have a guy up there with the other big boys. It feels good. It looks good. And Brian Gionta now has a chance to send this team up yet another notch, like Andrei Markov has just done, and what Plekanec has done all year.
Just a few more little tweaks. We’re still waiting for Sergei Kostitsyn, Maxim Lapierre, and Matt D’Agostini to pick it up. Look how Andrei Kostityn has turned a bummer year into a glittering year. Get those three going the way Andrei has and we’ll see the Habs climb fast and the oddsmakers in Vegas will suddenly be hard at work.
For me, this was a satisfying win. A great game, and the Habs win five out of their last six.
Like Jim Hughson says, “That’s hockey!!!”
Tomorrow night I work afternoon shift, and both the Habs and Panthers, and Team Canada juniors against the US. are being played. I’m going to have to tape both and watch when I get home around 11pm. So after I watch and then attempt to write something worth reading, it’s going to be about four in the morning.
Maybe I should quit work.