The Canadiens ended their three games in California with a nice 2-1 win in LA, and this solid road game takes some sting out of the last two efforts in the Golden State, and also ends a four game losing skid.
Five games would have really sucked.
The afternoon didn’t begin all that great, with Pierre Gauthier announcing that Andrei Markov will undergo arthroscopic surgery to clean up his knee, and the word now is another three or four weeks or so. It just goes on and on, like the Ever Ready bunny, the news of Andrei Markov and how his first game back is today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next Christmas, next millennium.
Maybe he’ll never be back.
Montreal gave us a feisty, patient, hard-working, hard-skating effort, didn’t scramble or panic after falling behind 9-1 in shots on goal, had a power play goal scored by Tomas Plekanec on a nice set-up from Andrei Kostitysn, and Kostitsyn, who was named first star on Hockey Night in Canada, made it two-nothing after converting a lovely tic tac toe play with Lars Eller that must have dazzled those Hollywood starlets in the crowd.
They must have cheered, those folks from Malibu and the Hollywood Hills.. And to quote John Lennon, “Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewelry.”
As good as Montreal was on this fine Saturday afternoon, they’re still in the disturbing habit of having to march all too often to the penalty box at inopportune times, such as Mike Cammalleri’s hooking penalty with just over three minutes to go and the Canadiens holding on. The team had six infractions in all, including Erik Cole’s for slashing after his breaking of a King player’s stick, which led to Hobo’s astute observation that you can break a man’s neck and get nothing but if you break a man’s stick you get a penalty.
After the game, Mike Milbury went on a rant about how disgraceful it was of PK Subban to embellish a hit into the boards. I have this to say about that – I don’t know if it was an embellishment or not, but I do know that with PK’s skating style, he can be put off balance easier than say, some fire hydrant of a player. And if Mike Milbury firmly believes PK was out of line here, that’s fine. Because Mike Milbury’s an idiot.
I was mad at PK once in this game, when he iced the puck with just 40 seconds left. There’s nothing worse than a Habs lead late in the game and the faceoff is in their end. We’ve seen this picture before and it’s not pretty. But they got away with it, and because they did, I forgive our future superstar.
Shots on goal – 27 each.
Carey Price was solid, and Alexei Emelin continues to thump and bruise and look good. He shows how valuable a hard-hitter can be, and I wish we had several like him.
Next game – Tuesday, when a swarm of Blue Jackets invade the Bell Centre. Now that the boys have that precious losing streak win under their belts, I’m expecting some sort of winning streak to commence.