Habs Make The Bell Centre A Happy Place

I’m not about to gush about Montreal’s fine display tonight at the Bell Centre because Habs haters would vomit in their gruel if they read it.

Maybe I’ll just say really nice things instead. After all, it is just a pre-season game.

But some of these games are way more fun than others.

So many nice things happened to the Montreal Canadiens and their fans tonight that I simply have to get it out.  It’s important. Black evil clouds were lifted, at least for now, because of an extra solid display by a team that needed just that.

The Canadiens trounced the Florida Panthers 6-2 in game 5 of the Habs’ seven exhibition games, and in doing so, hopefully turned a big corner in both the scoring and goaltending departments.

Six goals! Do you know how good it feels feel writing that? Of course you do. Most of you are Habs fans, and you and I and the team needed something big, something that feels good besides having to get into the mescaline. Things were just getting way too serious in the workplace.

And as long as my keyboard is feeling the love, I proudly tap tap tap that Carey Price stopped 19 of 21 shots. Those bad memories are fading, and tonight is something to hopefully build off.  I’ll bet he feels great right now.

Florida opened the scoring but Montreal answered with five goals before both teams traded one more near the end. Several of the Habs goals were beauties – Tomas Plekanec racing down, cutting around the back of the net and finding a hole; Ryan White storming down and taking a hit to get it over to Tom Pyatt, who blasted it home; Ryan White breaking in on his own and finishing in fine fashion.

There were fights and big chances and intensity. Some of these pre-season games, like this one tonight, rival much of what the regular season brings. The crowd at the Bell Centre must have had fun. I know I did.

Random Notes;

Also scoring for Montreal on this fine night were Jaroslav Spacek who evened it at one in the first period; Tomas Plekanec ended with two and is basically on fire right now; and Mike Cammalleri restoring that four goal lead that we wanted to see after Florida had narrowed it to 5-2.

Travis Moen got into a nice tiff and handled himself well. This is what Moen needs to do on a regular basis. But of course, I’m not the coach.

Maxim Lapierre was awarded the Jean Beliveau Trophy before the game for his charitable efforts. Always nice to see Jean, and good for Max.

Three stars;

1. Tomas Plekanec

2. Ryan White

3. Lars Eller

Next – Buffalo on Thursday. What, no game every day? What came over the schedule maker? Did he make a mistake?

21 thoughts on “Habs Make The Bell Centre A Happy Place”

  1. Dennis, looks like Blue Bayou’s little tin of LBMT syrup is the right stuff after all.

    Great performance by just about everyone on the team including Carey Price. And I agree. This game had more energy than most regular season and even playoff matches do.

    I was thinking, this must be exactly what those Senators fans felt like on Saturday, after they shellacked us like a shit-house toilet seat. That game, which ended 6-2 but in the other direction. Now, thankfully, it’s just a distant memory.

    So now we can all breath a collective sigh of relief and hit this…

    http://www.financialissues.org/userfiles/Image/reset_button.jpg

    I was really glad to see Jean Beliveau in such fine form. He looked to be in great spirits and like he was ready to lace up and score four or five goals for us, just to help out a bit.

    I think we may see more games like this one — where we win via overwhelming offense. Last year, many games were won by scoring a couple of goals at most then playing tight defense style and relying on Halak to be spectacular.

    In other words, while last year it was often Halak who saved our bacon in low-scoring games, this year may be the reverse with the forwards being the deciding factor.

    The reality is that Price may need a year or two more to become truly stable and reliable. But as long as he plays good enough I believe the team can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with the support offensive power to complement okay (but not spectacular) goaltending.

    Of course it would be nice if we had it all, and time will tell. But I see this as a possible scenario this year.

    And finally, I hope some of the fans at the Bell Centre learned a lesson last night and realized it does no good to boo the team relentlessly. Maybe it has sunk in that this is a team sport and everyone’s performance is diminished when this stuff starts up. And good things can happen when you cheer them on in spite of it all. Wow. What a concept! Who’d a thunk it?

  2. Thanks, Danno. Really well put on several levels. Price, fans, Beliveau, and a big-scoring game. What a nice treat it was to see them on a roll and Price getting the win. Great evening for them and us.

  3. Putting on the “Hockey Hat of Seriousness” what do you all realistically expect from say the first 10 games of the season.

    To someone no expertise there appear to be some tough games in there (I include the Loafs because it’s a local derby if you like). Early season does throw up some strange results and it takes a while for a pattern or rhythm to develop, but I’d be interested to know what you think.

    Danno

    The leaf motif is red.

    I don’t think Roy would have sold quite so many copies of the single if it was Blue Tricolore.

    Besides my beloved Chelsea play in blue.

    But I understand where you’re coming from.

  4. Oh and Dennis, I don’t want you to feel any pressure, but with Robert L leaving HEOTP (what a blow, I loved his goal analysis and feel for the history of the game) it’s all pretty much down to you now as far as my reading of Hockey related bloggagery goes.

    You may want to get a tin of syrup just to back you up.

  5. Dennis if the Habs haters don’t vomit into their gruel after the 6-2 score last night then I say let’s go ahead and push them over the edge just for spite and fun by gushing enthusiastically. If they hate the Habs they deserve no less anyway.

    Here’s my gush – RYAN WHITE! The Great White! Also, Alex Henry’s Bowling for Panthers. And he picked up a spare. 😉 And is Tomas Plekanec a K-mart Blue Light Special or what?

    Today the rookie Panther with the unpronouncable (I know it’s not a word, okay) and unspellable name (see previous parenthesis) is crying that he instigated it but the refs held him up and he’d have broken Moen’s nose if they’d just let him go. I say good for Moen. Kid, bottom line is if you start it and he ends it, you lose. Take your drubbing like White did after the Duco scrap. I heart The Great White!

  6. Blue Bayou, I hope I won’t let you down. Mine is a much different style blog but I also have a great feel for the history of the game. You’ll find tons of stuff in my archives and I’ll continue on the path of old, new, silliness, seriousness, anger, and elation. Sometimes all in one story. If there’s one thing I have going for me is the fact that I’m older and saw the old six team league in all its glory, sometimes live at Maple Leaf Gardens and the Forum. I saw the Rocket and Doug Harvey and Jacques Plante and Tim Horton and Gordie Howe and the rest play live and I’m very proud of that.

  7. Blue Bayou, for me the schedule looks completely doable. They’re at home six of the first 11 games, and the out of towners are close by, like Toronto, Pittsburgh, Buffalo etc. Not like last year when they took off on a big west coast swing almost right off the bat. The reality is, any team can beat any team, and I see no reason why they can’t win the lion’s share of these first 11 games. And don’t forget, it’s always good to play higher ranked teams. You know where you stand, and you see things from these teams that you work to improve on. I like the beginning of this season. This is the power of positive thinking hard at work.

  8. Phil, it was great to see Price on the positive end for a change. Hopefully he’ll build off this and do again next outing.

  9. Tyg, absolutely – Ryan White. What a great game. Do you think he just played himself on to a regular spot with the big team? And seeing Moen get into a good one was like poetry in motion. A game to build on. Yea for Price too!

  10. Dennis, unless Darche, Pyatt or Halpern get sent down, truth is I don’t expect to see White in the Bleu, Blanc, Rouge unless someone hits the IR again this year. Unfortunate, but likely. I say lose Darche or offload Pouliot and keep the kid. But JM never listens to me no matter how many times I email/write/phone/stalk him.

  11. Tyg, from what I’ve seen, I’d take White over Darche anyday. Darche doesn’t make things happen like this guy. Unfortunately, Martin doesn’t listen to me either. I wonder if he will when the bunch of us are running the team.

  12. I think White’s problem is that too many others are on 1 way contracts. I think Boyd, Darche, Halpern and Pyatt all have guaranteed NHL salaries while he’ll make only 10% if sent down.

    What’s happening with Kostitsyn? He hasn’t been playing with Cammalleri and Plekanec much. Is it just training camp line juggling or is he being bumped down? Eller seems to have locked a spot on one of the top lines so he’s fighting for a place on the other. I like the idea of putting someone who throws his weight around to clear some space for the others Kostitsyn is expensive for a third liner, but if we have 3 scoring lines, we’ll be hard to line match against. What do you think we can get in return for him?

  13. Hi Chris. Kostitsyn scored a few nights ago and I think it’s just the number of players right now that we don’t see him more. And hey, I’ll take him in on the third line. It shows depth if that’s the case. I still think if his head is on straight, and who knows about that, he can be a dangerous guy and can help the team. And as far as what could we get in return for him, I don’t trust Gauthier to get someone of equal value. For me, it’s Pouliot who’d better pull up his socks.

  14. So, Tony Marinaro is leading some sort of witch-hunt against Travis Moen for the fight at the end of the game. To hear TM tell it, Moen stole Gudbranson’s mother and raped his father. Unfortunately, I can’t find the video anywhere, and there’s no way that I’m going to believe Mr. Stilted Pause Marinaro.
    Do you know where I can find the vid?
    Thanks.

  15. I’m looking for it, Michel, and hopefully it’ll turn up. If anyone can find the Travis Moen incident from the other night, please send so I can post. Thanks.

  16. So what the fuss? In Danno’s picture, Moen and Gudbranson are fighting, there’s no referee holding back Gudbranson and he’s already beat up and bleeding. In the pictures where he is being held back by the referee, Moen’s not around.

  17. Silly fuss, Chris. Moen did what we need to see Moen do. Be a feisty bugger. It’s his game, nothing more, nothing less.

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