It was a fine night for Winnipeg fans as their team played for the first time in fifteen years.
And it was a fine night for Habs fans, who saw their boys score five times in a 5-1 win. .
A win-win for all concerned. You can’t have it all, Winnipeg fans. We needed the two points.
As dramatic as it was to have the Jets play again, I don’t think it could be any more emotional than when the mother of recently-deceased Rick Rypien came out and dropped the ceremonial puck. You could see she was barely holding it together, but she did, and she was strong and dignified.
Even now, as the game is in the books, my eyes are still red.
Mike Cammalleri intercepted a puck in the first period to open the scoring, and not long after suffered some kind of leg injury, maybe a deep cut, and we wait for an official announcement on the length of time he’ll be out. If it’s only two weeks, as has been reported, then I’m fine with it. It’s a long season, and missing five games or so is never good but not the end of the world.
Jaroslav Spacek was also injured, and if this keeps up, we won’t have any defencemen left. But tonight saw Rafael Diaz and Alexei Emelin play quite well, and Emelin getting his feet wet like this can only be a positive. But our defense situation is a growing concern
Tomas Plekanec, with a goal and two assists, was the game’s first star, and his goal was a thing of beauty. He lost the puck, got it back, and buried it. A great display of second effort.
Yannick Weber did what we need him to do – blast away from the point on the power play, and he lit the lamp on one of these occasions.
Travis Moen looked like Guy Lafleur as he made it 4-1 on a breakaway, and Max Pacioretty, with a beautiful shot, ended any suspense there might have been as the scoreboard now read 5-1.
CBC’s Glenn Healy said something about Max-Pac that made me think. He said he’d rather have one Mike Cammalleri than three Max Paciorettys, and after thinking about it for about 30 seconds, I decided I disagree completely. Max brings size, strength, and talent to the team, and his big shot that bulged the twine reinforced my disagreeing. Cammy’s a great player, but Max is equally important with his own set of skills.
Just a great night in Winnipeg, especially for Habs fans. We saw a historic game, and we saw the Habs not only win but score five times. Unfortunately, we also saw two more injuries but I’m staying positive. For today at least, the glass is half full.
Next game – Thursday, when Calgary is the opposition for the Canadiens home opener at the Bell Centre.
One final mention of the Emelin spelling and pronounciation. After a nice discussion with Luciena, it is indeed spelled Emelin. But it’s pronounced as if it has a “Y” in front of it. That’s the end of that.
I find it heartwarming to think that the deal for Jets fans was that 13,000 season tickets had to be sold for the team to be viable. The 13,000 tickets were sold in 17 minutes. That’s good old Canadian hockey country folks. Situated in the dead-centre of Canada. Freezing cold in the winter, outdoor rinks on frozen lakes and ponds. Frozen noses, toes, and gonads.
Welcome back Jets to Manitoba. And good job Habs.