Habs Outclass Leafs

Of course when the shots were around 25 to 5 for the Canadiens and they only held a 2-1 lead, I had dark thoughts of disaster rearing its ugly head. But the team never let it slip away, they carried on, and skated away with a solid 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Thugs, although it went into the third before they were able to break it open.

All in all, a satisfying night. Kind of like good versus evil.

Brendan Gallagher, who at one point nearly had his upper torso removed by a steamrolling Dion Phaneuf, ended up alive and well and scoring the winner in the third period when things were tied at two and the game completely undecided, regardless of the difference in play and shots. Gally tipped it in after David Desharnais won the faceoff and got it back to Josh Gorges, causing the Leafs to whine and moan for several minutes afterward because they felt the puck hadn’t been dropped fairly.

It’s the kind of thing that warms the cockles of my heart.

Alexei Emelin scored his team’s first goal, which evened things in the opening frame, and The Thumper had several big blasts from the blueline that came close, and which seemed so out of character for the big Russian who’s not known as a point-getter. Wouldn’t it be fun to see Emelin blossom into some kind of minor offensive threat? Who knows? Stranger things have happened.

Max Pacioretty continued his merry ways by notching a couple, including one that bounced in off his skate, and the other, a wicked wrist shot that beat Ben Scrivens and reminded me of my shot when I was a smallish-yet-shifty right winger for Byers Bulldozers Bantams.

Brian Gionta found the empty net for Montreal’s fifth, and maybe this will get him going the same way Max got going after bouncing one in from centre ice a while back.

Just a fine road win, and I’ve been racking my brain trying to come with something nice to say about the Leafs but I’m having trouble. So many on that team are dangerous, not for their scoring prowess, but for their ability to injure others. This is a greasy team, and Brian Burke is being credited with putting it together. Is that a good thing?

Random Notes:

The Habs are now three points ahead of Pittsburgh for first in the east, and it’s the Penguins in town on Saturday for what should be a beauty.

Canadiens outshot the Thugs 40-23. They had 45 shots in Ottawa two nights ago.

Raphael Diaz has a concussion to join Rene Bourque in that department, and Tomas Kaberle, filling in, played in just his seventh game of the season.

Brandon Prust was feisty once again, and with his effective play and beautiful girlfriend, the guy’s really got it going.

Michael Ryder’s play was on the quiet side, which is to be expected. New teammates, all of a sudden.

Fans at the Air Canada Centre sure take their time getting back to their seats after intermission. Five minutes into the third, it looked like one of those games when no one comes because of a snowstorm. But eventually they were filled again. Maybe the most expensive seats in the league and folks were out getting hot dogs.





13 thoughts on “Habs Outclass Leafs”

  1. Nice win, although I’m still trying wrap my head around having Ryder back. Not as obnoxious and screwed as having Ribeiro back, but still a tough player to welcome back.

    Between the 2nd and 3rd periods on the Habs’ English radio broadcast (I wasn’t going to listen to TSN try to top HNiACC’s [Hockey Night in Air Canada Centre] Laffs love-fest) they had someone from Toronto’s broadcast team explain that Brian Burke had been long disassociated with this team, using the abundance of former Marlies as proof. The crap being fed was wild. I understand why the lawnchairs on Yonge are out waiting for the parade!

    Man, it is so cool to have a 4th line worth a flip!

  2. Danno, I might have to buy another one! I’m concerned about the rash of concussions though. Gallagher seemed to dodge a bullet but we don’t know about Bourque and Diaz. A couple of important guys.

  3. You bet, Marjo. They’re a fun bunch. Like someone said last night on the telecast, Marc Bergevin didn’t waste any time in making this a new-look team. We can absolutely have high hopes for this bunch this year.

  4. Mike, how I’d dearly love to see the Thugs drop out of sight in the standings. If they were a team of normal players I might say having the Leafs do well could be good for hockey. But with this bunch, a bunch of goon-types out to hurt, I so much want them at the bottom as quick as possible. Then their management can go to plan D or plan F or whatever it is they’re at now.

  5. Is there any way that we can speed up Tinordi’s development and at the same time pack on another 30 pounds. We could really use a punisher back there on the blue line. How much pounding can a guy like Gorges take?

  6. You’re right, D-John. We’re a little on the small size. It’s the one major thing we lack right now.

  7. My understanding of the ACC emptiness after the second intermission is that all the expensive corporate ticket holders leave at that time and the real fans who can only afford a $100 nose bleed ticket will then slowly trickle down into the available seats.

  8. Oh how folks in Leaf land like Roller Derby!! From the first whistle they wanted blood. Good on Coach to get the boys to PLAY HOCKEY. We can hit some can/will scrap AND we can skate!!! Price stop a penalty shot—sortof like a shootout. Lively game that we had to win. Thanks to the WHOLE crew.

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