Habs Pluck Penguins To Force Game Seven. Now That’s Hockey!

Who needs half the defence corp? The Habs just keep on rolling, keep on surprising, keep on believing, and without Andrei Markov, Hal Gill, and Paul Mara, the gang that no one thought could shoot straight came up with a dynamic, gutsy 4-3 win over the Penguins to force game seven, and once again, I’d like to personally thank my heart for staying strong and not faltering when I wouldn’t blame it if did.  

And you can be sure the Penguins are believers in the Cinderella Habs now. Jordan Staal said it best, and when he did I puffed out my chest and I believed even more. He said the Canadiens are extremely difficult to play against and they’re making life miserable for the Pens. Or something to that effect. Regardless, he sounded tentative and worried and it made my overworked heart soar.

People I know around town who normally dislike the Habs now seem to have a new-found admiration and respect for what this little underdog is doing. It’s a storybook playoffs for the Montreal Canadiens and I can’t even believe I’m writing these words. Yes indeed, it’s good to be a Habs fan. We’ve been waiting to get excited like this for many years, and the time has come. Yippee ki yay!

Mike Cammalleri whipped home two on this night, and Jaroslav Spacek, finally back from his ear infection, tallied the third. Then, in one of Maxim Lapierre’s trademark full-stream-ahead moves to the net, scored the fourth which at first gave his team a two-goal cushion, and then eventually became the winner. It was a beauty and it makes us love the guy when we’re not ready to throttle him for taking bad penalties.

And of course, Jaroslav Halak once again, with a little help from his posts, did his best impressions of Patrick, Ken, Jacques, and Georges, and hell, you can even throw in a little Roger Crozier, Terry Sawchuk, Johnny Bower, Grant Fuhr, Dominik Hasek, and anybody else you can think of who has made magic in playoffs past. Halak is a huge reason, of course, why the Penguins are so nervous right now they can hardly sign autographs.

Random Notes:

Hal Gill is almost certain to be in the lineup on Wednesday. And wouldn’t it be something if  Markov joined him? But the Canadien players and coaches, in every pre-game interview, said these injuries are just something they must play through. And they are.

What a story.

31 thoughts on “Habs Pluck Penguins To Force Game Seven. Now That’s Hockey!”

  1. Dennis. Loved this game… love this team.

    Some people even in media ridiculed this team last summer…. they had huge injuries all year.. hobble in the playoffs just when they’re about healthy. Play well together….. and are believing.

    We’ve got winners on this team. Team is really showing heart.

    Tonight Dennis, the worst 5 on 5 team during the season scored 4 goals 5 on 5 against the Penguins. And the Penguins scored 2 while 5 on 5.

    Next game, if Hal comes back.. I think I sit Pouliot who only played 2 minutes and 43 seconds and move MA Bergeron to 4th line…. and use MAB on the PP of course.

    I felt like I was watching a Buddy Rich drum solo… for the entire game tonight.

  2. That’s a great point about Pouliot, Yves. He’s been very ineffective. Hard to figure. This game? It was like watching Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Ginger Baker and Keith Moon.

  3. What a wonderful game, just the result we needed. The team and especially the defence corps remind me of ’93. Dennis, imagine what it will be like when both Gill and Markov are back. There’s even reports that Mara is getting close, but I don’t know where he’ll fit in. Subban’s definitely not going anywhere. You’re absolutely right about Lapierre. As much as he can infuriate us, imagine what he’s doing to the Pens.

  4. Chris, it’s probably better if Bergeron plays forward, but we need him somewhere. We need his big shot. O’Byrne might be the seventh guy, but regardless, Martin will find a way. I also wish he’d find a way with Pouliot, Kostitsyn, and Plekanec. These are three goal scorers who aren’t scoring goals. What a playoff. I’ve also noticed that the “experts” aren’t laughing quite so hard any more.

  5. I agree we need to get Pouliot on track again. Even if he doesn’t score he needs to be playing much better. He’s a big guy, he should fighting the puck out of the corners. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to watch Gionta play and realize that’s what he should be doing.

    I thought Kostitsyn had one of his better games tonight. I’ll be happy if he plays like this every night. And I guess we disagree about Plekanec, I’m giving him credit for every point that Crosby doesn’t get and a giant brownie point whenever the baby throws a tantrum.

  6. What was really cool tonight was when my 20 year old son came home from work and joined me for the last half of the 3rd period. Because of my love for the habs he is also a habs fan and I swear our woohoo reaction to Lapierre’s goal was almost in perfect unison. That was pretty cool. Also just watched that CBC feature on Josh Gorges. Seeing his family watch him play and get singled out by Cherry that was also pretty cool. Lots of cool going around tonight.

  7. Chris, it’s valid what you say about Pleks shutting down Crosby, but he still needs to put some points up, He’s one of our offensive guys. But maybe as long as Crosby does very little, I’m letting him off the hook.

  8. Keeping it in the family, DJ. Very cool. The family that cheers the Habs together, stays together.

  9. Lucky number 13

    — Last night was the Habs’ 13th playoff game.

    — The first star of the game was Mike Cammalleri, who wears #13

    — Maxim Lappiere scored the winning goal for the Habs. His name contains 13 letters. So do the names Jaroslav Halak, Tomas Plekanec, Benoit Pouliot, Mathieu Darche and Jacques Martin.

    — There are eight letters in the word thirteen. Montreal finished in eighth place in the Eastern Conference this year.

    — May 13th is Jaroslav Halak’s birthday it is also P.K. Subban’s birthday.

  10. Dennis,

    From Hockey Night in Canada comes yet another remix of that Loco Lacass tune “Le But”

  11. great game for habs fans. great game for hockey in canada……… mr. bettman, you are one game away from your worst night mare, asshole!!!!!!!

  12. Two series in a row our boys have shut up every hockey critic in the country and made them sound like blithering idiots (which, as far as CBC and TSN are concerned, they are).

    Let’s keep it up.

  13. The Habs are truly a sight to behold. Go get them in the largest game 7 so far this playoff season.

  14. Hey Dennis, Well what more can be said about those Habs that hasnt been written down here.I can’t really come up with anymore,they have a lot of momentum going for them,I couldn’t believe how they pressured the Pens causing a penalty and then just kept the pressure on.Lapierre’s goal was a thing of beauty and I felt really good about Spacek getting a goal as well.I like when they show them coming out onto the ice and he stops and greats the two young plyers at the gate holding the flags,he’s more then just a hockey player for sure.P.K. Subban is quite the addition,he had the most ice time if anyone last nite,Crosby included.Crosby is a great player he just takes alot away from his team and himself when he whines like he does,look out for Wednsday.

  15. Dennis, Game 7 will be fantastic!!!! What heart and tenacity these men have! So happy to see them come from behind and Halak and team kept the door shut and a big W for CH.

    Go Habs Go! I was twirling my towel and singing Ole, Ole!

  16. Plekanec won over 60% of his faceoffs against crosby. This used to be a weak area for us and Plekky was praised by the commentators for his work. And he had a great assist. He coulda been a star but being a star is ok, we had many stars last night. loved the pressure and seeing Pitts struggle and seeing Crosby whine and booed at the end was priceless. I see desparation and frustration. Game 7 will be awesome.

  17. Mayo, Crosby isn’t acting the way he’s supposed to. He’s a great player but he’s lost a little bit of respect from many, I think.

  18. Derry, I like the way Spacek does that with the kids too. And Crosby? He’s been a bit of a baby and it’s surprising.

  19. David, you and I are on the same page for sure. These media people are only just now starting to give the Habs some respect. Even Darren Pang says they have a chance to win it all. I wonder what McGuire says about this.

  20. Dennis, here’s the Hockey Night in Canada feature on Josh Gorges that DJ refers to in post #6 on this page.

    It’s really good. It is so touching that it actually has brought a tear or two to the eyes of some people. And I’m talking about big guys with ZZ Top beards.

    Here it is:

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