Habs Pluck Penguins

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Two goals from David Desharnais, an awakening from Captain Max, and a well-deserved shutout for Al Montoya, and the Canadiens rebound from a dismal outing in Ottawa to finish off the Crosby-less Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 in their home opener at the Bell Centre.

Definitely better than a few nights ago, and it began with a fired up Max Pacioretty opening the scoring just 23 seconds into the contest. Max was alive on this night, like a young DK at parties when someone would put Led Zeppelin 1 on the turntable.

But although the team played well overall, in particular the top line of Pacioretty, Galchenyuk, and Gallagher, it was Montoya who was truly exceptional once again, and who shut the door when the door needed shutting.

Montoya stopped 36 shots, it was never easy throughout, and has now allowed just five goals in his three games for the good guys. Carey Price is still recovering from the flu, and Big Al is doing the job in a big way.

A couple of goals from Desharnais will see DD’s critics forgive him for a night or two, and it was sensational to see the little guy come through, especially after his puck fanning in the shootout in Ottawa.

Alexander Radulov scored his team’s third marker, one which saw him take a pass from Galchenyuk, skate the length of the ice, swoop across, and bury the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury.

This beauty of a goal, on the power play, demonstrated the kind of skill this guy has, and the team is far better with him on board.

All in all a fine, if not spectacular, showing from the Canadiens, on a night that began with a gorgeous pre-game ceremony to open the 2016-17 season at the Bell Centre, concluding with former coach Jacques Demers passing the torch to Captain Max.

Demers coached a bit more than three seasons in Montreal, and was behind the bench for the Canadiens’ last Stanley Cup win in 1993. He’s in a wheelchair now after suffering a stroke earlier this year.

Random Notes:

Montoya was given an assist on Radulov’s goal, and the point now sees him tied with Tomas Plekanec.

The power play was 1/6.

Jeff Petry’s cross ice pass to DD late in the third to make it a 4-0 game was a thing of beauty.

Young buck Mikhail Sergachev saw less ice time in the second and third periods, to the chagrin, I guess, of his folks and sister who had flown in from Russia. But guaranteed, as Misha’s career unfolds over the years, mom, pop, and sis will have plenty to cheer about.

Next up – Thursday, when the Arizona Coyotes pay a visit.

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Habs Pluck Penguins”

  1. Love that pic, LOL! The boys looked better tonight, they’re starting to warm the cockles of my heart again. ?

  2. Much better, Moey. And soon I think the power play will finally become a force. Little by little they transform into a contender. That’s the game plan.

  3. Well that’s more like it. Rather than one or two playing with passion the whole team seemed engaged.
    Moey DK’s not good at bird I.D that’s what he brought home for Thanksgiving ?! I think we’ve found an excellent back -up for Price, we couldn’t ask anything more from this guy. Speaking of Price he did look a little bit worse for wear from his middle body ailments. Well that’s it for now, GO HABS GO!

  4. Mike, nothing like a nice stuffed penguin for Thanksgiving. You’re so far south in Ontario that I don’t think the parade will go there. It’ll be the Trans Canada all the way across. Much better game. Not perfect, but better.

  5. Hi Dennis….looks like the team may be a bit better this year. Many seem to be surprised that Max can actually play hockey with the best of them. I’ve watched him closely especially going back to last year. If this guy would work harder he could be an elite and I mean elite forward. He is powerful physically and has a shot that compares to the best in the league. Just seems too lazy. I don’t see the hype for Sergachev yet. Although he has good talent he makes more than a few mistakes out there. Yes to be expected but I regret that Pateryn is sitting and I really think he is quite solid. He certainly has had to pay a price for any mistakes he has made. Anyhow good the season has started and hope the team gels a bit more and moves in the right direction. Nice to see you picking up on the games now the season has started. Will definitely be checking in regularly Dennis.

  6. Hi Cliff. Great to hear from you. It’s hard to tell about young Sergachev just yet. But he’s a blue chipper and was voted top defenceman in the OHA last year when he was only 17. And it is too bad about Pateryn like you say. As far as Max goes, for sure he could be an elite player cause he’s got it all. But he sometimes doesn’t seem interested, although he sure was last game. We need Max showing up more often, and we need Plekane to be more effective too. Do you think Max was the right choice to be captain? I like the new additions a lot and the team will be much better this year. Can’t be worse, eh?

  7. Hi Dennis….I think Max was a good choice mainly because it was a team decision as far as we know. He is quite predictable and certainly has a company tone. My choice would probably have been Brendan Gallagher for the simple reason his effort is always there night in and night out.

    As you say Sergachev needs time. He appears talented.

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