Habs Skin Cats

What a difference two days make. Flat and uninspired against Toronto, and full of life against the Florida Panthers. I think we should just write off the Leafs game, forget it never happened, and focus on what an exciting team the Canadiens can be when they’re playing well. The problem is, we know how the Canadiens can screw with our minds, so I guess we take it game by game.

For now though, life is good.

Maybe it was Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk bringing a youthful enthusiasm into the mix. The two kids, playing with feisty Brandon Prust, showed jump and spark, and lo and behold, Galchenyuk scored his first NHL goal, a deflection from a Prust shot, and the roof nearly came off the Bell Centre. What a glorious moment. What a sight to see this happen to a young fellow we hope will blossom into a huge star. He’ll remember his goal, and we should too. Hopefully it’s the first of a whole bunch.

Galchenyuk’s goal also meant it was Gallagher’s first point in the bigs, and linemate Prust’s first point as a Hab. So which one buys the beer tonight?

But it wasn’t just the kids and Prust reporting for work. It was Andre Markov blasting home two power play goals and Tomas Plekanec scoring an early first period marker from Brian Gionta to get things rolling. In fact, the entire team seemed alive and well and ready to make up for their dismal opening night display. Even seeing an animated Michel Therrien was a breath of fresh air after Jacques Martin’s stoneface and Randy Cunneyworth’s humanity towards his fellow man were what we had become accustomed to these last few years.

It was also Carey Price once again playing solidly and confident . If Price can continue all the way through like he has in the first two games, Montreal can get lots done. Good teams have good goalies, as we all know.

With Lars Eller and Michael Blunden sitting things out, the lines were the Desharnais trio, Plekanec with Bourque and Gionta, the kids and Prust, and Ryan White between Moen and Armstrong. All four combos showed up, got their noses dirty, and skated hard. But somehow, a spot needs to open for Eller at least, and we’ll see how this plays out.

The sky was falling two days ago and now it’s not. Funny how that happens.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – 33-28 Habs.

Next up – Thursday in Washington. The Caps lost tonight to Winnipeg 4-2 and it would be fun to keep their slump going. Nothing like disappointing the home crowd.

Every win is a good win, but it’s even better when the Habs can do it without Subban. With Markov blasting away tonight, it shows that PK isn’t the only one who can send howitzers to the net.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Habs Skin Cats”

  1. Great game.

    I liked how Ryan White stood up for Josh Gorges and gave a few knuckle sandwiches to the goof who boarded him.

    I also liked how Michel Therien high-fived the boys as they left the ice at the end of the game.

    You never saw the Count (Jacques Martin) do that.

  2. I don’t know if I’m crazy or what (probably am) but I swear I have not seen the team have this much energy and pep in YEARS.

    It’s not just comparing last night’s game vs Saturday’s against the Leafs.

    I swear when I was watching the team last night I felt like I was watching someone else.

    It is so nice to see a coach with emotion and it was great to see Therrien high-five the guys as they came off the ice. What a difference from the drone we had last year.

    I loved what White did. Maybe the Bruins will think before pulling shit now.

    We’re not perfect yet, but man do we have a good future if this new spirit keeps up.

  3. It was good, Danno. White’s a neat player. Not that big, not a lot of talent, but he knows how he should play to stay in the NHL. Word will spread quickly that Montreal isn’t an easy team to play against, unlike the past few years. I love grit, and I love budding superstars. Galchenyuk and Gallagher had Habs fans smiling. It was an excellent night all round.

  4. Darth, it’s important that they look good against Washington. If they fall back into the dead zone, it might be a depressing hint of what we’ll see all year. But if they come out with fire, it also might be a great and hopeful hint. I’m hoping the kids stay with the club after five games. They’re like a hit of Walter’s blue meth.

  5. Dennis I just watched three seasons of Breaking Bad this Xmas holiday and it is an awesome show, YO!

    I hope they keep this lineup in for the next few games. I hope Galchenyuk and Gallagher stay in for their five games and beyond. That is asking a lot and risking their development. But i think good strong leadership from the veterans and games likelast night will only help their development. If we keep them and they slide to lankluster play it will hurt them. But with Gomez gone (and now it seems there is chemistry without Subban in lineup) the team is actually ateam. Loved the coach with the high-fives. I hope subbans ego doesn’t screw things up. Eller is a question mark.

    Love White’s penalty and fact he stood up and kicked ass. The boarding on Gorges should have been at least a minor. Shitty reffing!

    Future looks exciting.

  6. And Markov sure has a lot of haters out there saying he was washed up because he was gimpy. Well, he didn’tlook gimpy last night. He has a better shot than subban, holds the puck better than subban, better leadership than subban, better PP QB than subban. If we pay more than $4M for Subban, we are overpaying. $4M x 2 years and then give him the $5M+ (x long-term) he is looking for.

  7. Someone who didn’t get much credit but who did very well is Francis Bouillon. He was really solid on defence and logged in big ice time too (23:00)

  8. Just picking up on Mayo’s point, I wonder if the team as a whole is playing better to show they don’t need PK. Don’t get me wrong. I love how he plays and what he brings to the game. But there are persistent stories about how he gets under a lot of team mates’ skin. Could it be they are sending out a message to Habs upper management? Maybe PK’s agent should put a little water in his wine and take a reasonable offer while he still can.

  9. Good points Danno and Mayo. My feeling regarding Subban is that I firmly believe Marc Bergevin knows exactly what he’s doing and even though he’s new as the GM, I trust his methods. There’s probably a few reasons why Bergevin isn’t in a big rush to give this guy a huge contract. If Montreal finds themselves struggling while PK sits it out, he moves to the top of my hit list. If the team plays well without him, he can sit forever. I just wish fans wouldn’t chant his name. His ego is already big enough.

  10. Danno, good for you for mentioning Bouillon. He’s not spectacular but just goes about his job in fine fashion. He’s also apparently as strong as an ox.

  11. We signed him as a free agent from the Preds last summer to a one-year $1.5M deal.

    He’s been back and forth several times between the Habs and Nashville and the AHL.

    The Hockey News gives him a decent scouting report. And his numbers (+/-) show he is a steady defenseman. Nothing flashy. but hard-working, strong and reliable. I think he was a smart pickup.

    http://forecaster.thehockeynews.com/hockeynews/hockey/player.cgi?1139

    I don’t know if anyone has named him yet, but maybe The Bull would be a good nickname for Bouillon.

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