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.
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.