That’s what we need to see next season. A Habs team skating, scoring, and playing tough in the process. A big 5-1 Montreal win over the visiting Senators. A statement made for next fall.
Take that, Ottawa. You got your ass whipped.
Erik Cole set the wheels in motion, scoring the first three goals of the game, a natural hat trick, and he would later come close about six more times. Imagine if he had scored two or three more on all those chances? He’d probably be handed the keys to a Cadillac by some hockey-mad Montreal car dealer. Just a sterling performance by Mr. Cole and a well-deserved first star. (I recently read in my bathroom trivia book that Elvis Presley gave away more than 80 Cadillacs over the years).
And that wild and crazy PK Subban, skating like he was possessed, a whirling dervish, having the time of his life. That’s a kid on a river, playing with pure joy, never tiring. Taking the puck and swooping and swerving and going end to end and getting back quickly to do the job at the other end.
If only he’d hit the net sometimes with that big shot of his.
It was also a feisty affair, beginning with Brad Staubitz and Zenon Konopka flailing away, and it became a steady stream of nastiness, penalties, and players being sent to their rooms. Ryan White was in the middle of most things throughout, and it’s a breath of fresh air to see the Canadiens play a rough, tough type of hockey, not backing down from anyone, sticking up for teammates, and making life miserable for those who come up against them. Opposing players might start calling in sick with the Montreal flu.
When White returned from a lengthy injury and Staubitz was claimed from Minnesota in late February, the look of team was altered in a most profound way. The team went from small and non-threatening, to slightly bigger and a whole lot more threatening. One more tough and talented player and we’d go through the league and roll over teams like Hell’s Angels on a drunken Friday night in Palookaville.
It was fine night for Habs, one of their finest of the season. Something to make us excited about for next year.
Shots on goal – Ottawa 38, Habs 32. Carey Price was solid in nets.
Even though we don’t really want the points, it’s kind of fun to play spoiler. And if Ottawa isn’t careful they could find themselves out of the playoffs. They don’t have a spot locked up and Washington could overtake them and Buffalo could catch them.
Next Up – Saturday night when the Canadiens visit the Flyers in Philadelphia. I hope Montreal saved some of that toughness for those Philly bastards.