Solid win Thursday night at the Bell Centre as the boys lance the Senators boil and close off the preseason on the right note.
3-1 Habs. The guys played well. At a rink in the downtown core where it should be instead of 45 minutes east of the city in a pasture.
Ottawa grabbbed a 1-0 lead in the first period after Andre Markov wasn’t forceful with a bouncing puck in the crease, and this sort of thing needs to change. We’ve seen too many pucks cross the line behind Carey Price after mad scrambles. A puck in his crease means holding our breath until it leaves. It’s not healthy.
Alex Galchenyuk, chosen third star, tied the game after stripping a Sen of the puck near the blueline, converting a Daniel Briere pass from behind the net, and showing the good hands which will catapult him into superstardom in the not too distant future.
The Canadiens then jumped ahead in the second when Tomas Plekanec surprised Anderson with a blast, finally giving our boys the lead.
It’s more fun watching games when the team is leading. Have you ever noticed that?
Max salted it away after another Briere pass from behind the net, and it seems there’s some fine chemistry with Briere on the Max and DD line. Luci noticed it. And when that happens, it’s real.
Brian Gionta returned and made a clear impact on things. He was smart and poised and assisted on Pleks’ marker.
Carey Price was solid and stopped 29 of the 30 shots that came his way. He tried to shoot it into Ottawa’s empty net with about a second left, it wasn’t hard or high enough anyway, and it’s something he needs to work on. If we’re going anywhere this season, we need more offence from Carey Price.
So there you go, Sens fans. It wasn’t that proverbial piece of cake this time. And if you say you didn’t have Erik Karlsson, we’ll say we didn’t have Alexei Emelin. Different kind of D-man. Important in his own way.
Shots on goal – Ottawa 30, Habs 25.
Leafs next Tuesday to get the party underway. Great to have a solid win beforehand.
At this time I’d like to express my sadness on the passing of Denis Brodeur. A legendary photographer, he was the Habs official lensman for years, and because he’d enjoyed a fine senior and minor league career, and even an Olympic goaltending stint, he would sometimes suit up as practice goalie with the Habs in the 1950s.
Denis produced quality photos over the years with the Canadiens and Expos, and I know a fellow who has about a hundred Grand Prix photos shot by Denis that I’ve never seen but which he says are amazing. And of course he snapped one of the classic Paul Henderson goal photos.
Denis was 82. By all accounts he was a great man.