Habs Sparkle In Afternoon Delight

Habs take it to the Penguins, 5-3.

It was a refreshing change to see the Canadiens win a game without needing Jaroslav Halak to win it for them. And although Halak played well once again, it was a trio of young Hamilton Bulldogs and a 33 year-old journeyman bus rider who set the tone, who combined to create chances and cause penalties and havoc all afternoon at the not-so-old Bell Centre.

David Desharnais, Ryan White, and Brock Trotter playing his very first NHL game played like they belong. They began as a nervous fourth-line, and in the end they were on the power play, killed penalties, played regular minutes, and were dangerous sparkplugs all day.

What a story. And not only was it Trotter’s first game, but he was also voted third star of the game and in his interview after, wore a proud smile on his face as he told Cassie Campbell-Pascal it was “nerve wracking, especially in front of so many fans. Ir was really something to play in front of that many people.”

If you’re a Habs fan, it warms the cockles of your heart. And yes I’m jealous. Really jealous. He gets to do that and I can’t even be stickboy.

Brian Gionta scored a couple, as did Scott Gomez, but the guy who got the winner and the guy who was first star is the mature and hardworking Mathieu Darche. This is a 33 year old blue collar worker who is putting a fairy tale cap on, until now, a very ordinary pro career. He began his story at McGill, then to Syracuse, then Columbus, back to Syracuse, then Columbus again, Milwaukee, Nashville, Hershey, Duisburg, Worcester, Tampa Bay, Norfolk, Portland, Hamilton, and now is blossoming into a player who just may have a solid NHL career after all.

Whew. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

Random Notes:

A huge game for the Habs, a momentum builder, a confidence builder, a magical night for some Bulldogs and an aging minor league vet. Plus, a big day for Tomas Plekanec (1 goal, 2 assists), Scott Gomez (1 goal, 1 assist) and Brian Gionta, (2 goals, 1 assist).

In fact, the whole team was in a zone today, it seemed. They made us happy and they give us hope

Another matinee tomorrow when Boston comes to town. The Bruins blew a two goal lead to Vancouver today and lost 3-2 in a shootout. The way way the Bruins respond from this in tomorrow’s game is anybody’s guess.

Below, Mathieu Darche’s amazing journey from there to here.

Mathieu Darche

Left Wing
Born Nov 26 1976 — Montreal, PQ
Height 6.01 — Weight 210 — Shoots L
  Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1996-97 McGill University CIAU 15 0 1 1 21          
1997-98 McGill University CIAU 26 21 13 34 20          
1998-99 McGill University CIAU 23 12 21 33 38          
1999-00 McGill University CIAU 26 27 35 62 22          
2000-01 Syracuse Crunch AHL 66 16 24 40 21 5 0 1 1 4
2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 9 0 0 0 0
2001-02 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 14 1 1 2 6
2001-02 Syracuse Crunch AHL 63 22 23 45 26 10 2 5 7 2
2002-03 Syracuse Crunch AHL 76 32 32 64 38
2002-03 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 1 0 0 0 0
2003-04 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 76 28 31 59 41 22 6 8 14 8
2003-04 Nashville Predators NHL 2 0 0 0 0
2004-05 Hershey Bears AHL 79 29 25 54 49
2005-06 Duisburg Foxes DEL 52 12 13 25 88
2006-07 Worcester Sharks AHL 76 35 45 80 72 5 2 2 4 2
2006-07 San Jose Sharks NHL 2 0 0 0 0
2007-08 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 73 7 15 22 20
2007-08 Norfolk Admirals AHL 4 3 7 10 2
2008-09 Portland Pirates AHL 80 31 35 66 37 5 0 0 0 4
2009-10 Hamilton Bulldogs* AHL 32 16 9 25 4          
2009-10 Montreal Canadiens NHL 8 1 3 4 4          
  NHL Totals   109 9 19 28 30          

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8 thoughts on “Habs Sparkle In Afternoon Delight”

  1. Hey Dennis;What a great showing of team effort,I was very impressed with the whole team.The “kids” from Hamilton as they were refered to ,played an awesome game ,drawing a few penalties and even taking part in the powerplay.Thomas played well as did Darche,Gionta and Gomez.Three in a row,looking forward to th Bruins,although I sill wasn’t impressed with the reffing,these guys gotta look in the mirror

  2. Hey Derry. Can you imagine four in a row? And they needed help from everyone to make up for Cammalleri, and everyone came through. Before the game my wife said she wasn’t sure she’d watch it because it was going to be depressing, and in the end she was cheering and smiling. Me too.

  3. Hey Dennis;As long as your wife smiles you’ll be doing just great,but for her to smile while the Habs are and everyone else is happy…awesome

  4. May we catch up to the Caps’, Sens’ and Kings’ win streaks.
    This win really boosted our confidence.

    Very entertaining afternoon game. Afternoon Delight.

  5. Phil – Was it a Dog Day Afternoon?
    Anyways, we’re on a solid footing now that we have good Darche support.

  6. Hey Dennis, if we beat the Bruins this afternoon we will be handing them a tie for their franchise record of 11 straight losses set in 1924-25
    It gets better, according to the laws of probability we will have about a 66 per cent chance of making it to the playoffs if we beat them. That compares to the 20 per cent chance we had about two weeks ago.
    This is where you can chart our progress:
    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Eastern.html
    But the Bruins will be hungry and cranky for a win. Let’s hope the kids overwhelm them like they did the Pens.

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