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.
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.
Born Nov 26 1976 — Montreal, PQ
Height 6.01 — Weight 210 — Shoots L
|2000-01||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||9||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001-02||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||14||1||1||2||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002-03||Columbus Blue Jackets||NHL||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006-07||San Jose Sharks||NHL||2||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007-08||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||73||7||15||22||20||—||—||—||—||—|