Montreal edged the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in this early 10 a.m PST morning matinee, and try as they may, they didn’t blow it.
But could they have made it any harder on themselves?
As so frequently happens with the Canadiens, they found themselves with the lead, 2-0 in fact, and as also happens, they found themselves in dire straights late in the game. It became almost so predictable it was like a well-worn joke.
The Devils narrowed the gap to 2-1 in the third period, as most teams who have played the Habs have done recently, and once again, a late-game penalty was called, this time a slashing call to Raphael Diaz with just 1:55 left. And to make matters worse, Josh Gorges smothered the puck in the crease with his hand and a penalty shot was rewarded to the Devils.
It really is quite comical when you think about it. Or maybe not if you think too much about it.
Zach Parise failed to score on the penalty shot but it didn’t mean the game was decided. The Devils pulled their goalie and the final few moments, with Montreal hanging on for dear life, were played six men to four. But the Canadiens managed to hold on, and they owe Carey Price a steak dinner. In fact, I think they owe Price about twelve steak dinners.
Actually, the Montreal Canadiens owe US a steak dinner for putting us through this ridiculous season.
Tomas Kaberle, in his debut, contributed two assists, one on a much-needed power play marker, and he moved the puck around with poise and intelligence. But by about midway through the game, he was rarely noticed. So my grading of the guy is this – the jury remains out for awhile yet.
I guess the main thing is, they won the game. It wasn’t pretty, they came close to shooting themselves square in the foot, and once again, they have to stop taking these late-game penalties that drive us all to drink or serious drugs.
Shots on goal – NJ 29, Habs 24.
CBC Three Stars – 1-Price, 2-Kaberle, 3-Brodeur
Max Pacioretty was the power play goal scorer, and Erik Cole also whacked one home.
There were empty seats throughout the Prudential Arena in Newark. Maybe Jersey Shore was on TV.
Next game – Tuesday when the Islanders pay a visit to the Bell. We lost to these buggers 4-3 three weeks ago.
Russian lesson for the day – The Pronunciation of Kovalchuk isn’t Kovalchuk, it’s supposed to sound like Kovalchooke. My wife said so.