What do you expect when the Canadiens play the New Jersey Devils in New Jersey? You expect a tight, low-scoring game. And if you’re a Habs fan, you expect a win of course.
Which is what happened on this Saturday night in early April as the Montreal boys, led by Mathieu Darche with two goals, beat the Devils 3-1 in as important a game as can be for the Canadiens this year.
The Habs came through tonight, as they should, especially after giving off such a putrid smell in the past several games, and although they were far from setting the world on fire, allowed the Devils only 21 shots on Carey Price and made the most of their chances to get the job done.
Montreal managed just 29 shots themselves, but absolutely, this can be expected when playing the smothering Devils.
Darche’s two and one by PK Subban was all it took, along with Carey Price being solid throughout, and it was only after I seriously began to think shutout without saying it out loud that Ilya Kovalchuk bulged the twine with Price caught out of position.
I not only have to not say shutout, but I suppose I can’t even think it too.
All in all, three goals on Martin Brodeur and 29 shots overall is like a bombardment against this Newarkian squad, and fans of the bleu, blanc et rouge should be mighty happy about this. I know I am.
Always nice to see Jacques Lemaire, even though he’s been on the opposite bench for years, and forever since he belonged to the Montreal organization. But I still don’t understand him saying in an interview a few months ago that coming back to Montreal means absolutely nothing to him except that he gets to see his granddaughter.
Lemaire was a Junior Hab for three years, and won eight Stanley Cups as a player with the big team from 1967 to 1979. He was also behind the Canadiens bench for a couple of years in the 1980’s.
I suppose, because he’s been away for a long time, the memories have faded, but what great memories they must have been. How could they completely fade? I don’t understand at all why it wouldn’t be at least a little special for him to come home.
But whatever. He lost and isn’t in the playoffs, and we won and will be.
Next up – Chicago visits the Bell Centre on Tuesday. The Hawks are fighting off the Flames for the final playoff spot in the west and wouldn’t it be fun if Montreal clobbered Chicago and contributed to them golfing early this year?
As it stands now, Montreal still holds down sixth place and would meet Boston in round one, but those bastard Buffalonians, New Yorkers, and Carolinians remain sniffing at their heels.