It began with the usual concerns about the team looking flat, outshot 15-3 in the first period, not being able to score, down a goal, all that jazz.
But sometime in the second period the Canadiens began to show some life, to look more confident, to skate with just a bit more jump, and in the third, with Max Pacioretty leading the way, they earned a big 3-1 win over a solid Phoenix Coyotes team and the sky, on the verge of falling, didn’t.
It took a good effort from Carey Price to keep his team down just a goal until they found a way, and it was Max picking up the slack by first assisting on Andrei Markov’s power play goal, then scoring one himself on another power play, and finally sealing it with an empty netter.
We breathe a sigh of relief. Or at least I do. But I’m sure you do too. If you’re a Habs fan.
Four losses in five games would’ve been tragic, especially if they had been held scoreless. But the Canadiens notched three, albeit two with the man advantage and one with Coyotes goalie Mike Smith on the bench, but why quibble? They won.
They played a decent game in the second half. And Max not only racked up three points but also hit three goal posts.
But then there was that puck being brought out of the Canadiens end by P.K. with the Coyotes extra man on the ice, which P.K. proceeded to lose and which could have ended this thing much differently than it did. It should’ve been a conservative, off the boards type thing, but P.K decided to get fancy and it one of those decisions that I wish P.K. wouldn’t decide to do.
P.K., as great as he is, as flamboyant and talented and exciting as he is, still shows us sometimes that his game continues to need a bit more tightening up. But maybe he’ll never be completely tamed. Maybe this is the P.K. we’ll always see.
Pierre Houde called the names Galchenyuk, Eller, and Desharnais on a regular basis. Briere – almost never. Bourque, maybe a tad more.
But again, why quibble? That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
Yes, a Habs win in the middle of a skid is that important.
After being outshot 15-3 in the first, the Canadiens outshot Phoenix 11-7 in the second and 14-5 in the third, with the total being 28-27 Habs. It was a slow start that picked up steam.
Next up – Habs travel to St. Louis for an 8 pm start on Thursday. Another tough test. Then it’s Saturday in Music City, USA.