A 3-0 shutout by Jaroslav Halak. A big, round, chocolate-covered doughnut with a bunch of coloured sprinkles on it and maybe some of that creamy goo that falls down the front of your shirt. A big 3-0 win over the Canucks, who had been rolling through eastern Canada like nobody’s business. But not tonight. The Habs stopped them. Yeah, I know, Canucks fans. We were outshot. Is that all you got?
No, it wasn’t perfect. Several bad penalties didn’t help, but Halak was there when needed. And it wasn’t good when Patrice Brisebois threw the puck blindly across the ice, as he sometimes has a habit of doing, and naturally it was intercepted by the other team. But Halak was there to bail Breezer out.
And to return the favour, when the puck got dangerously behind Halak later, Brisebois was there to swoop it away and save a goal. It was heartwarming to see the brotherly love. Maybe the bowling worked!
Tomas Plekanec scored a beauty when Saku Koivu stripped the puck, shoved it up to Plekanec who then skated in alone and buried it after just getting out of the penalty box.
Andrei Markov scored on a power play. And Maxim Lapierre got an empty-netter.
And to add to this great night, this chocolate-covered, sprinkled doughnut night, three other teams who needed to lose did just that. Florida, Buffalo, and Carolina all lost big games and important ground to the Canadiens.
Powell Riverite Sandy, a big Canucks fan who never fails to mention when her team wins and mine loses, probably will go into hiding for several days.
Alex Kovalev played another fine, hard-working game and skated away with one assist and several good chances.
Friday Montreal goes to Philadelphia for yet another ridiculously important game. But regardless of how tight things are now, and how important every game is from here on in, just believe that the Habs have turned a serious corner and are now playing much better hockey. I have great faith.
And forget about being outshot 34-17. I liked what I saw out there tonight.