Max & Co. Come Through

I was delayed getting to the computer. I saw that Toronto and Winnipeg were tied 3-3 with seven minutes left, and I wanted to see how the Leafs would lose.

But they won in overtime, and that’s quite a few minutes that I just wasted if you don’t mind me saying.

The Canadiens, led by Max Pacioretty with two goals, got the job done by taking out the decent-looking Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 at the Bell, with Tomas Plekanec getting the insurance marker by notching a shorthanded empty net goal.

Two big points for the team, a win that halted that little two-game losing streak they found themselves in, and a win which allows them to sit in their rightful place in the universe – on top, a point ahead of the New York Islanders.

In the background, the outdoor game in California is being played, but I have the sound down. Sometimes I forget it’s on, look up, and there again are the LA Kings wearing some sort of grey and white ensemble, highlighted by white pants and huge numbers on the sleeves. The luckiest fans are the ones at the top of this massive football stadium that can’t see these uniforms.

Carey Price was, of course, solid once again in the Montreal net. It goes without saying. I said it but it goes without saying.

Nathan Beaulieu was truly impressive. The young defenceman is getting better and better every game now, he’s won himself a job, he’s a great skater and puckhandler, and as the confidence grows, so does his time spent doing all the right things.

How great it is to see a young d-man coming into his own, and at the same time two blueliners are on the shelf. God is a Habs fan.

I thought Jiri Sekac and Jacob de la Rose had some nice moments too. Two very fine young players with very fine futures. Is it de la Rose, or De La Rose?

And good old Max, notching a pair which gives him 29 on the season, and he rolls along, enjoying a fine and fruitful campaign. Of course he and P.K. Subban were left off the All-Star team, because the league is run by a bunch of morons.

Other things to note – Jarred Tinordi had his second fight in the last two games, coming out second best against Jared Boll, but not getting massacred. And Christian Thomas and Matt Calvert squared off, and when all was said and done, both looked like they’d walked into a telephone pole.

Columbus outshot the Canadiens 32-24, but again, it’s the Carey Price factor.

The team now heads out on a two-game road trip, first to St. Louis for a Tuesday night battle (8:00 ET), and then it’s Thursday in Columbus to face these Blue Jackets once again.

And to get way ahead of myself, next Saturday the Leafs sneak into Montreal.

In the background, John Fogarty is singing Proud Mary between periods at the outdoor game. John looks and sounds pretty well like he did in the 1960s with Creedence. This is obviously not a Keith Richards type of rock star.

Me and my buddies Mike Williamson and Hobo saw Creedence Clearwater at the Atlantic City Pop Festival in 1969.

14 thoughts on “Max & Co. Come Through”

  1. A god win! Remember where we stood a few years back? Seems like another lifetime.

    I’m probably being sensitive by saying this, but it was hard for me to watch Tinordi fight again, proving those skills to secure a D spot. Just hate it

  2. Hi Marjo. It’s Tinordi’s reality now, because of his size.He knows that if he doesn’t play physical, he’s of no use to them because he’s not exactly truly skilled, like Beaulieu is showing. The only way Tinordi wins a regular job is if he plays an aggressive game. He could be so important if he gets more confidence. But he needs to crush people and maybe stay away from fighting if possible.

  3. Was it Nathan Beaulieu who made that cross ice pass for one of Max’s goals? How he held the puck waiting for Max to be ready for a pass and shot? Beauty play AND smart.
    I hope Tinordi doesn’t get into a fight every game. Can’t horizontalize ’em when your in the box. Hope he develops some hockey talent also, Let the “attitude adjustment” part of his game be an added bonus, not the main event.
    Few years ago—-who would’ve picked Habs and Islanders jugglin’ for first? Is Boston still in the NHL?

  4. Don’t pick on Keith, he’s just following Peter Townsend’s idea about dying before he gets old. Tumblin’ Dice and Walk Before They Make Me Run are my two favorite Stones songs…

    Did you know Maxoretty has scored four of the last nine goals? That would be great if our heroes where popping the twine a healthy pace, unfortunately that’s not the case. After the Habs game I switched over to the Dallas-Detroit track meet. It was classic WHA hockey. There are third and forth line scorers out there.

    Enough show casing the bottom six, team know what Montreal has to offer. Pull the trigger on long-term quality, like a deal with the Oilers.

    If the Kings had glowing sticks last night, Bettman’s dream of conquering the universe might have happened. Man those ugly uniforms…

    Tough week of hockey ahead, somethings gotta happened to improve the offense.

  5. I’m so not into that whole winter classic carnival hyped up thing, where you’re watching the ice melt through binoculars for Christ’s sake. Fireworks explode in front of an oversized flag. Hello Disneyland.

    What the hell ever happened to a humble, real hockey game? Money happened to it. So very sad.

  6. Ditto to that Marjo. Time for the league to think of something new and different. Bring back the Canada Cup.

  7. Mike, those Kings uniforms were something to behold. Behold and then burn. And darn right, the offence needs improvement. Just not enough goals spread around. Like you say, pull the trigger.

  8. Peter, that pass to Max from Beaulieu was beautiful. I’d even made a note to myself – mention the pass.But of course I didn’t because I’m running out of brain cells at a remarkable pace. It wasn’t long ago that it was difficult to choose between Tinordi and Beaulieu, but Beaulieu has suddenly stepped up several notches. He’s becoming excellent and it’s great to see. Tinordi could be a major plus too, because of his size. But he has to learn how to handle the puck better. Otherwise, he’ll just be another Bryan Allen.

  9. Hey Dennis. Just wondering….as we sit and freeze our asses off here in the east I see new reports from BC. The blossoms are out…I can actually see grass that looks green and the only thing freezing out there is the ice cream in kids cones as they walk around in shorts and T-shirts. Say it ain’t so.
    JW Just in from shovelling snow….AGAIN!!!!!! You sure must miss Montreal now.

  10. Jim, I would never rub it in. But since you asked, I cut the lawn yesterday. And although I don’t miss the cold and snow, in many ways I miss Montreal, the greatest city in Canada.

  11. Another prospect who is playing his guts out is Christian Thomas. He’s small but gritty – a bit like Gallagher.

    How are your banana trees doing Dennis? 🙂

  12. Danno, we cut the banana trees before we went to Montreal. But we do have about 7 Mexican Fan palms and a monkey tree. One of our palm trees is about 12 or 14 feet high.

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