Max Fires Home Winner

The Canadiens take out the Leafs 4-3 in overtime with a Max Pacioretty twine bulger, and somehow, some way, the boys just keep on clicking.

Three straight games where it goes to OT, all with Peter Budaj in nets. Two wins in those three games. One loss in their last six.

Putting a tad more distance from the Torontonians who are breathing down their neck.

It’s good but there’s no letting up. A tough California/Arizona test is next on the agenda. Four games against four good teams. But that’s getting way ahead of myself.

This Habs/Leafs clash had its moments for sure, although it started out with whistles about every ten seconds it seemed. But then things got rolling.

The Canadiens overall enjoyed a good first period, taking a 2-0 lead on goals by Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty, but the Leafs would narrow it to one late in the frame when James Van Riemsdyk slipped it under Budaj.

There was no scoring in a bit of an uneventful second period, but in the third, after Budaj had robbed Phil Kessel close in, Andrei Markov on the power play sent a nice pass to the far point which led to a serious change of momentum.

Because no one happened to be there at the time. Except the enemy.

Van Riemsdyck burst down the ice ahead of P.K, Subban and scored one of those depressing shorthanded goals that sinks ships.

It became even worse when Kessel put the Buds ahead. (The Kessel, Bozak, Van Riemsdyck line was definitely a pain in the ass).

But it all worked out (except for the Leafs and Leaf fans) when Leafs netminder Jonathan Bernier came out of his crease to corral a puck, was penalized, and P.K. on the power play blasted it home to tie it and send it to overtime.

And that was when good old Max got it done.

Of course if you saw the game, you already know all this.

Random Notes:

Montreal outshot Toronto 30-25.

I thought Lars Eller skated much better than we’ve seen recently and he seemed confident and relaxed.

P.K. was full of beans and did his fair share of dipsy-doodling.

Dale Weise was nailed in the mouth by an errant skate, got sewn up and came back with a cage on. Weise’s wife probably isn’t looking forward to a goodnight kiss tonight.

Budaj came up with some beauty saves and has filled in nicely for an injured Carey Price. Thanks Peter. Now, hopefully, Price will suit up in L.A.

It’s going to be a tough road trip for the boys (aside from leaving frigid Montreal and going to the land of palm trees), with contenders L.A., Anaheim, Phoenix, and San Jose coming up. But with the Habs, who knows, they just might grab a bunch of points along the way.

They don’t overpower, but they stay high in the standings. It’s all quite surprising.

The next four games are late – 10:30 ET, 10:00, 9:00, and 10:00.

 

 

16 thoughts on “Max Fires Home Winner”

  1. I also thought Eller had a good game. I liked the way he carried the puck with speed into the Leaf’s zone. So much more entertaining than the dump and chase. I pray they don’t trade him. Subban also had a better night.

  2. The boys have been reading you page ,Dennis!! They woke up!! No Cup win tonight but at least they skated and passed the puck. P.K. made some beauty back hand passes and skated near the Leaf net. AND interacted with Leaf bench on occasion. With a win we overlook a few “oh-oh’s” on the night. We also delight in Budaj’s play!! Ellar had some vinegar tonight also. Hope to see White, Weise &Bournival back together soon to keep the tempo going.

  3. It was kind of funny, though, watching the CBC announcers lament Jonathan Bernier’s decision to freeze the puck near the faceoff circle, causing a delay of game penalty that even they acknowledged HAD to be called. They were so clearly upset by it! Interesting side note–after Markov’s horrendous giveaway, which led directly to the JVR shortie for the Loafs, do you think that he missed even one shift the rest of the game? Nope, that “honour” is reserved alone for PK Subban. Only he has to play perfect games (and who scored the game-tying goal, btw? Just wondering…………).

  4. Interesting fact:

    Ever since the Dale Weise became a Hab, the team has won 11 out of a possible 12 points.

    Not too shabby!

  5. D-John, when Eller did an autograph signing at Classic, I asked him how he liked playing with the kids, which he was at that time. He said it was fantastic and he wouldn’t want to play with anyone else. Not long after, he was playing with everyone else.

  6. A good game, Pete, and yeah, PK was was cool and I noticed all that interaction with the Leafs bench. I’m pretty sure they weren’t asking how the family was! He played well, I thought. Had the crowd oohing and ahhing.

  7. Ian, great point you mention and it had never occurred to me. Markov makes a blunder and no punishment. PK. makes a blunder and he rides the pines. This is the kind of unfair punishment we’ve been seeing all season.

  8. Ian, your take on the JVR goal is what I said to my son as it happened—will Markov be benched?—. Danno, in my books he doesn’t have to fight like Fergy; but Weise WANTS to be a Hab ‘ AND he wears # 22. He brings an element to the game that allows us to stay awake. Not compering him to ole 22, but I thought the name and the number on the sweater couldn’t go to a more appropriate guy for now.. A KEEPER !!

  9. I think Weise is long-term. He isn’t afraid to play in the dirt and will give it right back. Even Bourque improved over his recent effort. The crowd sounded great until the 2nd period snoozefest…

    Probably the most frustrating 5/6 points in recent memory. I honest saw a long losing streak, but instead our guys are holding on to home ice!

    Surf’s Up! Go Habs Go!

  10. 11 out of 12 isn’t too shabby at all, Danno. He’s a warrior too, which I like. A good prairie boy. Last night it looked like he got kissed by a heavily-lipsticked Amsterdam hooker.

  11. I just read Boone’s recap of the game. I would kill to hear Stock make that comment about the rules! Truly, a moron!

  12. PJ Stock is living proof that even a complete idiot can land a high-paying, high-profile job. He just can’t hide his hatred of the Habs. It makes me wonder why TSN 690 (then TSN 990) gave him a talk show………..

    The Habs really are a bizarre team, when you think about it. They look ugly for stretches of games, or for large parts of games, and yet at the end of the day, they generally get points. I can’t explain it.

    I read Mike Boone’s article on the game, and I note that he agrees with me about the trading deadline, which is that Marc Bergevin is likely not to make any (major) deals…….

  13. I have so much trouble listening to Stock. He grates on my ears. What is CBC thinking with this guy?

  14. I wonder if the Kings will start Jonathan Quick in nets?

    That would make it a goaltenders’ duel and a rematch from the USA vs Canada game in Sochi.

    It should be fun. Too bad it’s on so late!

  15. Danno, I’m still wondering how to go about posting on these late nights. I’m not used to this, coming from a three hour time difference in Powell River. Maybe I’m going to have to bite the bullet and watch the game and write about it 24 hours later. That would be a first for me but I don’t see an alternative.

  16. Dennis, get your sleep, your family time— we’ll survive, esp if the boys pull off a win. If they lose bad,– we don’t want to say regrettable words. Have a good nite.

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