It began with an emotional ceremony that saw Guy Lapointe’s number 5 raised to the rafters between his buddies Savard and Robinson.
And the game began like so many others, with the Canadiens not scoring and looking befuddled in the process, relying on Carey Price to keep them in it once again.
But in the second and third they were the team we’ve been craving to see. A team that suddenly found cohesion and speed, with the top three lines dangling and creating chances, and the fourth line punching the clock and sometimes coming close to adding to the festivities, as in Dale Weise ringing one off the crossbar.
And as much as it was a night for Guy Lapointe and a big win that just might boot this group out of the doldrums (I said “might”), it was a coming out party for Jiri Sekac, a healthy scratch for the last seven games, who scored a goal and added an assist and named first star of the night.
If this is what we’re going to see instead of the usual Rene Bourque effort, maybe we could buy Bourque the odd coffee and hot dog as our way of saying thank you for the great games he last played. Last spring.
A big, important, and impressive win on Guy Lapointe night. Imagine if the Canadiens were embarrassed on this special occasion. But they weren’t, and it was a happy night at the Bell for the home team, the hometown fans, and hopefully Mr. Lapointe, who happens to be a scout for the Wild.
The Canadiens got on the scoreboard first, something not often seen, when Gally wired one over the shoulder of Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper, and after the Wild had evened things up, Lars Eller, with 50 seconds left in the period put the boys ahead again.
In the third, it was Sekac and then Max, and Minnesota was done like dinner.
Two goals in the second, two in the third. A great forty minutes. Now if they can only start scoring in the first. And if they can continue what they started.
The Sekac, Eller and Prust line combined for 6 points – Sekac a goal and an assist, Eller a goal and an assist, and Prust, who was outstanding in this game, adding 2 assists.
Other point-getters – Gally and Max with a goal each, and Pleky, Parenteau, and DD with assists.
Next up – Tuesday, when Winnipeg pays a visit.