It’s a waiting game now. Waiting to see if Andrei Markov is gone for good from the series.
Is that a depressing opening line or what?
But Montreal losing 6-3 in the opening game against Pittsburgh shouldn’t be depressing. We shouldn’t let it get us down. You bet it would’ve been nice to grab the opener, but it was obvious the team had no zip to their game, and Jaroslav Halak in nets looked tired, far removed from those cat-like moves we saw from him in the Washington series.
But it’s a serious concern if Andrei Markov is out for a lengthy stretch. It’s one of the worst-case scenarios we can think of. We’re already without Jaroslav Spacek for far too long with what was described initially as a virus but now is an undisclosed injury.
We were just kind of getting used to having an-almost healthy lineup, and then Markov, the recipient of a legal hit by Matt Cooke, went down in a twisted heap, and like I said earlier, now it’s a waiting game. I guess almost getting used to a healthy squad was way too much to ask.
One thing’s also for sure: It may have been a legal hit Cooke threw at Markov, but before this series is over, Habs fans everywhere will be looking to lynch this guy who has a reputation of dirty and cheap hits that often injure others. I’d love to see some Hab, any Hab, pummel this guy. He was nasty in Vancouver and he’s nasty in a Penguins uniform.
Montreal needs a rest after their glorious seven-game series win over Washington. They’ve come off such a high that this really wasn’t a surprise. They were bound to be as dull as most of my tools. Imagine what it must have been like for Team Canada in 1972. They won the thing with Paul Henderson’s goal with 34 seconds left in game eight in Moscow, and instead of coming home and celebrating, they still had to play a meaningless game in Prague against the Czechs. It was the last thing they wanted. In the end, they tied the Czechs 3-3 with four seconds left and played without any kind of enthusiasm whatsoever.
The Canadiens will regroup with a little more rest; Jaro Halak, who was yanked and replaced by Carey Price in the third period, will return to the nets and play better, and the team will regain their energy as the series moves forward. It’s just one game, and I’m optimistic that the Habs will turn it around. They might want to think about tightening up their penalty killing though. Or even better, don’t take any penalites. Four power play goals by the Penguins killed the Canadiens on this night.
Don Cherry called Halak “Havlak” all evening. And then, when Ed Johnston was interviewed, he called him “Havlak” too. C’mon guys, it can’t be that difficult to get the poor guy’s name straight. He’s been in the league for awhile now.
PK Subban scored his first NHL goal. The first of hundreds. Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta also bulged the twine.
Shots on goal were Montreal 31, Pittsburgh 24.
Don’t forget it’s an afternoon game on Sunday – 2 pm eastern.