Price And Big Line Just Too Much

A period and a half of magic from the Desharnais, Max, Vanek line and solid netminding throughout from Carey Price added up to a 4-1 win over the Panthers in Florida, and the team just keeps rolling along.

A five-game game winning streak to end the month of March. Eight wins in nine games.

Just amazing what’s transpired. And in my book, more than anything it’s been Thomas Vanek who’s lit the fire.

The DD, Vanek, Max line combined for all four goals and seven points on the night, and so important is the fact that the team is finally getting serious close-in chances now, led mostly by Vanek.

Until he showed up, play seemed far too often on the perimeter, except for most nights when Brendan Gallagher crashed the net two or three times.

Now things are different. Play is down low on a more regular basis. And the power play, which often had been so feeble, has become much more of threat even when the lamp isn’t always lit.

Vanek knows what to do with the puck, the chemistry with his linemates is a sight to behold, and a dangerous line like that, combined with solid work and contributions from the other three lines, gives us a team transformed.

And yes, it was mostly all Panthers in the second half, outshooting the Canadiens 15-3 in the third period, but no matter, the Habs held a 3-1 lead before the empty netter, and they played to protect the lead, not pad it.

According to all sorts of folks, the Canadiens were supposed to fade in the stretch. And the opposite happened.

Random Notes:

Max’s two goals gives him 35 on the season, which is a tremendous season to be sure. Would love to see him reach 40, but with just six games to go, it’ll be tough but not impossible.

Plenty of high sticks to the face from the Panthers. More than what we’d normally see on most nights.

Panthers outshot Montreal 37-19.

The Eggs played well in the early going, but like most of the team, weren’t exactly burning things up later on. But that’s fine. The end justifies the means.

Scott Gomez played tonight for the Panthers. Hard to watch the guy. He triggers so many bad memories.

HNIC three stars went to Price, Max, and Vanek.

Tuesday, the guys head across state to visit the Tampa Bay Lightning, and it goes without saying that this is a big one. The team Montreal will meet in the opening round. The team they’re fighting it out with for home ice advantage in that round. And a win would make a solid statement for things to come.

Toronto lost to Detroit Saturday night, their eighth straight. Just an amazing meltdown by Toronto at the most important time in the season.  So glad I didn’t grow up a Leafs fan.




22 thoughts on “Price And Big Line Just Too Much”

  1. I’d forgotten about Gomez —–till he was near Cary’s net asking if Carey would “let one bye for old times sake AND it would help my new contract”—apparently Price told him to hire a certain Mr. Kane as an agent. Happy for DD, He,s making some nice passes. Is it the coach whose responsible for these guys keeping it going? If so, I better lay off wishing him a permanent vacation in Alaska.

  2. I think that this was a game where the Habs just wanted to get the two points and move on. The Big Line was just that. Now, as you noted, Montreal moves on to Tampa for a game that both teams will desperately want to win, so as to “set the tone” for their playoff series matchup (and the Lightning won twice in Montreal this season, so it would be nice to return the favour and win twice in their rink)…………..

  3. It’s amazing, Peter, how we’ve seen so many things that make us question the coach, the was he’s played PK and seems to have favourites and all that, but they continue to live near the penthouse. And that Gomez? Next year he’s going to be one of the better players for the Anchorage Midnight Ramblers.

  4. Yeah, Ian, they got the nice lead and played to hold it. Which is fine when it works that way. We’ve seen them blow a few by doing that. But all in all, this is a new team now and it’s turned into a great season. Big game in Tampa. Can’t wait.

  5. New nick name for Habs line. V-MD. They are like doctors in that they meticulously find a cure for what ails the Habs Goals.

  6. DK, what a great Saturday night. A nice dinner out with Diana, the Habs win, another Laffs loss it doesn’t get much better than that!!
    I agree Vanek seems to give them a new dimension in the other teams end, very rewarding & great to watch.

  7. Nice summary Dennis. Isn’t it interesting to see what a true top end talent can do for this team? Over the last 20 years we’ve always had a core of good players but we lacked a player of Vanek’s talent, okay Kovi may have been better but he was way too inconsistent. Also regarding the VMD line? I prefer the suggested Veapons of Mass Destruction.

  8. It’s great to have a player like that, D-John, and imagine the number of goals Max would get in a full season with him. Kovi was way too inconsistent. One great game, six where he slept.Love the name Veapons of Mass Destruction but it’s too long for me to type in my game reports. I’m a two-finger typist. But I like it.

  9. It’s good, Dra. Not too long. I wish we had a line with players named Lewis, Smith, and Davis.

  10. Puked this morning and took a Prozac
    Another classic meltdown by my Leafs
    Looking to the draft this summer

    Do you think Vanek will sign with Habs?
    Habs may go deep with him…..

  11. wow we finally got a star. It’s been fun to watch the habs since Vanek came on board. Vanek is good. I hope they beat the bruins in the playoffs. I remember at the beginning of the year when Desharnais was doing nothing. He certainly has turned things around. We are the only Canadian team to make the playoffs this year. I don’t imagine the leafs will catch the pack.

  12. forgot …Toronto does have a post season …Go Raptors Go

    …at least some consolation for my pathetic hockey team

  13. LeaF Fan, no on e knows if he’ll sign or not, maybe even him, but it sure seems that he’s enjoying the experience more and more, so who knows, he could.

  14. Hi Frank. They’re a different team now for sure. Great to see. It is too bad that other Canadian teams aren’t doing so well. But it’s one of those cycles, I guess, with sometime in the future most of them in it.Hopefully at least.

  15. Yes a good one by Danno… It should be fun watching the Raptors in the playoffs….

    Went to one game this year …lots of fun and high energy…

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