Great night for the Canadiens as they down the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 at the Bell Centre, and the Habs’ 2016-17 campaign rolls along like a speeding red, white, and blue train.
Five wins and a shootout point as the boys blast through six games to start the season, and a tough, hardworking night against a gritty Flyers team. The team is getting it done, and it makes my heart soar like the Flying Wallendas on crystal meth.
Who was that dynamo with the two-week growth on his face, scurrying here and there and causing problems all night in the enemy zone?
Alexander Radulov, that’s who. The one we wondered about before the season started, and who has been a revelation. The one who wasted eight years in the KHL and with only 160 NHL games under his belt.
And he’s not small either, standing 6’1″ and weighing 200 lbs, unlike the parade of little guys who tried and failed in becoming top six gunners on the Canadiens over the past several years.
Radulov, with a goal and two assists, and the game’s first star. A force all night long. A great addition to the Habs attack. A guy who said bonjour and merci beaucoup in his postgame on-ice interview.
A guy who changed the climate of the game, and who has the tools to change the climate of many games.
Climate change. It’s real. It’s Radulov.
The Canadiens were first on the scoreboard when Shea Weber’s shot hit a Flyer stick and fooled Philly goaltender Steve Mason, while in the third frame, Brendan Gallagher on the power play would deflect Radulov’s shot from the point to give the boys a 2-1 lead.
Weber also notched an assist on the pp marker.
Radulov would find the empty net to ice the thing, and fitting that it was him after such a tremendous night. And it’s obvious that this guy loves being a Montreal Canadien.
He’s on the verge of being the toast of the town, and it’s what happens when a player works hard and becomes a major factor in games. Players around the league, free agents and those with no-trade to Montreal clauses, who are chicken shit to play for the Canadiens, need to pay attention to what Radulov is doing. It’s how one becomes a fan favourite in a tough town.
But I can’t get carried away. It’s only six games and we’ve seen players disappear before as the season wears on. But for now, Radulov is alive and well!
Carey Price made a huge game-saver late in the game, when it was still 2-1.
Canadiens outshot the Flyers 33-32 and were 1/4 on the power play.
Next up – Wednesday in Brooklyn to face the Islanders.