Feels great writing that. “Habs Demolish Leafs.” Normally I leave the title for last, but I couldn’t wait tonight. And I could’ve said “Habs Blast Leafs” or “Habs Blank Leafs”, but I prefer Demolish. Even though the Torontonians hit a few posts and outshot the Canadiens 32-18. But forget about that. It’s the scoreboard that tells the tale.
A big 5-0 shutout win for Carey Price and the gang. Four straight wins and seven points from a playoff spot. Things are still a long shot, but how great it feels when Montreal is on a roll and looking good.
It was Mats Sundin Night at the Air Canada Centre, a night when Sundin’s jersey was sent to that special place in the rafters to join other Leaf greats. They do it a little differently in Toronto. They honour the numbers, but future players are still allowed to wear them, unlike Montreal where the number goes up, never to be worn again. Imagine if Mike Komisarek wore number 9 while in Montreal for example? It would just suck.
And it’s this jersey-honouring that pissed off Dave Keon so much that he cut almost all ties with the Leafs, which is a shame. Keon was a legendary Leaf, but now he stays in Florida, sits under palm trees, and tries to pretend the whole thing never happened. But that’s the way it is in Toronto.
The Sundin ceremony was lengthy, his wife Josephine looked quite sensational, and his parents were visibly proud of course. And the first period was as sloppy as a pre-season game because of the wait as Sundin spoke and Josephine smiled and probably wondered if I was somewhere in the crowd.
But Montreal would find their game. They scored four in the second and another in the third, killed five penalties overall like it was a walk in the park, and between the pipes, Carey Price once again played like he’s the best in the game, which I think he is, although I might be slightly biased.
Canadiens scorers on this night were Eric Cole, Rene Bourque, Max Pacioretty on the power play, Lars Eller, who swept around Dion Phaneuf and beat James Reimer in a nifty play that’ll have fans on the streetcars talking about on their way back to the suburbs, and Mathieu Darche, who converted a Tomas Plekanec play started by Price.
The Habs smothered the Leafs often, Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty, Erik Cole, and Mathieu Darche enjoyed fine games, and all concerned -players, coaches, you, me, Lucy, Dave Keon, have to be perfectly content with what unfolded on this night.
The plan is to win most of the time from here on in. Four straight is a beauty start.
Canadiens host Carolina on Monday. This good stuff needs to continue.