This was going to be the night they’d get back on track. It was the plan, and it was a fine plan.
They’d stunk up the joint in Vancouver on Tuesday when they got mugged 5-1, and although they beat the Leafs just prior to this Western Canada jaunt, they were outshot 52-27 in the process. Enough was enough, we said.
In Edmonton they were going to redeem themselves. Be that team the hockey world was talking about after winning nine straight out of the gate.
And indeed, they jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead against the Oilers in Edmonton, and things were good. It was gonna be a big night. A great night. Edmonton fans would see what all the fuss was about. It might even be a slaughter!
Then it all came tumbling down, like Kim Kardashian’s boobs when she’s in her 60s.
In the second period, Alexei Emelin would play handball with a bouncing puck behind Carey Price, and video replay showed the puck clearing the line by an inch or so.
A game of inches. And it happened with a mere 52 seconds left in the frame, and which gave the Oilers the life they needed.
In the third frame, a screened long shot that beat Price made it 3-2, and I’m betting that every single Habs fan on the planet who was watching or listening felt that familiar and quite sickening feeling of the jig being possibly up.
And the jig was up soon after when young stud Connor McDavid shoved the puck past Andrei Markov at the blueline and sent Benoit Pouliot in alone, and suddenly, in horrifying fashion, the game was tied and the boys were in a heap of trouble.
Yes, Benoit Pouilot. A bum when he was a Hab, and one of the league’s dirtiest players. Doesn’t fight and isn’t tough, but prefers to shove his stick in guts and faces. And it had to be him.
The final blow? With just 1:02 left in the third period, David Desharnais was stripped of the puck behind Price, the little black biscuit was sent out to rookie Leon Draisaitl, and that was that.
Oilers with four unanswered goals.
As we used to say when we were kids when a game ended, “game deodorant”, and although it was always a fairly stupid thing to say, the game smelled so it’s fitting.
Habs scorers – Brendan Gallagher deflecting a PK wrist shot from the point on the power play; Torrey Mitchell after nice work by Devante Smith-Pelly; and Alex Galchenyuk converting a beautiful pass across the crease from Andrei Markov.
Oilers outshot the Habs 27-21, the fifth straight game in which Montreal has been outshot.
Canadiens power play was 1/2.
Carey Price has allowed 12 goals in his last three games, after previously being on a run that saw him average just one a game.
Next up – Friday night in Cowtown. This is the game where they’re going to redeem themselves. This is going to be the night. Enough is enough etc.