What a terrific bonus it is when the backup comes in for the ailing starter and wins both games, the second being a nice fat shutout. And what a bonus it is, after a young spark plug goes down with an injury, that another young spark plug carries on and helps get the team on the board when the score was tied 0-0 in the third period.
And then there was Max, notching his first of the season on a brilliant……..well, not quite, goal that put the game out of reach. More on that in a minute.
Peter Budaj and the gang take out the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0, and find themselves number two in the east, just a point behind the Pittsburgh Sidneys. It’s now six wins in the last nine, the guys are going good, and I’ll go as far as saying we like it like this. Yes, they were in our bad books after losing three straight recently, but that was then, so long ago. It’s now lodged deep in the far recesses of our memory banks and the gang is presently forgiven.
Don’t forget team, we love you, win or tie.
It wasn’t a barn burner by any stretch, this meeting with the Raleighites. (Raleighonians?) The night was mostly a tight checking affair that lacked any thriller effect, but at least the crowd got their money’s worth in the third when Alex Galchenyuk dashed in and helped Brandon Prust open the scoring. It was reminiscent of Rene Bourque’s overtime winner in Florida when Galchenyuk burst in and got the puck over.
Seeing this driving to the net makes my heart soar like a Ryukyu Woodpigeon. It’s what the team needs to do, and didn’t do much of last year. It’s terrific that they’re making enemy goalies and defence work now, and it’s mostly led by the kids, a new guy who’d come over from the Rangers, and a guy named Bourque whom we thought was a dud, at least I did, and is turning out to be a beauty.
Just a different-looking squad now. It gives us great hope.
Soon after the Prust opener, Tomas Plekanec beat Cam Ward to ease things somewhat, and then Max Pacioretty, looking for his first of the season, bounced one in from his side of the red line, the puck did a little dipsy-doodle, and suddenly, Max had his first and the team held a 3-0 lead.
There’s nothing like a lucky bounce to possibly get the motor running for Patches. Hopefully, one crazy puck will lead to a bucket of goals from here on in.
Shots on goal – Montreal 26, Canes 19.
Max’s goal was similar to the way J.C. Tremblay would sometimes light the lamp. The difference is, Tremblay was actually trying to score when he attempted these. Max was as surprised as anybody on his.
Next for the Habs – Tuesday night, when they make their way to Manhattan to meet the Rangers. This will be Brandon Prust’s first clash with his former team and we should see a big game from this key guy.
Carey Price caught a stray puck while sitting on the bench and tossed it to someone in the crowd. It was a nice, funny moment, with smiles all around.
The team is second in the East, which makes them first in the Northeast, a point ahead of Boston. This see-sawing will likely continue for awhile, but as long as the boys keep winning, things are bound to open up just slightly.
So the new task at hand is this – never lose. It’s the only way.