Two huge goals in the third period by the captain, and great work throughout by the new guy and the big young guy, and the Canadiens top the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1.
This gives the boys two straight wins, or three of their last four, and although their season still sucks, they’ve played better lately. It kind of makes my heart soar like a kite with holes in it.
And no, the team’s not tanking, it’s not the proud or right way of doing things. It’s management who would do the tanking anyway, not the players, and the Montreal Canadiens aren’t the 1919 Chicago White Sox.
The first period saw the Leafs strike first, but a great wrist shot from Alex Galchenyuk would even things, while the second period featured a couple of noteworthy events:
Brendan Gallagher batted the puck in, but it was decided his stick was too high, although maybe by just a whisker. Personally, I thought it was legal but I’m biased.
The goal that did count soon after was one that began with 6’6″ Michael McCarron ramming an enemy body into the end boards, with the puck nicely kept in for Devante Smith-Pelly to get his stick on.
This would mark big McCarron’s first point in his three games with the club, and with his size, if the veterans try to make this rookie buy the dinners, all he has to do is look down at them and say no.
In the third frame, when the score was tense at 2-1, Max Pacioretty finally came alive, scoring his 22nd of the year after taking a great cross-ice pass from Andrei Markov, and then notching his 23rd from a rebound off the back boards.
Maybe this will light a fire under Max’s arse. There’s 20 games left, and the team is clinging to life. If Max hasn’t exactly been great leadership material in the past, maybe as the season winds down he can show us some. A slew of goals would help.
Michael McCarron needs to win a regular spot in a big way. Imagine people calling the Habs a big team instead of what we’ve heard for years now?
A hulking forward like him, crashing the net, having his way with smaller opponents, contributing on the scoresheet, maybe winning most of his fights. Damn.
Twenty-three year old Quebecer Phillip Danault, over from Chicago in the Weise-Fleischmann trade, looked completely at home, winning his share of faceoffs, in on several scoring chances, and doing some bumping.
He might not a big point-getter, at least not yet, but Danault was impressive. And set to become UFAs anyway, Weise had come back to earth after his early season Dutch Gretzky act, and Fleischmann may have started the year in fine style, but sure wasn’t ending it like that.
Habs outshot the Leafs 36-32.
Mike Condon, in his fourth straight start, once again played well.
That’s twelve games played in February, with one remaining, and the team has won 6 of these 12. Not fantastic, but better.
Next up – Canadiens begin their three-game series in California, beginning with the Sharks in San Jose on Monday night. (10:30 ET).