Tag Archives: Michael Ryder

Wild And Wacky Win

It sure wasn’t pretty, but somehow, after the dust had settled, the Canadiens found themselves with a 4-3 shootout win in Newark against a solid New Jersey Devil squad that is probably still shaking their heads.

Like us.

With the clock rapidly winding down, I started getting up from the couch to head to the computer to babble nonsense for a couple of uninspired minutes and then hit the sack so I’ll be fresh to give my usual 145% at work tomorrow.

But before I could even unhinge my creaky knee bones, the Habs tied it with mere seconds left and took it to a shootout where they won yet another game, their 7th in the last eight outings.

Once again it wasn’t pretty, but the two points are. And you should hear my knees crack when I get up from the couch.

The Canadiens had opened the scoring in the first period when Brian Gionta converted a nice Daniel Briere pass, and the score remained just that through the second and into the third.

And through most of everything, the Devils were the much better team, but Peter Budaj was shutting the door when called upon.

But then a Devil shot surprised everyone on the ice as it made its way through to the back of the net, and the game was suddenly tied.

Midway in the third, Michael Ryder put his team up 2-1, and it was that old sinking feeling. It would be tough to rebound against a tight checking and disciplined Devils team who could taste it.

Then it all went nuts.

With 3:50 left, Lars Eller tied it up, and overtime seemed a sure bet.

But as horrible as could be, with all the talk about P.K. Subban not always being trustworthy enough to be chosen for Canada’s Olympic team, our guy suddenly lost the puck near his own net, and the Devils, with just 1:06 remaining, once again took the lead and this is where Luci went to the kitchen and I got up to move to the computer.

Then we sat right back down. Because 27 second later, with just 37 seconds left on the clock, David Desharnais deflected the puck and overtime was once again a sure bet.

Overtime proved scoreless and the game went to a shootout, and with goals from Eller and DD, the team overcame a bunch of odds, grabbed a couple of points, and very shortly need to refocus on the task ahead, which is the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

Random Notes:

Seeing P.K. cough up the puck like that wasn’t good game-wise, and it wasn’t good Olympic-wise either. But this sort of thing happens in hockey games. Pucks are lost off sticks. But next time, P.K., please try to be more careful.

Brandon Prust took on Cam Janssen in the first frame after the Devils player had rammed Alex Galchenyuk hard in the boards. It was an even fight, and also one of the longer ones you’ll ever see.

New Jersey outshot the Canadiens 34-30.

There sure were a lot of empty seats at the Prudential Center. Imagine going to see the Habs and being able to sit front and centre, or choose anywhere you like. It’s never happened in my lifetime. Any Habs game I’ve ever been at have been sold out affairs.

Bruins on deck, waiting in Montreal, getting pissed drinking Pink Ladies.

 

 

 

Canadiens Win With Pride And Passion

The series is all even now, with the Canadiens beating the Ottawa Senators 3-1, and it was they way they won it that tugs at the heart strings.

Unless you’re a Sens fan of course.

Carey Price bounced back and was splendid throughout. Just when we were ready to ship him off to Palookaville.

Rene Bourque showed he has it in him to be an important power forward, and was a serious presence, banging enemy bodies and providing much-needed offensive spark, which is what a premier power forwards show on a regular basis. If only Bourque could do this game in and game out. Maybe he will from here on in.

Ryan White opening the scoring after intercepting an Erik Karlsson pass, and then showed guts and fire through to the final siren.He wasn’t silly, he was effective, and along with his scoring, managed to get under the Sens skin in a way that saw no trips to the sinbin.

Brandon Prust banged and jawed and skated miles, and again showed wonderful leadership, including keeping Bourque’s spirits up on the bench after Bourque was shaken up.

The list goes on – the sensational Subban, the kids Galchenyuk and Gallagher, and all through the lineup, the Habs were a team with intensity and drive, and they did it all without Lars Eller, Max Pacioretty, and Brian Gionta in the lineup. Personally, I’m bursting with pride for the boys. They weren’t to be denied, they oozed emotion, and emotion goes a long way in big games.

Emotion and a great goalie. And both were on display in fine fashion on this Friday night at the Bell Centre.

Random Notes:

The Canadiens outshot Ottawa 34-30.

Elliotte Friedman mentioned it, and it’s absolutely true. When Brendan Gallagher has one of his many great games, he picks up his teammates, the building comes alive, and magic often happens. Gallagher scored to make it 2-0 before the Sens got on the board, he played hard all night, and I can’t wait to see the Cassie Campbell story on Brendan’s dad, which apparently will be shown on Sunday.

Carey Price took a skate to his mask and lost a tooth, which he promptly took over to Graham Rynbend at the bench. The episode was an important example of Price’s intensity and guts, and he looked like he meant business on this night. It’s not fun losing a chiclet, as you can well imagine.

Throughout this game Price stood his ground, made the saves, and showed the mark of a true champion. Just excellent to witness. And he must be feeling good about the job he did.

Michael Ryder scored Montreal’s insurance marker, after nice work from David Desharnais and Bourque. How great it is when guys are contributing, guys we need. Just very proud of everyone.

All they have to do now is do it again in Ottawa on Sunday.

CBC’s three star selection were Price, Gallagher, and Bourque. Seeing Price as first star will take up several minutes of The Carey Price Story, coming someday to a theatre near you.

Ottawa Goalie Beats Habs

And now we wait.

We wait to see how Lars Eller is after being being leveled by Eric Gryba. We wait until Friday night to see if the Canadiens can come out of this with a split before moving up the highway to Ottawa. We wait to see if Carey Price can step it up and be the goaltender he needs to be, as Craig Anderson was at the other end.

And we wait for guys in slumps to snap out of it and start helping out before it’s too late.

Anderson was peppered with 50 Montreal shots on this night, including 27 in the second period alone, and in the end, he and his Ottawa Senators withstood the onslaught, came from behind in the final frame, and won the thing 4-2.

What a sick feeling when enemy goals go in during playoff action. It cuts like a knife. This is why I need a new sport. I’ve looked at cricket but I can’t figure it out. And I sure miss the Expos.

And although it was a first-game home team loss, it was also tremendously exciting, one that featured serious thrills and spills, and overall, the Habs held the edge in play. But there was just one slight difference. The Ottawa guy wearing the pads stood on his head and played like Roger Crozier against the Habs in ’65, while the guy at the other end, who was far less busy, didn’t stand on his head and there will be no mention of Price’s performance on this night when great playoff magic is discussed in future years.

I’m not necessarily putting the blame on Price. I thought he was decent. All I’m saying is, he wasn’t as good as Anderson. And we need him to be.

In the first period, Ottawa jumped ahead 1-0, although Montreal was the better team throughout, and it was a fine time indeed when, in the second period, Rene Bourque tied it on a backhand that would’ve made the Rocket proud.

But just seconds later, Lars Eller took an obscene suicide pass from Raphael Diaz, was clocked at open ice by the much bigger Eric Gyrba, and it appeared that he might have broken his nose, maybe as he crashed down to the ice. Whatever the true outcome will be, the blood was flowing, the doc and stretcher were out there, and there can by no worse feeling than seeing someone in serious trouble, with the hushed crowd, the concerned players, and the rest of us watching from a distance and keeping our fingers crossed that it’s not serious..

It’s bad enough when something bad happens to any hockey player, but when it’s a Montreal Canadien, there’s a bigger bite to it. He’s one of our guys, an important piece of the puzzle, one of our best players. We follow him every game and it’s like we know him. Get well soon, Lars. We’re pulling for you.

What a night for emotions, because less than a minute later during the five minute major to Gryba, Brendan Gallagher converted a Tomas Plekanec pass in front of the net and suddenly it was 2-1 Habs. This was the time, this second period, when the boys needed to rack up the score with the five- minute man-advantage. Make it 3-1. Hopefully 4-1.

But they didn’t. They couldn’t tighten the noose. And the tide would eventually turn.

The Canadiens peppered Anderson, not only during the major but throughout the period, including a 5 on 3 power play,, but they couldn’t bury these Senators. They couldn’t get one more goal, and in the third, Ottawa tied it, went ahead, and ultimately scored the insurance marker.

The depression shouldn’t last long I hope, but for now, I really wish the Expos were playing to take my mind off it for awhile. How I wanted that first game and be off to the races. Now the pressure is on for a serious rebound in game two. They can’t let Anderson get into their heads, which could happen. If he stones them again tomorrow, and then it’s off to Ottawa for the next two, I might decide to hunt for some good, relaxing opium.

Random Notes:

P.K. Subban was unreal on this night. He did it all, at both ends, and his thunderous bodycheck on Chris Neil was a thing of beauty. P.K. was Montreal’s best player, and showed more pizzazz than his counterpart Erik Karlsson, even though the Swedish dandy had a goal and an assist.

I also thought Brandon Prust and Rene Bourque played important roles in this game. Prust added some good old-fashioned jam, and Bourque could have had at least three goals if Anderson was more human. Max Pacioretty also enjoyed several good chances, and I know it’s easy to say, but Max has to start scoring more.

Michael Ryder was invisible.

Total shots on goal – Montreal 50, Ottawa 31. A real playoff barn burner. A barn burning bummer.

Right away, Friday night, they go again. A split is now the new plan.

 

 

 

Go Ahead, Drop That Puck

Time to dust off the great Annakin Slayd “Feels Like ’93” to get things going. Mike Williamson suggested a few years ago that this tune should be an annual event here as the boys begin their charge, and I agree.

You probably think I should be listening to Rudy Vallee and Al Jolson, but I happen to think Feels Like ’93 is a very cool song.

Can the Canadiens take out the Senators? You bet they can. They have more weapons. And as for those Habs who’ve been struggling lately, now’s the time to stop struggling. We need you. Not mentioning any names, Michael Ryder, DD, Max, Brian Gionta, Mr. Bourque etc.

Go Habs! Slay those Sens..

Habs Reign Supreme

Habs 2, Bruins 1. Now that’s hockey!

It wasn’t good when Lars Eller pulled Zdeno Chara off-balance and took a seat in the penalty box with just 57 seconds remaining and his team holding on. The goalie was pulled and it was tense. Even tenser than when Lucy drives in the city.

But they held on, they remain king of the castle, and unless these two teams meet in the playoffs, the Bruins and their fans will have to wait until next fall before they lose again to the bleu, blanc et rouge.

I’d like to thank Milan Lucic for helping out on the Canadien’s winning goal. Lucic gave Tomas Plekanec an extra stick to the head while Pleks was on the ice, and with the big lad cooling his heels in the penalty box, Michael Ryder scored his team’s second goal, which ultimately would decide things.

Unfortunately, Alexei Emelin suffered what looks to be a serious injury after he collided with this same Lucic, who was barreling down the wing. Emelin’s a strong dude but Lucic didn’t budge, and the Habs’s big thumper took the worst of it, maybe twisting his knee in the process, and once again we wait for an injury report on a player.

There’s not too many players in the league who will try to stop a rushing Lucic like Emelin did, and most players would have had their ribs rattled by our big Russian. And Lucic didn’t even go down. I wonder if fans at the Bell Centre could feel the building tremble when that collision occurred. Don’t forget, these guys are the same weight (220 or so), although Lucic has two inches on Emelin.

The Lars Eller, Brandon Prust, Alex Galchenyuk line enjoyed a fine night, and Galchenyuk scored again, his second in two nights. But many guys chipped in. I thought Max played great. Carey Price stood his ground and controlled his rebounds. Michael Ryder continued to light the lamp, and P.K. Subban chipped in two assists.

More and more there’s talk of Subban’s growing chances of capturing the coveted Norris Trophy, and all P.K. has to do is continue to do what’s he’s been doing for most of the remaining ten games and it should be his. You would think the professional hockey writers will get it right, and it’s a good thing P.J Stock can’t vote. What a mockery of the Norris that would be.

Stock needs to be fired from his CBC gig. He’s like a little kid. Even his cronies were snickering. Tonight, it was Stock babbling once again about Subban and this nutty embellishment stuff, and it was Elliotte Friedman stepping in and saying hold on, enough’s enough. This is a guy leading all d-men in  scoring, is in the running as the league’s best on the blueline, and it’s time to stop this innuendo horseshit.

He didn’t say it quite like that, but almost. It’s amazing about CBC. Sixty years doing Hockey Night in Canada, yet they’ve hired people such as Mike Milbury and Stock to talk hockey. The corporation took a true credibility hit when they let Stock open his mouth. How’d the guy get the job in the first place?

But aside from Emelin going down, and Stock opening his mouth, it was a fine and successful night. I’m just feeling bad for Bruins fans. I’ll probably think of them when I’m celebrating at the corner pub tonight.

Random Notes:

Habs outshot the enemy 29-27.

Each team enjoyed just one power play each, which is incredibly weird for a Habs-Bruins tilt. I need to get on Google and see if the planets are out of sync.

Michael Ryder has 18 points in 18 games with Montreal, and Subban 32 points in 32 games.

Next up – Tuesday, when the Caps come a callin’. We can deal with that later. Tonight is a night to savor sweet victory. And again, poor Bruins fans!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Habs Rebound Nicely

The Canadiens once again showed what they’re made of, rebounding from a sub-par showing in Philadelphia, and winning 4-1 Thursday night against the Jets in front of a happy crowd at the Bell Centre.

And such splendid feel good moments to go along with this important and satisfying win.

Peter Budaj played in front of his dad and brother from Slovakia, (and an uncle I think), and was solid as can be in winning his sixth-straight. It was a nice classy gesture on Michel Therrien’s part to start Budaj, and there’s respect all-round.

If someone from the old days, like Jack Adams or Punch Imlach, had been coaching this game, they might have played Price regardless of Budaj’s family being there. Those men weren’t big on sentiment.

Marc Bergevin made a good choice in Therrien. Remember when all those names were being tossed about? Patrick Roy, Guy Carbonneau, Pierre McGuire etc. This year might have been a lot different with someone other than Therrien at the helm.

Michael Ryder had another big night, racking up two goals and two assists, and what can you say about this guy who’s become such a key component. One thing we can say – Marc Bergevin did it again.

Maybe the biggest story for me was the play of Alex Galchenyuk. On this night he freed himself from those invisible ties and not only scored a beauty after eighteen games, but shortly before came up a little dipsy-doodle magic and burst in but was foiled. If he would have scored on this, we’d be enjoying replays of it all week.

Galchenyuk had new life last night, and gave us more glimpses of what to expect in the coming years. He’s going to rise us out of our seats and be the toast of the town. He’s going to be a big star. I believe this. It was great when he came alive tonight.

Lars Eller had two assists and has been good lately. He’s been a presence. Opponents seem to get upset with him, and that’s okay. They get upset with P.K. Subban too. The guy who’s going to win the Norris.

Random Notes:

Winnipeg outshot Montreal 34-24, but the Habs had plenty of quality chances.

Next up (and can’t wait) – The Bruins come to town Saturday. Lock up your daughters.

Price And P.K. Lead Team

On one hand it was a very solid 3-0 win over the New York Rangers. On the other it wasn’t, because Carey Price simply shone in goal and came up with a handful of amazing stops to stop any flow or momentum the visiting Rangers tried to muster. But all in all, it was full marks for the Habs in their win, and although New York would come close from time to time, the game seemed under control throughout.

I kind of had this calm and relaxed inner peace from the first drop of the puck. Somehow I knew they’d win and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because this team is SO FREAKING GOOD THIS YEAR.

Michael Ryder scored his team’s first of the night, Tomas Plekanec made it 2-0 after one period, and Brendan Gallagher scored the third on the power play in the second. Ryder, Plekanec, and Gallagher – three guys getting it done. And P.K. Subban notching three assists and continuing to be the best defenceman in the world.

Several guys going good, and Price holding the fort. Now if only Max, Desharnais, and Gionta can step it up somewhat. And they will. Max needs another one of those bouncers from centre ice to go in. He started scoring every night, it seemed, after the last one happened, and now it’s time for another springboard. And with Max going, Desharnais will find himself on the scoresheet more often and he’ll quickly find a nice groove. Things snowball and before we know it, another set of guys are winning games for us when Ryder and Gallagher and the others aren’t.

Although Gallagher especially seems to be a terror pretty well every night.

The Rangers have such high-priced talent with the likes of Brad Richards, Rick Nash, and Marian Gaborik, and when teams struggle when they shouldn’t, it’s usually the coach who meets the firing line. Maybe John Tortorella might want to update his resume. And it only goes to show that having a list of big stars on one team doesn’t always guarantee a powerhouse. Often it does, but not always. The Rangers fit the “not always” part.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Rangers 34, Montreal 26. Price was sensational on several of those 34.

Carolina’s in town on Monday. Of course the Canadiens need this win. Have I ever said this before?

Brandon Prust was still finding his legs tonight, and at one point, took a puck off one of them and he hobbled to the bench. Thankfully he was back soon after, but he might be a bit sore tomorrow morning. I believe, for the sake of the team, Prust needs his gorgeous girlfriend to massage the painful area.

Nathan Beaulieu, in his first NHL game, saw action on the power play and showed he can skate and make smart plays. I’m sure his parents are very proud and Michel Therrien and Marc Bergevin are very pleased.

 

Amazing Canadiens Find A Way

It’s hard to know how to begin. I’m still in a big of a daze after seeing how the latest Habs and Bruins affair transpired. It’s all quite unbelievable, and because I’ve now turned the dial to the blues channel, I can’t hear the many excuses Bruins coach Claude Julien will come up with as to why his team blew a game to a resilient and crazy bunch of boys from the north country.

Habs 6, Bruins 5 in a shootout, a gunfight at the O.K. Corral, with the Canadiens coming from behind in dramatic fashion and finally, after the sixth round of the shootout, giving themselves two big points and leaving the Bruins muttering and cursing and eating ticks or whatever they do. Not a picture-perfect win, but one of the most satisfying of the season.

Montreal had jumped out to a two-goal lead thanks to Michael Ryder and P.K. Subban, but the Bruins began to dominate the second period and scored four times. I was ready to begin a dismal and depressing obituary. Throw in the towel. Talk about how Bob’s your uncle. But then the puck was dropped for the third period.

It began with Carey Price on the bench and Peter Budaj in goal, and early on, Ryder, with his second of the game, made it 4-3. But Boston once again stuck daggers in by scoring to bring it to 5-3. It seemed over. The Bruins were playing well and getting big chances, but wouldn’t you know it, Peter Budaj came up big time after time, and suddenly, Brendan Gallagher bulged the twine, it was a 5-4 game, and there was hope.

There sure was. Andrei Markov tied the game with nine seconds remaining and a Bruin in the penalty box, and the boys ended up doing what many surely hadn’t expected. They had rebounded in surprising fashion, had tied the game, taken it to overtime, and won it in the shootout when Brendan Gallagher came through again.

In a warm and fuzzy way, it reminds me of the Don Cherry/too many men penalty when the Canadiens came back from almost sure-defeat to beat the Beantowners. They hate us down there and tonight gives them yet another reason to do so. It’s just such a feel-good moment.

We can only imagine the crying from Bruins fans near and far. I wish I had a big stogie I could light up to celebrate their anguish.

What a night. And to think I’d almost given up on these wild and wacky Montreal Canadiens.

Random Notes:

Boston outshot Montreal 41-28.

Peter Budaj was sensational after coming in from the bullpen for the third period and beyond. He stopped 14 of 15 shots, and looked cool as can be in the shootout. There’s not a better example of a backup goalie earning his money as what we saw from Budaj tonight.

P.K. Subban, especially in the first half, was in full control and showed why he’s one of the best, if not THE best. It was nice that he was booed whenever he touched the puck, so I’d like to give a big shout out to Bruins fans for doing this. And I found it funny when TSN announcer Ray Ferraro said Subban COULD be an all-star. What, he’s not there yet?

The Canadiens were solid in Pittsburgh, although they lost 1-0, and grabbed two points the next night in Boston. It’s all just good for the soul.

Rangers in town on Saturday.

The message is sent loud and clear to other teams and the media. The Canadiens need to be mentioned in the same breath as any other serious contender.

Following the shootout, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask had a bit of a meltdown which is really funny. We love Bruins meltdowns.
Here it is, via Danno. Poor Rask!

 

 

 

Habs Sliced By Sabres

Ryan Miller stopped 38 of the 39 shots the Habs sent his way, with the end result being a 2-1 Sabres win at the Bell Centre, and I suppose if the boys are going to lose, they might as well do it before they play the Penguins on Tuesday and Bruins on Wednesday.

I’m sure P.K. Subban would just as soon not see the Buffalo Sabres again this year, although he’ll have to once more, on April 11th. Again tonight he was in the box when the Sabres scored an important goal, this time after the puck had found its way over the glass for a delay of game penalty and which was the goal that broke the ice after a scoreless first frame.

P.K. was also sitting in the sin bin when the Sabres won it last Tuesday, and I think the best thing our guy can do now is offer to wash Michel Therrien’s car and maybe send Madam Therrien a nice flower arrangement.

But please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not blaming P.K. for anything. He’s The Man. He having a terrific season. I’m just saying that going for a few brownie points can often be a good thing.

P.K. reminds me of me. We both have a knack for getting into trouble without even trying. Oh, the stories I could tell about the times I’d sneak into the drive-in theater.

On Vanek’s goal, which came with just 38 seconds left in the second frame, Brendan Gallagher broke his stick outside the blueline which opened things up for the dangerous forward. Just one of those things. Buffalo took advantage of a couple of breaks, one literally, and Montreal – not so much.

All in all, the sky isn’t falling, and I know you might be getting sick of hearing this from me, but we really need our injured guys back. Imagine the difference with Brandon Prust shaking things up, the revitalized Rene Bourque being the power forward he’s proven he can be, and Raphael Diaz doing the job in a big way from the back end, especially in power play situations. But we’ve been an absolutely fine team through this adversity, and it’s positive vibrations all round, even with a low-scoring loss to dwell on.

Random Notes:

Montreal’s lone marker came from Michael Ryder when he converted an Andrei Markov shot, and if you’re interested in petty comparisons, Ryder has four goals and seven assists in 11 games with the Habs, while his trade counterpart Erik Cole in Dallas has managed just two goals and zero assists in ten games. Most everyone in hockey universe agreed at the time it went down that Montreal won this trade, and it’s appearing that everyone was right.

Canadiens outshot Buffalo 39-18.

Toronto beat the Bruins 3-2 tonight and are just a hair from being in a position to play Montreal in the opening round if the season ended now. I’m torn about this. I’d hate to see the Leafs make the playoffs, but I’d love to see the Habs kick their ass. It’s a real dilemma.

Yannick Weber and Ryan White are presently on the shelf too, and I feel bad for not including them with Bourque, Prust, and Diaz as guys we need back soon. Yes, we need everyone healthy. And I’m sure even Weber and White would freely admit that the above-mentioned trio are the most important in the scheme of things.

 

 

 

 

Ending A Road Trip In Fine Fashion

Two goals and an assist for Michael Ryder as he and his Canadiens hand the Florida Panthers a 5-2 smacking, and the first-place squad finishes off a highly successful five-game road trip losing only once along the way.

And although he didn’t exactly have to overextend himself on this night, Peter Budaj has now won his last four starts..

It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that the backup is doing the job and can be relied upon, although he barely had to break a sweat against a lackluster Florida squad. I feel bad for saying awhile back that Budaj needed to not play so much. He’s done what he’s been asked to do – spell Carey Price from time to time and win while doing it.

Not only that, he’s allowed just six goals in these four wins. Although unofficially it’s only five.

Francis Bouillon scored twice on this night, one for his team and one for the other, a beautiful shot into his own net from six feet out that Budaj had no chance on. I suppose Bouillon was simply trying to swipe it away and it didn’t work out so well, and as we saw on the TV screen, he sat glumly on the bench afterward while Alexei Emelin, sitting beside him, enjoyed a good chuckle. And it was funny, except it ruined Budaj’s shutout and it could have opened the door for the Panthers.

It was a nice shot, though.

Ryder, on a late power play, gave the Canadiens their fifth goal, put the thing out of reach, and Bouillon can laugh alongside his teammates now that the two points are on the board and he realizes Peter Budaj thought it was funny too.

This team just keeps on rolling. It’s inspiring. A successful road trip without Rene Bourque and Raphael Diaz, plus losing Brandon Prust the other night. Everyone’s chipping in. Michael Ryder has tallied two goals and seven assists in the seven games he’s been with the club. On any given night, the heroes could be Desharnais or Gionta or Subban or Max or Emelin or Plekanec and on and on. None of the guys who are expected to produce are mired in dreadful slumps. The backup goalie is winning. The rookies are excellent.

All we need at this time is for the doctors to step up their game and do some quick healing.

Now it’s a few days rest for this force to be reckoned with before Ottawa shows up on Wednesday. I don’t want to sound greedy, but a trouncing of the Sens would be nice.

Random Notes:

Montreal outshot the Panthers 38-17.

Brian Gionta contributed a goal and an assist. Subban had two assists, as did Plekanec. And Alexei Emelin had an assist, giving him two goals and eight assists on the season, which isn’t chopped liver. The big Russian is looking as comfortable as can be in his Habs uniform, and it’s great to see.

David Desharnais opened the scoring, with Brendan Gallagher (and Emelin) assisting. Andrei Markov contributed on Ryder’s final tally.

I’m sure you noticed the lower bowl of the BB&T Center. Best seats in the house. Empty.