Tag Archives: Tomas Plekanec

Habs Hurt Leafs

Canadiens top the Leafs 4-3 at the ACC that should have fans leaving the building feeling they got their money’s worth, and which keeps the Habs train rolling and the Leaf apple cart tottering on the edge of the cliff.

It was a back and forth affair, a bunch of posts behind Carey Price were hit, just two penalties were called for each team on the night, and it was tense going in the final minutes when the Leafs pulled James Reimer and the Habs were holding on.

Montreal looked like they were going to burst it wide open in the first when Max and Rene Bourque both beat Reimer on his glove hand, and maybe a third goal would have really got the ball rolling considering Reimer’s fragile confidence.

But credit to Reimer. He came up with some great saves after those two goals, the game never got out of hand, and the Leafs battled back to tie it until a late first period goal by Brian Gionta made it 3-2 Habs.

Scoreless in the second, and then the obnoxious Nazem Kadri was left open at the side of the net and banged it home to tie things at three.

It was nerve wracking to be sure, and heart-stopping when sniper Phil Kessel waltzed in on Carey Price. But Price would stop Kessel, and soon after Tomas Plekanec converted some nice passing from Markov and P.K. and the boys held on and got it done.

Rene Bourque contributed a goal and assist on this night after being a healthy scratch for the last five games, and he played with rare passion. So much so that HNIC named him the game’s first star.

Imagine that. Rene Bourque. Can he do it again two nights from now?

Speaking of HNIC, the intermissions were all Leafs, all the time. Leafs, Leafs, Leafs. This is one of the main reasons I grew up hating the white and blue. Rarely a mention of the Canadiens.

And at the end of the game, Glenn Healy proclaimed that the Leafs were the much better team on the night, even though Montreal outshot Toronto in the first two periods, the shots overall were even at 36 each, and the Habs won the game.

What the Leafs did win was in the hits department, with 37 to Montreal’s 18.

Dion Phaneuf tried to get rough with little David Desharnais, and considering the way Phaneuf fights, this was a fair matchup.

A great win, the screws are tightening on the Leafs, and the Canadiens are jockeying for a nice playoff seeding. It’s also Toronto’s fourth straight loss which adds to the festivities!

Now it’s Monday in Boston for Les Glorieux when they meet a Bruins team that’s racked up 12 straight wins. But all streaks must eventually come to an end. Like on Monday.

 

Good Wins, Fight, And Finish

It’s the Columbus Blue Jackets on tap, and so far this season. it’s been two wins for the Habs in their two meetings with the BJs.

On Oct. 17th at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens managed to blow a 3-0 lead but still won when Tomas Plekanec notched the winner and then scored on the empty net for the insurance marker.

On November 15th in Columbus, the Habs won 3-2 after David Desharnais settled it in the shootout, coming just after Montreal mayor Denis Coderre tweeted that DD should be sent to Hamilton.

Now this from Beatnik.

Joel Theriault and Gaby Roch go at it in LNAH (North American Hockey League) action.

It’s a good fight with a good ending.

Max Leads The Charge

Canadiens whomp the hurting Vancouver Canucks 5-2 at the Bell, with three goals and two missed penalty shots by Max Pacioretty.

Two penalty shots, two minutes apart, by the same guy. I’m willing to bet that’s never happened before.

Max’s second attempt saw him almost come to a dead stop before he made any sort of move, but the puck was rolling and Luongo isn’t easily tricked anyway.

So that was that. But he got three anyway, so that’s fine.

Vancouver outshot the Canadiens 44-29 on this night, but Carey Price was there when called upon, and the gang was both fortunate and good going the other way.

Max’s first marker, which opened the scoring, was a PK shot from the blueline on the power play, and it hit Max on it’s way in.

Ryan White, selected third star for his second straight game after coming back from injury, fired a great backhand into the top shelf with new guy Dale Weise helping out.

And the boys went to the room after the first with a 2-0 lead, which was unusual considering they usually only score one or two in an entire game.

The second period saw the Canucks narrow it to 2-1, and not only did Max get his two penalty shots, but three guys were taken to room with injuries – Emelin, Murray, and Bournival, and only Emelin and Murray returned.

I couldn’t really grasp what exactly happened to Bournival, but he took some sort of hit or stick to the head or face, and after looking quite stunned on the bench, left and never returned.

It’s finger crossing time on that one.

In the third, a nice backhand from DD to Max for his second goal made it 3-1, then Pleks was the last to touch the puck before Canucks defenceman Alex Edler kicked it in bis own net to widen it to 4-1.

And after the Canucks scored another, this one on the power play, Max found the empty net and hats came down from the stands.

I don’t know about you, but as happy as I would be if one of our guys notched three, I’m sure I’d be unwilling to throw my thirty dollar hat on the ice.

But that’s just me.

A fine game, a great result, and these two points keeps the gap between them and ninth place at five big points.

Random Notes:

The Canucks have now lost six straight.

Dale Weise has been excellent in his two games with his new team. But just as he arrives and the fourth line makes great noises, one third of the trio, Michael Bournival, goes down.

Both Gally and Desharnais garnered a pair of assists, and the line, with Max, was a force to be reckoned with.

Rene Bourque laid on a couple of decent thumps, and if he could somehow find it within himself to step it up in the aggressive department, he could be truly valuable even when not scoring.

Imagine if Bourque was scoring and hitting? We wouldn’t recognize him.

Next up for the Habs – Saturday in Raleigh for a 6:00 pm ET puck drop. Or 6:10ish if you want to get technical.

 

 

 

Habs Take It To The Bruins

With Peter Budaj coming up big between the pipes and a full team effort in front of him, the Canadiens skate away with a solid 4-1 win in Boston.

And just like that, two wins in row and they’re in everyone’s good books again. Or mine at least. I hate speaking for everyone else.

But I’m sure in yours too.

Because they played well and don’t deserve to have anyone mad at them right now. It’s a night and a tomorrow to savour. Then we’ll see how things go on Saturday.

It was in the air early on, when the game was played often in the Boston end, the boys were working hard and passing well, and slowly but surely we saw the Desharnais, Pacioretty, Gallagher line all over the place, getting chances, stirring things up near the Bruins crease.

We saw Alexei Emelin lay on solid thumps and get pucks in deep from the blueline, including the notching of his first of the season, a seeing-eye blast in the first to open the scoring.

Emelin, like his team, has played better these last couple of games, and seeing him be a force simply stirs the soul. A big tough hombre doing things right instead of wrong.

Like we knew he could because he has.

The Emelin play of late was hopefully just an aberration, lanced and purged, kicked to the curb and exorcised. Never to return.

The big bear also drew Milan Lucic into a penalty after some healthy punishment near the boards, which was nice to see considering it was Lucic who barreled over Emelin last April to put the big Russian out for seven or eight months.

Emelin’s getting back to what he does best. Not being gun shy. Playing with more confidence. Converting rib bones into dust.

And of course there was Brendan Gallagher, sending Max into the clear with a nice pass that Max would convert. And then Gally springing Daniel Briere loose for a fourth goal after Brian Gionta had tipped in a Tomas Plekanec shot.

And  a great feed from Gally to Desharnais which didn’t make it through but was a sensational pass from number 11, who absolutely played one of his finest games of the season.

It was a night for most Habs. Douglas Murray used his strength and was a rock throughout. Rene Bourque had all kinds of shots and good chances. Briere had a goal and an assist.

Michael Bournival was simply flying at times. Bournival’s still finding his way in the league, and in a year or two should be a real key guy.

Even George Parros made some noise, and it was interesting to see him in the Boston crease surrounded by Bruins and not one looked eager to try any of the after-whistle stuff.

Completely different from the mess some of our small guys find themselves in often. Size in the crease is a beautiful thing.

The Bruins were basically quiet throughout because the Canadiens weren’t going to be denied. Certainly they were as fed up with their mediocre play as we were. Maybe more but it’s hard to imagine.

And they played like they’ve moved onwards and upwards.

This was a tremendously important win. Two wins after such a funk they’ve been in lately. With everyone on board and in sync.

It makes my heart soar like an American Three-toed Woodpecker.

And although the Carolina team was probably tired after playing a bunch of games in a short time, Montreal was still full marks for that win and a huge A-plus for their effort at the TD Garden in Boston.

Bruins announcer Jack Edwards is presently crying in the announcer’s private toilet. They’ve taken his belt away from him.

Random Notes:

So great to see Budaj enjoy such a fine game after being on the losing end for his last six outings. Although three of those were in relief of Carey Price.

Shots on goal – Boston 35, Montreal 33.

Tuukka Rask was yanked halfway through after giving up the Gionta goal. It warms my innards.

Also great fun to see dejected Bruins fans leave early.

Next up – Saturday at 1 pm ET, when Tampa Bay comes a callin’. Then 24 hours later, the Winnipeg Jets are at the Bell. Two matinees on Super Bowl Weekend.

 

What Was That?

I’m sitting here trying to wrap my head around what we all just saw. Kind of at a loss for words.

One thing’s for sure, the Canadiens were pathetic.

They also won.

Carey Price was unreal, with 44 shots peppered at him, maybe 15 of which were ultra-tough, and he sprawled and dived and stuck gloves and pads out and looked like Vladislav Tretiak during the 1975 New Year’s Eve game.

P.K. Subban scored the winner in overtime, and the Canadiens grab two big points. Price (and PK’s goal) was the good part.

The rest of the night sucked rancid rats.

This was a game that folks will be talking about for awhile. It was nothing short of ridiculous, but you had to see it to know what I’m talking about.

I suppose I could give a brief rundown to those who decided to forgo the Habs-Senators tilt to grab a Gallagher at McDonalds. But it’s hard to type when I can’t stop shaking my head.

Montreal jumped into a 3-0 lead in the first period when Travis Moen sent Tomas Plekanec in on clear-cut breakaway when they were killing a penalty.

Max upped it to 2-0 shortly after on the powerplay, and then David Desharnais made a nice little move to make it 3-0.

Three goals on five shots. A glorious night to be a Habs fan. 3-0. Maybe it’ll be 6-0 at the end! Ole Ole!

But without warning, a puck that changed direction made it 3-1, still in the first. And then Erik Karlsson found himself with a wide open net and just like that, it was 3-2.

Shots on goal – Ottawa 19, Montreal 7. But the Canadiens were still winning, as weird as it was.

In the second frame, Carey Price was once again as good as he’s ever been, coming up big on Michalek, Ryan, Stone, and I stopped writing down the others after that.

And suddenly, and with lots of warning because it was so one-sided the boys should be ashamed of themselves, Bobby Ryan tied it at 2:44 and somebody else, and I don’t care who it was, put the home team ahead 4-3 with 1:20 left.

As pathetic as you’ll see from the Canadiens. I thought they were dead or seriously hungover in Philadelphia, but this one takes the cake. I could smell Sens fans’ smugness all the way from St. Hubert.

But as bad as it was, as one-sided and ridiculous as this game was, Tomas Plekanec tied it after being sent in on a nice pass from Brian Gionta, and although he didn’t score, I want to give a big shout out to Jared Cowan, who was chasing him and knocked the puck into his own net by accident.

To think of the Sens fans’ disappointment at that moment warmed the cockles of my heart. But it wasn’t over…………until overtime that is, when P.K. Subban got the puck to sneak by Anderson and the boys skate away with a 5-4 win!

It was like being on the receiving end of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, all the tommy gun bullets missed, and you walked out of the warehouse safe and sound.

Basically, it was a horrendous night. A truly stupid night that somehow ended with the Canadiens winning.

The only two excellent things were Carey Price standing on his head and showing once again how good he is, and the lovely vision of Sens fans grinding their teeth and throwing beer cans at the wall.

The Canadiens need some serious tweaking. That was as bad as it gets, and there’s been some serious stinkers this year. But this was unreal. They looked like a junior team. They floundered, they were outworked and outmuscled.

And they still won. After blowing a 3-0 lead. After having 44 shots peppered at them. WTF?

Random Notes:

Only two penalties on the entire night, one for each team. Just part of the overall weirdness.

Shots on goal – 44-23, including 19-7 for the Sens in the first, 19-10 in the second, and 6-5 in the third.

But Carey Price and P.K. Subban came through, and although it’s a win and two points and keeps the Senators from inching closer, it was still pathetic and unacceptable, and I can’t wait for some sort of change to occur.

I’m sure there’s a ton of teams that would dearly love to have Rene Bourque and Daniel Briere.

In the Austrian league.

Now it’s on to Toronto. Gawd, what’s next?

 

 

 

 

Great Game, Great Win

A rootin’ tootin’ doozy of a game at the Bell Centre, with the boys in red beating the defending Stanley Cup champions 2-1  in overtime when Andre Markov buried the puck and the Chicago Blackhawks with his second goal of the game.

An Original Six matchup that captured everything the original Original Six would muster – great goaltending at both ends, lots of scoring chances, end to end action, tremendously close calls, the fans into it in a big way.

If only Danny Gallivan had called the game. It was all we were missing.

Unless I’m forgetting something, this had to be the best game at the Bell Centre this year, or at least the most exciting, which, I suppose, is one in the same. The guys were alive. They came to play and they got it done.

I’ll bet the downtown Montreal bars were hopping for hours after, filled with good vibrations and cheer.

And what a confidence booster it could be for the Canadiens, seeing that they can compete against a fine team after getting taught some harsh lessons from L.A. and St. Louis last month. Forget the bad ones and remember the good. And then do it again more often.

A revitalized Alexei Emelin, who hasn’t been his normal self lately, snapped out of it and went out and thumped several Hawks, including a beauty on Patrick Kane that very well may have charged up an already charged-up team that would ultimately carry through to the end.

Brendan Gallagher found himself in a scrap with Kris Versteeg that of course put smiles on faces, with Gallagher, at 5’9, holding his own with the 5’11 Versteeg. It’s not often we see Gally squaring off like that, and it was another moment to make us all realize that the Canadiens were fired up for this game.

Chances came fast and furious, including some beauties when the Canadiens were shorthanded, with Plekanec and Prust coming close, and then Eller, who had it in the bag until a sprawling Corey Crawford got his skate on it. It was a great save, but a tad lucky too. And that’s no slight on Crawford, who was excellent for his team.

So close with all those chances, and yet so far, as the Hawks would tie this barnburner in the third after first having a goal disallowed because of a player in the blue paint interfering with Price, and with just over a minute to go, rang a puck off the post which almost sealed it.

But they didn’t seal it, and in overtime, Andrei Markov, from a deflected pass from Max Pacioretty, bulged the twine behind a screened Corey Crawford, and Habs fans rejoiced, especially Luci, who may have damaged my left eardrum. I enjoyed it in slightly quieter fashion.

What an enigmatic Habs team. They sleepwalked and were generally quite pathetic in Philly on Wednesday, and a few days later play a dandy against a tremendously strong Chicago Blackhawks squad. We just never know what to expect, even though for the last month they’ve been on the listless side, which more and more we’ve come to expect.

Saturday night they came to play, and let’s hope this is a springboard for a strong rest of the season.

It was a complete team effort which begs the question – why don’t they play like this more often?

Random Notes:

Habs outshot the Hawks 38-20 and although Crawford had more work, Price was equally outstanding.

George Parros dressed and was on the ice for 3:33.

Next up – Tuesday, when the New Jersey Devils visit. Some real big games coming up after that but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

 

Futility In Philly

Another tough one to watch. It’s hard to know where to start.

The Canadiens drop a 3-1 decision to the Flyers in Philadelphia on Wednesday, and on paper at least, a 3-1 score looks almost respectable. There’s been 3-1 scores for a hundred years.

But this was no barnburner, no close game with close calls, no “it could have gone either way” game.

It was the Flyers night for sixty minutes. The Canadiens might as well have stayed home and talked football.

How bad were the boys on this night? How about nine shots in the first period, six in the second, and five in the third.

It had to be the airplane food. Or the Philadelphia cheese steaks.

Or maybe about twelve of them are still sulking because they didn’t make an Olympic team, while the eight that did were deciding, when the game was on, how many suits to bring to Sochi.

What’s with this team? Deader than a Texas salad bar. Some nights they’re so completely out of sorts. Uninterested. Boring. I could go on.

If you have a job that pays six or seven figures, being uninterested isn’t an option.

Maybe it’s a subtle form of mutiny against the coach. Or maybe the captain isn’t good at rallying the troops.

And for added enjoyment, when they desperately needed some kind of oomph in the third period, Michel Therrien decided to sit P.K. Subban for several shifts. Did Therrien think Daniel Briere and Rene Bourque and the likes up front would probably get it done? Or maybe the high-powered Subban-less defence?

That’s seven straight losses for the Canadiens in The City of Brotherly Love. It’s ten straight wins for the Flyers. It’s all so very depressing.

With all my heart I hope for a shakeup. A trade. Maybe a Tinordi and Beaulieu call-up. Maybe even, and I know it’s as farfetched as can be and ridiculous to even wish for – a goal or two, and a great game, from Rene Bourque.

Random Notes:

Total shots on goal – Flyers 27, Habs 20. Not a huge margin, but if you saw the game, you know it was.

Peter Budaj in nets came up big several times, which is good. But he’s lost his last three starts, which is bad. Budaj’s record now stands at five wins, five losses, and a shared loss with Carey Price, which is mediocre.

Tomas Plekanec, on a nice pass from Brian Gionta, broke the shutout and gave us hope. But most of his teammates were in a coma and so it was a hopeless hope.

Brandon Prust pummelled Zac Rinaldo in the second period, which could have got things going, but on this night, Angelina Jolie could’ve dance the hula naked at centre ice and the boys still wouldn’t have woken up.

Next up – Oh goody, it’s only the Chicago Blackhawks to contend with on Saturday. Should be no problem there.

 

 

Habs Nip Cats

The Canadiens overcame a pesky Florida Panthers team to win 2-1 and make us not quite so testy about things.

And although the boys scored only twice, if they could have figured out Tim Thomas a bit better, it might even have been a lopsided deal. Because the chances were definitely there.

Montreal outshot the Panthers 13-5 in the first period, swarming the Florida net constantly, coming in in waves, looking like a million bucks. And all was right with the world when David Desharnais found the back of the net after first fanning, and then relying on his back hand to get the job done.

They were playing well. Another small yet fine step after a dismal November, added to a better first few games of December.

But things changed when Florida tied it up late in the frame, and suddenly the jump, the coming in in waves, suddenly calmed down and the visitors picked things up a notch. One goal and Montreal’s first period vim and vigour went out the window somewhat.

Was it a sign of an unsure or fragile team, when the foot is suddenly off the pedal like that? Or orders from the guy behind the bench, telling them to never mind the fancy stuff and tighten up?

Tomas Plekanec was flying on this night, both ways, showing the offensive and defensive skill throughout. Pleks will make a fine captain of the Czech Republic squad. A quiet guy leading by example.

And because Pleks was motoring, his linemates Brian Gionta and Daniel Briere found themselves with jump and opportunities, and it was Gionta who would notch the winner late in the second.

It was a swell two points, even with Andrei Markov and partner Alexei Emelin being on the ice for the Panthers marker, making it another night, especially for Emelin, of being in the minus column.

Markov struggled more than normal, best illustrated, for me at least, when a Panther player simply slid the puck through Markov’s open legs and the biscuit ended up in the back of the net.

Not the kind of play expected from a wily veteran.

And Emelin has been spending a lot of time getting confused instead of rattling bones and making the smart, quick play. But he’ll rebound. Hopefully before spring.

At least it was two big points against a team who had previously handed our boys a couple of dismal defeats. And although the original swarming of the net subsided after the first, the team still managed to get lots of chances, outshooting Florida 12-6 in the second before being outshot 16-10 in the third.

Carey Price kept them in it, Thomas at the other end did too, and the low scoring affair was still a win for the good guys, no matter how you slice it.

Final shots on net Montreal 35, Florida 27. Great to see lots of shots by the home team.

Random Notes:

Rene Bourque found himself in close with chances as well, and seemed to have some zip to his game. What an important guy Bourque could be if he came to play every night. He’s got the tools, but the tools seem mostly rusty or seized up.

Three times it seemed we were about to lose key guys, with Brendan Gallagher, Brandon Prust, and PK Subban all experiencing some sort of injury that thankfully didn’t keep them out of the game. Imagine if PK was seriously hurt on the eve of the Olympic roster decision.

And imagine a Montreal Canadiens team without P.K. for a long period of time. Whew.

Next up – Wednesday, with the guys in Philadelphia. No sense in saying the obvious about how a win is a must.

Fourth Line’s Turn

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Brandon Prust, Ryan White, and Travis Moen enjoyed a fine game Saturday night as the Canadiens downed the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in front of folks of all ages, sizes, religious beliefs, good hair, bad hair, and Luci and I.

How nice it is to see the fourth line chip in in a big way. If the guys with good hands aren’t getting it done, the grinders step up. That’s how teams win. When the usual suspects are flat, others aren’t. It’s why teams are called teams.

And even though the boys could have easily blown it to the basement dwelling Sabres, they didn’t, which is the bottom line.

Five straight wins. They’ve caught Pittsburgh in the east for top of the pops. Winning while not exactly setting the world on fire. I wish we were still downtown right now celebrating.

Personally speaking, what an excellent day. This is what living in Montreal can be about. If you want my advice, I say move to Montreal. How hard could it be? Just do it and then we can all eat smoked meat and get lost together.

A fine day, capped off by the Habs winning. I just wish I could figure out a straight and easy route back to the south shore. It seems I can’t, no matter how many times I try.

We parked under the Sun Life Building ($7) early in the afternoon, walked down Ste. Catherines Streets to Bishop, had a Guinness at the Irish Embassy Pub, then headed to the gigantic Bay where I sat in women’s wear for 45 minutes while Luci checked things out, and I have to tell you, if you think it’s a piece of cake hanging out in the bra department, then you’ve never done it.

It sounds good but trust me, it’s not.

Being in this women’s world is like being on a different planet. Women all over the place, strolling around with underwear in their hands. It’s not something I want to do again anytime soon. I’m still recovering.

So many different kinds of brassieres hanging all over the place. Hundreds of them. Like walking in to a Nevada brothel. Or Kim Kardashian’s closet.

After the Bay, it was over to Reuben’s for smoked meat, then down to the Bell Centre to chat with scalpers where we got an idea of things, didn’t rush into anything, left and sat in McLean’s Pub for awhile where we came up with a plan of attack.

Then we went back and scored two tickets in the last row of the section 103, close to cost price, and which were near the blueline with the steps to our seats right in front of us so we had nobody blocking our view and could even stretch our legs.

Something like what flying first class must be all about.

Going to the Bell might be old hat for you, but not for us, mainly because we lived 3000 miles away up until recently. But it was a beautiful evening, the boys won, and I don’t care that P.K. has seen much better nights and the team in general looked quite lousy. At least we saw them lousy live.

It’s two points, and we savored the experience from start to finish – the siren, the anthem, the sound of puck hitting stick and boards, the crazy bunch up in the nosebleeds, the flag kids, the sights and smells all around us, the salty popcorn, and for me – the abundance of urinals in the men’s room not far away.

Random Notes:

Andrei Markov seemed to hurt his knee but finished the game. But it was scary to see and hopefully he doesn’t wake up tomorrow and it’s ballooned to twice the size.

Buffalo outshot Canadiens 25-19. The Sabres’ second goal saw a guy named Girgensons waltz around P.K. with the greatest of ease. P.K. also took a “holding the stick” penalty which is an infraction that makes me cringe. Hate those penalties. C’mon P.K., smarten up.

Brandon Prust and Tomas Plekanec both had a goal and assist, Travis Moen had a couple of assists, Ryan White added an assist, and Alex Galchenyuk scored the winner which caused a young lady above us to scream like she was at a Beatles concert.

Next up – Kings on Tuesday at the Bell, which should prove interesting. Will the Canadiens pick their game up a notch or two? And who will be the next lucky couple to sit in section 103, row w, seats 3 and 4?

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Canadiens Find A Way

They were lousy in the first, slightly better midway through the second, and much better in the third.

And through it all, Carey Price kept them in it, a few of the boys found the back of the net, and the Canadiens skate away with what I would say was an awesome two points.

Awesome because they beat Martin Brodeur. Awesome because they won the game even while outplayed. And awesome for the sake of being awesome.

So great when the team is winning and we’re not bitching. I feel like singing “It’s a Wonderful World” ending with “boom shakalaka”.

They sure were an out-of-sorts bunch in the first period though, mainly because New Jersey was playing a solid New Jersey game, and the boys fell behind 1-0 on a deflection Carey Price had no chance on. Being behind by even one goal against the New Jersey Devils is tough sledding.

And they came out in the second and continued to be on the slightly dazed side. But David Desharnais created a little hard-working magic, Rene Bourque found the short side, and suddenly and without warning, the game was tied. A chance to win was a possibility. The joy of having hope.

Being tied is way better than being behind.

Then holy mackinaw, Rocket Pacioretty put the team in the lead on the power play, converting a nice pass from Andrei Markov and yet more nice work from DD.

Max and DD have been flying lately and Brendan Gallagher has to have something to do with it. He’s had some sort of influence on two guys who only recently were struggling. Gallagher is without question one of the team’s most important players. I think he adds passion.

For Desharnais, the tar and feathers have been hauled back to the barn. For Max, pucks are going in in bunches. Keep it up boys.

In the third, the game became tied at two when ex-Hab and sometimes sniper Michael Ryder snapped one home. I didn’t even know Ryder played for the Devils, but there he was, sniping like he does sometimes. And now the game could go either way.

This is why hockey’s the greatest sport on the planet. Tension is a good thing. As long as the heart’s strong and you don’t start biting your nails.

The Canadiens would win it on a Alex Galchenyuk close-in shot after Alexei Emelin sent one in from the blueline. How great is it when a guy is in the doghouse the previous game like young Galchenyuk and comes out and scores the winner.

This why hockey is the grea…….Oh, I just said that.

Late in the game Max had a shorthanded breakaway and Lars Eller was there flying around and nearly scored too, and when Martin Brodeur was pulled for the extra attacker, David Desharnias capped off his fine night by not icing the puck but gently chipping it to centre, sealing the game for his team and earning first star for all his good work on the night.

What a rag to riches story for DD right now. Or something like that.

Random Notes:

PK Subban continues to not only secure himself a spot on the Olympic team but is on the right track for a second straight Norris Trophy. And yes, I know, it’s a long season.

Canadiens were outshot by the visitors 29-17, including 11-5 in the first and 11-4 in the second. But they still found a way.

Rollin’ along. Clear the track.

Next up – in New Jersey on Wednesday, and home to meet the Bruins Thursday. The Canadiens are a busy bunch. I wonder how the wives are doing.