The Train Keeps A Rollin’. Habs Snuff Out Pens

 “I can see them winning,” said Washington’s Bruce Boudreau about the Habs in game seven. “Whoever scores the first goal will win.”

First goal? They scored the first four goals. 

They also held off the Penguins when it became just a 4-2 lead and Pittsburgh was gaining heart-stopping momentum. The Habs killed a penalty that began at the end of the second period and carried on into the third, and as we all know, we didn’t want the gap closed any further. But Jacques Martin’s boys didn’t panic and they scored again to make it a nice, lovely 5-2 lead.

And now, the Montreal Canadiens have done what very few thought they could do – first dismiss the league-leading Washington Capitals, and then do the same with the defending Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh Penguins – the teams with the glamour boys, while the Habs were too small with a hurting defence and an excess of plumbers.

For the first time since the playoffs began, I’m going to say it; Like a dream, the Montreal Canadiens have a very real shot at winning the Stanley Cup. They’ve taken out two great teams in solid fashion, with a goaltender, Jaroslav Halak, leading the charge, with diminutive stars Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta sniping away, with Hal Gill back and now able to rest his 52 stitch gash in his leg for several extra days, and, as a bonus to the whole swell affair, these same several days rest gives Andrei Markov the time to heal even more.

And kudos to all Habs players. Every forward, every defenceman. The entire team played with such guts and heart and patience, did the little things well, stuck to the system, and frustrated both the Caps and the Pens to no end. It’s a Cinderella story and it needs to have a few extra chapters added in the near future.

Game seven began with a nice little surprise as Sidney Crosby took a roughing penalty just ten seconds in, and with the snake-bitten star in the box, Brian Gionta scored his first of two at the 32 second mark. It was that all-important first goal, the one Boudreau spoke of, and it came at the expense of Sidney Crosby. 

Crosby ended with just one goal in the seven-game series, as did Evgeny Malkin which has to be a major disappointment to all concerned in the Penguins organization. It wasn’t expected. They gotten it done in spades last year, but not this year.  Both superstars were outplayed by Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta, and in goal it was no contest as Marc-Andre Fleury was chased from the Pittsburgh net after Travis Moen burned down the side, breezed past Sergei Conchar, and scored a tremendous shorthanded goal, while at the other end, Jaroslav Halak was his usual mind-bloggling brilliant self.

And can we have a nice moment of gratitude for Bob Gainey, who assembled this crazy bunch of beautiful bastards.

Dominik Moore notched the Habs second goal in the first, Mike Cammalleri scored his team’s third marker, which was the winner, and Gionta gave us the fifth and final of the game – the one that allowed Habs fans to exhale again.

Canadiens now wait. They wait and watch as Boston and Philadelphia battle it out in a hopefully exhausting and bruising game seven. C’mon Bruins and Flyers, beat the daylights out of each other.

The following comes from Danno, which he sent early in the first period, long before the outcome was decided. This is how I want this post to end – with Danno’s words.

“The Habs have been fighting game seven-type situations for what seems like forever. Every game at the end of the season – when they were fighting for precious points to make the playoffs – was like a game seven. Games five and six against Washington were do or die as was game seven itself. Game six against the Pens was also a do or die situation for the Habs.

They learned to fight for their lives during these key games and heroically found a way to win for each of the above situations – in spite of injuries, the refs, the horrid scheduling. In spite of it all, they have shown a burning desire to win and have become the team that just won’t quit.

They face a team that is not as familiar to such situations. A team that has a sense of entitlement and who made it to the playoffs with relative ease. The league’s darlings are used to having everything handed to them on a silver platter and they almost expected the Cup to be sent to them – giftwrapped.

Then we came along…

The Habs have gone through hell and back this wild and crazy season and have seen it all. Consequently, they have had their collective mettle tested. The Pens, not so much.

Post-game announcement from the Mellon P.A. system – “Would a Mister Sidney Crosby please turn out the lights and hand in his keys at the security desk. Thank you and have a good night.”

40 thoughts on “The Train Keeps A Rollin’. Habs Snuff Out Pens”

  1. Hey Dennis, I thought Josh Gerges played a great gme,making up for Gill’s slowness when he got caught.Thomas Plecaneks,althouhg didn’t score,blocked a really good shot on the pk and almost scored,I think he played very good himself.The whloe team game up big,they shut down the best offence and then the Stanley Cup Champs,what more could we ask for?

  2. We went further than the Canucks. Think any of those TSN or CBC guys would’ve called the Habs as the most successful canadian team in the post season?

    We have a new starting goalie for next year. We have a new star forward (Mike C) and several great candidates for the big C on the jersey.

    What a roller-coaster ride these weeks have been.

    Go Habs Go!

  3. Derry, you’re right, the whole team came up big. Life is good. Bring on whoever!

  4. It’s true, David. Things are in place for next year. But we need a captain to hoist the Cup. And those “experts”? They’ve never been so wrong.

  5. What a great game! I’m usually happy with a 2 goal lead, but late in the 2nd period I was really worried. I was thinking that we might have needed Plekanec or Gionta to have scored that 5-0 goal earlier. Thankfully we made it out of the period and things went relatively smoothly once again.

    Here’s to a few days of rest, recovery and time for Markov’s knee to recuperate. I love your idea of the Bruins and Flyers pounding each other into exhaustion. One will have the good sense to get a head start on golfing while the other will get the privilege of being frustrated by the Habs.

    Yes we can.

  6. a fantastic job, from the coach on down. good to see the shots of bob gainey up in the box. i’m happy for him. a great night for hockey in canada………………. and gary b. you can kiss my ass.

  7. I have to say that as a Habs fan I haven’t felt like this in a long time. Man it feels good. And it was nice to see BG at the games and what class for Shero to go over and congratulate him. I hope BG stays with the team in some capacity and I hope he feels vindicated after all that happened during the season.

  8. Couple thingz, I’m becoming very, very excited! I haven’t seen a line-up willing to do anything at anytime to help the team win, block shots, no retaliation, taking the hit, making the hit…seems like it’s aligning itself for
    a great run.
    Has anyone here, thought about Markov & PK on the P.P. , should it happen, Robinson-Savard??
    Great win, Great story, Great memories…thank-you Bob Gainey…
    I know I had some harsh thoughts in regards to some of the signings, and trades you’ve made, not re-signing Kovy, Koivu & Kommy, but we got heart, determination & Cammy instead…not to mention Halak, yes without he…were toast…absolute burnt crispy toast.

    Go Freakin Habs Go!!!!

  9. Dennis, I don’t know who’s responsible for this.
    The better the Habs play the better your stories get. And the better your stories get the better the Habs play.
    It’s a chicken-and-egg type thing. A which-came-first.
    And you just know the Habs are about to hatch something really, really fine.
    And I’ll proudly be wearing my beautiful sweater to work today as a small gesture of gratitude for “Bob Gainey, who assembled this crazy bunch of beautiful bastards.” (Love that line Dennis. Give yourself a quote of the day).
    And I encourage all red-blooded Habs fans from coast to coast to celebrate P.K. Subban and Jaroslav Halak’s birthdays which they share today.
    Buy a Jos Louis and stick a match in it if you can. Anything. Just honour these two guys. They are magic on ice. Heck, the government should declare today to be a national holiday (for Habs fans only though).
    Most of all, we absolutely must keep on doing our crazy pre-game rituals, whatever they might be. They make a big difference.
    I love what Jacques Martin said last night. He said the Montreal Canadiens have the best fans in the world.
    How right you are Jacques!
    Onto the Conference Finals!

  10. Wow. Simply just wow.

    I’ve figured out why Gorges and Gill are such a good duo. Gill has the physicality and Gorges has the speed to make up Gill’s lack of it. Just realized how strong The Habs are defensively. Spacek, Gill, Gorges, Subban and Markov ( if he wasn’t injured)

    GO HABS GO!!!!!!

    PS: Downtown Montreal is absolutely trashed.

  11. Youppi and I say Yippee! GO HABS GO!

    Hal Gill should meet Cooke in a dark alley and get him back for last night. Cooke is a jerk.

  12. PK Subban!!!! What a revelation. Can someone tell me what the heck PK stands for? Thanks JW.

  13. Pernell Karl Subban. I think PK’s better, it’s got a nice ring to it.
    He’s gonna be up there with Drew Doughty and Mike Green in the near future.

  14. I love this quote from Cammalleri: “You hear a lot of criticism. You know, we were too small to play a full season and we weren’t going to be big enough to get into the playoffs.” He goes on to say how good it feels to be winning now.

    And he says this all with a huge grin on his face as if to say: Well… we proved them wrong!

  15. Good morning and good afternoon! I’m at work right now and will be firing up the computer later on in the afternoon to talk to you guys. I just want to say that Canucks fans out here are being just great and are presently admiring the Habs very much. It warms the cockles of my heart. And about the riots – If only we could somehow take the matter into our own hands with these idiots trashing Montreal. I’d like to string ’em up. Let’s also hope Boston and Philly pummel each other and are a hurtin’ bunch. But whatever, bring ’em on.

  16. I was downtown last night, not to watch the habs game, but the Impact haha. I had enough confidence in the habs that they would win it and I would feel comfortable receiving text message updates from a friend. Anyway, after the game, we headed to St-Catherines, after all the arrests happened and it was awesome to look down the road in each direction and see red white and blue for blocks while every one is Ole-ing or yelling about how much they hate Crosby. But I feel that the beer bottles thrown at store windows is a bit ridiculous. These people should remember that there are still two rounds to go, and even then, throwing beer bottles isn’t cool. Another thing that annoyed me about last night is that it’s as if some people are doing it to get on TV. I mean, I saw bigger crowds around cameramen then I saw around the guy holding up the Stanley Cup replica. Getting on TV is not what this is all about.

    Anyway, the riot police weren’t very friendly. I walked by around 50 with my hand up for a high five and only got one all night, and only because I was wearing my Impact scarf and he wanted to know what the final score was.

  17. great game, ….who would have thunk it! Glad to see though, it would be great to see the Canadeins at the end, I guess then NBC would only be half mad

  18. I often wonder how crow tastes. I heard its good. Can someone ask someone like Howie Meeker what it tastes like. Glad I haven’t tasted in a while. Can’t believe we did it without Markov. Can we imagine having the shots of Markov, Spacek and MAB on a powerplay and Cammi’s. Boston and or Philly likely take a lot of penalties. They will try to intimidate but will that work? I can wait for Sunday. Just hope it is long enough for injuries to heal. Too bad we don’t have home ice AGAIN. Lots of believers now. ENJOY!

  19. Happy Birthday P.K. Happy Birthday Jaroslav

    It’s Halak’s birthday today. He turns 25.

    Here he is at his finest in a key save last night off Malkin. Watch for the Ghost (Pierre Gauthier) who makes a cameo appearance…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckE5ee4AY2c

    And Montreal’s got a Habs romance with Halak. Here’s a rocking little tune about it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Z9T1Lbc8M

    It’s P.K.’s birthday too. He turns 21 today. But he displays a maturity beyond his youthful age as we see here in an interview with Pierre McGuire. (Note – you have to wait for an annoying 15 second commercial but it’s worth it…)

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=68268

    Also, TSN has a piece about how Mike Cammalleri is smashing all kinds of Habs records, including those of legends such as Lafleur, Beliveau and Richard.

    http://www.tsn.ca/story/?id=321454

    And finally, a musical tribute to “that crazy bunch of beautiful bastards” and the long strange trip they’ve taken us on…

  20. DJ – It’s funny. Gainey hardly cracked a smile when Shero came over. Bob’s such a serious guy, but he’s great. What a job he did.

  21. Jacques was right for sure, Danno. We’re tough on them but we love them. And Martin? To think I questioned him. Anyway, happy birthday to the boys. But don’t celebrate too much. You’ve got a job to do. An unfinished job.

  22. Phil, Gorges and Gill were great. Two completely different players. But that’s what it takes.

  23. Diane, I have no use for players like Cooke. He was the same in Vanouver. He’s lookin to hurt people. I’s love to see Gill take him out to the alley. Good one.

  24. And Mayo, Philly’s goaltending is questionable but the guy in Boston has played well for months. I really don’t know who I want to win.

  25. Danno, you had me worried there. That last musical tribute link starts off with a collection of Pittburgh goals and disheartened Hab fans. At the half-way point I was starting to think the last 24 hours were only a wonderful, magical dream. Thankfully it ended the way I remembered.

  26. Dennis. With 2 rounds to go in our playoff draft it’s over. I can’t be caught. I could easily go to the finals with no players left and still win the thing outright.
    Go Habs Go!!!!! JW.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *