Bruins bruiser Milan Lucic jostled with Montreal’s Travis Moen near the side of the net, and they glared menacingly at each other. Big 6’4, 220 lb Lucic, and Moen, 6’2, 215, and Lucic knew this wasn’t Tomas Plekanec or Yannick Weber or Mike Cammalleri he was dealing with. This was a much more serious meeting.
Lucic backed away, and it was a strong reminder that Montreal has a guy who will police, jump in, and show players on both benches that if you try to take liberties with smaller guys, you’ve might be in a mess of trouble.
Forget that Travis Moen has four goals and an assist for his team so far. That’s just lovely gravy. I believe this guy has upped his game this year, and is playing the way he was needed to play all along. He seems to have found new zip to his skating, he’s handling the puck like he rarely handled it before, and he’s sending messages every night that he’s there for his smaller teammates. Guys like Lucic can go away and not come back.
If Moen can continued to play with this renewed spirit, we’ll see confidence ooze from everyones’ pores on the Habs bench. They’ll be a new and improved bunch if he can do the job in a big way.
He’s a good Canadian prairies boy, and you know how they make them there. Tough, character team guys with a solid work ethic instilled in them not long after they ruin their first diaper. They grow up in an area where the weatherman forecasts bitter cold,with a touch of arctic wind about to blow in, every freaking day for six months, and where cow pies smash into faces and groins as youngsters hone their outdoor hockey skills.
These prairie boys also learn how to to mix ’em up when called upon. Just look up Gordie Howe and Wendel Clark as prime examples.
In my mind, Travis Moen can be one of the absolute key guys in a Canadiens uniform this year. He’s like a big brother, and all his smaller, younger brothers should be picking up his lunch tab on a regular basis.