Vanek And Gang Come Through

Win one for Patrick was the rallying cry for the Colorado Avalanche. His team was going to play a big offensive game, promised Patrick.

And they lost 6-3.

It’s one of my happiest moments in this long season. A huge win and two more big points.

They did it with energy and lots of time in the Avs’ end. And Thomas Vanek finally broke through in dramatic fashion by scoring three times.

Two wins on the weekend and a huge mother of a win tonight. Patrick loses, Habs win, Vanek breaks out, and it’s just a feel good story all round.

It looked dire in the beginning though, with 18-year old Nathan McKinnon opening the scoring, and then it became 2-1 Colorado in the second after Vanek had previously tied it.

But the second period also saw the puck often in the Avs’ end, the Canadiens showed lots of energy, and when Travis Moen took a pass from a sprawling Brandon Prust, wheeled in reverse and backhanded it home to tie the thing at two, it was game on.

Everyone in the building – fans, both teams, Patrick, all knew that the Avs weren’t about to have their way.

This was a game that had playoff vibes. It was important. And the Canadiens came through.

Prust blasted one home in the third, the Avs tied it, but then the Canadiens power play, and in particular Vanek, went to work and just like that, it was 5-3 for the good guys.

Dale Weise, who was involved in a scrap in the first, salted it away with an empty netter as the clock wound down.

Most impressive was the fact that the Canadiens never sat back, didn’t go into their defensive shell, and kept things interesting in the Colorado end all night.

That’s what we need to see from the boys. They’re a skating team, and when they’re flying they can get things done. Forget the New Jersey-style. Put the pedal to the metal.

Prust ended with a goal, an assist, and second star.  First star Vanek with three and his linemates DD and Max each collected two assists. Moen scored his beauty, Emelin had two assists, and Weise was an assist short of a Gordie Howe hat trick.

Just a great night. A wonderful night. Unless you’re Patrick Roy, that is.

Random Notes:

Maybe the miracle on Saturday night really did light a fire.

Shots on goal – Habs 36, Avs 28.

Montreal went 2/3 on the power play, and this is the Vanek factor at work.

Next up – Columbus Blue Jackets in town on Thursday. Once again, can’t wait.




10 thoughts on “Vanek And Gang Come Through”

  1. “Just a great night. A wonderful night. Unless you’re Patrick Roy, that is.” This right here is my cherry on top of the sundae!

  2. The best game the Habs have played, in my opinion, since the game against the Black Hawks. The fourth line was especially good. The only area of concern: Carey Price has now let in seven goals in his two starts since his return from the injury list. Hopefully it’s just a matter of him being rusty.

  3. Definitely the best game since Chicago, Ian, and as entertaining as can be. I love when they decide to play a skating game.

  4. I was travelling during the game, thank goodness for satellite radio! Great win, the Make Believes loses, and the Senators tanking is in full swing (blame the refs for those loses,too)!

    I saw the replay of my man-crush’s, Travis Moen, goal. Moen, Prust, and Weise took over the game in the second period and changed the momentum (Montreal has been blessed with a tremendous English play-by-play radio broadcasts for awhile). Icing on the cake was the Make Believe’s losing and the Ottawhiners continuing their slide to an April 14 tee time.

    I know Paddy Roy isn’t a favorite here, but Therrien was outwitted… again. Eller, a sterling -17 +/- matching up against Mackinnon, a +18, was “genius.” It’s disheartening to watch Eller continue to struggle, the kid has potential if someone would just work with it! And Bouillon on the powerplay?

  5. It’s true, Mike. Therrien used Eller in some key times when a tad more of a defensive guy might have helped. Eller is definitely struggling, he’s weak on checks, and he holds onto the puck far too long, too many times. The bottom line for me right now is, even though Therrien isn’t my favourite guy, his team is still way up in the standings at a time when many thought they’d collapse. Somehow they’re getting it done and I find it amazing to see this. Bouillon has picked things up a notch and has become more reliable I think. And his winning goal on Saturday gives him extra points in more ways than one.

  6. The unfortunate thing is that after Subban and Markov, Bouillon is the best we’ve got for the second defence pairing on the power play. Of course that’s ignoring Beaulieu who’s toiling in Hamilton despite being better with the puck than all the others.

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