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.
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.