It’s just one game. One measly game. But at the risk of sounding overly-excited, I’m overly-excited. It’s a big, beautiful game-one win against the Washington Capitals, the team lounging in the luxury penthouse, picking at their caviar, and in their leisure time chewing up the Habs who dwell in an unfurnished basement suite.
We can’t get carried away but we can feel a warm glow overhead for 48 hours or so. Who knows what game-two will bring? Alex Ovechkin might finally get a shot on goal and the Caps roll over Montreal like lava from an Icelandic volcano. It could be the game when Washington comes out, clobbers the Habs, and creates enough momentum to take the DC club all the way to the promised land.
It could be. But maybe not.
Montreal has known all along that they can beat this team. They’ve known it and their fans have known. It’s just the rest of the hockey world that hasn’t clued in. It’s all about great goaltending and scorers scoring, and that’s where Jaroslav Halak, Mike Cammalleri, Scott Gomez, and Tomas Plekanec come into the picture. They did exactly what was needed to be done, and when that happens, the team looks good. Even though Washington dominated for the first third of the game.
A game-one win is such an important win, as we all know. Especially in the enemy’s barn. Things just got a little more even, the Canadiens have just a little more confidence, and like Danno says, the Caps will be holding their sticks just a little tighter.
And although Alex Ovechkin didn’t play well, Nicklas Backstrom did, and the Swede needs to be dealt with. That’s the problem with trying to stop a team with great depth. Get Ovechkin under control and others take his place. It’s like bacteria.
But right now, we’re allowed to feel good. Feel great. The Habs had lost eight straight playoff games before this. And best of all, as the game progressed last night, the TSN guys – Pierre McGuire and James Duthie and the rest of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, slowly but surely stopped reminding us that the Washington Capitals are amazing and the Habs suck the big one. It was only Craig McTavish who kindly pointed out that Montreal were starting to create chances and could win the thing. Everyone else thought the Canadiens should be in the ECHL.
And then there’s Darren Dutchyshen, who proclaimed after the second period when the Habs were coming on – “It’s a shooting gallery out there.” At that time, shots on goal were 27-20 for Washington, which was far from a shooting gallery. It’s the first time I’ve hurled loud four-letter words at Darren Dutchyshen, someone I usually pay very little attention to.
So many times this year I’ve wished these guys would shut up about how they feel about the Habs, and I’m almost at the point of pressing the mute button when the games begin. But who knows? Another win and maybe they’ll even say a couple of nice things here and there about the guys who are too small and stand no chance.
I’m just not holding my breath on that one.