The Montreal Canadiens had a breakout offensive performance, scoring a whopping 3 goals – in the same game – and beat the Buffalo Sabres to end their current three game losing skid. Theodore played his part, getting his 4th shutout of the season… and added an assist for good measure.
As is the case in back-to-back games, the game was a nasty physical affair. There were a few fights, some big hits, and even some cheap shots… but the Habs came up with a spirited game showing us there might be hope for them yet.
– Koivu is definitely making a difference, and it looks like he’s starting to feel better out there. He made a few big hits, even looked like he wanted to start a fight at some point. He’s still not shooting though, but it’s only game two… it’ll come.
– Speaking of good tough play, the games always seem to get interesting in back-to-back tilts against the same team. The league is desperate to make the game better, put more fans in the seats. I have a weird idea, have all same-conference games be back to back. And no travelling to play the 2nd game, play both in the same city… it’ll give us more interesting games, cut down on travel which will translate into less wear & tear on the players so less injuries, and cut down on costs for the teams. Rivalries would intensify. (you can’t do that with games against the other conference since they play too few games against them)
– All of a sudden the Habs have themselves a fightin’ team… tonight it was Langdon and Rivet dropping the gloves. Bouillon fought in the previous 2 games, Quintal & Souray can also do the job when needed although we like them better on the ice than in the penalty box. You even have smaller guys like Bégin and even Koivu instigating… what have they done with my peace-loving Habs?
– Did you miss Perreault tonight? I sure didn’t… yet again. The Canadiens have played two good effort games, even physical games… Yannick can stay right where he is.
– Zhitnik took a real cheap shot on Ryder, a knee-on-knee hit… it looked like Ryder was really hurt as he fell holding his knee. But luckily for Ryder & the Habs he later returned and showed no ill effects. And luckily for Zhitnik he was thrown out of the game for attempt to injure because a few Habs had his number. A reason to look forward to the next game vs. the Sabres then…
Habs’ hero: Brisebois, for the second game in a row. What’s going on here? Another strong all-round game, 2 assists, and the best move of the night when he deeked two Sabres in Mario-esque fashion. Others who deserve mention are Koivu with a strong effort, Souray continued to excel, and last but not least Bégin who is showing us game after game why Gainey picked him up and why the Sabres were sad to see him go. Actually I’ll add another, Kilger is looking good also since his return.
Habs’ zero: He finally fought, but Rivet again gets the nod. Too many times do I see him get rid of the puck early, trying to avoid getting hit. A player his size should make the play and take the hit… hell, a player any size should do that. Most of the players did tonight, but not him. I’d also mention Ribeiro, got knocked off the puck a little too easily a little too often… he’s still making the nice passes but it seems the opponents are keying on him more & more physically and it’s taking a toll, especially in a second game in two nights.
This was a case of finishing strong despite a loss the previous night, and carrying it over to the next game. That’s why you always play the full 60 minutes no matter how far behind you are. It’s good to see the Canadiens being rewarded when they work hard, as they did tonight.
Time to get a winning streak going, next up the Columbus BlueJackets on Tuesday night.
It’ll be interesting to see if Perreault will be kept out of the lineup for a 3rd straight game, and I’m also curious to find out how serious this Quintal medical problem is. He went through a battery of tests today and they should have the results in the coming days.