The rivalry continues. Montreal rolls into T.O. and tries to steal a huge two points in the ACC. Garon and Tellqvist are the starting goalies, Langdon is out, and Juneau is in. With PP quarterback Andrei Markov out on personal leave, the task of scoring with the man up will be forced upon Saku Koivu, Patrice Brisebois, and Francis Boullion. It’s unknown what kind of role Karl Dykhuis will play, but it’s safe to assume he’ll log a good amount of even-strength and PK time.
Lines for “Les Glorieux” are as follows:
Bulis – Koivu – Zednik
Dagenais – Ribeiro – Ryder
Sundstrom – Begin – Dackell
Juneau – Perrault – Ward
Bouillon – Brisebois
Dykhuis – Quintal
Komisarek – Rivet
Toronto 1-0: Well, the Komisarek bashers are gonna be rabid on this one. Mikey comes out from behind the net on a routine breakout. He gets slashed by Ponikarovsky, fans on the pass, and the puck gets picked. Garon makes a beauty of a save, but there’s a sea of blue around him. Antropov knocks it in and scores his 8th on the year, assisted by Ponikarovsky at the 5:19 mark of the 1st period.
Side Note: This is getting ugly. Komisarek isn’t playing great, but I think he’s realised that, and he’s going back to playing physical.
Toronto 2-0: Like I said, it’s getting ugly. Koivu fell on the play in front of the net and lost his man. Pass by Kaberle to an open Fitzgerald in front of the net, bangs it home. Koivu got a good view of the ice while it all went down. Fitgerald’s 7th of the season, assisted by Kaberle and Stajan at 10:56 of the 1st period.
Side Note: It’s all T.O. so far. The shots are i6-5 in favour of the Leafs, and the only good chance Montreal had was on a Tellqvist puck-handling error, and the only mesh that found was the outside of the net. Garon’s been sharp on the saves that are actually possible.
Toronto 3-0: Well, I’m officially declaring an S.O.S. Ryder makes a brutal giveaway. Not much else to explain. Poor Garon. Stajan’s 12th was assisted by Tom Fitzgerlad at the 17:37 mark of the 1st period. That officially ends Garon’s night.
GOALTENDER CHANGE: Theodore replaces Garon at the 17:37 mark of the 1st after Garon, who has had no help from his defence and the team as a whole, let in 3 goals on 11 shots.
Fight: Marchment tries roughing Zednik up after the play. Rivet was really angered and tried going after Marchment. Coincidental minors. As they step out of the box, Rivet has some words for Marchment and they step out of the box. You know Rivet was angry and wanted to put some fist in Marchment’s face. Craig came out swinging like madman and bloodied Marchment, who came back in the second half of the 57 second fight and bloodied Craig Rivet. Great fight, something the Habs needed really bad.
Toronto 4-0: Leafs cycling the puck on the PP. Sundin takes it in the corner and passes to Nieuwendyk who was unmolsted in the slot, who shoots five-hole on Theo. Nieuwendyk’s 13th of the season, assisted by Sundin and McCabe at the 11:40 mark of the 2nd period. Powerplay goal.
Montreal 4-1: After Dagenais leaves the box for serving a too many men penalty, Koivu, Bulis, and the afformentioned Dagenais enter the Leafs zone. The trio cycles the puck and it goes into the corner. Saku picks up the biscut and passes to Dagenais and he makes no mistake by ripping a one-time from the slot through Tellqvist’s five-hole. Dagenais’ 13th of the year, assisted by Koivu and Bulis at the 15:20 mark of the 2nd.
Period Wrap-up: I almost want to cry. Had Dagenais not scored, and Koivu not remembered that we were playing a hockey game here, I might have just went to bed and cried into my pillow. The score should be 4-2, as the ref blew the whistle early on a play that had Saku poke the puck in. If Montreal keeps the pressure they showed in the last 5 minutes of the second, then Tellqvist better stand up, because he’s gonna need to pull a miracle out of his rear.
Montreal 4-2: Steve Begin comes in and drills a slapshot from 59 feet out. Tellqvist didn’t seem prepared. This couldn’t come at a better time. I’ve caught Begin fever, have you? Begin’s 6th of the year from Sundstrum and Komisarek at the 3:07 mark of the 3rd period.
Montreal 4-3: This is why Michael Ryder will be a rookie of the year nominee. He never stopped trying, he nearly had the wraparound, and he drew a delayed penalty that we scored on. Bulis tried to pass to Ryder in front of the net who was cross-checked down. Delayed penalty was called, but Boullion fired a rocket from the blueline and beats Tellqvist through the crowd. Michael Ryder was credited with the goal. His 16th of the season, assisted by Bulis and Ribeiro at the 10:42 mark of the 3rd. We’ve got a hockey game, boys.
Toronto 5-3: Les Boys pressed really hard for that tying goal, and it cost them. Brisebois trying to pinch in got caught. Mogilny and Sundin on the 2on1. Koivu speeds back to pick up Mogilny (the puck carrier), but Boullion doesn’t pick up Sundin, and instead tries to intercept the pass. Sundin redirects Mogilny’s pass into the net. Sundin’s 22nd from Mogilny and Renberg at the 17:14 mark of the 3rd.
Montreal 5-4: Ryder takes a great pass from Ribeiro with the goalie pulled, creates time to allow the Leaf who was blocking the shot to move, then ripped a wrister. Ryder’s 17th of the year, assisted by Ribeiro and Brisebois at the 19:10 mark of the 3rd.
That was a hard one to lose. I really beleived we could win that one. Now it goes to show what that one Saku Koivu goal could have done. And it also solidifies how much Mats Sundin kills this hockey club every time we play the Leafs. Theo gets the loss. I’m 95% sure Boullion will get credit for the third Canadien’s goal.