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The Montreal Canadiens seemed inspired by their “heritage” jerseys and pounced on the Red Wings from the opening faceoff, but Hasek resisted the initial onslaught. The home team pressed on, and built up a 2 goal lead. The pace later slowed after the Habs were scored on during a man-advantage, but they focused on defense and managed to stave off a Detroit comeback… and came away with a 2-1 victory. 


Montreal 1-0: Detroit is caught with a bad change, Bouillon sends in Ward on a 2-on-0 with Bégin. Ward holds onto the puck until he reaches Hasek, then slides it over to Bégin who finishes the play.


Montreal 2-0: A beautiful play. On the counter-attack Zednik & Ribeiro are next to each other with the puck, Ribeiro leaves it to Zednik and slides to the other side. Zednik sends it across to Ribeiro, and heads in on Hasek then at the last minutes gives it back to Zednik who exactly like the first goal completes the play… beating a Hasek who just isn’t the dominant goalie he once was.


Detroit 1-2: Tough break for Montreal who were on the PP and still pressuring Detroit. The forwards, thinking offense first, are too slow to get back… Detroit convert their 3-on-2, Zetterburg leaves it for Dandenault joining the rush who beats Garon in the top corner from just inside the circle.




–         It’s amazing how momentum can change during a game. The Habs were all over the Red Wings for the first 8 minutes. Then Detroit scored on the PK, and all of a sudden the Habs were running scared… afraid to make another mistake. It looked a lot like many games last year where the Habs lost a lead in the final minutes because they went to the “prevent defense” but couldn’t hold on. Thankfully this time we held on. Why can’t they just keep playing the way that allowed them to get their lead in the first place? I’ll never get that.

–          The Habs, with only 1 shot in the last period tonight, have now combined for 3 shots in their last two 3rd periods… not exactly what you’d call finishing strong. I know that this time they were hanging on to a lead, but still there’s no excuse for having only one shot in a period.   

–          Only 2 penalties, and thank god. Speaking of penalties Ward came back strong tonight, again the 4th line looked very good and even scored the 1st goal.

–           I have some good news, and some bad news. The good news is the Habs held Detroit to only 19 shots so it’s another victory for Julien’s system. On the bad side the Habs have had 15 & 14 shots their last 2 games, time for the offense to get going again. I think it’s Saku time.


Habs’ hero: Garon got the first star, but yet again I think they give starts to the goalies to often. He played very well, especially given the fact he hadn’t played in a while, but he’s not my choice tonight. Bulis has been re-born since joining the 3rd line, and again was the unsung hero tonight. He brings offense to that line, forechecks well, covers his man well in the defensive zone.

He broke up Lidstrom’s pass along the blue line in the dying minutes when the Red Wings were pressing, and he was a presence all night long. Honourable mention to the 4th line, and Juneau who was on a defensive mission all night.


Habs’ zero: Ok zero is too strong a word. But the one who made the most mistakes was Garon himself. He miss-played the puck a few times, thankfully it didn’t cost us. He also put the puck back into play at times his team desperately needed a whistle, which gave Detroit the opportunity to maintain pressure in the Canadiens’ zone… and almost succeed in tying the game.

Some rebound control problems, and last but not least let himself wander out of the net so far Brett Hull had time to go around the net and deposit the puck in the open net while Garon was still hadn’t started making his way back to the crease he should never have left. Thankfully, Hull found a way to miss the net on the rap-around.

Garon can stop pucks, no question, but he needs to polish his game… although we do have to understand that he hadn’t played since pre-season and that has something to do with it.


Final Thoughts:


8 minutes of offense is all it took, and thank goodness because that’s all the Habs had tonight. They took advantage of an awful change by Detroit, and then a beautiful play by Ribeiro… again. It looked like the Canadiens respected the Red Wings too much, once they gave up one goal they seemed paralysed with fear of making a mistake and they stopped playing past the red line.


But again we have to remind ourselves that the Habs just beat Detroit, with Hasek, with Koivu still in the press-box and Theo on the bench. Not many looked at this game on the schedule before the season started and said we’d win it without our captain or #1 goalie. So even if there have been better games, the bottom line is the Canadiens just took another 2pts from one of the elite teams… and they didn’t play that well. Not bad.


Next ahead, a rematch with last year’s nemesis the New York Islanders… when the Habs will hope to shut down the league’s scoring co-leader Mariuz Czerkawski.