A Great Hockey Day In Canada For Montreal
Montreal Canadiens 5 Toronto Maple Leafs 0
Hockey day in Canada has become the gift that the NHL and the commish gives the CBC every year. The league schedules games between all the Canadian teams spread out throughout the day. CBC pretends like its covers the Canadian game the best and retells the same stories over and over again. This year the day was overshadowed by two events not in control of the head honchos of the Toronto flavoured CBC.
The first took place in Ottawa where the Oilers beat the Senators in overtime. It had nothing to do with the game but all to do with Quebec City. The Nordiques fans, dressed in Nordiques blue, invaded Ottawa and Scotiabank place and let it be known to the league that the city deserves a team. I have never seen such an organized and more poignant display of pride.
The second took place in Toronto where it was supposed to be Mat Sundin and the Leafs' night. As I have said many times before, Toronto just doesn't seem to understand how to do any sort of ceremony. They just don't have the class to honor their players or their history. They need to take a page out of the Montreal Canadiens playbook. But Mats Sundin was honored and all CBC wanted was a Leaf win. Well that didn't happen.
Carey Price backstopped the Canadiens to a win and his sixteenth shutout of his career. All you heard throughout the day and pregame was how will the Habs deal with the Leafs speed and skill up front. It was the Habs that pushed the game and with all cylinders running they put the game out of reach late in the second period. After scoring four and putting James Reimer out of the game they added one more in the third to send the Leafs fans home disappointed.
Max Pacioretty, Erik Cole, Rene Bourque, Lars Eller and Mathieu Darche all scored. Eller had the prettiest goal undressing Dion Phaneuf while Price assisted on Darche's tally. The win puts the Habs seven points behind the Leafs and out of the final playoff spot. Both the Leafs and the Senators who sit in seventh seem to be going backwards. After the game Price summed the night up best saying that the team is playing loose, sticking up for each other and understand what needs to be done the rest of the way. Randy Cunneyworth seems to have gotten his message across. Louis Leblanc looks like he has solidified his place as a regular in the linueup. Seven defenseman have been dressed for the past two weeks with Yannick Weber being the odd man out.
The team is back in Montreal for a Monday tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes. It's another winnable game on the climb back into playoff contention.
Shahab Khan the Schoolboy