Rabid Habs

With Arms Wide Open

Habs' Dale Weise

“We’re getting a lot better as a team so it’s fun to play a couple in a row right now.” – Max Pacioretty

The Montreal Canadiens have been passing through the past three games with flying colours and last night they passed the test again, facing the Philadelphia Flyers. The last time the Canadiens saw the Flyers was on October 11th, when the Canadiens ended up dominating the game with a 4-3 shootout decision in Philadelphia. The Flyers however, had just come off a tough loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday and were looking to right the ship; they were ready to fight and when it comes down to dominance on the ice, the Flyers are the ones to look at. But this time was different though. With the Montreal Canadiens dominating the past three games, and with their top four scorers (Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Alex Galchenyuk, and Lars Eller), it would be enough to made Claude Giroux’s knees buckle. And with the Habs learning from their last game against the Flyers with a 3-0 deficit late in the third period, the Canadiens have been stressing the importance of quick start this time around and the Flyers had no idea that their wings were about to become defective.

The first period saw two power play goals for Montreal; two wrist shots from P-A Parenteau (assisted by Max Pacioretty and Andrei Markov) and David Desharnais (assisted by Max Pacioretty and Andrei Markov). The Habs came in strong throughout the whole period, working two power plays and leading the game, which is something Montreal Canadiens fans have been waiting on for a while. The end of the period was left 2-0.

Another power play and another goal for the Habs only six minutes and seven seconds in when PK Subban put a beautiful wrist shot past Ray Emery that was assisted by Alex Galchenyuk (who has proven that he deserves to be penciled in for quality power play time). But only six minutes later, and Philadelphia had their first goal of the night by Brayden Schenn, who later made a second goal 18 minutes and 46 seconds into the game. The Canadiens still came through strong with an amazing 5-on-3 play and killed their power play. The second period ended 3-2.

Sergei Gonchar reached 800 career points in the third period with two assists for P-A Parenteau and Dale Weise, who each scored twice in the entire game. The first goal of the third was a sweet one as Parenteau knocked Gonchar’s wrist shot down and into the net only three minutes and two seconds in. The Bell Centre, however, was dissatisfied with Matt Read picking out a puck from what looked like a rugby scrum in front of Carey Price’s crease, and flicking it in on a power play. But the Canadiens got the crowd cheering once again when Dale Weise’s shot from the right side trickled through at 13 minutes and 18 seconds, and then again when the puck when off of Weise’s body after Tomas Plekanec’s shot hit a post at 17 minutes and one second. After a furious battle in the third, the Montreal Canadiens claimed victory and ended the game 6-3.

Here are my thoughts about last night’s game.

  • The Montreal Canadiens definitely cleaned house with Rene Bourque and Travis Moen gone. It’s finally nice to see players like Alex Galchenyuk and Jiri Sekac get some quality time on the ice, and their playing shows how much the Habs need them. I’m also thankful for Sergei Gonchar, who happens to be the Russian Hulk out on the ice.
  • The Dutch Gretzky, Dale Weise. What a guy. That’s all I have to say.
  • For Michel Therrien’s 300th career win, what a game. I didn’t think the Montreal Canadiens could play as hard as they did against Boston on Thursday, but they came back stronger and faster; think of it like a Habs 2.0 – you take the old bugs out, you put some new software in and then you’ve got yourself a fast paced team that works well together. Brilliant.

The Montreal Canadiens face the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday at 7:00pm.

Find Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures