Rabid Habs

Goodbye Los Angeles, Hello Montreal!

Kings vs Habs

“It’s going to be a challenge. We remember last year when they came in here and things didn’t go so well for us. Hopefully, we can get a better result this year.” – Brendan Gallagher

Coming off of an emotional 3-1 home win over the Vancouver Canucks, the Montreal Canadiens were ready to face another western opponent for the sixth time in a row since the start of the month, the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings would be playing their third game of a five-game road trip after snapping a two-game losing streak on Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators. This was going to be a big challenge for the Habs considering Los Angeles is the kind of team who plays hard and ranks third in the league in goals-against per game, and despite having a rough start to the season, the Kings were still on point and always played as a whole. The Canadiens lost to the Kings twice last season, and the Kings were going to be anything but kind to the Canadiens. The only thing that separated the two teams was that the Canadiens had fresh, new line-ups and that they were confident that there could be a possibility that the Kings would be beaten. However, for the Canadiens, winning a game relies on more than just confidence and “maybes.” If the Canadiens wanted a second win in a row, they would have to keep working together as a team in order to crown themselves kings and get themselves out of 10th place and back into first.

Tremendous pressure was put on by both the Canadiens and Kings after the puck drop in the first period. Luckily for the Canadiens, an interference penalty given to Drew Doughty gave the Habs their first powerplay, which gave P.K. Subban the perfect time to come in with a beautiful goal past Martin Jones that was assisted by Tomas Plekanec at eight minutes and 16 seconds. While the Kings scrambled for a tie and their first goal of the night, the Canadiens made sure to take the lead until the clock ran out.

The Canadiens were only one minute and one second into the second period and power play when Andrei Markov (assisted by Sergei Gonchar and David Desharnais) got the puck quickly off his stick and into the Los Angeles net, giving the Habs a two point advantage early in the period. However, the Canadiens weren’t ready to settle at just two points, so P.K. Subban (assisted by Dale Weise and Manny Malholtra) found a way to slip the puck through Jones’ legs at three minutes and 45 seconds. While the Kings started pushing harder and applying the pressure, the Canadiens matched their play and closed the second period by leading three to zero.

Only three minutes and 35 seconds into the third period and the Los Angeles Kings got their first goal of the night from Jake Muzzin (assisted by Drew Doughty). The pressure was on from both sides as the Kings were trying to keep up with the Canadiens, and the Habs were looking for another sweet goal which came to them at nine minutes and 47 seconds by none other than David Desharnais (assisted by P.A. Parenteau). However, the Kings caught up to the Habs and Drew Doughty (assisted by Tyler Toffoli) slipped one past Carey Price only a minute after the Canadiens got their fourth goal of the night. It was now a war as to who could rack up the most points before the game ended, and the Los Angeles Kings were desperate. Luckily for the Montreal Canadiens, bringing in Sven Andrighetto was a blessing in disguise as he gave the Montreal Canadiens their fifth goal of the night (his first goal on home ice assisted by Michael Bournival and Alexei Emelin) at 13 minutes and 59 seconds, which was then followed by a sixth goal from Jiri Sekac at 15 minutes and 26 seconds. The Montreal Canadiens took the lead as the clock ran out, and the Los Angeles Kings were defeated 6 to 2.

Here are my thoughts on last night’s game.

    • The Los Angeles Kings on and off the ice are completely different. Off the ice, the Kings are classy, respectful, and are kind to their fans. However, on the ice the Kings are absolutely dirty and in my opinion slightly worse than the Boston Bruins (but only slightly). There’s hits, boarding, and high sticking in almost every game, that’s a given, but some teams just take it too far and ruin it for everybody. The Kings don’t have to prove that they’re tough because their playing shows that they’re great, determined players. Plays like that just makes the team come off distasteful. Am I the only one who was pissed off that no calls were made for that stick to P.A. Parenteau’s face?
    • The play by the Montreal Canadiens last night had my jaw dropping through each period. Their confidence on the ice, how comfortable they were on the power play, how they played as a whole, and how well these lines that Therrien created was like one giant light shining down while angels sang, “Hallelujah.” Okay, I’m going over the top here, but the Canadiens have really gotten their groove back and that’s something that we as fans have been waiting for so far this season. Don’t get me wrong, the team weren’t so bad at the beginning of the season, but with messy lines lacking chemistry and their confidence low, it was a recipe for disaster. I don’t know about you all, but I’m happy that the Montreal Canadiens have Michel Therrien. Therrien is a stubborn, tough guy, but he has given the team a lot of success (besides the Canadiens doing that for themselves) and at the end of the day, I’m thankful they have him and nobody else as a coach. Sorry, Therrien haters, but I love that man. I really do.
    • Despite the numerous times the Los Angeles Kings tried to score on Montreal’s net, Carey Price was not letting any pucks through. He had his eye on every shot and every puck, as if the puck was one giant beach ball. The Price was definitely right at the Bell Centre last night, and there is no denying that Carey Price is THE top goaltender in the NHL.
    • THANK YOU DAVID DESHARNAIS! We’ve doubted you, some of us have insisted you be traded, but my goodness that was a mean fourth goal you gave the Montreal Canadiens. Now, if you could just keep up that kind of play more often and you’ll be good to go.

The Montreal Canadiens play the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre on Tuesday at 7:30pm.

Follow Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures