Rabid Habs

Jet Lag

Habs vs Jets

“We want to get our offense going, and we want to build on last game and get everyone chipping in.” – David Desharnais

The wheels were in motion at the Bell Centre last night as the Montreal Canadiens were looking for a third straight victory, this time against the Winnipeg Jets. Last night’s lineup stayed the same from last Saturday, when the Habs went up against the Minnesota Wild. Another difference Habs fans would notice is that Rene Bourque and Travis Moen would both be out once again; Bourque has been assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL) after clearing waivers, and Sergei Gonchar of the Dallas Stars will be taking Moen’s place on the Montreal Canadiens roster while Moen will be off to Texas. The Habs knew pretty well that last night’s game would be anything but a walk in the park after the way the Jets have played as of late. Winnipeg is 7-1-2 in their last 10 games and also ranking sixth in goals against per game. However, the Canadiens would be looking for the same type of offensive eruption they were able to spawn against the Wild last weekend in order to bring this team out of the clouds and down on the ground.

It was a scoreless first period for both the Montreal Canadiens and the Jets and despite the Canadiens having trouble putting pressure on the forecheck, they were able to keep the Jets from taking off with 6 blocked shots. This was definitely a new look for the Habs, who have been having trouble taking off themselves the past few games.

Only two minutes and 21 seconds into the second period and Lars Eller has a beautiful backhand shot, taken off of Jiri Sekac (also assisted by Mike Weaver). The strong points of the period went to Lars Eller and Jiri Sekac, whose strong performances should be rewarded with more time on the power play. The Montreal Canadiens revved their engines and applied the pressure hard, ending the period 1-0.

The Montreal Canadiens doubled their lead seven minutes and 47 seconds in the final frame when Alex Galchenyuk put in a slick no-look shot, which was assisted by Tom Gilbert. Both the Jets and the Canadiens were applying the perfect amount of pressure and puck control which kept this game interesting, until Ondrej Pavelec was pulled from the net with only three minutes remaining in the third period.

With an empty net and a team ready to fight the good fight, the Habs sprung into action. While the Winnipeg Jets tried everything they could to keep the puck in Montreal’s zone, Tomas Plekanec, with only 36.7 seconds left score his sixth of the season in the empty net with Max Pacioretty assisting. Carey Price also had his first shutout of the season. The Jets could not catch a break during the whole three periods, with four of their shots ringing off the post. It was clear that Winnipeg was out of fuel and with a third straight victory, the Montreal Canadiens knew they were once again undefeated.

Here are my thoughts on last night’s game.

  • I am relieved that both Rene Bourque and Travis Moen are out. Rene Bourque cleared waivers Monday and therefore was assigned to the AHL team, the Hamilton Bulldogs. In my opinion, the Montreal Canadiens are doing the right thing by sending Bourque back to where every player learned to play well. He had eight goals in the playoffs last year and looked incredible, but this year he was half in, half out of playoff mode. He lost what we called “mojo” and now he has the opportunity to get it back, and at 32 years of age he better work fast before his time is up. As for Sergei Gonchar replacing Travis Moen, I was a bit skeptical at first. Gonchar is 40 years old and will most likely retire next year, not to mention back in the day he was one hell of a 6’2″ defenseman with a recorded total of 798 points (219 goals, 579 assists) when he first joined the league back in 1994-95. He has also missed the first 11 games of the season with a foot injury, only has one assist in all the three games he has played. I know, I know, “it’s only the beginning of the season” and Marc Bergevin always makes the right decisions regarding who deserves to be a Hab and who doesn’t. Not to mention, Travis Moen has been a straight stinker so far with zero points. At least Gonchar has experience with Michel Therrien, who coached Gonchar when he played in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, the veteran can still live up to his hype.
  • Carey F*****G Price! Can we just appreciate the Canadiens goaltender for a few minutes? The man is clearly unstoppable, even when the Habs had their string of horrible games; he still shined bright like a diamond. With 29 saves and his first shutout of the season tonight, it’s clear to me that he is some superhuman from a galaxy far, far away that the Montreal Canadiens are blessed with. And with that being said, can we also appreciate Michel Therrien keeping the lineups the same? The Habs are back on fire, and with Jiri Sekac in the mix I have a feeling that this season is going to be a beautiful one.

Follow Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures