Rabid Habs

Men Of Constant Sorrow

Habs' Andrei Markov & PK Subban

“Every time you play against your ex-team, especially coming back home, it’s special. It’s going to be special tonight. We have a good team, I’m playing for the Montreal Canadiens and I live in my home town. It’s tough to ask for a better scenario than that.” – P.A. Parenteau

The Montreal Canadiens clan hit the ice at the Pepsi Center in Denver Monday night to play against the Colorado Avalanche. The last time the Canadiens faced the Avalanche on October 18th, the Habs won 3-2, which made last night even more exciting since the Canadiens claimed the Avalanche’s own right-winger P.A. Parenteau who had 76 points in 103 games over two seasons in Colorado and was playing his first game with the Canadiens on Avalanche territory. Another victory win against Colorado was definitely in need for the Habs, especially since their loss during the back-to-back games against the Buffalo Sabres last Friday and Saturday, but the Canadiens would have to work for it. Colorado had just come off of  a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday and have won five of their last seven games. Despite a slow start to the season with a string of injuries, it was clear the Avalanche were picking up the pace, and “home ice advantage” really was an advantage for them; Montreal has an elevation of 712’, while Colorado is at 5,280’. The Montreal Canadiens needed to get themselves back to first place in the NHL and in order to break free of their losing streak, they would have to start off December the right way by putting on the pressure and bringing the heat to the snow.

The first period treated the Canadiens well, as Jiri Sekac (eight minutes and nine seconds in and assisted by Brandon Prust) got the first goal of the night. Ex-Habs player Daniel Briere scored with only a minute left in the period, making the end of the first period tied 1-1. The Habs had clearly learned their lesson from their past two losses, by dominating every Avalanche player in their path, and also thanks to Colorado seeming extremely tired out on the ice.

Ryan O’Reilly (assisted by Alex Tanguay and Matt Duchene) slipped a wrist shot past Carey Price only 35 seconds into the second period, leading the game 2-1, but that didn’t stop the Canadiens from having themselves another tie up thanks to Andrei Markov on the power play (assisted by Alex Galchenyuk and Tomas Plekanec) at six minutes and 28 seconds. However, Tyson Barrie got a goal past Price at 12 minutes and one second thanks to a 4-on-1 for Colorado, leading the Avalanche 3-2. The Avalanche tried everything they could to keep the lead going for the rest of the period including putting the pressure on high, but no one could stop P.K. Subban from getting a nice tip in to tie up the score, which stayed even for the rest of the period.

Both teams seemed to suffer from fatigue during the third period, but the Habs were able to wake up 13 minutes and 54 seconds into the period thanks to Max Pacioretty (assisted by David Desharnais and P.K. Subban), who lead the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 with a wrist shot.  The Habs hung on long enough to keep the lead until the end, with a glorious finish to the first game of their four day road trip.

Here are my thoughts about last night’s game.

  • A first goal of the entire game from the Montreal Canadiens, FINALLY! It’s something we’ve all have been waiting for and I for one am glad it was done by Jiri Sekac. That guy needs more time on the ice, that’s one thing that’s clear.
  • The Canadiens played such a perfect game against the Colorado Avalanche, and it was definitely a huge change since last weekend’s double game loss against the Buffalo Sabres. The Habs had the right pressure, the right stick handle, the right puck control, and the right attitude to pull them through and make scoring goals look easy. Hopefully we will see more than just one win during this four game road trip.
  • Tom Gilbert should never be a healthy scratch…EVER!

The Montreal Canadiens play the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday at 7pm.

Follow Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures