Rabid Habs

What Time Is It In Detroit? 4 Past Howard

Habs vs Red Wings

“It’s going to be great. I can’t wait for the crowd, the noise, the energy in the building. I can’t wait to take that all away from them.” – PK Subban

It was a chilly Sunday night in Detroit as the Montreal Canadiens landed at the Joe Louis Arena to face an Original Six matchup, the Detroit Red Wings. The troops came into Michigan fresh off a hot 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at the Bell Centre. The victory gave the Habs an extension to their winning streak, giving them five straight wins in a row. The Red Wings were also coming off a hot win of their own, with a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. With the Canadiens sitting in first place in the Atlantic Division with 27 points and the Red Wings ranking in fourth in the same division with 21 points, both teams were ready for the battle of the fittest. But with Canadiens players rising to the top like P-A Parenteau, Dale Weise, Alex Galchenyuk, Sergei Gonchar and Tomas Plekanec, and with a top scorer like Max Pacioretty who leads Montreal with 8 goals and 15 points through 18 games, were the Red Wings really ready to face a team who has improved over a short period of time? This new version of the Montreal Canadiens, Habs 2.0, was something the Detroit Red Wings weren’t expecting since the last time they saw the Canadiens on October 21st when the Habs won with an overtime goal, leaving the game 2-1. This was a harder, faster, stronger team they were facing, and Detroit had no idea that they were about to have their wings roasted.

The first period started off slow, with both teams tied 0-0 after twenty minutes. With pressure coming off of both sides equally, the only highlight of the period was that it was still anybody’s game.

By the second period, the Habs killed three power plays and saw two goals from Brandon Prust (slapshot that was assisted by PK Subban at three minutes and 20 seconds) and PK Subban (slapshot assisted by Andrei Markov and Max Pacioretty at eight minutes and 36 seconds). Parenteau was notably fantastic on the ice, and Prust getting his first goal of the season showed that Bournival and Malhotra need to keep up with the team.

The Detroit Red Wings, who seemed lethargic throughout the first and second period came back in the third to get one point made by Riley Sheahan only four minutes and six seconds in, backhanding in the rebound of a shot by Danny DeKeyser for his second goal of the season, but not before Tomas Plekanec upped the Canadiens to 3 points (one minute and 47 seconds in, assisted by Brendan Gallagher and Nathan Beaulieu). Montreal’s lead gave Detroit the tiny spark they needed to get back into the game, but it was short lived when Brendan Gallagher shot the puck down on one knee, bouncing off of Jimmy Howard and into the net eight minutes and 41 seconds in (assisted by Alex Galchenyuk). The Habs were leading, Jimmy Howard had his worst outing so far in the season, and the Red Wings were pissed. In the end it was an empty net for Detroit to finally wake up and get into defense mode, but it was already too late. The Montreal Canadiens finished the game 4-1 and took home a sixth straight win.

Here are my thoughts on tonight’s game.

  • That was the most ridiculous, weirdest, coolest bank shot made by Brendan Gallagher. Sometimes I have my doubts about him, but then good old Gally always comes back and gives me a reason to love him. That guy always puts in 110% when it comes to shooting at the net.
  • Dustin Tokarski was in net tonight and made 28 saves. He kept his composure the whole time and I have a theory that he was channeling Carey Price the whole time (am I the only one who thinks that?) – I now fully understand why the Canadiens got rid of Peter Budaj and gave Tokarski a chance. With Budaj, Montreal would not have six straight wins in a row. It’s nothing against Budaj, he seems really cool and has some potential as a goalie but Tokarski has always got his eyes on the puck, and that was always Budaj’s problem; paying attention to what’s going on in front of you.

The Montreal Canadiens face the Pittsburgh Penguins (eeeep!) at the Bell Centre on Tuesday, November 18th.

Find Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures