Rabid Habs

Twilight in Montreal

Habs PK Subban

“I know what Marc is doing is for the best of the team. If I force his hand, I know he’ll make room for me.” – Nathan Beaulieu

After a well needed morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, the Montreal Canadiens were looking to snap their three-game losing streak on Tuesday evening against the Vancouver Canucks. Things haven’t been so easy for the Canadiens. The gang only had one win on their four-game road trip, their top players (Lars Eller and Mike Weaver) were both out with injuries, and a Canadiens legend was lost 24 hours before the team’s first road-trip game. The Canadiens had been weighed down by heavy hearts and injuries, but last night there was a different energy flowing through the Canadiens’ veins. Back home, the team was taking their motivation and inspiration from Jean Béliveau and were determined to win last night’s game. The Vancouver Canucks, however, were finishing up their last game of their seven-game road trip at the Bell Centre. They were coming off of a disappointing 4-3 overtime loss from Sunday against the Ottawa Senators and a Saturday loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the Canucks were still enjoying a strong start to the season and ranking sixth overall and second in the NHL’s Pacific Division. For a team ranking third in the NHL’s Eastern Division and 11th overall, the Montreal Canadiens needed to pick themselves up and with new line-up changes and the return of Nathan Beaulieu, their future seemed bright enough to cause a twilight in Montreal.

It was a scoreless first period for the Montreal Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks, but coach Michel Therrien’s new line-ups were proving to be golden as the Habs played wonderfully and proved that sometimes break ups are for the best.

Only six minutes and 56 seconds into the second period, Brendan Gallagher got the first goal of the night that was assisted by Max Pacioretty and Tom Gilbert. However, the Canadiens were caught snoozing on the back check which led to Vancouver’s first goal by Derek Dorsett (assisted by Jannik Hansen and Kevin Bieska) only 5 minutes after the Habs’ first goal. Despite a great effort and tremendous amounts of pressure from the Canadiens, the second period was left tied.

The third period started out even and because both teams were struggling to lead, the game looked like it would be going into overtime, but Tomas Plekanec came to save the day with only four minutes and 16 seconds left (assisted by Sven Andrighetto and Jiri Sekac), leaving the Habs leading 2-1. If that wasn’t enough, Max Pacioretty finished things up for the Montreal Canadiens by scoring on the empty Canucks net at the last second of the third period, giving the Canadiens their 10th victory on home ice, their first victory over the Canucks so far this season, and a great ending to a wonderful play by the Habs.

Here are my thoughts on last night’s game.

  • As soon as Elise Béliveau broke into tears after the moment of silence, I immediately cried uncontrollably (don’t you like because I know you did too). I never got to see Jean Béliveau play and because of that, I never got to become a huge fan since I wasn’t born during his time with the Montreal Canadiens. However, being able to look back at his entire career and see what kind of a player and the person he was overall makes me have the utmost respect for him. The parts that hit me hard was seeing poor Elise and her family crying before and after the moment of silence. However, the part that really got to me what how much respect all of the fans at the Bell Centre gave towards Béliveau. From the moment of silence where you could hear a pin drop to the fan that gave dear Elise the puck that he caught when it went out of play, nothing has made me more proud to be a Montreal Canadiens fan. There is no other fan base that I am aware of that is full of so much kindess and love than the Habs fan base. 
  • Last night’s line-up changes were absolutely perfect (to all of the Therrien haters out there, I am currently laughing at you while sipping my sweet mug of victory, aka – tea). Michel Therrien may do a lot of things that aren’t approved by most fans, but you can’t lie and say that the changes he made weren’t right. The chemistry on each line worked out well, you can’t deny the results. From Gallagher’s first period goal to Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty putting the Canadiens up two points, it’s clear that Michel Therrien made the right decision and that these are the line-ups that will get the Habs back to the top and into the Eastern Conference finals. Now, Therrien haters, please calm down with your “finally after we thought of these line-ups weeks ago” tweets. I highly doubt Therrien saw your angry rants on Twitter and took them into consideration. I personally don’t have anything against the guy. He is a very conservative, disciplined coach who has had great success with the Canadiens, and I don’t have anything against anyone who dislikes the coach. Different minds = different opinions (Am I also the only one that wasn’t surprised that the Dutch Gretzky, Dale Weise, didn’t get any goals in last night?).

The Montreal Canadiens play the Los Angeles Kings at the Bell Centre on Friday at 7:30pm.

Follow Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures