Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Exciting Game vs. Blue Jackets!

Yesterday's game ended up being one of the most exciting games of the season.

After scoring the first goal, the Habs seemed to go to sleep, and the Jackets really came back to take control. They answered with 2 goals in the first; and for much of the first 40 minutes, the Jackets used their size to keep the puck away from the smaller Canadiens. They dominated the play, were first to the puck, and prevented the Canadiens from clearing their zone. Why, even when the Habs drew even with a power play goal in the second, Columbus answered almost immediately to take the lead again.

It looked to be another night where the Habs would be out-skated and out-hustled by a team they should be able to handle (Columbus having played the night before). Despite a slow defence and a shaky goalie, it looked as though our Canadiens would simply chase the puck and wave their sticks and let the game run away.

Then, something happened.

I'm not sure what it was, but an excellent power-play in the second period that had a different shape (Mara at the point, Bergeron down low, and everyone directing passes) sparked some offense. And where in the past the Habs lose their momentum, this time they didn't. In the third period the Habs kept up their pace: they were working hard, taking hits to make plays, being first on the puck and driving the net. And Holy Moley, what a game! Suddenly our Blue-Blanc-Rouge were generating chances; suddenly they looked dangerous; suddenly they didn't look so small (ok, yeah, they did, but they won the puck battles) and suddenly they looked like they could win!

It is true that Garon had a pretty bad game. He gave up lots of rebounds - and unlike Halak, who is always ready for the follow-up shot, Garon often looked lost and confused. But it doesn't really matter: what matters is the team found a vein that hadn't been tapped since perhaps even 2008 - and if Martin can get this team to play like they did at the end of last night, then this year's Montreal Canadiens are gonna be an excellent team to watch!

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