Written By: Andrea Gordon, #BBBR
Shake off the dust, our Montreal Canadiens are back! We’ve waited 132 very long days since the last time the Habs took to the ice, and it was worth the wait.
Kicking off the 2014-2015 campaign with a 4-3 victory against rival Toronto Maple Leafs.
Les Glorieux came out of the gate a little sluggish, the cobwebs still hanging off their jersey’s as the Leafs
jumped out ahead to lead 5-0 in shots just 4 minutes into the contest.
They say it only takes 1 shot however; and that it did, as Max Pacioretty opened the scoring on the first shot of the game for the good guys.
Coming off his 39 goal season of last year, Pacioretty scored what was the 9000th goal on the road in franchise history.
It was a short lived lead however, as Nazem Kadri tied up the game less than 4 minutes later on a tip in, the shot coming off rookie Brandon Kozoun’s stick.
In true NHL style the goal was filled with controversey as the replay clearly showed the Leafs were offside. I guess the officials had some cobwebs themselves.
The first ended with the Leafs up 2-1 on a Tyler Bozak snap shot at the 19:22 mark of the first period.
The Habs went back into a very different locker room, with many saying the team is lacking leadership without a captain. The 2nd period proved those people wrong.
Sporting the “A” on his jersey, Tomas Plekanec took a great lead pass from Emelin, setting him up on a break away which he capitalized on.
Plekanec looked like a different player than that of last season, taking on a new role as one of the veteran’s on the team.
Time will tell if the Plekanec that played last night will be the one to show up night in and night out.
The 2nd period yielded just the one goal as the teams went in to the 3rd period all squared up at 2 goals.
I think most of us were waiting to see how long it would take PK Subban to score and it didn’t take very long at all.
With strong play along the boards by David Desharnais, Subban was able to get himself open and fire a wrist shot that made it’s way past Leafs netminder Jonathan Bernier.
Morgan Rielly tied the game at 3, but Tomas Plekanec made sure it didn’t end that way scoring with 42 seconds left in the 3rd to give le Tricolore the victory.
While we didn’t hear his name too often newcomer Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau locked in his first two points notching assists on the Subban and Pacioretty goals.
Manny Malholtra showed us why he was brought in, winning a big faceoff in the dying seconds, bringing his percentage to a whopping 69% in the circle.
Jiri Sekac was a -1 with a little over of 12 minutes ice time, Nerves possibly being a factor.
There was one big difference in tonight’s tilt compared to previous match ups between these two teams.
“Goons”. Neither team went into the contest boasting an “enforcer” on their team. It was almost like a breath of fresh air as both teams were able to compete and play a game based on talent and skill, not based on toughness.
We don’t have to wait too long for Game #2 of the season as the Habs head to Washington to take on the Capitals in America’s Capital.
Michel Therrien has already confirmed Dustin Tokarski will be between the pipes getting him primes immediately for the long 81 game season ahead.