Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
It’s difficult to say that P.K. Subban has had a coming out party, when he is the defending Norris Trophy winner. But he had a coming out party tonight as he scored the first and last goals in the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 double overtime win in Game 1 of their Atlantic Division Final against the Boston Bruins.
It might have been Subban’s best game of the entire season and may be enough to shift some of the narratives surrounding him outside of Montreal. Speaking of shifting narratives, how about Carey Price? Four years ago, he was sitting on the bench watching Jaroslav Halak. It was fitting that he stole a game the same day that Halak was traded to his fourth team in two months.
Price, who had huge question marks coming into the season has gone on to win an Olympic Gold Medal and has won five straight playoff games. Between the Olympics and NHL Playoffs, Price is 10-0.
Coming into the game, I mentioned a few things as the key to the game. They turned out to be pretty bang on, if I say so myself. Although I missed the Canadiens power play. The first 10 minutes was very important and Price keeping the Bruins off the board set the tone for the first 40 minutes.
Rene Bourque – and his line with Lars Eller and Brian Gionta were unbelievable again and led directly to two goals. Tuukka Rask wasn’t “shit,” as he said in his own words. But he wasn’t great. Price was. And the line of Max Pacioretty, Thomas Vanek and David Desharnais weren’t good at all but get a reprieve – if only slightly – due to the win.
Remember this is only one game and it obviously takes four to win. Not many people were saying the Bruins would win in four games, so this doesn’t change much. However, taking home ice from Boston at this point has to be a positive. They have a lot of work to do. They were rusty, that’s for sure and it showed. However, to play poorly and win feels a lot better than playing well and winning. Especially after blowing leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the third period.
The Canadiens were saying the right things after the game and know they need to play better almost to a man. This win is important as well as the Canadiens have historically struggled in afternoon games and that is exactly what they have in front of them on Saturday.