One week ago, the Montreal Canadiens opened up their season against the Toronto Maple Leafs. They finished their four-game road trip with a 3-1 record but that record doesn’t tell the whole story.
A lot of people will look at this game and say that the Canadiens got lucky on their game-winning goal in the game’s final minute. Maybe so, but the Maple Leafs were equally as lucky on their game-tying goal two minutes earlier.
All in all, it was a back and forth game, and the first time that Montreal defeated Toronto in the season opener in four tries. It was also a sign of things to come.
It was a slow start for the Canadiens in this one, allowing the first 14 shots of the game.
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However, Dustin Tokarski kept the team in the game and they got stronger as the game went on to eventually tie and win the game in a shootout. Tomas Plekanec was again the hero, scoring the only regulation time goal for the Canadiens.
The Canadiens thought they had two other regulation time goals but one was waved off and the other didn’t actually go in the net.
This one was a crazy one. Down 3-0 after 40 minutes rarely has been good news for the Canadiens. Usually that means you pack it up and hope you do better next time. But, this year, the Canadiens even strength offence has been pretty good. (And it’s a good thing as they have yet to score on the power play).
The Canadiens roared back with three goals in the span of just over seven minutes. Again, Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk worked their magic. P.A. Parenteau scored his first goal with the Canadiens – albeit in a shootout – to secure the win. With four goals in four games, I didn’t expect my prediction of Plekanec’s offence to improve to happen so quickly.
At the end of a long season-opening road trip that includes four games in six nights, this was bound to happen. Steven Stamkos remembered he was Steven Stamkos and the Canadiens didn’t have enough juice to respond.
To put this game into perspective, the Canadiens allowed two less goals than the Montreal Alouettes allowed points in their game earlier in the afternoon.
Carey Price was pulled as his season hasn’t gotten off to the best start. However, there is no goaltending controversy. Just Michel Therrien giving his goaltender some rest.
All in all, it was a successful week – and road trip – for the Canadiens. Six points and a 3-1 record will work every single time, even if it wasn’t as easy as the record would normally look.
The Canadiens now come back home for their game tomorrow night against the Boston Bruins. It is the team’s home opener and with the Bruins struggling, you can imagine they want to avenge their playoff defeat much like Tampa Bay did.
However, for the first time with the home crowd, playing their fiercest rival and coming off of their worst showing in perhaps a couple of years, I would expect the Habs to come out strong.