The Habs moved 2-0 against the Florida Panthers this year with a 4-3 overtime victory. They made it a lot harder than it should have been, blowing a 3 goal lead in the 3rd period and leaving it 4 seconds away from a shoot out.
Did the Canadiens deserve to win? I don’t think so. Did they paly a full 60 minutes? Of course not. Instead of sleeping for 40 minutes and playing for 20, the Canadiens played for 40 and took a nap for 20. Either way the result is the same, INCOMPLETE GAME. The Habs are incredibly lucky to have come up with a W. If they don’t learn to play a full game their winning luck will surely end sooner rather than later.
The Canadiens did some good things. They came out on fire, and their powerplay was dominant each chance they got keeping the puck in the offensive zone time and time again. Saku Koivu played like a man possesed, but he always does. Scoring 2, including the heroic overtime goal – he also broke up a 3-0 defensively and was strong on every shift. I guess when you beat cancer every single shift is a gift and he knows it. Steve Begin follows his work ethic and it shows. Scoring again and throwing his body all over the place, he had a little tussle with Eric Cairns and made the smart decision not to drop the gloves. He is after all a 7 goal scorer, equal to Alex Kovalev.
Sheldon Souray did some good things too. He roughed it up with Gary Roberts behind the net and that is exactly how he must play in order to be effective. Get back to his basics, strong rough and painful to play against. Chipping in a long field goal pass to Koivu for the winner also helps.
As good as our record indicates, we still haven’t played to our full potential.