The Montreal Canadiens took out the Dallas Stars last night to move 2-0 since the Coaching change on Saturday. The Canadiens scored early and held off the best road team in the league the rest of the game to get the 2 points.
Although only 2 games in, It’s shocking to see what a shakeup can do to the team and to certain individuals in particular. Mike Ribeiro emerged from outer space and finally stepped up scoring 2 consecutive powerplay goals. That makes it 3 for him in the last 2 games after going scoreless in 15 games. Ribeiro still has more to prove as he works himself out of the doghouse but his recent play may be eye catching to certain teams rumored to be interested in trading for him. A week ago everyone hated him, last night he’s a hero. Don’t discount the possibilty of him still being on the trading block. It’ll be up to him to continue to prove he belongs on the team.
The Canadiens played hard and looked confident against one of the league’s best. Mike Ribeiro played with purpose, Saku Koivu mixed it up in front of the net and that kind of play rubs off on teammates. Goal scorers scored their goals, energy players like Chris Higgins, Garth Murray and Steve Begin were all over the place and keeping the tempo and intensity high. Goaltending was there when needed.
Did anyone notice Garth Murray’s ice time continually rising? Remeber it was Bob Gainey who made the deal for Murray and now Bob Gainey’s calling the #’s behind the bench. He traded for him for a reason and I’d expect to see him used more and more. I like his style and he seems to know his role and does it nightly. I’d be curious to see if he drops the gloves any time soon against another middle weight and share the pest role with Steve Begin.
Andrei Markov left the game with a ‘shoulder injury’ and didn’t return. How serious it is is not known at the moment but should he go down that would be a huge blow for the Habs especially with the difficult road trip looming. The Canadiens dropped the 3 games Markov was suspended for earlier in the season and he is without doubt the leader on D.
The Habs hit the road for the Northwest and take on the Flames Thursday night.