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Canadiens Crush Leafs

  • The Montreal Canadiens came racing out of the blocks last night and it propelled them to a 5-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    The Habs managed to kill a very early first Leaf powerplay (4th best) and then scored two goals within 12 seconds to take an early 2-0 lead. There was no looking back after that. The Habs exploded for 4 first period goals in a period where they score the least amount of goals in the league. They were ready.

    The top guns decided to show up. Saku Koivu made a typical Koivu play racing in and feathering a perfect pass to Higgins for the lead. Kovalev rifled a typical walk-in off the boards laser wrister and Sheldon Souray blasted in another rocket from the point.

    If you have been paying attention you’ll notice in the last quarter of the year Sheldon Souray is among the most lethal defenceman in the league. After his poor start it is nice to see him play to his potential and give the Habs big goals.

    Taking the lead early really crushed the Leafs. They have gone 5 games without scoring a goal at even-strength which is a stat I don’t think the Canadiens offence has ever sunk too.

    Cristobal Huet was solid again and very nearly earned his 6th shut out.

    I felt Jeff O’Neill definitely took a cheap shot on Andrei Markov late in the game. Pat Quinn’s attempt at intimidation by sending out a player to fight late in the game failed. O’Neill took it upon himself to ‘send a message’. He wasn’t even involved with Markov but took the oppurtunity to take a shot at his head. The Canadiens best player – who they know is hurt. A cheap and dirty move by O’Neill.

    The Habs are 2-2 on their ‘must win 10′ and the Leaf points are obviously extremely imporant. Another win on Saturday will crush the Leafs and keep the Canadiens in contention.

    Despite winning the Canadiens are still in 9th place trailing Atlanta by a point. The Thrashers are playing desperate hockey after erasing a 4-1 Devils lead to win their second straight overtime game. The Habs hold the important game in hand which they have to take advantage of to get even with or above the Thrashers.

    Doing it once was nice but another big home win against the Leafs would put them out of it for good. A feeling every Canadien fan is hoping to feel Saturday night.

  1. I may be mistaken but I don’t think that Leafs have gone 5 games without scoring a goal in regulation. I think it is that they’ve gone 5 games without scoring a goal even-strengthed. Either way it is still a sad stat.

  2. #2 riser8 says:
    March 24, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    Great team effort last night, but this is no time to relax. The Habs really do have to come away with another win Sat. night to stay close to the teams they are chasing. At this point of the season it doesnt matter who they are playing, they must come away with as many points as they can. I heard Bob Gainey today on the tube and you can tell that he has the team thinking ahead and not behind with regards to the teams in the playoff hunt. Having said this I expect the Habs to win again tomorrow night, but I also expect a much closer game as well.

  3. #3 Dimitri says:
    March 25, 2006 at 11:05 am

    it’s pretty easy: Markov plays the Canadiens win, he doesn’t they don’t.
    Question is, can he stay healthy … It did not help, when Toronto tried to injure him on Thursday…. Gainey needs to find a way to protect him …

  4. It’s funny you should mention Souray’s production late in the season – I meant to inquire about this earlier on…

    The guy has an absolute bomb. So, Habs fans, why does he only have 10 goals? Currently residing in Southern Ontario, I’ve not been able to watch most of the Habs’ games, unfortunately. Was he not on the powerplay earlier in the season?

    That said, it’s time to beat the Leafs again tonight, and then the lowly Penguins–something that they should have done the first time around–tomorrow. Must-wins indeed!

  5. In the words of a hockey fan’s sign last night…”HIP HIP HUET !!!” The habs looked a lot like a team fighting for a playoff position last night while spanking the leafs 6-2 at the bell center…For the second game of this 2 game showdown the Canadiens proved something that we the fans already knew, not only to the leafs, but also to themselves. When this group plays with the heart, intensity and determination they played with during this 2 game “DO OR DIEâ€? mini series. Any team would have a hard time beating them!

    After what seemed to be a little bit of a shaky start to the night, it seemed that the habs were able to regroup and find their game. Toronto to their credit actually played well, they were at times extremely difficult to hold off, but the combination of Montreal finding their game and some poor discipline by leafs, resulted in the lashing they took by the habs. Once again, every aspect of the canadiens’ game was on cue, all four lines were cliking last night and it seemed that the team that forgot to show up in Long Island only 4 nights before, have completely turned it around. The recipe, simple…Koivu, Kovalev, Ryder, Perezhogin and Higgins backed by Begin, Rivet, Bonk, Komisarek,Dandenault and last but not least Markov whom all showed up and played they game they needed to play. Let’s not forget the once again stellar play of Cristobal Huet who’s league-leading save percentage was in no jeopardy by kicking aside 26 of 28 shots!

    It’s always special for me when Montreal plays Toronto, it’s a rivalry that can only be paralleled by playing the bruins, but just a little bit sweeter…Why? The Leaf fans, there’s something about Toronto fans that just makes me cringe…not to say that their any worse than the Boston fans, but I guess it’s the Canadian factor. These are the kind of games that could potentially spark a club into a zone of confidence that the canadiens need to be in right now! Hopefully they will be able to build on these last 2 games and make something of the 05-06 playoffs! I truly hope that this proves to be the turn-around they needed, mostly because I am a !00% true, die hard, bleu-blanc et rouge habs fan…And partially because we would have the leafs to thank for it! ~GO HABS GO

  6. #6 mackenzie says:
    April 24, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    HEY!! you guys rock i lvoe montreal canadians i went to 3 toronto games!!! go you guy!!

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