The Canadiens held on to win a wild game 5-4 at the Bell Center against the seldom seen Calgary Flames.
The win proved the Canadiens can adapt and play any style competitively as they went toe to toe physically with the flames and responded time and again even after losing one of their tougher players to a concussion very early in the game.
The Habs scored another shorthanded goal, three powerplay markers and killed off several questionable penalty calls to get the win.
Aaron Downey is in hospital after getting creamed by Robyn Regher early in the game. The hit appeared clean although there is some debate whether or not Regehr left his feet and whether or not Downey even had the puck. There was no penalty called on the play, not even a 2 minute interference call. Downey is a great character player and we hope recovers fully and promptly.
The Canadiens shelled the consensus best goalie in the league Mikka Kiprusoff. Or maybe last night he was Mikka Kiprusoft. 5 goals including 2 from Radek Bonk and Sheldon Souray.
Bonk played his best game in Montreal and started it all with a beautiful simple deke to get a shorthanded goal early. Is there a now a chance he’ll get a shootout opportunity?
Souray despite his defensive lapses proved why he’s still around, by unleashing bombs from the blueline on every powerplay. Converting for 2 goals and an assist while Kovalev did the same and scored the winner on a typical Kovalev ‘cut to the inside’ move.
What about the depth? Higgins and Ryder didn’t score, but instead of floating around they filled other roles. Higgins has been dynamite whenever he’s been on and has anyone ever seen that much foot speed from Michal Ryder? Ryder was throwing his body around too and doing it effectively but maybe not as effectively as Mike Komisarek.
Komisarek is quickly proving he’s ready to be a big player in this league. His hustle and energy are always more than whoever else is on the ice, and he sure got under Jarome Iginla’s skin. Iginla was totally ineffective for the rest of the game. Almost invisible.
The one bright spot for the Flames was Matthew Lombardi who hails from Hudson just west of Montreal. He buried his chances and his two goals kept the Flames close all night.
The Habs third line and Begin in particular were relentless and it wore down the Flames. When the third line is that effective it’ll be hard for the Canadiens to lose.
Huet was questionable but was hung out to dry on a couple of the goals, he did keep it together at the frantic finish and he should settle down after getting his first win at home.
How about Dion Phaneuf? He took several penalties as well as coughed up the first goal all while turtling when Rivet or Souray challenged him. Not impressed.
- Radek Bonk
- Steve Begin
- Sheldon Souray
Hopefully the Habs energy will continue to tonight for a very rare Original Six game in Chicago where they haven’t played since 2002. Chicago’s is much improved but don’t be surprised to see less than 8000 fans in the stands.
Abeischer is fresh and will be between the pipes. Murray should dress in Downey’s position.