Drayson Bowman broke a 2-2 tie with 48-seconds remaining in the third period to give the Canadiens a 3-2 comeback win over the Boston Bruins Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. The Bruins led 2-0 in the first period on goals by Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser. Jiri Sekac scored with ten seconds remaining in the first period and Christian Thomas’ power play goal tied the game in the second period, paving the way for the game winner. Bowman and Thomas also added assists. The Canadiens outshot the Bruins 28-24. The three stars were Bowman, Sekac and the Bruins Spooner.
Making Sense of It –
….Opening Jitters – As one might expect, a ragged hockey game. The Canadiens rookies looked nervous and it showed as the Bruins took advantage for their 2-0 lead. Nikita Scherbak’s clear giveaway led to the opening goal of the game in the fourth minute. A sloppy penalty kill made it 2-0. Most of the rest of the game belonged to the Canadiens.
….Bad Timing – Mike McCarron suffered what appeared to be an arm or shoulder injury when he fell awkwardly into the Boston goalpost under checking from Bruins defenseman David Warsofsky. He left the game and didn’t return. Up to that point McCarron was solid. In eleven shifts he had two shots on goal, three scoring chances and three hits and a takeaway. We’ll know more about the injury Wednesday.
….The Right Way – Things may change in the two weeks leading up to the season opener, but based on what has been seen so far, Jiri Sekac comes to the Canadiens from the KHL ready-made for the NHL. As Michel Therrien said in the post game interviews, “He works. He protects the puck well, and he sees the play well, too. He’s a quick and talented player. We’ll give him a chance to showcase what he can do at the NHL level, and we’ll make a decision on him when the time is right.” Sounds fair.
….Road Runners – The Canadiens love their speed and they have it in spades in both Christian Thomas and Sven Andrighetto. Andrighetto set up Thomas for his goal. Thomas’s speed created the winning goal and led to three other Canadiens scoring chances. Neither one of them is big, but they seem to find open ice a lot. Truth be told, Thomas was probably the game’s first overall star, if the winning goal hadn’t been scored in the final minute.
….Unsung #1 – First star Drayson Bowman was cast off by the Carolina Hurricanes at the end of last season. He is in training camp on a tryout basis. A goal and assist on the night, two shots, three attempts blocked and two hits.
….Unsung #2 – Left wing Nick Sorkin. Who? Signed to a tryout contract with Hamilton in April after graduating from the University of New Hampshire and then signed to a one year Hamilton contract. Played an important role in the game with 5 shot attempts, three on goal. Another big forward prospect at 6’3”
….Unsung #3 – Defenseman Joe Finley. You might remember him as a first round Washington draft choice who was rated a bust. The Canadiens signed him to a one-year AHL contract in July. 27 years old. 6’8” and 200lbs. Don’t know whether he can keep it up but he led the Canadiens with four shots on goal (two more were blocked) and after a shaky first period, seemed very much in control of his game. We’ll see.
….Steady – They’re giving defense partners Greg Pateryn and Jarred Tinordi a long hard look. Pateryn put in a team-leading 28 shifts, Tinordi 27. Give the edge to Pateryn in this one, But. not by much. Pateryn just seemed to have a little more to offer on offense on this night. The Swedish rookie Magnus Nygren also had a few interesting moments.
Moving On – No game on Wednesday. They’ll practice at 11.00 in the morning. Thursday at the Bell Centre, the first of back-to-back games against the Colorado Avalanche with the second game Friday in Quebec City.