Reto Berra, Alex Galchenyuk, Bruno GervaisAlex Galchenyuk scored at 3:28 of overtime to give the Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night at the Bell Centre.  The goal came two seconds after the Avalanche had killed of a secondovertime penalty in a row.  P.K. Subban led the Canadiens with a goal and two assists.  The other Canadiens goal was scored by Max Pacioretty.  For the Avalanche, who led 2-1 in the second period, it was Tyson Barrie and Gabriel Landeskog.  Carey Price evenly divided goaltending with Peter Budaj.  Shots on goal were 36-27 in favour of the Canadiens.  The three stars were P.K. Subban, Nathan MacKinnon and Steve Thomas.   The teams will meet again Friday night in Quebec City.

Making Some Sense of It

DominatorP.K. Subban downplayed his night after the game, “It’s only training camp and we were playing against half of an NHL team.”  Point taken.  Still, nobody else had a point on every goal for his team, played 29:43 (8 minutes more than any of his teammates) and took 15 shots on goal, including six that hit the target.

The Veterans –  P.K. is right, it is only September hockey and the roster players are getting their game in shape at their own pace.   From that group, the most noticeable were Max Pacioretty (7 shots on goal ), David Desharnais, Brandon Prust and Peter Budaj.  Budaj deserves special mention because he came on midway through the game and stopped all 17 shots, some of them labeled.

His Time Is…..Not Yet – There is no doubt that Alex Galchenyuk is ready play centre ice on a top line for the Canadiens.  His goal, in which he undressed defenseman Tyson Barrie before roofing the puck on Reto Berra, was only the last act in another important performance.  Despite that, barring trade or injury, the numbers game says he’s destined to wind up on the wing again on October 8th.

Scherbak – Not much seen of the Canadiens first round draft pick.  He was given 16 shifts, most of them with Galchenyuk and Gallagher without a shot attempt. Good experience for the kid.  The best moments for the Galchenyuk line came with Michael Bournival on the left wing.

In A Pinch –  Right wing Steve Thomas came to the Bell Centre fulling expecting to be sitting in the press box but Dale Weise came up sick and Thomas was told to dress in the twenty minutes between the warm up and the game.  He wound up the game’s third star.  He took eight shots, three on goal and drew first assist on the game winning goal.

Mixed Opinion –  Everyone has an opinion of Thomas’ potential.  Some say he’s too small.  Other’s that he lacks all of the skill package needed in the NHL.  On the other hand, Michel Therrien said after the game that he liked the way Thomas makes things happen and how quick he is on the puck.  I’m more on Therrien’s side  on this.  Even so, he’s destined to start the year in Hamilton.  That numbers game again.

On Defense – Outside of Subban, Greg Pateryn seemed to be very much involved in this game.  And we got the steady night we’ve come to expect from Mike Weaver.  He did take seven shots, three of them on-goal.  Mixed game from Alexei Emelin.  He led the Canadiens with six hits but was on the ice for both goals.  His giveaway paved the way for the second one.  Davis Drewiske had some moments but his chances of making the team ranks between slim and nil.

Next Up – The same teams in Quebec City Friday night.  Then the Canadiens come home to complete their 4 games in six nights opening week of their exhibition season Sunday evening against Washington.  That game starts at 6pm by the way.