For most of the last four years, goaltending has been the engine that drove the Canadiens. The Canadiens weren’t seeing much of it over the last month the result has been the worse December in decades.
Monday night in Tampa the Canadiens had a goaltender finally win a game for them. There were signs that Mike Condon was getting his confidence back in Washington on Saturday. He gets full credit for the win in Tampa Monday. Condon stopped 36 of 39 shots in the game plus two of three in the shootout and in the process took a whole troop of monkeys off the backs of his teammates.
Count the blessings. End of a six game losing streak. End of six game losing streak on the road. Three goals in a game for the first time since December first. End of the seven game two-season losing streak against Tampa.
Condon ends a personal seven game losing streak. Tomas Plekanec ended a goalscoring drought which lasted a quarter of a regular season – 21 games. And he scored the game’s first goal, the first time in seven games the Canadiens had a 1-0 lead.
After being well nigh invisible through the first two periods, Max Pacioretty seemed to finally come to life in the third and overtime. He’still mired in the worst scoring slump of his career but it was Pacioretty who won the game in the third round of the shootout.
Dale Weise saved the day by answering those quick back-to-back third period Tampa goals with his career high eleventh of the season although it seemed like the review took about half an hour. That was the goal that sent the game into overtime.
Seems to me, the more you work P.K. Subban the better he gets. He was on the ice for almost half the game again (29:18). All five of the shots he took hit the net. Also four hits and three blocked shots.
All of it positive news. Can it be sustained? There are quite a few on the team still not playing very well. And now the Canadiens are in Sunrise Florida for their second game in 24 hours against one of the teams battling them for the lead in the Atlantic Division. Ben Scrivens will make his Canadiens debut. We’ll see how that works out.