Really? No Galchenyuk. No Desharnais. And 10-1?
The Colorado Avalanche have struggled this season but they came into the Bell Centre fresh off a 4-2 win over the Bruins Thursday in Boston and Bell Centre roof fell in on them.
Teams have nights like that, on both ends of the scoresheet. Depending on your hockey superstition there are those who refer to it as “puck luck” others invoke the “hockey gods”.
The nine-goal winning margin will erase memories of the 10-0 beat down handed them by the Columbus Blue Jackets five weeks ago.
The Canadiens had a 6-0 lead before the game was 14 minutes old. The historic tendency at that point has been for teams to take their foot off the gas. Passes don’t become as sharp, checks aren’t finished quite as aggressively and the energy level goes down. Not the case for the Canadiens. For the second game in a row, it was gung-ho for three periods, especially defensively. They allowed only nine Colorado shots the final two periods.
A four goal – five point night for Max Pacioretty. First four-goal night of his career (he has had 3 career hattricks). He had eight shots on goal and six scoring chances.
It had been suspected for the last six to eight weeks that there was something wrong with the team captain. He scored only two goals through twelve games in November and seemed to a half step behind the puck most of the time. He finally revealed this week that he was playing through a bone-break in his foot. The foot has healed up and with his explosion against the Avalanche he now has 8 goals and 3 assists over his last eight games.
THE LAST TIME ….
There was a scramble to catch up to the Canadiens record book. The Canadiens scored six goals in the first period for the first time since December 17th 1992 against the Quebec Nordiques. …….It was the first Canadiens ten goal game in over 26 years, dating back to Valentine’s Day 1990 when they beat the Vancouver Canucks at the Montreal Forum.
RIDING THE WAVE –
The Canadiens have scored 15 goals in the two games since they got the news that centres Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais will be out of the lineup until the All-Star break in late January. It’s not going to be like this every night. When Carey Price was injured last season the Canadiens came together to go 3-0-1 over the next four games before they went into their legency collapse.
ALSO WORTH MENTIONING
….Like Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec has been a season long fan whipping boy. Given linemates Pacioretty and Radulov he quietly produced 4 assists and was plus four. He’s played with them three games now and has 1 goal five assists. We also should mention he won 10 of 13 faceoffs and his line combined for 11 points.
….I really like what I’ve in the two games Zach Redmond has played since he came off the injury list. I have no idea what Colorado was thinking when they let Redmond go to free agency, especially when you look at the way their defense is playing this season. Redmond and defense partner Nathan Beaulieu were both plus-4 on the night. Redmond has two assists and Therrien had enough faith in the pair that he gave them 19:31 and 22:34 respectively which allowed him to reduce the workload on Weber (22:10) and Markov (18:46).
….That Emelin hit on Joe Colborne late in the game was as legal as you can get,. Spectacular -yes; but legal. The referees called Emelin for clipping but the check was not at the knees. It was only Emelin’s third hit in a quiet night for Emelin.
….Brian Flynn hardly ever gets a mention. He scored his first two goals of the season. When he came back from his injury it immediately injected life back into the fourth line which had started the season well offensively and then fell back in his eleven game absence.
….For those who like to look deeper into the stats – the Canadiens took 47 unblocked shots at the Colorado goal to only 21 for the Avalanche, who will play their second game in 24 hours in Toronto Sunday night.
The Canadiens face the Bruins Monday night at the Bell Centre where their season record is 14-1-1 to start the season. Carey Price will again get the start. Then three days off before they got back to back against San Jose at home Friday and the Capitals in Washington on Saturday.