Well that was special. You wait nine-and-a-half months, you forgive the owners in a nanosecond with promises of a free hot dog and chips, and you’re just totally pumped for the first game since last spring starring your beloved Montreal Canadiens.
Things start in promising fashion with a great opening ceremony with the passing of the torch and as you look at Henri Richard, it’s hard to not start dreaming about the glory days of Les Glorieux. But alas that was just a dream. The best line I heard on the game came from – I think but I’m not sure cos I was flipping from sports channel to sports channel Sunday morning – Postmedia columnist Bruce Arthur who said Montreal would be fine if they could play hockey games nearly as well as they do opening ceremonies.
Now okay it’s just one game and they weren’t blown out, it’s true. But keep in mind they were playing a team that will be battling with Les Habs for 12th place in a couple of months;. There just weren’t many positives in Montreal’s 2-1 loss Saturday to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Hot prospect Alex Galchenyuk looked like a hot prospect, with two decent shots and over 13 minutes of cie time, and even I have to admit that Carey ‘What Me Worry?’ Price looked just fine. (Though I would be remiss in not underlining that Jaro ‘Saint’ Halak nabbed a shut-out in his first game of the season with the Blues and Halakit a lot.) The rest of the Habs? Not so much positive to say.
Fact is they looked a lot like last year’s underachieving bunch, which is not all that surprising since they are in fact last year’s underachieving bunch. GM Marc Bergevin added some sandpaper with Brandon Prust (who had his first fight as a Hab), Francis Bouillon, and Colby Armstrong, but didn’t add a whole lot of talent to the sad-sack roster that finished dead last in the East.
They’re also missing one of their best players, a fellow named P.K. Subban, who was watching last night’s game at home in T.O. I gotta think his value goes through the roof after Saturday’s game and it’ll be even higher Tuesday at ten if the Huberdeau/Kovalev show provide the entertainment at the Panthers-Habs match-up that night.
My good pal Tom Burke had it right with his tweet: ‘PK’s ego must be through the roof. They chant his name, they spend the 2nd intermission on HNIC talking about him. King PK.”
So they need to sign him fast. Will he solve all their problems? No. Is his ego an issue in the room? Probably. (Josh Gorges’s comments in Richard Labbe’s piece in La Presse Saturday certainly suggested his team-mates are kind of fed up with him and his dispute with Bergevin.
But this Habs squad needs any help it can get – fast. Sure it’s only one game but what a pathetic game it was.
Here’s the highlight of Saturday’s game, the opening ceremonies:
And here’s a clip of the Simple Plan gig outside the Bell Centre before the game.