Wow. What a difference a week makes. Last weekend, the sharks were circling the Montreal coach – eds. note: Et tu Brute? – demanding the head of kindly ol’ benchmeister Michel Therrien.
The Habs had lost four in a row, looked just dreadful and the peanut gallery wanted Therrien to pay the price.
Two games later, Les Boys are riding a two-game win streak, having beat two teams on hot streaks, sending the Carolina Hurricanes packing in definitive fashion 3-0 Tuesday and then dispatching the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins in just as authoritative fashion 4-1 in Beantown Thursday.
All of a sudden Therrien is the man of the hour, going from zero to hero in a matter of days. Even better for him, he looks like Scotty Bowman for having decided to start backup netminder Peter Budaj in Boston. The Slovak goalie now has a 4-0 record at the TD Garden in Boston. And he was spectacular last night. Did you see that sprawling leg save on a pressing Milan Lucic at the side of the net? Game-saver.
So Therrien played a hunch and it paid off – big time.
One of the funny things about last night was that the masked man at the other end of the ice was pretty damn good too – Tukka Rask made some fine saves, with at one point the Boston TV commentator enthusing about how it was ‘Tukka Time’. Then when Brian Gionta made it 3-1 in the second, ‘Tukka Time’ was abruptly shut down, with Claude Julien giving him the hook (rather unfairly I’d say).
So what happened in Boston? Well the Bruins didn’t look like Cup contenders last night, that’s one thing. Lucic, Chara, Marchand. None of them looked impressive.
And the Habs did. My main man Brendan Gallagher had another great game, crashing the net (eds. note: And what else is new?), and brilliantly setting up two breakaway goals, feathering beautiful passes to first Max Pacioretty and then Daniel Briere.
By the way, all of a suddent Briere – a favourite target of disgruntled fans – has eight goals. Now I’m not saying that’s great but keep in mind he’s now on the fourth line with those noted offensive juggernauts George Parros and Travis Moen – and he got two points last night in just 7:39 of ice time. One of the other goal scorers last night, captain Brian Gionta, only has 9 goals and he logs a lot more time on the ice than Briere, yet doesn’t face nearly the same amount of grumbling. Hmmmm.
Hey let’s, at least for a second, celebrate a good week in the Habs Nation. And prepare for a huge weekend, with afternoon games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets. And tell M. Therrien he’s safe in his job for at least another week.