So what did you get out of that bizarre 7-4 Habs victory over the Senators Friday night? That there really is a Habs-Sens rivalry? Check. That Pierre McGuire is right that the Canadiens have character? Check. That Peter Budaj is a guy we can count on? Check. That the Senators are a mess? Check. That the Senators have the worst fans (or maybe the least amount of fans) in the league? Check.

But those are side-shows to the main story-line. That would be the one that stars Max Pacioretty.

Patch notched his third – !!! – hat trick of the season, giving him 38 goals on the season. And they were mostly things of beauty, including two breakaways. Even better, he could’ve easily scored a couple more. Even better, he also added two assists and ended the nights with five points.

He is the first Hab to score 38 goals since Vincent Damphousse and Mark Recchi in 1995-1996 and it sets him on pace to become the first Habs’ 40-goal-scorer since Damphousse hit the 40-goal plateau in the 1993-1994 season.

A couple of things. One, Patch is amazing. Just think, he has 38 goals and he had a very slow start of the season. And this morning, he’s sitting pretty in fourth-place in goal-scoring – ahead of Sid the Kid for heaven’s sakes. Second, that line is more than amazing. Yes I grumbled about the Thomas Vanek trade – hey I’m a miserable character! – and my point at the time was that I felt we didn’t need a Rent-A-Player who wasn’t going to sign with us.

But I was wrong and now you know why Marc Bergevin gets the big bucks and I do this scribbling for free. Thanks to Vanek – who’s also on a tear – Montreal is in the playoffs and in a great position. And you know he’ll be a huge asset in the post-season. Now I still haven’t drank the Kool-Aid that so many Habs fans are gulping down these days so you’ll hear no talk of Cup Final appearances here. But two rounds? Yeah we can dream that this morning. But first let’s survive that series with Tampa Bay.

The other thing about Patch’s stats is the absurd fact that not one Hab has scored 40 goals in 20 years. What kind of team goes two decades without one player scoring 40 goals. Who? The Hab-Nots of course. If you needed an indictment of the last 20 years of Habs (mis)management, there it is.

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