MONTREAL CANADIENS: 7-4-1 (15 PTS.) vs. FLORIDA PANTHERS: 4-6-2 (10 PTS.)
GAME DAY SONG: Man’s Job By Bruce Springsteen with Bobby King
The Montreal Canadiens play game two of their Florida road trip hoping for a better ending tonight then what they experienced in Tampa on Tuesday. After jumping out to a 3-0 lead against the Lightning, Tampa scored three unanswered goals in just over five minutes, with the game tying goal coming with 44 seconds left sending the tilt to overtime. Montreal held the Lightning to one shot on goal in the extra frame, but couldn’t solve Anders Lindback, who made six saves. Finally Montreal’s David Desharnais scored the only shootout goal to give the Habs the victory. Coach Michel Therrien hopes this was a learning experience for his team:
“You know what? We came to win this hockey game, and this is what we did,” Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. “And we were almost perfect for 54 minutes. We opened the door. We will learn from it.”
Whether Montreal just sat back for the last period, or Tampa decided to dig in their heals and show some character, it’s not the way Montreal wants to win. Despite the scare the Canadiens find themselves sitting in the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference, looking to gain more ground. Therrien who is in his second tour of duty with Montreal, has his team playing (from what I’ve seen) an uptempo style of hockey, utilizing team speed to their advantage. However holding on to leads seems to be an issue. In addition to that, Carey Price has played in 10 of 12 games and one has to wonder if he’ll keep that pace up. As of right now that puts him on track to play 40 of the 48 games, which could leave him gasping for air come playoff time. Whether that matters or not remains to be seen.