Cornwall ON – David has slain Goliath. Tonight David being Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens who came back from a 3 games to 1 deficit to defeat the best team in the NHL this season 2-1 in game seven of their first round series.
It was end to end action from start to finish. Washington threw everything they had. The defining moment for me was a cutaway to Caps owner Ted Leonstis which summed it up for a shocked Washington Capital team.
Alex Ovechkin took 10 of Washington’s 42 shots on goal, and that doesn’t count blocked shots! Alex Semin took 8. Both stars had an assist for the night, but were stymied again and again by Montreal’s defense.
I hope Hal Gill gets to finish his career as a Montreal Canadien. His play this series was short of stunning. His shot blocks made the Habs a winner.
Personally I’ve rooted for Jaroslav Halak for over a year now. When you’re a number one pick there are a lot of powers at play. Big agents, big money, and the politics of Carey Price never got in his way. He showed a lot of class and made the most of all of his opportunities and if he never played another game this series and the Olympics have defined him as a great NHL goal tender.
As I’ve written elsewhere it only gets easier from here. After you beat the best in the NHL you get to play the next team on the food chain. Next stop Sydney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
And I know I’ve been hard on Bob Gainey as a GM, but you could see the character he went out and bought in the off season. The Hall Gill’s, Travis Moen’s, and Scott Gomez has played a heck of the series. Brian Gionta and my favorite Hab Mike Cammallieri also led the way, but the hero of the night is Jaroslav Halak who has given Habs fans a goalie to root for like they haven’t had since Patrick Roy.
The challenge to coach Jacques Martin and the boys are to win more face offs and spend more time in the other team’s zone in the next series.
For tonight; it’s time to breathe, celebrate, and get ready for round two.
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And for you Hab Fans here’s a special sneak from You Tube.