Saturday night: usually a party night but this weekend it was thanksgiving. Two things fell on that night, a gathering over at a place called Vegas and the 2nd Habs game of the season. I was amongst some familiar faces with a feast going on in the kitchen, while in the living room two foes were battling against each other in the rematch of last Spring’s second round playoff run.
Thanksgiving is a time when I get together with good friend for a good meal, getting to watch the latest rivalry to have sprouted up between Montreal and the Pittsburgh Penguins is a bonus. The Penguins are normally a powerhouse and would easily contend for the Stanley Cup however they’ve had a hard time beating Montreal as of late.
Never underestimate an underdog cause chances are, we will make Sidney Crosby cry… again.
It was the return of Mike Cammalleri, coming back from a suspension from a preseason incident. He was itching to play a good game, the Pens knew that he would be someone to look out for, he was a problem for them last spring…
So, no surprise, when he scores the 1st goal of the game in the second period.
The party at Vegas was happening in the kitchen, I didn’t want to miss the action going on there but didn’t want to miss the game either. I was introduced to new faces and got to see the familiar ones I haven’t seen in a while, all in the company of two kinds of potatoes and gravy. Good times, however when I wasn’t looking I missed the Evgeni Malkin goal from Sidney Crosby that tied it up.
Crosby to Malkin reminds of great linemates over the years, like Gretzky to Messier or Lemieux to Jagr.
It also reminds me that I have no Malkin to watch games with. Last season I had someone to watch games with however he has gone the route to the hipster life. Oh, where am I going to find another Malkin? Sigh.
Maxim Lapierre throughout this game has gotten into a lot of scraps as we dug into our turkey and fixings. He would mix it up with Chris Letang, Max Talbot or any Penguin player he would see. He shows passion and we hope this trend will continue all season.
PK Subban played a career high 24 minutes, filling in on a much depleted defense. Each time he touched the puck however, a sea of boos would follow. Last season in Pittsburgh during playoffs, his skate cut the boot of tough forward Jordan Staal and he hasn’t returned to hockey this season (foot infection). So much hate for such an awesome rookie, as he once again crowds around Crosby and makes him eat plexiglass. Again.
We ate, drank and were merry until Carey Price let in rookie Mark Letestu’s goal and the room got quiet. That feeling returned, the intensity of the playoffs was happening in the second game of the season. Both teams haven’t won a game yet, the Habs needed a good start before returning to Montreal. It was almost like last Spring, hard hits, Crosby frustrated, rushing the net except for one thing…
There was great play between the pipes for Montreal but it wasn’t Jaroslav Halak.
Dave Stubbs quoted it on Twitter: “Penguins must figure that’s Halak in a Price jersey. Carey’s on fire tonight”. There was a point in the third where the Pens were scrabbling in front of the Habs net and the goalie’s mask was knocked off.
Yes, it was Carey Price having a great night. Couldn’t stop the Malkin shot but created havoc on Sidney Crosby and the rest of the team. The Canadiens did him a favor and didn’t let him down either, Cammalleri scored another and 24 seconds later and Scott Gomez got the winning goal. They supported their goalie, they knocked down the Penguins…again. Montreal 3, Pittsburgh 2, Carey Price 36 saves and actually played awesome.
Before we jump on the idea that Price can replace Halak or we’re going back to the playoffs or whatever, this was game 2 of the season. The real test will be Wednesday, can the Habs and Price handle the ultimate pressure: a Montreal Crowd? I think the rematch win was one hurdle to get over, dealing with the Bell Centre crowd who’s hearts still bleed for Halak will be much worse.
And with that, I’m stuffed. Thanks to everyone at Vegas for the food and fun.
We’re open to comments and ideas for the blog: Question of the day will be “Where should I go to watch the 1st home game this Wednesday?”