Now that felt good. Just as good as I remember and there was very little to complain about after the first 60 minutes of leaf hockey this year.
Kadri showed patience and hands gathering the puck, firing it over a sprawled Carey Price to net the team’s first of the season. Mike Kostka looked at home playing alongside Dion Phaneuf and made some terrific plays, stealing the puck from Canadiens players in scoring position. Bozak, Kessel and Lupul seemed to find the odd spark in the defensive Carlyle game plan. Grabbo, Kule and C-Mac are still to be determined; they had moments but didn’t really bring the electricity seen 2 seasons ago. Finally, Scrivens didn’t let in any stinkers, which of course instantly vaults him to the status of Goaltending God in Leafs Nation.
There was only one let down: Montreal is not a measuring stick.
All the positives that came out of that game are worth noting, but you may as well forget them by the home opener later tonight. To say this edition of the fabled Habs is destined to disappoint is an understatement. It’s a good thing they passed that torch around, they will need it to light their way down to the basement.
Saturdays game would have been painful to watch if you were a Habs fan. They were emotionless, played without an edge and were very sloppy. So while Toronto did manage a good win that included some sound defensive hockey, they did not have to contend with much and only won 2-1. Let that sink in for a minute, now try not to think what the outcome would have been if Crosby and Malkin replaced Plekanec and Desharnais.
But for right now the Boys in Blue are undefeated, and things are good in leafland at the moment.
The less said about the embarrassment revolving around the Ballard-esk Burke firing the better.