You would have preferred a Canadian victory. Well yes, we would all have liked that. But we have to admit that we were treated to an entertaining show last night. The COVID-19 pandemic was far in our thoughts.
This evening, we have been waiting for a long time. Hockey is part of our customs. It’s when we miss something that we learn to appreciate it more.
The Canadian would have deserved a better fate.
He did everything except win. But if he continues to play the way he did against the Leafs – and there’s no reason to think he won’t – the rest of the winter will be enjoyable.
Everything was going so well
The Habs had the Leafs in the cables with a 3-1 lead in the second period. He was the one who dictated the game.
The Leafs looked completely overwhelmed until Nick Suzuki and Shea Weber were hit back after minor penalties in the dying minutes of the second period.
By scoring twice during those power-play superiorities, the Leafs have come to life. The Canadian did not give up and the outcome of the match was played in overtime.
The new first trio
But we saw a lot of beautiful things at the Habs. The trio of Jonathan Drouin, Nick Suzuki and Josh Anderson was threatening all night long.
Without wanting to offend Tomas Tatar, Phillip Danault and Brendan Gallagher, the Canadian’s first trio is now that of Drouin, Suzuki and Anderson.
Drouin found in Suzuki the center player he had missed since arriving in Montreal.
When you look at this Suzuki, you wonder why the Vegas Golden Knights let him go in the deal that sent Max Pacioretty to the gaming capital. He is an all-star player in the making.
I don’t know if I would trade him at the Columbus Blue Jackets for Pierre-Luc Dubois. I would be really annoyed.
Dubois is also quite a player, but Suzuki really has something special. He has eyes all around his head. He has an unusual sense of the game. It is effective in all three areas.
For those wondering, on the other hand, how Josh Anderson would behave after having had a shoulder operation, they had their answer. He has quite a shot and rushes to the net at train speed.
Romanov already in the top 4
And what about Alexander Romanov?
He has already made his place among the Canadiens’ top four defenders.
It is true that he is awfully lit in the heat of the moment. He makes plays like you don’t often see from a 21-year-old defenseman.
Have you seen his passes?
And as Claude Julien told me on Tuesday, he doesn’t hesitate to shoot at the net when the opportunity arises. The puck does not stay long on his stick.
Hope has returned
Okay, I stop here before you think I fell on my head. But yes, there is reason to be optimistic.
For the first time in a long time, the Canadian is sowing hope. This team is day and night with the formations that have made us die in the last few years.
She’s capable of scoring goals in all ways. The massive attack hit the mark twice in three power-play superiorities in this first meeting.
I am already looking forward to the next game.
Winter promises to be more pleasant.
It takes luck
Claude Julien begins his 18th yeare season as head coach in the National League. If it is a great success, the man remains very humble. He’s not the type to go crazy.
“It’s not easy to lead in this league,” he begins by saying.
“I consider myself fortunate to still be in office because not many of us in the Brotherhood have long careers in the league. “
It is a sign that they have mastered their profession well. But again, Julien brings a downside.
“No matter your skills, you must be lucky anyway,” he adds.
“It helps when you have good teams in your hands. In this regard, my years in Boston have really helped me. We relied on competitive training. “
In 2011, the Bruins won their first Stanley Cup in 39 years under his leadership.
At the junior level, Julien led the Hull Olympiques to conquer the Memorial Cup in 1997. While these two championships are the highlights of his career, he remembers other moments that are dear to him.
“Three years after our Memorial Cup victory, we lost in seven games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final against Rimouski, with 17 rookies in our ranks.
“When I started in Boston [saison 2007-2008], the Bruins had missed the playoffs the previous season. In the first round, we faced the Canadian, who was widely favorite. We were an ordinary team, but the Canadian needed seven games to beat us.
“Most of the players we found in our team weren’t there when we won the cup three years later. These are things that cannot be forgotten. “
Eight lifted the cup
If it’s tough to lead in the NHL, imagine what it’s like to win. They are only eight of the current 31 coaches who own Stanley Cup rings.
Joel Quenneville has earned three single-handedly with the Chicago Blackhawks and Mike Sullivan two with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the others being John Tortorella (Tampa Bay), Peter Laviolette (Caroline), Barry Trotz (Washington), Craig Berube (Saint -Louis), Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay) and Julien.