If he were alive, John Lennon would be 70.
Carey Price is 23.
P.K. Subban is 21.
Based on how they played in Pittsburgh, imagine how good these young studs are going to be?
Fans have been waiting for Price to steal a game.
The wait is over.
In game played as though it were Game 8 of last year’s conference semi-final, Price made 36 saves – many spectacular.
They key: After giving up a five-hole goal to Mark Letestu, Price resumed being the best goaltender on the ice at the Consol Energy whatever.
How often, in the past, has Price sagged – and his team along with him – after a bad goal?
Not this time.
This was Carey Price’s statement game.
And the statement was two words of one syllable, directed at his detractors.
The first word starts with F. The second with Y.
And I think Subban may have used that exact phrase in chirping back at the Penguins, who tried to run the kid all night.
With the crowd booing every time he touched the puck, P.K. played 24:20 – high for both teams, and almost three minutes more than Sidney Crosby.
Oh, and welcome back, Mike Cammalleri. He torched the Penguins in the playoffs and had two tonight.
In other news, Scott Gomez had his first shot on goal, a mere 118 minutes and 12 seconds into the season.
And it went in … because on this night, at least, Marc-André Fleury was not Carey Price.
So, happy days are here again, right.
Wrong. Critics of the Canadiens can point to:
• a horrible second period
• a parade to the penalty box, product of indiscipline, chasing the puck and brain farts on the bench (two Too Many Men calls)
• Gomez scored, but his line has started the season in neutral
• Tomas Plekanec, Benoit Pouliot and Andrei Kostitsyn each had one SoG
• Lars Eller played a shade over nine minutes, after 16:27 in the opener, and was a non-factor.
• Ryan O’Byrne had five hits, but man, he is an adventure on D
• Hits were 47-27 Pittsburgh.
• Max Lapierre’s hit on Kris Letang was something the league is trying to eliminate.
This was a HUGE win. Had the Canadiens come home 0-2, the Bell Centre would have been a tense building on Wednesday night.
As it is, the player introductions will engender a good deal of roof-raising applause … none louder than what we’ll hear for number 31.
Some positive notes:
• Jeff Halpern, playing for the NHL equivalent of chump change this season, was 8-2 on faceoffs and heroic on the PK.
• Josh Gorges played 23:51, including a team-high 3:35 on the PK. He was plus-2 and took the shot that Cammalleri tipped in to tie the game. Three words od advice: SIGN HIM, PIERRE!
• Dustin Boyd skates like the wind and does all the little things well. Bonus to the pro scout who recommended him to Gauthier.
• After a horrible pre-season and a rough night in Toronto, Jaro Spacek played like the heady, steady vet that he is.
• AK46 skated, hit and had two assists. And don’t overlook his play at the blueline to keep the puck in the Pittsburgh zone on the typing goal.
• Benny had five hits. Great, but I don’t think he’s supposed to be a francophone Travis Moen. Gotta credit his energy, though.
• The power-play was blanked in three man advantages and is 0-6 on the season. But there were signs of life, particularly with the first wave. Subban was a magician, and the PP is going to be beyond sweet when Andrei Markov returns.
• Alexandre Picard had a clean stat line: no hits, no blocked shots. But I thought he was smart with the puck (his pinch began the sequence that led to the typing goal in the third period) and may force O’B into the pressbox when Roman Hamrlik returns.
Markov, Subban, Gorges, Gill, Spatch and Hamrlik: imagine that D playing in front of Carey Price.