Best line from Twitter:
Sixty per cent of women having sex in Montreal Wednesday night will accidentally scream Brendan Gallagher’s name.
The other 40 per cent will do it on purpose.
Or as muttered by Bruins fans drowning their sorrows in saloons near the TD Garden:
Maybe if they’d had Jarome Iginla for the shootout …
If you’re repeating the joke around the water cooler Thursday morning, feel free to substitute Peter Budaj’s name for Gallagher.
Or have the ecstatics shrieking “P.K.!”
In the Canadiens’ latest crazy clusterfrack of a game, Subban played 30:39. He took seven shots, only one of which missed the net. P.K. was the only Canadien to finish that crazy game at plus-3, a figure matched by Boston’s top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin.
P.K.’s goal – which gave the Canadiens a 2-0 before the second period turned into a nightmare – was the 10th he has scored in 27 games. Project that over an 82-game season and we’re talking about a 30-goal defenceman. The team record is 28, scored by Guy Lapointe in 1974-’75.
Gallagher also scored his 10th – plus the shootout goal that had Tuukka Rask storming off the Garden ice in a stick-smashing fury.
For the second time in March, Boston blew a two-goal lead against the Canadiens on TD Garden ice. This time around, the home team scored four unanswered goals in the second period to lead 4-2. Almost 12 minutes into the third period, they led 5-3.
The Canadiens were in near-total disarray. The Bruins scored their goals with dismaying ease, taking advantage of turnovers and loose coverage. Alexei Emelin’s 100th game in the NHL was probably his worst (and included a penalty in overtime). He and Andrei Markov (whose smarts couldn’t quite compensate for lack of speed and mobility) were on for all four goals the Bruins scored at even-strength.
It was some kind of ugly. The Cup contenders were kicking the butts of the pretenders, reinforcing Boston’s place – along with Pittsburgh, Chicago and L.A. – on an Iginla short list that does not include your Montreal Canadiens.
But a funny thing happened to the Bruins on their way to an undisputed position atop the Northeast Division.
As was the case in the March 2 game, the third period belonged to the visiting team. And you have to think – or maybe hope – the Canadiens are starting to get into the heads of their arch rivals.
The psychodrama continues with an April 6 game at the Bell Centre, where it could get loud. That’s the last of four regular-season meetings, but you just know the Canadiens and Bruins will renew hostilities in the playoffs.
It’s written in the stars. The hockey gods demand this rite of spring.
Next time they play, Boston likely will be bolstered by the return of Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid, plus whomever they trade for – Ryan Clowe? – now that they’ve lost out on Iginla.
And who’ll be dressing for the Canadiens?
In his postgame remarks, Michel Therrien praised the Canadiens’ character, the team’s response to adversity and refusal to quit. And the coach acknowledged his decision to yank Carey Price after 40 minutes changed the game’s momentum.
You can nitpick by suggesting he might have called Timeout to slow the Boston onslaught, but Therrien is having a terrific season. The switch to Budaj was the latest example of coaching decisions that have been coming up roses all season long.
Something that ought to be fixed before the playoffs begin: The Canadiens’ second-period problems.
On L’Antichambre, François Gagnon had some goals-against stats.
Through 33 games, the Canadiens have allowed 14 goals in the first period – best in the league. Their 24 GA in third periods is good for fourth.
But opponents have scored 40 in the second period. That ranks the Canadiens 26th.
There are other issues. Until Markov’s shot somehow found the net with nine seconds left, the PP was pathetic.
Boston has the best PK in the league. But in the absence of Raphael Diaz, Therrien has to find someone with a point shot superior to that of Josh Gorges, whose three shots against Boston all missed the net.
Gallagher’s heroics notwithstanding, the David Desharnais line continues to struggle. Gaston Therrien, on L’Antichambre, said Ryder should be playing right wing with DD and the slumping Max Pacioretty.
Gallagher could play with Alex Galchenyuk, who was good in Boston, and Lars Eller, who was not intimidated by the Bruins.
Who would play with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta? Maybe Brandon Prust, if he returns to action anytime soon. Or Travis Moen.
With the trade deadline looming and their rivals loading up for the postseason, does Marc Bergevin go shopping for a name that could be screamed on a spring night?
Depends on the cost. I wouldn’t mortgage the Canadiens’ future on a rental … or mess with the chemistry of a team that keeps surprising us.