Welcome back, George Parros.
Dressed for a game in which there were three minor penalties and nothing close to a fight, the Canadiens’ enforcer – along with linemates Ryan White and Michael Blunden – was on the ice for three Minnesota goals.
The Canadiens’ “energy line” was on the bench, however, when Jason Pominville’s second goal of the night gave Minnesota a win the home team did not entirely deserve.
The Canadiens outshot the Wild 31-25.
They fought back from a 3-1 deficit, and a minimum of one point seemed well within reach when Pominville popped the winner.
Will Parros play Saturday night in Colorado?
Max Pacioretty is expected to return to the Canadiens’ lineup against the Avalanche, and coach Michel Therrien will have some juggling to do.
We all know which forward should be in the pressbox Saturday night.
David Desharnais played 17:24 in Minnesota. That’s almost two minutes more ToI than Alex Galchenyuk, who was easily the Canadiens’ best forward.
As was the case Tuesday against Dallas at the Bell Centre, DD had no shots on goal. He went 7-10 in the faceoff circle.
In 14 games this season, Desharnais has no goals and one assist.
He’s in the first year of a four-year contract paying $3.5 million per season. That’s less than half of what Scott Gomez was making, but comparisons to the worst move Bob Gainey ever made grow more apt with each inept Desharnais performance.
I would be astonished if DD is a healthy scratch in Colorado. I think he’ll be centring Rene Bourque and Pacioretty, in the hope that the return of Max-Pac might rekindle the magic of the 2011-’12 season, when the line of Desharnais, Pacioretty and Erik Cole carried the Canadiens … albeit to a last-place finish.
Unless Therrien wants to move Galchenyuk to centre – and why mess with the Canadiens’ best line? – he doesn’t have a lot of options in terms of what to do with DD.
Sit him and play Louis Leblanc at centre? Nah. Too much pressure on a guy who’s finally showing signs of NHL-level talent.
No, Desharnais will play against the Avalanche. And Patrick Roy will be up all night figuring out ways to contain him.
Credit the Canadiens with coming back from 1-0 and 3-1 deficits on the road.
Credit Andrei Markov with another superbly cerebral effort: 24:42, three shots on goal, two blocked shots and assists on all three goals. I don’t know how effective Markov will be in April – especially after playing for Russia in Sochi – but right now the veteran is playing himself into a new contract with the Canadiens …. or, if the roof falls in, a trade to a Cup contender.
Credit the Canadiens with discipline: two minor penalties against Dallas earlier this week, only one – a Rene Bourque slash – against Minnesota.
Michaël Bournival played another strong game, relentlessly pursuing pucks all over the ice and making good plays for his linemates, Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.
In the battle of Norris Trophy contenders, P.K. Subban played 24:05, had a goal and an assist, seven SoG, three hits and ended the game at plus-1.
Ryan Suter played 26:35, blocked four shots and was minus-1.
Jonas Brodin, the Wild’s phenom, played 26:54. He was beaten along the wall by Galchenyuk on the play that led to Brendan Gallagher’s goal, but the Canadiens’ phenom is going to do that to a lot of defencemen.
Especially when Galchenyuk starts geting more ice time than Desharnais.
That’s it for a truncated version of ALN, peeps.
The Ol’ Blogger is nursing the first cold of the season, and I gotta lace ’em up again in less than 24 hours.