The Least in the East beat one of the Best in the West.
What did it prove?
For now, nothing.
For next season – and for the remaining years on Andrei Markov’s contract … well, ya never know.
I harboured a few concerns heading into the game.
Given Markov’s injury history, was it really wise to bring him back against a lineup that includes Alexandre Burrows, Max Lapierre?
Markov played 17:09.
Misplaying Ryan Kesler on the Canucks’ goal, Markov was in danger of finishing minus-1 until he was on the ice for the Erik Cole goal that put the game out of reach.
Do you believe that for as well as he’s played, that was Cole’s first two-goal game as a Canadien?
(I’m too lazy to check, but I bet there were a few when he was in Carolina.)
Back to Markov: Everything we could have hoped for. Sure a hat trick, eight hits and a winning fight would have been great, but hey – Canadiens hockey is not a Pixar animation film.
And if it were, what role would P.K. Subban play?
Man, he has been great on the western swing.
My pressbox neighbour at Rogers Arena was Marc Antoine Godin. I asked him how his colleague, François Gagnon – whom I respect as much as anyone on the hockey beat in Montreal – could even think of trading P.K., let alone advocate it in his column.
“But if you could get Eric Staal in return,” Godin said.
I know, I know: the Canadiens have spent 20 years or whatever looking for a big centre.
But where would you place Staal among the NHL’s elite forwards compared to P.K.’s stature?
And in a league increasingly dominated by young players – how about that Claude Giroux shootout goal in Toronto? – who has the greater upside, Staal or P.K.?
There’s you Sunday debate material.
I need sleep on my last night inVan.