Liveblog: Canadiens end season with win over Leafs

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The usual suspects:
Max Pacioretty scored his 33rd, Erik Cole his 35th.
Brad Staubitz got a 200-foot empty-netter
And Tomas Plekanec got a 3-on-5 shorty.
Peter Budaj was really good.

•  •  •

Before the curtain descends on this horror show of a Habs season, might we spare a few kind words for two guys whose dedication and professionalism transcended the team’s last-place finish:
Josh Gorges and Randy Cunneyworth.

• Gorges leads the NHL in blocked shots. As Don Cherry told Dave Stubbs:

It’s one thing for guys to block shots when you’re on the march to the Stanley Cup, but it’s pretty tough to do it when you know you’re going nowhere,” Cherry said. “Guys usually say, ‘Forget it.’ But Gorges is going right to the end.”

Coming off knee surgery and playing against the opponent’s best forwards night after night, Gorges is plus-13 on a team that has lost 51 games.

Cherry is right: No disrespect to Brian Gionta, but number 26 should be wearing the “C”.

• On Friday night’s edition of L’Antichambre, Michel Bergeron – who usually gives it to the Canadiens pretty good – had high praise for Cunneyworth.

You can criticize strategy and decision like using Tomas Kaberle in a shootout, Bergeron said, but you have to admire Cunneyworth’s grace under pressure.

The coach knows he won’t be back behind the Canadiens’ bench next season. But Cunneyworth has comported himself with dignity, class and good humour.

He is a profoundly decent man, and I hope there’s still a good job for him in hockey.

Bergeron suggests before the Canadiens take the ice for their last game, someone – Gorges is the ideal candidate – should get up in the room and say “Let’s play our asses off and win this thing for Randy.”

There isn’t much else in the way of motivation.

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