Under the circumstances …

A great effort.

Canadiens blow a 3-2 lead with six minutes to go and lose in OT. But playing without Saku Koivu and dressing only 17 skaters, the team hung tough and came away with a well-deserved point.

The traditionally

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About the last two nights …

I don't know how many delusional out-patients living on the street in Montreal you'd have to poll before you found one who would have predicted the Canadiens' two

Get out the broom

Canadiens score 10 goals on their Florida swing and sweep the Lightning and Panthers.

Ten names on the scoresheet both nights.

And that doesn't include Cristobal Huet, who made 40

About last night … and tonight

Obvious deduction: Kyle Chipchura was the problem.

The hard-working rookie watched from the pressbox as his teammates played one of their better games of the season in Tampa Bay

Domination – for 59 minutes

A late goal by Jan Hlavac – who is so firmly ensconced in his coach's doghouse that it's gone condo – makes the 5-2 final score vaguely respectable.

But

About last night …

What is there to say?

Canadiens didn't show up in Dallas. Lacking heart and conviction, they were beaten by a superior team and, in the process, allowed their general

Ribeiro’s revenge

Take that, Bob.

Mike Ribeiro scored a goal and added two assists, leading Dallas Satrs to a 4-1 stomping of the woeful Canadiens.

And so the Dec. 23 jinx continues.

Canadiens

About last night …

Good to get one point – even if it should have been two.

Canadiens played a superb road game. They outskated the home team and outshot the Thrashers in

3-2 in a shootout … again

Déja vu all over again.

Except this time, Canadiens deserved to win their game against Atlanta. Unlike the 3-2 Thrashers win at the Bell Centre – also decided

About last night …

With two games to play before Dec. 25, it might be too early to dust off the hoary "Christmas came early" cliché. But you had to think that a