Ken Campbell of The Hockey News called the Canadiens 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night “a triumph of speed and skill over pugnacity, testosterone and truculence” on Twitter.
It was also another major step in the remarkable rebuilding job new GM Marc Bergevin has done with the Canadiens, who were sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 13-4-3 record after the win in Toronto. The Canadiens were also in third place overall in the NHL, trailing only Chicago (16-0-3) and Anaheim (14-3-1).
Bergevin’s latest rebuilding move was acquiring Michael Ryder from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, along with a third-round draft pick this year, in exchange for Erik Cole.
Coach Michel Therrien said Ryder “is the kind of player we need,” and used hiim on a line with Lars Eller and rookie Alex Galchenyuk. Ryder played 14:34 and his only shot was blocked, but Therrien was impressed with his debut.
“For a guy who didn’t get any sleep last night, he played a great game,” Therren said.
Therrien gave his team the day off Thursday and scheduled a practice for 11 a.m. Friday in Brossard. Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Bell Centre Saturday (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN 690 Radio), before the Canadiens embark on a five-game road trip that starts Sunday night in Boston and includes stops in Long Island, N.Y., Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida.
(Photo by Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)