The Hamilton call-up was actually pretty good.
And Dumont’s line – with Brad Staubitz and Aaron Palushaj – drew praise from Randy Cunneyworth for their energy and physical play.
In only 10:11 of ice time, Staubitz had five hits to lead both teams. Palushaj had three shots on goal, and Dumont had a few hits.
So we learned the competition could be fierce for fourth-line spots at training camp in September.
And we learned the David Desharnais line is pretty darn good.
But we knew that already.
Pacioretty snapped an 11-game drought with two goals. Erik Cole bagged a pair to raise his career best total to 34 – while raising his Take that, Jacques Martin power-play total to 11. Desharnais, the undersized and undrafted free agent who has overachieved at every level of hockey, has 44 assists and 60 points.
All three linemates have more points than the 57 with which Tomas Plekanec led the team a year ago.
But when asked whether a game like this possibly showed what the Canadiens can accomplish next season, Cole struck a note of caution.
“It will be a completely different year,” he said. “Who knows what changes are coming. Players have to focus on having a good off-season and coming to camp prepared.”
I’m with Cole.
A win is nice for Bell Centre fans who have seen too many losses. But Tampa Bay sucked out loud and did not represent anything that could be construed as a measuring stick opponent.
The Lightning had 16 shots on goal, of which Maurice Richard Trophy lock Steven Stamkos had four. J.T. Brown, who won’t win any trophies, had three.
Eight Tampa Bay skaters had no SoG. Vincent Lecavalier had one – and he’d have had none were it not for the generosity of Peter Budaj, who fed Lecavalier an on-the-tape pass for TB’s first goal.
Lightning goaltender Sebastien Caron began this season – and played 49 games – for the Iserlohn Roosters of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
The Roosters? Are you kidding me?
(Insert cock joke here.)
Pressbox neighbour Arpon Basu came up with a slogan for Caron’s German league team: “You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat the Roosters.”
So beating Caron five times on 25 shots wasn’t exactly a display of awe-inspiring offensive prowess by your Montreal the crappy D corps in front of the Rooster ran around like chickens with their heads cut off.
How the heck did this Tampa Bay team take Boston to seven games in the Eastern Conference final last season?
I suspect a sterner test awaits the Canadiens Thursday evening in Carolina.
If they’re going to retain their shot at a Top % lottery draft pick, the Canadiens have to let down their socks and lose to the Hurricanes.
The lower end of the standings is getting too tight. The Canadiens can overtake the Islanders, Toronto and Anaheim – which would push them above the league’s bottom five.
Saturday night’s visit by the Leafs could be fraught with draft position significance.
Never mind Olé-Olé.
How about lay ladies, lay.
• P.K. Subban played an astonishing 27:17 in a game the Canadiens won easily. His increased workload was because Andrei Markov played 14:27 – and only 10:33 at even strength. Both numbers were team lows.
• Josh Gorges blocked three more shots. Frédéric St. Denis, who played 15:36 and didn’t screw anything up, blocked four.
• DD went 12-3 on faceoffs. Lars Eller was 9-3.
• Tomas Plekanec’s two assists gave him 36 – one more than last season with two games to go. It’s impressive when you consider Pleks’s list of linemates.