The news could have been a lot worse, Coach Michel Therrien conceded of the left hamstring strain that’s expected to keep Max Pacioretty out of the Canadiens line up for three weeks.
Pacioretty, the team’s top point-getter the past two seasons, had to be helped off the ice after getting injured Tuesday during the Canadiens’ game against the Winnipeg Jets. His injury was a hot topic among anxious Habs’ fans Thursday as the team waited for Pacioretty’s MRI results.
“He plays big minutes. So we’ll take it one game at a time. For sure, it’s a heavy loss. Players will have to make up the quality ice time that he had,” Therrien said after the Habs’ 5-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Canadiens’ victory was a good game for fans and a tough one for coaches, Therrien laughed.
The Blue Jackets skate well and play a style similar to the Canadiens, he said. ” They’re not easy to play against. So you have to give them credit, too.”
The Blue Jackets clawed back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the third period, but Tomas Plekanec sealed the Habs’ victory in the last few minutes with the game-winning goal, followed by an empty-netter.
“It wasn’t the game that we wanted to play after that 3-0 lead. But we stuck together,” Plekanec said. “We got lucky in the end and we got a win. We’ll take it,” he said.
Rookie Michaël Bournival scored his first NHL goal and earned more cheers from the Bell Centre crowd for back-to-back blocked shots.
“What I liked about Bournival is he’s gained confidence with every game,” Therrien said.
“That’s a good sign. I like his intensity. I like his speed. He skated well to create a lot of good stuff on the ice with his speed. And we could tell he’s a team guy who sacrificed himself blocking shots. For a young kid, there’s a lot of good signs (that are) positive.”
You can hear what P.K. Subban had to say after the game here:
And you can listen to Canadiens’ goaltender Carey Price, who earned his fourth win, here: