Suffering Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Friday night’s game between the Canadiens and Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center.
SUNRISE, Fla. – Jose Theodore says there’s no added thrill in beating his former team.
“I’m a Montreal guy and I had some good years with the Canadiens, but it’s not like there’s anybody that was on the team when I played there,” Theodore said Friday night after making 23 saves to lead the Florida Panthers to a 1-0 victory over the Canadiens.
Theodore became the second former Montreal goalie to beat the Canadiens in as many nights. Mathieu Garon was the winner Thursday as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged Montreal 4-3 in overtime.
“The important thing for me was to get the win” said the 36-year-old Theodore, who last played for the Canadiens in 2006. “We started to turn things around last season and we’re thinking like a playoff team.”
Theodore said the busy holiday schedule seemed to catch up to the Canadiens.
“I remember from my time there that the trips before and after Christmas were always tough because you were away for a long time and the holidays were a distraction,” Theodore said.
The Canadiens, who dropped to seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings, have a 2-2-1 record on the road trip that ends in Carolina on New Year’s Eve.
Stephen Weiss scored the game’s only goal at 1:31 of the opening period. Carey Price, who made 33 saves, made a stop on Tomas Fleischmann, but he left a rebound and George Parros pushed it to Weiss.
“We have to generate some more offence,” head coach Michel Therrien said. “I think that’s the third time this season that we’ve held the opponent to one goal and lost the game. We played well defensively, but there was no jump on offence.”
The Canadiens will get a chance to recharge their batteries Saturday. They have a free day on the beach in Fort Lauderdale and can sleep in Sunday before taking a mid-day flight to Carolina, where they will practice Sunday afternoon.
The Canadiens will be back at the Bell Centre on Jan. 3 when they play the New Jersey Devils.
(Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)