Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Habs Comeback From 5 Down To Win For 1st Time In History!

Huet streaks towards his teammates after Jagr misses his opportunity to extend the shootout.


The Canadiens were able to come back from 5 goals down for the FIRST time in their storied history by scoring 5 of their own to tie the game, and eventually win it in the shootout for the official 6-5 score.

The Habs allowed goal after goal after goal to the Rangers - five times to be exact - and they were looking lifeless. Each goal seemed to deflate the Habs more and more, with the 2nd goal of the game courtesy of Sean Avery seeming to be the dagger through the Canadiens' collective hearts as it was scored so rapidly after Brandon Dunbinsky's opener.

But, never say die seems to be the motto for this year's group of Habs, and Michael Ryder was able to snap one passed Lundqvist to break the ice. He would then get another goal to make it a 5-2 game, and this is what really seemed to get the team back into gear.

The Habs would however take a lot of stick-related penalties, as Kovalev would take consecutive high-sticking calls, Higgins would serve a double-minor for cutting Michal Rozsival, and Mike Komisarek would take a minor for high-sticking as well.

The crowd had had enough of the referees seemingly tilted points of view with regards to the Habs, and would litter the ice with GO HABS GO! banners given to them as a free gift.

That delay seemed to further spark the Habs, who would continue the comeback with a goal from Alex Kovalev to make it a 2-goal game.

The Habs would then score in even quicker succession thatn the 14 second Dubinsky-Avery markers, as Michael Ryder took a wrist shot that deflected in off of Mark Streit a mere 9 seconds after Kovalev's goal, making it a whole new game with just over 13 minutes remaining.

And then, what the fans around the city, the crowd, and the team were waiting for...

On a Marek Malik hooking call, the Habs would go to the powerplay, and 1:15 into the powerplay, Andrei Kostitsyn would leave a drop pass for Alex Kovalev in the left faceoff circle, and Kovalev would lean into a slapshot so much that he would lose his balance. The torque he put in went a long way, however; as the puck would have eyes for the twine, beating Lundqvist and capping the comeback.

Overtime would solve nothing (although the Habs had a few chances, as did Scott Gomez on a redirection), so the two teams would head off to a shootout.

The Rangers would shoot first, and Shanahan would be stopped on a slow-moving wrist shot by Huet. Markov would round out the 1st round, going forehand-backhand in vain as Lundqvist would lay the paddle down for the save.

Round 2 offered Chris Drury and Saku Koivu. Drury went to the backhand, but Huet followed him, sticking out the pad and blocker in unison for the stop. Saku Koivu would break the collective shootout goose-egg, using his patented innie-outtie deke that I choose to name the SNAKE, beating Lundqvist along the ice.

Jaromir Jagr had to score to keep the shootout alive, and as he moved in, he offered up a plethora of dekes and dangles, only to mishandle the puck on his last move and lose the puck, sending it wide and passed the goal line.

Habs Win...Habs win.

I still can't believe it.

I'm still wearing my jersey.

I'm still trying to wake up from what I think is just a very sweet dream.

The Habs and Sens both won their matches tonight via the shootout, therefore the Sens remain atop the standings with 75 points and a game in hand. The Devils (73 points) are idle tonight.

The Habs will try to settle down after this exhilerating win in time to prepare for a date with the Penguins on Thursday.

Oh, and for the first time I won '8 ailes gratuits' thanks to the habs scoring '5 buts ou plus'. God bless La Cage aux Sports.

Notes: The Rangers would chase starting goaltender Carey Price after scoring their third goal of the game.

-The Rangers would score 2 goals on Chris Higgins' double-minor for high-sticking Michal Rozsival.
-Rangers coach Tom Renney called timeout after Ryder's goal reducing the lead to 5-2, sensing a shift in momentum and trying to thwart it as best he could.
-- What's On My Mind? --

- Wow. WOW. WOW! This was without question the game of the year! If there are any haters out there, I'm sure tonight's performance even turned the biggest haters into fans for this one night (I'll even go so far as to say that many Leafs fans will respect what the Habs achieved tonight...if it was reversed, I'd respect it for sure). Never before have I seen such a spectacular display of resillience. This team never gave up on itself and on each other. Even though Price let in 3 goals on 11 shots, the team bounced back. Ryder was a man on a mission, out to prove his critics wrong, and he did so in fashion. In only 12 minutes of ice time, he had a hat-trick, which was then converted into 2 goals and 1 assist (as his last goal was credited to Mark Streit). This team has to be the highest team in the league in regards to team chemistry right now, which is why I am growing increasingly scared with what will change come the Feb. 26th deadline. Gainey went on the record stating he wants to acquire a first line "impact player", and we can only wonder who he will acquire, and if it will do more good than it will do bad at such a fragile moment in the season. I've always wanted to be a GM of a team, particularly Montreal of course; but I have to admit, I don't envy Mr. Gainey's position right now.


paul said...

I have to say what a game i loved the last 45 minutes(hated the first 25)I agree that the team chemestry is at its highest but i don`t think a trade would really mess up the team chemstry cause if you look at our last string of wins they were all very close games i think we do need and impact player and bringing him in in my eyes would only strenghten the cause (a stanly cup run) the key is who we let go but i also think gainey has a deep pool of prospects and draft picks to use and only one player on the current roster would have to go.I was a little upset last night when the 3 stars came out i know jagr played a very good game i think Mark Streit should have gotten that one he played a great game and is have a great season( expect for the -7 in the stats dept)n e ways it was a great game i hope they can keep it up

Pat said...

These guys are electrifying on the ice. What a game. This one will be shown for decades to come. One of the best games I have ever watched in my life. WOW, the ghosts of the Old Forum have finally decided to make to the Bell Center for good. Go HABS Go.

sasabainga said...

Paul: I agree that the first half of the game wasn't to thrilling to watch...but since it set the stage for one of the greatest comebacks in in Habs and in NHL history, re-watching the entire game would now be an absolute pleasure! I was at Cage aux Sports for this game with a few close friends, and we were down on ourselves during the first half of the game...i JOKINGLY said "I don't even feel like watching this game anymore" and got a full set of "me too" answers. Then they went ape shit (I know this isn't professional english, but that's what best describes what happened lol). It was a great experience, I was holding up an empty pitcher of beer in both hands as if it was the stanley cup, and the place was going crazy (even though it wsn't that packed).

The impact player is still completely necessary, I agree... but I just hope it doesn;t take too long for the acquired player to gel with his linemates, as we can't afford any slumps now that we're hounding the Sens down. But, risk or no risk, I agree with you: that impact player is 100% necessary and needed.

Pat: I honestly believe that this one game ranks 1st in games seen all-time for me. This game officially passed the Montreal-Boston series where Montreal came back from 3-1 down to win it 4-3 in playoffs, although that was extremely exciting as well. The only reason I rank it above, is because I'm ranking in terms of individual games...that series still remains the most intense and thrilling week of hockey I ever watched.

Karl said...

a little bit of habs' optimism for us all...Luc Gelinas of RDS reports that during question period with Guy Carbonneau (im not sure if it was post-game or post-practice this morning)Pat Hickey of the Gazzette asked Carbo if the Habs should be considered as a serious contender for the cup...Carbo replied..."oui monsieur"....u can make what u want of it...i think the chemistry is awesome and we now know what this team can do when they believe....

on another note it looks like Hossa is getting a lot more attention from other teams and lessens our chances of getting him. Tanguay is getting some interest and they're asking for a bit less, i voted that Ryder should go, as i think he is back he will not be signing with us at the end of the season and we don't want to lose him for nothing like we did for Souray...i think Tanguay would be an interesting addition to the Koivu/Higgins duo

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