I just finished watching last night’s game. What a bummer. For once, habs really seemed to care. They probably played their best game since the 4-0 win on Ottawa. But that wasn’t enough. Sure, they got a point out of it, but on Saint Patrick’s night, everyone was hoping for more. After a great ceremony (more on that later), habs came out really strong, hitting and crashing the bruins. Laraque was following Lucic like his shadow, and trying to lure him into the fight that the entire province of Quebec was waiting for. It didn’t happen though. Lucic is a young player, but he’s smart, and he knew he had no business fighting with Laraque early on the game. Instead of fighting, Lucic scored a goal in the second period, pretty much shutting up the crowd. Kudos to him, but I think he’ll eventually find Laraque back on his road later in the season.
Price played a very solid game, as usual. I don’t think he can be blamed for the goals that were scored on him. The SO winning goal was also a bit lucky, as Wheeler lost control of the puck, which just went trough Carey’s five hole. Anyway. It was really a downer to lose that one, because as I said, it was the best team effort we’ve seen from the habs in a while. But as much as I hate to admit it, the Bruins are a very solid team this season. They’re faster than last year, they clearly got rid of the inferiority complex they had towards Montreal (I even think they have had a bit of an psychological edge on the habs since last year’s playoffs), they work hard, and Thomas is really good. But if the habs keep on working like that, I’m confident they can get out of their current funk.
As I said, this loss is a downer. But the game was clearly ot the main event in Montreal last night. The retirement of #33 was a very important event for the franchise. This is a move that is hopefully symbolically definitively turning the page on one of the most difficult era of the Canadiens history. Everybody knows what the canadiens went trough since Roy left. And his symbolic homecoming, last night, is a good way to heal the wound.
Now I have never seen Roy playing with Montreal, except on highlights of past games. He left before I was a real hockey fan, and I don’t live in Montreal. So I can just imagine what #33 meant to the franchise and the city. I love history, so I’ve read a lot about the canadiens past, and I think I know fairly well what Roy accomplished in Montreal. But watching the 5 minutes long standing ovation Roy got when he entered the Bell Center yesterday really gave me a good perspective on what he represents for the fans in Quebec. This was a moment I won’t forget.
As usual, the ceremony was very classy, and touching. Bringing in little goalies wearing the jerseys of Quebecers NHL goalies as a very nice touch. Beyond the cups and the records, this could very well be the best symbol of what Roy brought to Montreal and the province of Quebec: a new generation of fans and little hockey goalies hoping to walk on the footsteps of their idol.
If you want to read something from fans who actually saw Roy play for Montreal, and see what last night meant to them, I strongly suggest you to check this superb post by FHF. And for 33 cool facts on Roy, go read this one, written by Robert L., one of the most knowledgeable habs fans on the web.
That is all.