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Habs Report

by Archives February 26, 2008

What a week! After Tuesday’s game to end all games against the New York Rangers, it was almost unbearable to watch the two other match-ups this week, save for Bob Gainey’s memorable jersey retirement on Saturday.
Lets start with the positives. If I had died Wednesday morning, it would have been as a satisfied hockey fan. The intensity and sheer passion that was portrayed on the ice at the Bell Centre last Tuesday was just unimaginable. The boys came back from a 5-0 deficit against the Rangers to take the game 6-5. With two goals each from Michael Ryder and Alexei Kovalev, one by Mark Streit, and a fabulous shoot-out goal by captain Saku Koivu, the team made franchise history by coming back for the win after being down 5-0. The game was truly a treat for not just Habs fans, but for hockey and sports fans in general. All games should be played with that level of pure drive and competitive spirit.
Cheers guys, for reintroducing our jaws to the floor.
Unfortunately, the rest of the week wasn’t nearly as rewarding as Tuesday night. Thursday’s romp against the Pittsburg Penguins was almost a comeback, but the team fell just short of the win. Down 2-0 going into the second period, Saku Koivu opened up the scoring for the Habs with an assisted shot from Sergei Kostitsyn and Ryan O’Byrne. Despite two other goals from the improving Michael Ryder and Roman Hamrlik, it wasn’t enough to beat the Penguins, who took it with a score of 4-3.
Although the Habs lost on Saturday, the evening was also rich with a Montreal cultural treasure: the retirement of Bob Gainey’s number 23 jersey. Arguably one of the best forwards the game has ever seen, Gainey remained with the Canadiens from 1972 through to 1989. During that period he won four consecutive Frank J. Selke Trophies (for the league’s top defensive forward), and proudly hoisted the Stanley Cup five times in 1976, 77, 78, 79 and 1986. In his amazing career, he’s played in 1160 regular season games, scored 239 goals, tallied 263 assists, and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. It’s people like Bob Gainey that truly make this city a hockey town.
The Columbus Blue Jackets spoiled an otherwise magical evening after the Gainey celebration by shutting out the Habs 3-0. Rookie goaltender Carey Price gave a somewhat shaky performance, while the team simply couldn’t buy a goal. On a side note Columbus net-minder (and Quebec native) Pascal Leclaire posted his league leading ninth shut out this season.
Be sure to check back next week for a recap of any actions occurring before the trade deadline, in addition to the regular analysis of how the Habs did during their contests this week, which include Atlanta tonight, the Sabres on Friday and the Devils on Saturday

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