It's been a long time.
The last time I wrote a game recap about a Montreal Canadiens win, was April 28th. That too, was a blowout win, although it meant a lot more. That win saw the Canadiens clinch the Northeast title, the last one that will ever be rewarded. But even without real significance, we can have fun watching the preseason.
After two losses to begin the preseason, fans seemed a bit edgy about the odds of winning this one, especially with the tandem of Peter Budaj and Dustin Tokarski in net. However it always seems like when you're nervous about Budaj, he pulls out all the stops. The two goaltenders shared a shutout, and though Budaj looked his usual spazztic self, on this night the shots were stopped.
After news of late that Greg Pateryn may be Therrien's choice to begin the season with the Canadiens while Drewiske is out, he didn't wait long to show that the trust placed in him was well deserved. The game was mere moments old when he intercepted a clearing attempt and got it down to Max Pacioretty in the slot, who fed Desharnais on the half-boards. Desharnais waited for Pateryn to get in perfect position and set up a perfect one-timer that went post and in on Cam Ward.
Under four minutes into the game, and 26 seconds after the first goal, Magnus Nygren put a beautiful pass onto the stick of a streaking Brandon Prust for a breakaway. Prust couldn't quite finish, but Alex Galchenyuk was there to take care of business, 2-0.
From there on the game kind of became the David Desharnais show. Not to say that others didn't play well, but you could tell that Davey wanted to put on a show for his hometown crowd, scoring the 3rd goal of the game on a great heads up play, as Cam Ward was caught out of position and Desharnais banked the puck off of him and in from behind the net.
Michael Bournival was the next to capitalize, which added to the positive impression he's given at during the preseason. Bournival has endless hustle and may work himself ahead of Gabriel Dumont on the call-up list this year, and his three goals in two games sure doesn't hurt. Then again, playing with Michael McCarron and Patrick Holland is a tad easier to work with than Michael Blunden and Nick Tarnasky.
The game was already over by this point, but for some reason Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller kept Cam Ward in goal, and he really wasn't rewarded for that decision when P.K. Subban blasted a slapper through traffic and into the net. I'm pretty sure that Subban won't score at the same high pace as last season, but his two goals in two games thus far sure seems to say that Subban doesn't agree with me.
The cherry on top was Pacioretty being taken down on a break, and being rewarded a penalty shot. Pacioretty has been pretty awful in shootouts in his career, usually going for the fivehole and failing. This time though, he did what every sniper should do. He went wide, and and picked the far side corner as he cut in front of the net. Ward really had no chance.
Multiple point nights: P.K. Subban (1G, 2A, 3P), David Desharnais (1G, 1A, 2P), Michael Bournival (1G, 1A, 2P), Max Pacioretty (1G, 1A), Magnus Nygren (2A, 2P).
It's kind of amazing when you think about it that Subban can have a three point night, be dominant defensively, and you come away thinking "Yeah that was an average game". Not that he puts up three points on an average night, but the level of performance was average Subban. Average Subban is better than like... Everyone.
Sebastian Collberg's big audition on a real scoring line ended with one assist, but he had some impressive assists. The instincts are there, the talent is there, the awareness is there, he just needs to get stronger.