The sun was shining bright in B.C. early this morning, and it was already warm outside. I stepped into the sun, took a deep breath, and thought, "Ah! This is definitely, 100% spring." Then it hit me.
The reality of what we all realized, intellectually, many weeks ago, finally hit me over the head like a 10-pound brick: The Habs are out of the playoffs. This spring, we will not be watching the Habs play for the Cup. Just four more games, and then the roller-coaster season from hell will officially be over.
But the way this season is ending, with returning bodies (Gallagher and Carr tonight - Gallagher and Carr!), showing compete and passion in the last two games where they successfully played the spoiler, Mike Condon finally recording an NHL shutout against a bitter rival, the sight of Carey Price practicing (practicing!) with his team again, and the possibility of finally seeing him in his net for a game again ... it just doesn't seem that bad. The heart, pride and yes, character that this injury-riddled team and callups are playing with, after enduring a season-long nightmare, should very rightly be regarded with optimism. Learnings from this season full of difficult - and invaluable - experiences and lessons, I don't know about you, seem to have already begun to be applied.
Tonight's my last Top Six of the season. Thanks for always reading and thanks for your support of EOTP.
How many goals will Jaromir Jagr score tonight? Let's find out!
- This anthem singer is something, eh?
- Max Pacioretty's hair is AMAZING.
- It is seriously amazing.
- Come on, they showed it twice.
- Speaking of follicular density, Pateryn's beard.
- Gah, just drop the puck!
- Jagr's already in the box!
- First wave was pretty, pretty bad
- Panthers positively attacking on the penalty kill
- More like powerless play, am I right? I am the first person to ever make this joke.
- Our newly-reunited top line is fun to watch
- It is so freaking great to have Gallagher back
- How many consecutive minutes has Condon played without allowing a goal? I know that if I throw this out on Twitter, I'll have an answer within a minute.
- OK so I got a bunch of "answers"
- Welcome back, Brendan Gallagher, ya beautiful bastard!
- 1-0, good guys!
- That sequence was so fun!
- Wow have the Habs woken up! Mitchell almost had one!
- Or are the Panthers just playing badly?
- Why can't it be both?
- So many empty seats in Florida. It's just - I can't.
- The Generalllllllllll makes it 2-0!
- You guys - this is fun!
- Gallagher's got two points tonight!
- I don't like Gallant's face.
- Why is this taking SO LONG
- Called back. That's too bad because that was a gorgeous goal.
- Florida's still playing like caca and the Habs are still winning, though.
- OH but the Habs came close again!
- Period over. It's fun so far.
- Florida comes out on fire
- Emelin makes a GREAT PLAY and gets a delay of game? Like hell!
- Oooooh almost with the shorty! Nice play by Danault.
- I like Paul Byron so much.
- Condon's playing great
- That was a good kill. Still can't believe that stupid call.
- Condon with a huge save and Markov initiates some fisticuffs
- Emelin boom
- Followed quickly by a great chance for Eller
- LOL it was Thornton
- Habs can't get out of their zone
- DAVID DESHARNAIS with a beaut!!!
- Thank you, Paul Byron!!
- 2-0, mofos!
- And Mike Condon with another great save!
- I can't stop smiling!
- Torrey Mitchell!
- The Canadiens 100% deserve this lead they have
- Good goaltending breeds goals, I guess. Huh.
- What a pass by Lars Eller though
- HANLEY almost makes it 4-0
- Ooooooooooh crap. 3-1.
- That horn - ugh.
- Would have been great to shut out the entire state of Florida
- Condon sharp on that save
- Sorry, hasn't been a lot to say lately
- 2:30 left
- And around and around and around Eller goes
- DAMN IT BARKOV
- DAMN YOU HORN
- I mean it's okay because the Habs love adversity
- Period over. Thank you Jesus.
- 3-2, good guys.
- Pateryn's down
- Ouch puck right to the face
- Therrien doesn't look to have taken too much sun
- Yikes all the defencemen that are out, you guys
- Lernout out with a lower body, of course.
- The Habs have used up all the bad luck for absolutely everyone in the world, good news for the rest of the world!
- Condon with another great save
- Pateryn's back!
- Jagr DENIED
- Was Patch just chirping him? I hope so.
- OH Gallagher!
- Jerseying is so rude
- Ekblad still jawing at McCarron
- OMG Plekanec!
- Desharnais is a sneaky little skater
- CONDON with a huge save!
- Oh boy. Florida is really coming on.
- Which, I mean is a great time for a Floriday powerplay
- *gritting teeth emoji*
- Thank you Mike Condon
- Thank you Mike Condon
- OH MY GOD
- Damn it.
- Anyway remember that Detroit tied it too?
- Do you?
- 3-3. Eight minutes left.
- GALLY looking for the lead again
- I like Danault a lot
- Gallagher trying his damnedest to win in regulation.
- Gallagher makes a hell of a difference. It's astonishing.
- 3:40 left
- 2:21 left
- Babcock lost to Detroit
- Look at Desharnais getting right in there among all those Redwoods to help Andrighetto
- 0:30 left
- Oh. I cannot believe it.
- The horn.
- Good night.
- Have a great summer, everyone.
EOTP 3 Stars
3) Now that's some next-level passion!
2) Our all-injured team is the best all-injured team of all
1) The non-goal of the year!
- Gallagher immediately gets back to his old ways
- Markov's goal was disallowed, but it was definitely a nice play
- David Desharnais continues his strong play, putting the Habs up 2-0
- Eller passes to Eller, who then finds Mitchell for a tap-in goal