- The Montreal Canadiens weren’t going to lose in Nashville
Yes, it may have taken until overtime to finish it, but every teammate showed up to do their best so that Montreal, and specifically Shea Weber and Alex Radulov, left the city with a win. Every. Single. Teammate. And they won by controlling the vast majority of shots and scoring chances.
2. Carey Price was going to win this for Weber
He didn’t have to face ‘many’ shots (23), which was also due to the team in front of him, but Carey Price was not going to lose this for Weber. The first goal let in was a bit of a fluke and an unfortunate Kevin Fiala deflection off Nathan Beaulieu’s stick. Did I say the first goal? It was the only goal.
3. Alex Radulov was a man on a mission
Radulov went into this game facing all of the expected narratives. He got drummed out of Nashville after behaving immaturely during key moments — and he knew he wasn’t going to be facing a friendly crowd in Nashville as a result. He assisted on both goals. It is exciting to think about what will happen when Galchenyuk is returned to the lineup.
4. The Captain is for real
Max Pacioretty has been on red-hot electric fire lately. After a slow start to the season, which we now know involved a fractured foot, the captain has been scoring at the pace expected of him. In spite of being injured at the morning skate, he registered 10 shots on goal. He also connected on somewhat of an important one.
5. The three-on-three is hitting its stride
Overtime saw the Habs with the puck almost all of the time. They had seven different lines out there before potting the winner. Depth.
6. Different players are showing up when they have to
With a depleted lineup, the Montreal Canadiens have found a way to tally points against important opponents, and on the road. This is thanks in no small part to each player contributing, and one would have to conclude, coaching.
7. Speaking of the new guys
Whether with Weber, or Radulov, or the injured Andrew Shaw, we have been witness to some genuine love for these new teammates. Of course, winning is amazing, but it’s easy to observe the genuine fondness the players have for each the new ones, as well as how they pull together in tough times. This last bit it something that was missed last season.
8. Nathan Beaulieu wants to stay
Besides getting an assist on the game winning goal, Nathan Beaulieu asserted himself around the ice last night, and came up big with a key block in overtime, this in spite of couple of (inconsequential) giveaways earlier. Marc Bergevin often says it takes defencemen longer to develop, which he obviously would know since he was one before you knew the alphabet (probably). I really like Beaulieu. He’s eloquent and his compassion seems genuine.
9. David Poile loves Shea Weber
At the risk of a lot of backlash, this one’s a question that you need to answer with an open heart; with all of the genuine platitudes directed toward PK Subban and the overwhelming support and respect and overall awe expressed when it comes to Shea Weber, it makes you wonder, why did Nashville make this trade? Contract and age, ok, but it certainly seems like the Weber trade was hard on fans, as well as former Predators teammates and the GM.
10. Everybody loves Shea Weber
It could be time that everyone starts talking about Montreal Canadien Shea Weber without having to mention a single other NHL player in the same breath. At any rate - it’s clear that it’s impossible to find anyone in the hockey community, at any level, that would have something negative to say about Shea Weber. Including — naturally — his former teammates, GM and fans in Nashville. This was an emotional night for two teams, which speaks volumes about the effect that Weber has had on his teammates past and present. And if you look at the winning goal: Pacioretty, Beaulieu and Radulov. Each of these men has made clear how they feel about new teammate Shea Weber. It was pretty perfect.