The Montreal Canadiens took down the Boston Bruins in a thrilling affair on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. The game had a bit of everything; a successful offside challenge by Claude Julien, several blown leads by the Habs, and a lot of scoring at both ends of the ice.
And this next part may be hard to believe if you didn’t see it with your own eyes; Victor Mete scored not once, but twice.
The same player who went his entire first two seasons in the league without scoring, doubled his one career goal against Boston. He has always been an excellent skater, and puck-mover, and this year he’s begun contributing in the goals department as an added bonus.
Many pundits will ostensibly view this as Mete’s best game of the year. It may have actually been — it certainly was the best scoring effort of his career — but he has been excellent in basically every game this season. Hopefully this is a trend where he starts letting his shot go more, because it was really working last night.
His second goal of the night was a great example of what he can do when he lets it go.
He gets some help from Zdeno Chara launching Nate Thompson into Tuukka Rask, but it’s textbook shooting by a defenseman. He gets the puck at the line, moves around the incoming forward, and lets a quick wrister go. His head is up, so he sees an opportunity through traffic and exploits it with no wind-up. I for one hope that this is a sign of things to come.
It must be said that playing with Jeff Petry could have a big impact on Mete’s ability to score. Petry allows him to be more offensive without having to worry about getting back at the other end, and if that pairing sticks, last night could just be the tip of the iceberg.
Mete’s individual corsi-for at even strength was an absurd 62.50%. Petry wasn’t far behind at 58.14%, and it was apparent that the ice was tilted in Montreal’s favour when they were out there. They were the top defensive pair in every sense other than time on ice, though they weren’t far off, and they simply crushed it.
It does beg the question of how badly Shea Weber needs a mobile partner like Mete on his left? The former skated with Ben Chiarot against the Bruins, and while they didn’t have a bad night at all — Chiarot of course scored the game winner — I think Weber needs someone a little more mobile. Mete gives him exactly that, so if that new marriage goes south I would bet any money that he’s back with Weber in a heartbeat.
I would expect, however, that Mete stays with Petry for the time being. How long that can last remains to be seen, but last night suggests that it will be fun to watch for however long that is.