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Post Game Poutine: Canadiens Remember Lafleur, Fall To Bruins

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens staged a late-game comeback but fell short in their 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins on Sunday night.

The Montreal Canadiens put on a pre-game ceremony for the ages, as they honoured the passing of Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur. We’ll let the crowd do the talking here:

After the ceremony, the Canadiens and Bruins played a tough physical game that saw the Bruins jump out to a 2-0 lead to end the 1st period, thanks to Patrice Bergeron and Erik Haula. The Montreal Canadiens would again try to get back in the game in the second period when Josh Anderson buried his 19th of the season, but Boston would quickly answer with two goals from Haula and Charlie McAvoy to give themselves a commanding 4-1 lead going into the third period.

The Canadiens seemed intent on not laying down and taking the loss, as they attempted to stage a comeback. First, Mike Hoffman took a beautiful one-time shot that just beat Linus Ullmark off an excellent feed from Jeff Petry. Then Nick Suzuki scored his 21st of the season when he received a pass from Mathieu Perreault while alone in the slot to bring the score to 4-3. Unfortunately, that’s as far as the Canadiens would go, as they would pull Samuel Montembeault, and concede the empty-net goal to Patrice Bergeron in the dying seconds of the 3rd period.

Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:

GOLD STAR: Guy Lafleur: Guy Lafleur may not have scored a goal in the game, but the memory and legacy of the Montreal Canadiens’ all-time leading points leader made this game one of the most memorable in years. The Démon Blond’s impact on the city was felt, understood and reciprocated by the Bell Centre faithful in attendance, as they chanted for him for ten straight minutes to start the game and all throughout the game.

TABARNAK: Erik Haula Penalty Shot: Mike Hoffman was on a backcheck trying to stop Erik Haula from going on a clean breakaway. In his pursuit of Haula, Hoffman reached around Haula and extracted the puck from him. The referees on the play saw fit to bypass a simple two-minute penalty and award Haula with a penalty shot in one of the strangest calls of the season. Haula would ultimately score on the penalty shot.

TURNING POINT: Guy Lafleur’s 10-minute ovation: The ovation to Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur received was a legendary moment for a legendary player that outranked all of the memorable ovations, and there have been many, that have taken place at the Bell Centre. It was a fitting tribute for a man who gave his body and soul for an organization, a people, and the love of hockey.

HONORABLE MENTION: Patrice Bergeron:  Bergeron took this game and his team on his back from the very start of the game, scoring the opening and the final goals of the game en route to the 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. The Quebec native seemed intent on putting on a show tonight. Coach Cassidy told reporters at the end of the game that he had offered Bergeron the night off to rest before the playoffs, but Bergeron refused because he wanted to play for Lafleur and his family in attendance.

BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lined up Sunday night:

Forwards

McLean's Pub

Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki–Mike Hoffman

Mike Hoffman-Christian Dvorak-Brendan Gallagher

Rem Pitlick-Jake Evans-Tyler Pitlick

Mathieu Perreault-Laurent Dauphin-Michael Pezzetta

Defence:

Alexander Romanov-David Savard

Joel Edmundson-Jeff Petry

William Lagesson-Jordan Harris

Goalies:

Carey Price

Sam Montembeault

 

QUOTE TO NOTE: “If some players didn’t know what it meant to be a Montreal Canadien in this province, they do now” – Martin St. Louis on the impact the Montreal Canadiens have on the province of Quebec.

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Bob Birge

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Bob Birge

As a New York Rangers’ fan, you can imagine how much I despised those legendary Canadiens’ teams of the 70s. They were, of course everything they Rangers were not. The Canadiens won a lot, a real lot, and the Rangers didn’t. But you know what?. I greatly admired and respected them, even if I might have cursed them once or twice. Those Canadiens teams were hockey royalty. They raised the bar. They made the NHL so much better. And the Forum, especially on a Saturday night, was like being in church, the church of hockey. I saw two games at the Forum in the 1980s, both against Rangers, and Canadiens, naturally, won both. I watched the ceremony for Guy Lafleur on the internet last night. I was inspired, and I knew I would be. Nobody does these things better than Canadiens. They have a lot of experience. Once again, Montreal showed, whether Canadiens win the Cup or not — and they certainly are not going to win it this year — that it is soul of hockey. The ceremony last night — the 10-minute ovation — reminded everyone how much hockey means in Montreal. It is a huge part of the fabric, the DNA, of the community and the wonderful Montreal fans so desperately deserve to win the Cup. I don’t suppose I would have said that in the 70s, but I am saying it now. Twenty-nine years without the Cup is too long for Montreal.

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