There’s something about these Philadelphia Flyers that brings out the best in the Montreal Canadiens. The teams’ first game in what was an unceremonious first appearance at the Bell Centre for homeboy Daniel Brière, since his non merci, Montréal, proved to be nothing more than a cake walk for the Habs.
This time around, the Habs playing in the comforts of away from home, delivered another nearly perfect performance as the Flyers were quickly left behind, trying to discern between their anuses and their elbow pads.
The Road Warriors controlled this one from the start, while the Flyers' grasp on the game proved weaker than Renaud Lavoie’s translation skills. It was everything a coach wants to see. Special units delivering 110 pourcent on the dollar (US or CAD, take your pick), reliable, if unflashy, goaltending, responsible coverage in the defensive zone. All this contributed to the Canadiens mounting a 4-0 lead on the road and smiles across the boards.
The Habs’ first line was invigorated by mother’s milk with Little Tits providing an extra spark that had long gone missing in the Finding Ryder story. The Kostitsyn brothers toasted their first NHL game together by combining for a Sergei fancy pass between the legs to Andrei, in a play the two must have practiced many a times in Novopolotsk, Belarus not too long ago. While it didn’t result in a goal, the play left fans in anticipation of more brotherly chemistry. Coach Carbonneau sped that process up by seeing what the two could do on the power play together.
In his first NHL game, Litte Tits did just fine and looked far more comfortable and confident than now-Bulldog Grabovski.
Now we are left to wonder what this all means for Michael Ryder. He and his agent will soon find the right answers to that question, but if Ryder wants to play on this team he may have to settle for a spot on the Chipichura, Latendresse line, which may make sense if Ryder can find anything that resembles his past form. That kind of line can be for the Habs what the defunct Getzlaf, Penner, Perry trio was for Anaheim.
Team management may already have thrown in the towel tough on this player who never saw fit to sign for anything longer than a breath in Montreal. By all accounts, Ryder’s days in Montreal appeared to be numbered. In any event, if Sergei K’s feature presentation was a sign of things to come, Carbo will be hard pressed to take him off the first line.
This was the kind of breakout game that provides fans with the respite needed when on the verge of signing off. A couple of beautiful tic, tac, toe plays made it a fun three periods to watch in a game that saw Carey Price relegated to more of an insurance role than anything else.
Marc Streit’s two goals were another testament to an everything going right on this night type of game.
And what about Brière? I’ve seen fruit flies look more apparent on an elephant’s ass.