AND WE GOT TO HEAR IT SEVEN TIMES!!!
It was the first win I got to see live this season, and it was the first time all season I remember actually having fun. The Bell Centre was loud. Hell, the “wave” even happened. The Wave! I didn’t even know people did the wave anymore.
I don’t want to sit here and recap the game. Instead I’d like to talk about momentum, and how important it is. The microcosm of this can be seeing in Lars Eller’s penalty shot. Had he not scored the hat trick just 45 seconds or so before, I don’t think he would have pulled a move like that. However, he just scored 3-goals, he was on top of the world, and he knew that no matter what he was putting the puck in the net.
Confidence, momentum, it means everything. If you play hockey in the NHL you know how to play hockey, and you are very good. What differentiates Team A from Team B is usually confidence. Get on a 5-game winning streak and you are unstoppable. Get on a losing streak and it will seem like you can’t buy a win.
Same thing for goalies and shutout streaks, same thing for goal scorers. Ever notice how if a goal scorer misses a golden opportunity (ahem Cammalleri), they go on non-productive stretch? The mental game of sports, a wondrous aspect of athletics that makes statistics and percentages evaporate into nothing.
I’m harping on this because, short of being thoroughly proved wrong on Saturday night, I believe last night was a season turning point. The Habs scored seven goals at home, they heard the noise, it’s addictive. They probably woke up this morning eager to get to work for the first time in many many months.
That carries over to Saturday against Tampa. They win against Tampa, maybe they start thinking “hey…we are the Montreal Canadiens, we can win, we can score goals”, and who knows, maybe we do see playoffs this spring.
Just yesterday I wrote on the Montreal Bias that the biggest thing we have to look forward to is a high draft pick. This morning, with the sun shining just a little brighter, I don’t feel that way. Yes I’m a fan, and yes, I am very very susceptible to the highs and lows of this team, but wins like this at home often mean more than the 2 points in the standings.
I bet season ticket holders who are getting rid of tickets are all of a sudden looking forward to Saturday. I was lucky to be at the game last night, I have tickets for next Tuesday, I cannot WAIT to go. Whereas, just before last night’s game, I was a little indifferent. I even missed most of the warm-up, and I usually never miss the warm up!
So let’s hold our breath’s for Saturday night. Tampa Bay is in town, and we all know how good it feels to beat the Southern Hab-Wannabes.