Sunday, March 02, 2008

Here come the Habs!

They were singing all the old favourites in Montreal Saturday night, the ole, ole ole soccer song got a vigorous workout in the middle of the third period as the Montreal Canadiens pulled away from the New Jersey Devils on their way to a 2-1 victory.

As the final seconds would play out the ever popular na na, na nah, goodbye was started up by some, anxious to bring to an end a remarkable couple of days for Les Habitants and to begin celebrating thier status as holders of first place in the east, even if it may only be for a few days.

Montreal has been an interesting story this season, a team that has finally begun gel under Guy Carbonneau's coaching and now, with confidence oozing out of the dressing room on a nightly basis they are taking the next step to securing their place in the upper echelons of the NHL east.

The comparisons towards attitude between Montreal and Ottawa are glaring, Montreal which has climbed back from some rather dark days in franchise history, is doing everything right now it seems. Trade away a proven commodity in Cristobal Huet, and it's no problem rookie Carey Prince channels Ken Dryden and stands the opposition on their heads.

A Russian migration to Montreal over the last few years has finally begun to pan out, as the Montreal players begin to showcase those skills that many knew they had but had waited patiently to develop.

While down the road in the nation's capital, the unravelling seems to have taken root, as the Ottawa Senators struggle to right their operation and get back to their winning ways, taking advantage of a Saturday matinee to pick up two points and knock the Penguins back down a few pegs.

But in the east, right now the story is Montreal. From Bob Gainey's roll of the dice in the nets, to the quiet leadership of a Saku Koivu to the start of the story of Price, all is good in rouge, blanc et bleu these days.

It's been a long time between songs at the Bell Centre, Saturday night the chorus was just warming up for what they hope will be a very active Spring concert series!
Montreal Gazette--Canadiens No. 1

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