The Montreal Canadiens visited the Minnesota Wild Thursday night.
"This is my last game in Montreal!" – Patrick Roy, 1995.
It was time to meet again with two old friends that Montreal’s fans know really well: Wild’s coaches Jacques Lemaire and Mario Tremblay.
Lemaire spent his entire career with the Montreal Canadiens, winning eight Stanley Cups. He then coached the team from 1983 to 1985 with current Canadiens’ GM Bob Gainey as the team Captain.
Tremblay also spent his entire career with the Habs, wining five Stanleycups. “The Bionic Blueberry” – catchy isn’t it? – also worked behind the bench of the Le Tricolore.
Yes, you have guessed right; he was the coach at the Roy incident that night of December 1995. One of the worst nights in Canadiens’ history, one of the best in the Colorado Avalanche’s!
“It’s probably more special for my parents. They probably think about it more than we do.” – Mikko Koivu (TwinCities.com)
The evening was special for the Koivu family.
Mr and Mrs Koivu were present in the audience for this first regular season game between both of their sons, both Captains of their respective team, Saku and Mikko.
The night started off nicely for the Wild, scoring the first goal within less than two minutes gone. But D-man Francis Bouillon went for his second of the season three minutes later. He has now reached his 2007-08 goals’ record!
Andrei Markov scored the wining goal in the second period on a two men advantage, the Sheldon Souray way. The kind that goes right into the net in a glint, or that can knock a goalie down if not.
Saku Koivu lost the first face-off to his brother, got two minutes on the penalty bench for holding his stick, and ended up punching a Wild’s player at the end of the game.
Mikko recorded six shots on goal, two visits to the penalty box, and finally a verbal brawl consisting of shooting a few words of wisdom at Andrei Markov.
“That’s probably the best PK game we’ve played all year so far.” – Carey Price (Yahoo! Sports)
Alex Tanguay recorded two assists, and Markov spent nearly 27 minutes on the ice. But the game’s milestone has been the penalty killing.
Fans love parades, right? Well, there has been a big one going to the penalty bench!
Tom Kostopoulos opened the marching band, Captain Koivu followed with his fife while Lang and Higgins took care of the drums. And so went Komisarek, Hamrlik, and Dandenault. I guess they were in charge of the dancing part.
The Habs had to kill ten penalties through the game, including two 5-on-3s.
Luckily, Price didn’t feel like dancing, stopping all 28 shots graciously offered by the Wild, led by Mikko Koivu and Ante Miettinen. In addition, the Habs’ special units have done a tremendous job without a man.
Coach Carbonneau also prematurely unveiled his Halloween costume: he got caught for being Don Cherry. Too many men! Thankfully for the Canadiens, there was no Guy Lafleur dressed as a Wild anywhere close.
Georges Laraque and Derek Boogaard both watched the game from the stands.
So the Habs advance to 7-1-1. They will face the New York Islanders, and another old friend, Mark Streit on Saturday night.