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Follow Me on TwitterDean Eastman is the Montreal Canadiens' correspondent for Dean was born in Cornwall and raised in Long Sault and has been a loyal Habs fan since the days of the Pocket Rocket and the Roadrunner. He now calls Whitby, Ontario home to his wife Heather and young sons Eric and Ryan. Dean is passionate about his hockey, whether it be from the junior or professional ranks. Dean will provide current news and views on the Montreal Canadiens' organization from a global perspective. If you have questions or wish to contact Dean, you can email him at
Canadiens Right on the Mark(ov) Handing the Canucks a 4-1 Loss
Dean Eastman

Hockey is Canadien
Canadiens Right on the Mark(ov) Handing the Canucks a 4-1 Loss
The Montreal Canadiens played an entertaining blend of fast-paced, hard-hitting hockey on Saturday night as they decisively beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1.

Whitby - March 12, 2012 - The Montreal Canadiens were firing on all cylinders Saturday night as they handily beat one of the NHL’s strongest teams, the NorthWest Division leading Vancouver Canucks. The Canadiens played an entertaining blend of fast-paced, hard-hitting old-time hockey that silenced the Sedin twins for an entire 60 minutes.

Perhaps the Canadiens had much more swagger in each of their skate strides last evening for one very good reason. The team collectively welcomed back veteran defenseman Andrei Markov after being on injured reserve for the past 17 months. Was it just me or did teammate and fellow defenseman P.K. Subban appear to play with more confidence and tenacity in his game? Could the return of Markov be the correlating factor in Subban’s strong shutdown play against the Sedin twins last night? Subban was a burr in their collective side all night.

Even recent newcomer Blake Geoffrion scored his first goal as a Hab last evening on a nice Louis Leblanc pass near the end of the first period. The goal caps four generations of his famous-named family registering at least one point in a Canadiens’ uniform. Perennial power forwards Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty led their team to victory yet again last night. When these two wingers are on the ice, they seem almost untouchable as they crash, bang and shoot the puck from every angle conceivable. Cole finished the night with two goals and six shots in 20:29 of ice time. Pacioretty was not to be outdone by Cole as he finished the game with two assists and was tied with P.K. Subban as delivering the most hits by any Canadiens’ skater with four. Habs’ netminder Carey Price was stellar in nets yet again as he has been for most of this season’s campaign. Price appears to be right at home in Vancouver"probably because it is his hometown, go figure. Canucks’ netminder Roberto Luongo suffered the loss on Saturday evening.

The announced three stars of the game were Habs’ defenseman P.K. Subban (3rd star, one goal), Erik Cole (2nd star, two goals) and Carey Price (1st star, 32 saves, .970 save percentage).

For the complete boxscore, please click on the link here:
Game Summary

The Canadiens now travel to Buffalo as they face the Sabres on Monday night. Game time is 7:00 p.m. EDT.

View from the Whitby cheap seats

Now that was entertainment!

I can better stomach the Canadiens’ woeful season when the club plays for a complete 60 minutes like they did on Saturday night. It almost felt like they were competing for a playoff position. For one night at least, I forgot about where the Canadiens sit in the overall NHL standings and instead, sat in amazement watching the bleu-blanc-rouge own their opponents from one end of the ice to the other. Let us hope the team plays with the same sense of desperation over the remaining 13 games in this 2011 " 12 NHL season. I don’t agree with the ‘Fail for Nail’ mentality being proposed by some pundits. ‘Nail’ being none other than OHL Sarnia Sting phenom right-winger, Nail Yakupov. Yakupov is being heralded as this summer’s consensus first overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Yes, it is true that if the NHL season were to end right now, Montreal would have its highest first round draft pick since 1980.

I am a strong proponent that the team should play to the best of its abilities and let the collective cards fall where they may later this summer. Nice to see Markov return to action! I will be the first to admit it was nice to see veteran defenseman Andrei Markov return to action last evening. I had my doubts heading into period one that Markov may only last five minutes before he got hurt, but such was not the case. Yes, Markov did start slowly out of the gates but I am sure he had to get adjusted to the speed of the game. As the game continued on, Markov came into his own.

It was beautiful to see him back on the Canadiens’ power play and I have to admit I even shed a tear to see Markov’s jubilation when he assisted on P.K. Subban’s power play goal at the 5:20 minute mark of the third period. Markov celebrated and hugged Subban like he had just won the lottery. Markov’s confidence continued to soar in the final minutes of the contest when he fired an end-to-end pass from behind Carey Price onto the stick of Max Pacioretty sending him in across the Canucks’ blue-line, firing a shot on Roberto Luongo.

Carey Price should not be a Canadiens’ enforcer!

Looking for some negatives to speak to in last evening’s contest, I was hard-pressed to find any low-lights to say the least. In the closing seconds of the contest, Canadiens’ diminutive defenseman Yannick Weber was trading cross checking and slashing shots with the Canucks’ feisty forward Alexandre Burrows. Both Weber and Burrows should have been men enough to drop their sticks and gloves and settled the score the old-fashioned way.

Instead, it was Canadiens’ own Carey Price who came to Weber’s defense and fired a forearm shot of his own towards Burrows, earning Price a roughing penalty at the 20-minute mark. This needs to be addressed by head coach Randy Cunneyworth. It is nice to see teammates sticking up for one another, but for the love of God, please not our star netminder.

Until next time, play every game as if it is your last one…

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