Ouch. It’s a rough thing, being inducted into the goalie gaff hall of fame.
The tilt last night between the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning was supposed to be all about Steven Stamkos, and his ongoing race to 60 goals; it certainly wasn’t expected to be an entertaining game from the Habs side of things. But between Peter Budaj‘s slick highlight-reel feed to Vinny Lecavalier of the Bolts, the entire defensive core fearlessly jumping into the rush, and beauty goals from Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty, it was a fairly stimulating effort from the basement-dwelling Habs.
Despite the beautiful puck-handling display, Budaj played fairly well, as he has all year, and while sitting third-last in the entire league, the Habs can simply poke fun at these things and move on. If the they were in contention, and this game meant anything at all, Budaj would be taking quite the lashing from fans and media alike.
The offence that was displayed by the Habs’ defence was surprising. They were were joining in, deep in the offensive zone, and it was especially nice to see newcomer-turned-resident-freight-train, Alexei Emelin chip in a goal while doing just that (before joining the Habs, Emelin had 27 points in 52 games in his last season with Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL). It was a satisfying night for Habs fans, offensively anyway, and was a night that saw Erik Cole, Max Pacioretty, and David Desharnais all reach the 60-point mark.
It’s never a good thing when the most stand-out play on your highlight reel is a major mistake, but it’s probably safe to say that Budaj will have an easier time living this down than he thinks. His team won, they shut down Stamkos, and all this while already having their golf bags packed.
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