Montreal – which the Montreal Canadians needed – was a flexible and successful win, recovering six points from the Coal Fires and four points from the team they won Friday at Bell Center.
Because, more recently, Canadians have been plotting against that decision, from the taxing schedule mentally and physically, to forcing key players to “manage the game,” instead of going out and choking on Toronto maple leaves after losing coach Dominique Ducharm on Wednesday.
Despite being their 17th game in the last 30 days and having to play without captain Shea Weber, Goldtender Gary Bryce, heart and soul winger Brendan Gallagher and the first nine pioneers Paul Byrne, Thomas Tatar and Jonathan Droin. They came out in dominant style and forced the Winnipeg Jets back on the heels, scoring 15 points.
Not only were they not rewarded, but Paul Stastney used one of the few scoring chances in the Jets’ opening goal to make it 1-0.
The second period began and Canadians’ leading scorer Tyler Tofoli missed the open look before Trevor Lewis hit the ice and made 2-0 jets.
Nick Suzuki of Montreal narrowed a goal gap. A terrible coff from teammate Eric Gustafson, slapping a face, turned his way and allowed the Jets to go 2-by-1 for the length of the ice, widening it.
In the 3-1 Jets, the Canadians had every reason to throw to pieces.
The team that has scored more than two goals in two of its last 13 games, one of which has lost nine of those matches, will not be forgiven for doing so. But it would be understandable if they did, and nothing exactly happened on Saturday.
Instead, the Canadians struggled again, with Arturi Legonen, Joel Armia and Suzuki scoring their remaining goals in this 4-3 victory, and they achieved something in the process.
It won’t push them to a run in the last seven games of the season — they still face the same frantic schedule, and the hospital is still crowded — but this win will do more for their psyche.
“Being able to come back into the game and win third place again will boost the confidence of our comrades,” Ducham said. “We’ve done it before … it’s only recently …”
Recently, Canadians seemed to be on a death cycle and no one could find a way to pull them out.
Suffering can be a good thing, unless you face it too much and fail to prove that you can deal with it. Teams sometimes welcome it, but they never ask you to do it at home.
For a very long time, suffering has had a place at the table of this team, and it is not so important to prove to all Canadians that they can free themselves, it is necessary to prove themselves. They have been in a playoff spot from wire to wire, they are likely to be there when this season wraps up, they are going to re-learn suffering when it’s so important, and they can not only believe it, but also learn from the experience they can.
It is important to have a reference structure, this success provided a very bad situation-one.
“These points are so important that you have to be in the fight in every game,” Ben Siarot said, adding that he had an assistant and discussed the best game of the season advancing in Weber’s absence. “By no means, ‘Yeah, you know, it’s the two of them,’ takes a back seat; Whatever the score, we must continue to progress. That is a good lesson for us.
“Going forward, we’re going to have two goals down games again. If we go down in the playoffs, it’s another thing (where) you’ve going to drop two goals (and) you have to be in the game constantly, have to be in the fight, keep pushing. Tonight one of our comrades I thought it did a great job — we don’t regret it, we cut two goals and close it. We kept pushing, and then I’m proud of the way we responded. ”
It’s not just the Xerod, or Suzuki, or the Legion or the Armia; Everyone played only 10:59 until Jeff Petrie played Cole Cowfield for 23 minutes, but still managed a team’s top seven shot attempts.
The Canadians needed this kind of game. A game they have not been able to play for weeks.
“Honestly we don’t have many of those games in recent memory,” Goldman Jack Allen said, making 19 savings, including some great games in the final minutes. “It’s good for our morale, it’s very good for our confidence. We’re stuck in the program. It’s not halfway through the game, 3-1. We were in one place. But I think we all dug our heels.”
Because they did, the Canadians have a much safer grip on the fourth and final playoff spot in the Northern Division. They have lost seven of their last nine games and got a game at the Jets, who are third.
Next up are the Ottawa Senators, who have five games in eight games against the Canadians this year. There is still some regression queue.