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Captain Koivu gives Gainey a win

Posted by Jeff / March 11, 2009

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Captain of the Montreal Canadiens Saku Koivu gave Bob Gainey a night to remember last night. The captain scored on the power play 1:40 into overtime, elevating the Habs to a 4-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers at the Bell Centre. General Manager Bob Gainey was behind Montreal's bench for the first time since firing Guy Carbonneau 24 hours earlier.

The Canadiens gave up three goals in the second period, and were out shot by a 17-2 margin. Net minder Carey Price was the prodigy he should be that 2nd period keeping it so close. Faint taunting cheers of "Gainey" - the way we taunt goaltenders in the playoffs - hailed just before each goal in the second period as I sat in attendance last night. Do people really think that taunting the GM/coach at crucial must win emotional hockey game will help our team? I also have to say as a coach Guy Carbonneau just did not have it, let's just all admit that and move on.

Montreal, which lost 10 of 13 in late January and February, had dropped the first two games of its three-game road trip in the wake of a four-game winning run before the trade deadline. So with the calming demeanor of Bob Gainey in the locker room trailing 3-2 going into the third, there is no doubt in my mind his words must have meant something. Saku Koivu tied things up with 4:35 remaining in regulation before netting the game-winner in the extra session. Leading by example the emotions of the team were lifted, and more importantly: nobody gains any room on us and we gain some space on somebody else in the extremely tight NHL Eastern Conference play-off race. With one win out of the next 9 homes games we have this month the Gainey effect is perfect thus far.

Discussion

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