It was definitely a close one, but it felt great to be there when the 3rd period came to a close and everyone celebrated. To be honest, it felt awesome just to be at a game again, see the pregame video on that mind-blowing big screen and watch our players (old and... mostly new) do what they do best.
Overall, Carey Price made some pretty impressive saves, and our new acquisitions (yes, I'm aware that right now about three-quarters of the team is "new") have definitely proved themselves. My biggest qualm, however, is with our power play. It just wasn't really there tonight, even though the players who make up our special teams are exceptional and have been performing quite well lately. It's only the preseason, though, so the team's got time to work that out.
It was a decent line-up tonight, although I would have loved to see some prospects that weren't in the lineup, most notably P.K. Subban, whose talent and personality served him well on Team Canada and are going to be a great addition to this year's Hamilton Bulldogs. I'm also a Ryan White fan after seeing him pull out all the stops one night in Hamilton last season, but I guess I can't be too picky when cuts start happening. My favourite new-this-season player, Mike Cammalleri, got his share of ice time (and a penalty, what?) and I was definitely happy about that. Cammalleri's been the brightest light in this offseason of change for me personally, and it definitely looks like my anticipation wasn't for naught.
I'd also like to give a shoutout to the hilarious guys sitting to the left of me tonight, who have to be credited with gems such as these (their opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Czechtacular and the Rookie):
"Scott Gomez is a sexy bitch!" (Yes, a heterosexual man screamed this as loud as he could.)
"Latendresse, tabarnak!" followed by "Latendresse, I hate you but right now I love you" when he scored
"Go Rick Nash!" (I don't know where that one came from)
"No one go near Crosby, he's going to cry again!"
... I'd keep posting their amusing Crosby taunts, but this is a blog, not a Tolstoy novel, so take my word for it when I say they were hilarious and sometimes creative.
Tonight's best dressed award goes to the gentleman I saw in a Brett Favre T-shirt, with an honourable mention to the girl who repurposed her old Higgins #21 shirt into a Brian Gionta shirt with the help of a scrap of paper, a marker, some scotch tape and two safety pins.
She definitely chose the right day for arts and crafts!
Worst dressed: Some guy who had the nerve to wear a Mats Sundin Maple Leafs jersey, and trailing his young Habs-supporting son behind him. Poor kid!
After a game like this one, I'm pretty optimistic that the season will be a solid one. I'm not going to make any guesses about the season as a whole, but I'm glad that the parts are in place.
Stay tuned, Habs fans!