Well, opening night didn't exactly go the way I had hoped. After the banner raising to celebrate the franchise's 10th year, there was a montage of great moments in their history. Absolutely no mention of last season, mind you. Of course, it was highly focused on the 2001-02 season when they won the Eastern Conference, and 2005-06 when they won The Stanley Cup. It's getting to be a little like Bush or Guiliani mentioning 9/11 in every political speech. Yes, we won The Cup. Yes, it was wonderful. But, it was over a year ago - let's focus on the now!
So, the Canes looked pretty good in the first period. They scored first on an Eric Cole deflection of an Eric Stahl shot, much to the delight on the pumped up crowd. Man, they had so many opportunities! I can't even count how many close calls there were in front of Montreal's net. The angels were definitely with the Habs last night. Montreal came back to tie it before the end of the first.
The second period was very slow - not much action to speak. The Canes had multiple 5 on 3 chances, but never did convert.
The Habs came out in the third and took the lead on a Koivu goal. The crowd booed. I hate negative crowd reactions. Cheer for your team, don't boo anyone!! Especially a guy who fought back from brain cancer and returned to the NHL. Luckily, the Canes got back on the ball in the last half of the third. They really did a good job forcing the net. Hedican had a beauty of a goal to tie the game once again. Overtime was looming.
I am not one for overtime. I like to finish the game in regulation. I never have a good feeling with OT. As soon as our player, Nick Wallin, took the cross charge penalty in OT, I knew it was over. Sure enough, the Habs scored within a few seconds. They crowd poured out, as defeated as the Canes.
Ward looked good in goal, and there were some sparks during the game. The Canes need to continue to work on the power play (old problem). I hope that this game is not indicative of things to come. We don't need another long season to nowhere.