Noted poet laureate, Jay Z, once said: “moral victories are for minor league coaches”.
He’s not wrong. But, the Canadiens sought to be the exception to that line after they earned a moral and literal victory over the Washington Capitals Thursday night. It’s a victory that won’t resuscitate their playoff chances, but they needed one to temporarily forget about the Tuesday night loss to the lowly Detroit Red Wings.
If the Canadiens’ playoff chances were unofficially on life support after picking up two points in four games last week, then Detroit’s comeback win over the Canadiens Tuesday night was enough to call a coroner.
Habs fans will stew on that Detroit loss (better yet, all four of them this season) for a while. Can you imagine how the players must feel?
But since the team still doesn’t wish to quit on themselves, the only victories for them to earn are moral ones from here on out.
The Habs can, at least, say they won a game against a good team while having more high danger chances than their opponent. They can say they won a game while spending most of the contest leading the shot counter. Montreal even had 17 shots on net in the second period while Washington didn’t play their best.
There’s been quite a few games this season where the Canadiens have peppered shots on an opposing goalie but to no avail. You’ll be happy to know that the Canadiens are second in the National Hockey League in shots per game, and have the league’s third-best Corsi For percentage per Natural Stat Trick.
The Habs wanted no part in history either. Alexander Ovechkin was chasing his 700th career goal Thursday. He scored his 699th career goal but did not get the milestone he was chasing.
By the way, it’s totally acceptable to have wanted history to be made Thursday night.
It’s only a temporary feeling of happiness, but the Canadiens can take some comfort in knowing they were able to get a victory over a top National Hockey League team.
Once reality hits, they’ll have to deal with their defensive unit taking another hit with Xavier Ouellet being injured against the Caps. They already won’t have Victor Mete in the lineup Saturday against Ottawa. The Canadiens also traded away Marco Scandella this week.
But hey, the Habs won. Blood, sweat, tears, and all. A victory for a group that has run out of answers for why the season has gone as it has.
You may reply that the standards for Canadiens’ victories may be lowered. But, at this point in the season, this is where they’re at.
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Here’s the best of the liveblog from last night’s game:
From the Caps’ perspective the wrong number 8 scored two goals. Who would’ve thought the Habs’ #8 would outscore the Caps’ #8.
Well deserved. Excuse me while I lose my ability to speak tomorrow. Metro ride home gonna be good.
Who is this team??
We have a shot at catching San Jose – in upside down standings – and draft #6. Just Do what you do best Habs….