Radulov Lifts Habs To A Win vs Flyers

Photo by Francois Lacasse NHLI / via Getty Images

Photo by Francois Lacasse NHLI / via Getty Images

Alexander Radulov lifted the Habs to a 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers Monday night, extending the team’s win streak to 4, and giving them a 5-0-1 start to the season.

The game was utterly uneventful for most of the first two periods. But it was apparent neither team was willing to sit back, and both teams were skilled and intent on scoring first.

It was the Habs who struck first, though there were many missed opportunities. Tomas Plekanec couldn’t score. Phillip Danault couldn’t score on a breakaway, nor could Paul Byron. Even Max Pacioretty – who tried to hit the puck in when it was in the air – didn’t get the goals.

All in all, this game got more exciting in the third period, and it was well worth sitting through to watch the way it unfolded in the final frame. The Habs are on a streak with no fewer than 3 goals per game thus far.

But the story of the game was Alexander Radulov.

Radulov has already recorded 5 points, with 3 coming Monday night against the Flyers. He had 17:28 TOI, and was put on the point with Shea Weber for power plays. It paid off with a power-play goal that, many believe, was his, not Brendan Gallagher‘s. It didn’t matter who scored that go-ahead goal, though; and Radulov celebrated it the way he does all his teammates’ goals: harder than his own.

Here’s how it played out.

First Period: Shots 9-6 Montreal

No Goals

The Habs had plenty of shots in the first, but failed to capitalize on them. The opportunities were there, and puck possession was strong, but neither team managed to score in the first. In fact, it was – except for a few close calls and opportunities – a fairly boring uneventful period.

Second Period: 13-12 Montreal

Goals:

  • Shea Weber (Alexander Radulov, Artturi Lehkonen), 5:28
  • Jakub Voracek (Claude Giroux, Brandon Manning), 11:47

The middle frame got more animated, as Shea Weber put the Habs on the board at 5:28 into the period. He sniped it from the blue line, on a pass from Alexander Radulov, and it went just past Andrew McDonald‘s skate to bounce into the net.

There were a couple of power plays for the Habs, who continued to struggle on the man-advantage.

The Canadiens lost their lead when Jakub Voracek scored the equalizer at 11:47; the goal was attributed to him, and then changed to rookie Travis Konecny, but changed back to Voracek again. The goal came after the Flyers swarmed the net, taking every shot possible. Carey Price, stellar throughout the game, had no chance on the shot from the blue line which was deflected by Voracek to score.

Again, the period ended with neither team advancing the score.

Third Period: Shots 14-11 Philadelphia

Goals: Brendan Gallagher (PPG: Alexander Radulov, Shea Weber), 13:08; Alexander Radulov (Empty Net; Alexei Emelin), 18:57

In the third period, with the game belonging to either team, the Flyers took a tripping penalty at 13:04, and the Habs set up for a power play. Michel Therrien had tried something new this game, putting Radulov on the point with Shea Weber, and this time, it paid off. Just 4 seconds in, Weber looked like he was winding up for a shot. Known league-wide for his powerful shot, he drew attention from the Flyers, but instead of taking the shot, he passed the puck to Radulov, who blasted it to the net. It grazed Brendan Gallagher who received credit for the goal, and the Habs went ahead, 2-1.

A closer look at Gallagher in front of the net:

There is no question that Radulov is loving this team, and his success is a result of his commitment.

Shortly after the Flyers pulled their goalie, Radulov struck again, on a pass from Alexei Emelin (who also had a strong showing Monday night), scoring the insurance goal, and earning the first star of the night.

The game ended with the Habs once again scoring multiple goals, and recording their 4th win in a row.

Some Thoughts:

Tonight’s thoughts are all centered around the obvious: Alexander Radulov. The team signed him in the off season, and there was a lot of concern, based on his past history in both the NHL and KHL. But beginning in pre-season games, he quickly proved himself to be a player who is excited to be with the Canadiens, who leaves it all out on the ice, and who faces every game with an incredible work ethic.

Radulov celebrates every goal, no matter his role in the play. He plays hard, he celebrates hard, and it is very clear that his give-it-all attitude is rubbing off on his teammates.

Named the first star, he came out to take his “bow”, with a handful of pucks to toss to the crowd. He threw them, overhand, which was fun to watch; his enthusiasm is also contagious to all Habs fans who see his value. He is visibly excited to be with the Canadiens, and the energy at the Bell Centre seems to animate him even more.

When the team took to centre ice to salute the fans with raised sticks after the game, Radulov not only raised his stick, he applauded enthusiastically at the same time. He looked like a big kid out there, and has won hearts everywhere.

He’s earned the nickname AR-47 in some circles, but on Monday night, it was this comment that earned him a new one: Tickles.

All smiles in the dressing room:

(“I had goosebumps.” – Alexander Radulov, about the crowd that chanted “Radu Radu Radu”)

As per tradition, as the first star of the game, Radulov was interviewed on the ice by RDS’s Marc Denis. He was asked about the game, and this Russian player’s first word in response to the reporter and to the cheering crowd was: “Bonjour.” That gained him even more cheers, to the point of almost being drowned out as he spoke.

When asked about his position changing for the power play, he replied that all he wants to do is what he can to help the team score, and that’s what he plans to do. He looked up at the stands, where fans were chanting “Radu, Radu,” and said, “I do it for you guys.”

Needless to say, he was the recipient of an even more deafening round of whooping and applause.

Some reaction around the Twitterverse:

Watching Radulov in any given game so far, he’s the one who, if he falls to the ice, is still playing the puck from his knees. He does not give up. And that is exactly what this team needs. It’s what fans need. He is fulfilling that role of a dynamic, hard-working, productive player.

It will be a fantastic season watching this player. His teammates are also embracing him:

So will we, Gally. So will we.

Next game is Wednesday when the Habs are hosted by the New York Islanders. Puck drop is 7:00 p.m. (take note of the earlier time).

Share Button

One Response to Radulov Lifts Habs To A Win vs Flyers

  1. almost sounds like he is playing a PK type of game…better be careful before Therrien starts blaming him for being over enthusiastic.. but he definitely has been impressive…..but it is funny..everyone loves him for what he does and PK was basically the same and they could not wait to run him out of town…got me on how when he was here he was loved and when he got traded he was to blame for everything…really weird..I wish both him and Weber well…

    Phil Turnbull October 25, 2016 at 6:18 am Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nine + ten =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Carey Price Deserves Better Than the Montreal Canadiens

It is needless to say that Carey Price is on a team that simply does not capitalize on his abilities. The Habs are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the third straight year. And while the injuries and bad calls are valid excuses for their current losing streak, there are plenty of errors […]

Share Button

JOIN THE CONVERSATION