Beautiful, ugly two points for Canadiens in home-opener

 

 
 
 
 
MONTREAL, QUE.: OCTOBER 16, 2014 -- Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes a save as Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara looks for rebound during National Hockey League game in Montreal Thursday October 16, 2014.  Habs Andrei Markov is at bottom of frame. (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)
 
 

MONTREAL, QUE.: OCTOBER 16, 2014 -- Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes a save as Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara looks for rebound during National Hockey League game in Montreal Thursday October 16, 2014. Habs Andrei Markov is at bottom of frame. (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)

Photograph by: John Mahoney, Montreal Gazette

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Nobody died. Which, in this case, was big news.

The opponent you expected to be a goof? He delivered.

And then there was the maiden goalapalooza that punctuated the Canadiens’ 6-4 home-opening victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

You only score your first goal once in your career, be it for your first team or for your new team, so let’s cut to that:

Jiri Sekac won’t soon forget his icebreaker, coming 1:49 from the end of the second period. His father, mother, sister and girlfriend were in the stands to see it, too, Sekac père dancing wildly beside the clan, all freshly arrived/jet-lagged from their home in the Czech Republic.

“I’ve seen the celebration,” Sekac said later, grinning, having viewed it during a TV interview. “It’s just classic. I think it’s going to be all over the Internet real soon.”

But then, of course, it already was.

Eighty-five seconds after Sekac’s goal, Quebec-native Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau bagged his first as a Canadien, nearly setting ablaze the building that a little earlier had seen the ceremonial torch held aloft by a legendary alumnus.

Parenteau would add a second, on the power play into an empty net, to put this one away.

Montreal Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty scores goal against Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask with help from teammate David Desharnais at the Bell Centre on Thursday, Oct, 16, 2014. Bruins defencemen Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid find themselves out of position.

That Sekac and Parenteau scored first goals Thursday was a little reminiscent of Jan. 27, 2013, the night rookie Brendan Gallagher scored his first in the NHL and veteran Brandon Prust, new to the Canadiens, potted his first for the Habs in a win over New Jersey.

So it was firsts, not fists, that highlighted this game for the Canadiens against their grandest rival, the Habs and Bruins meeting for the 910th time in history.

All of those on Thursday who had their itchy phone fingers over the 9 and the 1 and the 1, ready to call Montreal police to report the on-ice assault, maiming or murder of Dale Weise? They took the night off and watched a hockey game.

As did Weise himself, witness to an entertaining game that wasn’t much like your average Habs-Bruins tilt.

But we’ll come back to the blotter.

It was with pomp and ceremony at the Bell Centre that the Canadiens renewed this delicious rivalry, welcoming (in a way) the Bruins for the home-opener.

After four on the road to begin the season, the Canadiens returned to the Bell with a 3-1 record to face the Bruins, 2-3, who had tucked into their downtown hotel beds at 3 a.m. following Wednesday’s shootout win in Detroit and a wee-hours charter to Montreal.

The joint was jumping, of course, the fires of passion stoked by the Habs’ unparalleled game-presentation crew that marries the Canadiens’ rich past to its exciting present and future with lasers and lights and music that will rattle your bones.

Former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden passes the torch to current Hab Carey Pice during ceremony prior to home opener against the Boston Bruins in Montreal Thursday October 16, 2014.

The arena’s foundation quaked when Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden emerged from the tunnel to stand beside the Canadiens bench, the blazing, storied torch held aloft.

When Dryden, the winner of six Stanley Cups in the 1970s, handed the flame to Carey Price, who had skated to him from the Zamboni entrance, the place went loopy.

Ginette Reno belted out O Canada, almost as thunderously as Habs defenceman Alexei Emelin slammed Boston villain Milan Lucic 126 seconds after the opening faceoff, and we were away to the races.

A bit of the air had been let out of the balloon earlier in the day when it seemed likely that Weise, the shaggy-maned, in-your-face forward, would be scratched in favour of the equally sandpapery Travis Moen.

It was nearly five months ago that hockey was scandalized, sort of, by the playoffs-over, handshake-line death threat apparently uttered by Lucic to the mug of Weise.

There might yet be a reckoning in this, but with Weise in civvies and Lucic still not 100 per cent following off-season wrist surgery, it will wait.

In the end, Lucic saved his irrationality for a referee after he’d been tagged with a boarding penalty on Emelin with 1:20 to play, the Habs leading by a goal.

Lucic gestured at taunting fans behind the penalty box, then yapped at the zebra as he left the box, Parenteau having scored, and immediately was given a 10-minute misconduct. He wasn’t available to meet the media post-game.

Montreal Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins during the third at the Bell Centre on Thursday, Oct, 16, 2014.

Not to be lost in the late mayhem was the splendid game of centre David Desharnais and his wingers, Gallagher and Max Pacioretty.

Gallagher had two goals and an assist, Pacioretty a goal and an assist and Desharnais added two assists. Together, they had 10 of the Canadiens’ 26 shots.

Little Davey admitted this wasn’t typical Habs-Bruins hockey, saying, “It’s early in the year, everybody’s a little bit everywhere, there were a couple of mistakes and that’s what happens.

“That’s what we want to do every night,” he said of his line. “It’s not going to happen, obviously, but on a big night like tonight, we need to be at the top of our game.”

A classic it wasn’t. A victory it was.

And until they start awarding style points in hockey, it was simply beautiful and ugly and fun.

dstubbs@montrealgazette.com

Twitter: Dave_Stubbs

 
 
 
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MONTREAL, QUE.: OCTOBER 16, 2014 -- Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes a save as Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara looks for rebound during National Hockey League game in Montreal Thursday October 16, 2014.  Habs Andrei Markov is at bottom of frame. (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)
 

MONTREAL, QUE.: OCTOBER 16, 2014 -- Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes a save as Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara looks for rebound during National Hockey League game in Montreal Thursday October 16, 2014. Habs Andrei Markov is at bottom of frame. (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)

Photograph by: John Mahoney, Montreal Gazette

 
MONTREAL, QUE.: OCTOBER 16, 2014 -- Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes a save as Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara looks for rebound during National Hockey League game in Montreal Thursday October 16, 2014.  Habs Andrei Markov is at bottom of frame. (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)
MONTREAL, QUE.: OCTOBER 16, 2014 -- Montreal Canadiens Max Pacioretty scores goal against Boston Bruins goalie Tuuka Rask with help from team-mate David Desharnais during National Hockey League game in Montreal Thursday October 16, 2014.  Bruins defencemen Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid find themselves out of position. (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)
MONTREAL, QUE.: OCTOBER 16, 2014 -- Former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden passes the torch to current Hab Carey Pice during ceremony prior to home opener against the Boston Bruins in Montreal Thurssday October 16, 2014.  (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)
MONTREAL, QUE.: OCTOBER 16, 2014 -- Montreal Canadiens celebrates his game-winning goale against the  Boston Bruins during third period of National Hockey League game in Montreal Thursday October 16, 2014.  (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)
MONTREAL, QUE.: OCTOBER 16, 2014 -- Montreal Canadiens celebrates his game-winning goale against the  Boston Bruins during third period of National Hockey League game in Montreal Thursday October 16, 2014.  (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)
MONTREAL, QUE.: OCTOBER 16, 2014 -- Boston Bruins Milan Lucic yells at a referee after coming out of the penalty box following a penalty during  third period of National Hockey League game against the Canadiens in Montreal Thursday October 16, 2014.  Lucic was given a ten minute misconduct for his actions.  (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)
The Montreal Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher, left, is congratulated by teammates following a goal past Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask during third period of hockey action at Bell Centre on Thursday. The Canadiens beat the Bruins 6-4.
Boston Bruins Milan Lucic yells at a referee after coming out of the penalty box following a penalty during third period of the Habs-Bruins game. Lucic was given a 10-minute misconduct penalty for his actions.
Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes a save as Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara looks for a rebound during the Habs’ home opener Thursday at Bell Centre. The Habs’ Andrei Markov is at the bottom of the frame.
The Montreal Canadiens' David Desharnais has the puck knocked off his stick by Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara, 33, in front of goalie Tuuka Rask Thursday at Bell Centre.
The Montreal Canadiens' Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, centre, celebrates his second-period goal against the Boston Bruins with team-mates Alexei Emelin, left, Alex Galchenyuk, right, and P.K. Subban during the Habs' home opener Thursday in Montreal.
Montreal Canadiens Andrei Markov blocks a shot in front of goalie Carey Price as Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara, 33, and Torey Krug try to dig it out during the Habs’ home opener on Thursday.
The Montreal Canadiens’ Tom Gilbert, left, clears Boston Bruin Carl Soderberg from in front of goalie Carey Price during the Habs’ home opener at Bell Centre on Thursday.
Montreal Canadiens Brendan Gallagher, left, David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty celebrate Pacioretty’s first-period goal against the Boston Bruins during the Habs’ home opener Thursday at Bell Centre.
The puck slides to the Montreal Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty from a rebound on David Desharnais’ shot in front of Boston Bruins goalie Tuuka Rask. Pacioretty put the puck in the net for a goal. Bruins defencemen Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid found themselves out of position.
The Montreal Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty scores a goal against Boston Bruins goalie Tuuka Rask with help from team mate David Desharnais. Bruins defencemen Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid found themselves out of position.
Sisters Darlene Steves, left, and Suzanne Pearson are at odds outside Bell Centre prior to the Habs’ home opener in Montreal on Thursday. Pearson now lives in Saskatchewan.
Montreal Canadiens fan Susie Sorrelle, who is from Montreal but currently living in Dallas, gets in the face of Boston Bruins fan Phil Anderson outside Bell Centre prior to the Habs’ home opener in Montreal on Thursday. The two had not met previously.
Former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden passes the torch to current Hab Carey Price during a ceremony prior to the home opener against the Boston Bruins in Montreal on Thursday.
Former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden raises the torch during a ceremony prior to the home opener against the Boston Bruins in Montreal on Thursday.
Former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden raises the torch during a ceremony prior to the home opener against the Boston Bruins in Montreal on Thursday.
Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur greets Habs fans Michael Palmer and his son Logan outside Bell Centre prior to the start of the Habs’ home opener in Montreal Thursday. The Palmers are from Toronto.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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