I love it when the Habs win. The day is a little brighter, the energy a little higher when they do. I love it even more when they make me laugh while they're winning. Last night's victory over the Flyers was full of moments, some of which will make the highlight reel and some that won't, but they all made me smile.
I loved watching Cristobal Huet standing in the tunnel after the first period, high-fiving his teammates as they passed by into the dressing room, then verbally slamming some loud-mouthed Flyers' fans who were hanging over the glass taunting his team.
The look on Guy Carbonneau's...the Crown Prince of Sardonic's....face after the Flyers' weird second goal was priceless. I can't actually describe it in a way that does it justice, but it was a unique combination of rolling his eyes at the heavens, a sarcastic smirk and a kind of Gallic eyebrow-raise that perfectly expressed his displeasure with the vagaries of Fate and the whims of the hockey gods.
Alex Kovalev's genuine pleasure after Michael Ryder's second-period goal was contagious. It didn't fall into the "funny" category, but it made me and everyone who saw it smile and feel really good to see Ryder's teammates are still rooting for him.
Steve Begin's takedown of Jason Smith was brilliant. He just grabbed Smith and slammed him to the ice in a memorable show of strength and heart (after the initial fight, inspired by a clean hit, started to go south on #22). It was such a microcosm of the Habs' general manhandling of the Flyers this year, it made me laugh.
But the moment that stole the show...the one for which this game will be remembered...was the Bouillon goal at the end of the first period. With ten seconds to go, Andrei Kostitsyn was violently slammed to the ice. The players on both sides seemed to think there'd be a whistle, and several Flyers prepared to scrum with Josh Gorges who'd come to Kostitsyn's defence. Unfortunately for the Flyers, there wasn't a whistle and the only ones who seemed to recognize that fact were Francis Bouillon and Tomas Plekanec. They turned the play the other way and broke into the Philly zone on a two-on-one. Bouillon held the puck and with one second to go in the period, blasted it past Niittymaki for his first goal in a year. That was funny enough. But the best part was back in the Habs' zone. While Bouillon was racing down the ice to score, Flyers' defenceman Jim Vandermeer was 200 feet away, challenging Josh Gorges to fight. There he was, completely unaware of the play and his own role in the game, glaring at Gorges, gloves on the ice. Gorges just sort of shook his head and pointed down the ice to where Bouillon's shot was beating Niittymaki. It was brilliant. I'm laughing right now as I think about it again.
Yes...I love it when the Habs win. I'll take two points any night. But they get bonus points for doing it with style, and humour.