It's almost five years to the day since one of the scariest moments in Montreal Canadiens history occurred. And on Thursday, those memories came rushing back to hockey fans everywhere.
A year full of misery for Montreal reached its darkest point in the third period against the Buffalo Sabres.
P.K. Subban, the heart and soul of not only the Canadiens but arguably the entire NHL, scampered after Sabres winger Marcus Foligno in the corner of his own zone. Subban lost his footing (a rare thing for the sure-footed defender) and fell to his knees. It was the worst possible timing -- teammate Alexei Emelin was charging in on Foligno.
Emelin is known for his ridiculously hard hits. Sometimes he toes the line, but mostly he stays on the right side of it and simply levels opponents. It was no surprise he was racing in on Foligno as hard as he was. But he had no idea of knowing that his teammate had just put himself in an awful position.
It was an terrible moment. I don't want to dress it up or even understate it. It just sucked. Subban is such a joy on and off the ice, it's like watching the NHL take a punch right to the gut and the league's spirit escape in its gasp for air.
Subban manages a thumbs up for the crowd.— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) March 11, 2016
Hopefully he's ok. Scary moment. pic.twitter.com/ULsa6s0oXL
Hurricanes 3, Bruins 2 (OT)
Canadiens 3, Sabres 2
Red Wings 3, Jets 2
Panthers 6, Senators 2
Oilers 2, Wild 1
Devils 3, Sharks 0
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3 things we learned
1. Detroit is capable of salvaging slow starts
For the first 20 minutes, the Red Wings played so poorly they had fans desperate for the offseason ...
i want to get this damn season over as quickly as possible.— Kyle WIIM (@KyleWIIM) March 11, 2016
... and then they finally woke up in the second and third to complete the comeback despite some lingering lineup usage issues by coach Jeff Blashill. But two points are two points, no matter how you come by them. And Detroit, locked in a dash to the finish for Wild Card spots, will take them.
2. You are lucky you are not Thomas Raffl
You don't recognize the name because he's a minor leaguer with the Manitoba Moose. But you'll remember the name after you hear the list of injuries he suffered this season:
#MBMoose HC Keith McCambridge told reporters earlier this week that Raffl is done for the season. The list of injuries included:— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeSunSports) March 11, 2016
dislocated collarbone, broken rib, concussion, broken jaw. That's some incredibly bad luck for Thomas Raffl to endure in one season— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeSunSports) March 11, 2016
Good gravy. It was apparently the back injury that ended his season, but any one of those other maladies would've knocked me out for two years. (I am not cut out for sports, guys.)
3. President Barack Obama just won't stop chirping Canada about hockey
He keeps trolling Canada whenever he can, even to their prime minister's face. It's fantastic.
We already went over the Subban injury, so let's go with something joyful for this section. You know, like the exploding water bottle majesty of David Pastrnak's goal.
Most multi-goals games this season: Alex Galchenyuk-7— Matt Casavant (@Mcaz) March 11, 2016
I post this because Alex Galchenyuk played a huge rule in Montreal's win again (he had 10 goals in his last 22 shots at one point last night), but one absence piqued my interest: Patrick Kane. He's leading the points race by a healthy margin, so you'd expect him to lead in multi-goal games. Instead, it just speaks to how consistently he's scored this year, instead of in streaks. He also sits third in multi-assist games anyways.