Fly on the Wall: Feb. 24, 2009
Dear Mats, “boooooo”. Love, Habs fans.
Vancouver forward Mats Sundin has been public enemy No. 1 at the Bell Centre since his days as captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but his reception in la belle province reached fever pitch on Tuesday night, as Sundin was treated to a chorus of boos without even touching the puck. Here’s what the big Swede had to say about his love-hate relationship with Montreal (minus the love).
“It hasn’t really changed from when I was playing in Toronto, so I expected it. It’s been a great rivalry coming in here over the years. It’s one of my favorite buildings to play in on the road, it’s a lot of fun and it’s always a playoff-type atmosphere.”
Usually, there’s just one turning point…
Ex-Habs head coach Alain Vigneault was back in the house on Tuesday night to face off against his former team, but the result wasn’t the kind of homecoming the Canucks’ bench boss had in mind. When you double the opposition in shots and still lose 3-0, it can be tough to pinpoint exactly what went wrong.
“Obviously the 5-on-3 in the first period where we weren’t able to score and they came back with a goal was a big turning point, but on their first goal there was a clear trip by Koivu on Bieksa that the referees didn’t call. Then the Burrows penalty – I question that one, too, and that changed things but the real difference in that game was their goaltender. He played an outstanding game.”
By “some people”, he means “Alex Burrows”
After having a game misconduct added to his five minute cross-checking major, the result of a stick to Patrice Brisebois’ face in the second period, Canucks forward Alex Burrows preferred to see the glass as half full…
"I was trying to protect myself and I thought his stick was actually higher than mine. It’s disappointing, but what can you do? Some people might say it’s a bad call, or a weaker call, but I just have to deal with it and go back to work.”
Luongo has a short attention span
Montreal native Roberto Luongo seems to have missed the memo that when you let in two goals on 16 shots, then watch from the bench as the opposition ices the game with an empty-netter, you don’t get to say you were “bored”.
“He was playing well; he made the saves he had to make, but on a normal night, we’d have had a few of those. It was an uneventful night for me – I was pretty bored. The guys played hard and we spent most of the night in their zone.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com
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