Louis Leblanc is finding that being the hometown hero in Montreal is a roller coaster of emotions.
Last night during the second period of Montreal’s 4-3 loss to Philadelphia, Leblanc scored his first NHL goal in front of the adoring home fans. The same fans that went wild when he was drafted there in 2009. The same fans that saw Leblanc play just 49 seconds in the third period.
With the frustrations Habs fans have had with their team this year and seeing the team struggle with scoring goals, you’d think seeing a rookie take charge and score his first goal would result in being rewarded with more ice time. Instead, coach Jacques Martin kept his lines together and rolled them out in machine-like fashion.
Leblanc being on Montreal’s fourth line with Mike Blunden and Yannick Weber meant that in a close game they weren’t going to see much action. Leblanc’s ability to create offense apparently not as important to Martin as his ability to sit on the bench and watch the game. Martin sure knows how to twist fans into a knot.
Curious what a standing ovation for scoring your first goal looks like? Check it out.
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”