Dec 28, 2011, 12:28 AM EST
Some trickster bought Randy Cunneyworth a Rosetta Stone for Christmas, but his best gift came a couple days later. The Montreal Canadiens erupted for six goals to top the Ottawa Senators 6-2, giving the embattled English-speaker his first win as an NHL head coach.
Cunneyworth likely would have preferred to get that first victory in one of his four previous tries, but in a way, it seems fitting that it came in Ottawa. He served as the Senators’ captain from 1995-98, including the first season that the “new” version of the team made the playoffs in 1997.
It was truly a team effort as five different players scored goals for Montreal. Michael Cammalleri, Erik Cole, Louis Leblanc, Tomas Plekanec, and P.K. Suban earned a goal and an assist. Mathieu Darche had two assists while Raphael Diaz generated three. Subban’s contribution might be the most heartening because he was coming off a rare night as a healthy scratch. Carey Price was sharp in net, stopping 33 out of 35 shots for his 13th win of the season.
There are a lot of positives to take from that game, but the bottom line is that the Habs remain on the outside of the playoff picture right now:
Then again, the Canadiens are only four points and three wins behind the eighth-ranked Winnipeg Jets right now, so it’s not outrageous to think that Cunneyworth can turn things around. Much like a person learning a new language, it’s all about baby steps for Cunneyworth and the Habs, though.
Check out highlights from the game below:This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 111
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 94
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 105
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 8
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 14
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 89
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) 87
- Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand 69
- Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated) 47
- Shawn Thornton: ‘People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable’ 78
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (180)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (126)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (119)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (105)
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller (95)