Tuesday night’s most memorable moment should’ve belonged to either Patrick Roy, who was returning to Montreal for the first time as an NHL head coach, or trade deadline day star Thomas Vanek, who broke out and scored a hat trick for his new team.
Instead, the most indelible image of the Canadiens’ 6-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche belonged to a hardworking plugger named Travis Moen — a Habs forward with 22 times more penalty minutes (44) than goals (two) this season.
Midway through the second period, with the home team trailing 2-1, Moen took an incredible diving one-handed pass from Brandon Prust, then completed a spin-o-rama with Avs defenceman Erik Johnson draped on his back, scoring on the backhand before falling down and sliding into the corner.
The goal would’ve been jaw-dropping had it come off Vanek’s stick, but the fact the beauty was scored by a guy with six fights already this year makes it all the more impressive. (The last time we highlighted one of Moen’s creativity, it was because of a rule-dodging scrap.)
“We were energized tonight,” Prust told reporters afterward. “We knew it was going to be a big game. We knew they would come hard to get Patty the win, so we’re glad we spoiled it.”