Vanek gets going, but it's still not enough for Habs

Vanek gets going, but it's still not enough for Habs
May 3, 2014, 7:15 pm

BOSTON - It took until the second period of Game 2, but the Canadiens' biggest weapon finally made an appearance.

Thomas Vanek had a bit of a disappearing act going, which is hard for someone of his build - 6-foot-2, 205 pounds - to pull off. After a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the first round, Vanek failed to light the lamp . . . until Saturday against the Bruins.

That's when he had not one but two goals, both of the deflection variety, both on power plays, and both off P.K. Subban shots.

"I think it’s a game of confidence," Vanek said of what changed for him today, "and just a couple of good shots by Subban and I got stick on them."

Vanek scored both the go-ahead goal in the second period, and the goal to put the Habs up 3-1 in the game in the third period. There really wasn't much Rask could do to react to either of them in time.

"Sometimes it goes like that, you know?" Rask said. "He’s [Vanek] a great player in front of the net. He got the first goal he scored like that, so you got to give him credit. It’s tough. You just got to try to stay on top of your game and then focus on that next one and still keep your team in it."

Vanek scored 27 goals for the Canadiens in the regular season, so getting him going is a necessity for the Habs. Saturday was certainly a good sign.

"It feels good to contribute obviously," Vanek said. "I thought especially at that time of the game with the penalties they were taking. I thought it was good to get the lead and then obviously after we made it 3-1 I thought we played well after that."

Vanek's day would have been a much bigger story had the Canadiens not allowed the Bruins to score four unanswered goals to end the game. Subban credits Vanek for stepping up today, but knows they'll need a complete effort all around if they want to advance.

"Listen, he played a great game but playoffs are not about individual players whether it’s him or other guys on the team," Subban said. "He played well for us, he scored two big goals and that’s what we expect out of him. By all means we need all guys going. Not every night it can be the same guys, different nights it has to be different guys stepping up. He stepped up big, got two big power play goals for us but it doesn’t mean anything when we blow a two-goal lead so we have to play better for a full 60."