Short take on the "game" portion of this evening: Jaroslav Halak stopped 23 shots as Brian Gionta scored twice to lead the Canadiens over Florida in Montreal. Radek Dvorak netted the lone Panthers goal - his 13th of the year - at 16:24 of the third to keep it interesting, but empty-netters by the Habs ruled out any semblence of a comeback. Tomas Vokoun made a shaky 27 saves as the Cats dropped to 1-1 on their three-game Eastern Canadian trip.
Far more notable was the loss of Panthers forward David Booth, who took the business end of Jaroslav Spacek's left shoulder to the upper torso/jaw. Commence inevitable controversy.
To paraphrase Buck Murdock: Irony can indeed be so ironic.
On the very night when the NHL's fast-tracked new head-shot rules became the law of the league - heavily influenced by this little number from a few long months ago - the involuntary posterboy himself is again thrust to the front page, this time at the hands of Jacques Martin's Canadiens. Yep, the same helmet-headed Martin who as general manager of the Cats less than two years ago signed Booth to a six-year, $25.5M contract. Seriously...you can't write this stuff.
A patched-together Booth has played almost 27 games this season. Scored a pair on Tuesday. Has anyone in the modern era had worse luck? Well, other than this dood?
The entire affair will be debated for days on end; the league will get a trial-by-fire right off the opening horn with their vaunted new rule.
No matter, the Panthers - again - lost their go-to guy to questionable contact. And for the record, there was not a physical altercation to be found afterward.