Montreal Canadiens Fans Show Appreciation For Josh Anderson

New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens
New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Josh Anderson has been the scapegoat for the Montreal Canadiens, and just a couple weeks away from the New Year, he finally found success.

The game was extremely impressive for Anderson, who just looks lighter. Almost like a significant weight had come off of his shoulders. And the Bell Centre faithful has been here through his struggles, and such remained the same for his two goal performance.

The energy when TVA sport broadcaster Renaud Lavoie interviewed the first star of the tilet between the Habs and Islanders on Saturday night. Anderson just stood with Lavoie, and he was serenaded by the crowd. It was a gesture of the fans having trusted and believed that Anderson would right the ship, and they expressed how happy and grateful they were for number 17.

His two goals were impressive, but the little things that make him an impactful player hadn’t been showcased in a while. But he has put together a string of strong games, culminating with his performance against the Islanders. He was disruptive on the forecheck and aggressive on the back check,

With the puck on his stick, the powerhorse has emerged through the cloak curtain. The speed and strong edges for a big man were on full display, Anderson pushed back the defence multiple times, then circled back before using the open space to create. The 6’3” and 215 lbs winger put on a clinic Saturday night, and the handcuffs that have plagued him seem to have been unshackled. 

Anderson’s value had never been questioned, and Martin St. Louis’s trust in him stood pat. This kept a renewed energy reverberating through him, and despite his struggles, he just kept working and trying to find his way. It is worrying when a 20-25 goal scorer can’t put the puck past a goaltender for 30 games, but St. Louis knew it wasn’t a lack of effort.

Like Anderson typically does when at his best, he finished his cheques and used his speed to keep pace with the opposition. Using his size and strength, he created havoc around the net, and shot every chance he got. He was also the first one on loose change around the crease, trying to slam home rebounds. 

His first goal was a case of being open in the slot and winning a puck battle before firing the puck past Semyon Varlamov. His second goal was Brendan Gallagher-esque, as he just dug in the trenches and potted a loose puck. The crowd erupted and a smile formed on Anderson’s face, and it felt like so much frustration and bad puck luck had been forgotten. 

The Canadiens, both crowd and team were all in the moment. Anderson deserved it, and if he can continue playing this way, the next 30 games should look much different than the first 30. I won’t predict a 20-goal season, but I don’t see why he can’t score 15, especially with Sean Monahan on his line. 

Anderson is going to be all right, and he is in safe hands with the Canadiens. When he is on, he is coveted throughout the NHL by general managers. But Kent Hughes knows exactly what he has with Anderson.