For the Geoffrion family, March 11 is a day they will always remember. This year though, it comes with a silver lining.
Saturday night, Blake Geoffrion scored his first goal with the Canadiens in the Habs 4-1 win over the Canucks in Vancouver.
The grandson of Boom-Boom Geoffrion and great-grandson of Howie Morenz, was elated to have his first goal in a Montreal sweater and especially this weekend.
Today, March 11, marks the 6th anniversary of his grandfather's passing. It also was 75 years ago this weekend that the Montreal Forum played host to the funeral service for Morenz.
"It's a day my nana always sends us an e-mail and just says 'say hi to Papi and say your prayers,' and I miss him every day," Geoffrion said. "Now I got one for him."
Geoffrion, who had six goals in his career with Nashville, passed his father's scoring total with the Canadiens. Dan Geoffrion played 32 games for Montreal, but never scored a goal. Blake is a fourth-generation family member of the Habs.
"It's a great feeling because one, it's been a while since I've scored in the NHL, and two, for obvious reasons with my family history to get that goal and help the team to win."
The win in Vancouver also marked the long awaited return of Andrei Markov.
The usually stoic defenseman, had trouble trying to avoid a smile when the cameras were on him in the dressing room before the game, and showed some genuine happiness with the media in the post-game scrum.
Randy Cunneyworth wanted to manage the ice-time and situations for Markov, yet by the end of the game, Habs fans started to remember what they've been missing for the last two years.
Markov finished with 17 minutes of ice time and helped set-up P.K. Subban's power play goal in the third period. It was the first shift that Markov and Subban were paired together on the man advantage. No surprise, they were paired together again on the next time out.
The Canadiens will face a big test on Monday night against the surging Sabres in Buffalo. While the post-season is out of reach for the Habs, the positive steps towards bouncing back next year are a focus for the team right now, and seeing Markov back and healthy down the stretch, is a step in the right direction.
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