Latendresse did his best Tiger Woods impression on the way to notching his 10th goal of the season.
MONTREAL - Once Guillaume Latendresse opened the scoring against Buffalo on Saturday night, Lindy Ruff and the Sabres could have beaten the traffic by calling the game right then and there. A goal from Latendresse has, after all, been the kiss of death for the opposition so far this season.
It won't go down as the most memorable moment of his rookie campaign, but Latendresse's 10th goal of the season, combined with the Canadiens' win over the Sabres, improved Montreal to 8-1 when the 19-year-old freshman scores a goal.
While Latendresse is sure to score plenty more goals over the course of his career, they won't get much easier than the one he potted at the 8:00 mark of the first period. The wacky play began with a seemingly harmless dump in along the boards by linemate Tomas Plekanec that took a wild bounce off the glass before darting straight the slot to a wide open Latendresse. The big winger then fired the puck into an almost empty net past Sabres goalie Martin Biron.
"When I saw the puck coming towards me I had to break out my golfing talents and pull out my wedge," joked Latendresse, now the sixth Canadiens player to hit double digits this season. "The worst part is Biron almost got back in time to stop it!"
Every goal counts and you won't hear Latendresse complaining about the gift he received from the top team in the Eastern Conference.
"I've been hitting my share of posts this year and let's just say I haven't had much luck on my side so far," said Latendresse, who heads in to the All-Star break with three points in his last two games. "It sure wasn't pretty, but I'll take it."
Now already halfway to 20 goals, Latendresse is the first Canadiens player under the age of 20 to do so since Stephane Richer in 1985-86. The would-be two-time 50-goal man scored 21 goals that year in his first full NHL season joining Mario Tremblay who also scored 21 goals of his own as an 18-year-old Habs rookie in 1974-75.
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com
Habs hit All-Star break on a high note