BOSTON – Andrei Markov joined an exclusive club on Saturday night.
Scoring the 100th goal of his NHL career – a power play marker in the first period against the Bruins – Markov further cemented his status as one of the best blue-liners to ever don the CH, becoming just the fourth defenseman in Canadiens history to join the Century Club for goals. Now tied with Serge Savard in career goals scored – despite playing 130 fewer games than the Hall-of-Famer, Markov trails only the other two-thirds of the Big Three, Guy Lapointe (166) and Larry Robinson (197) in that category in his career.
While Markov’s focus is more on the team’s win-loss record than his career goals tally, he still appreciates his newly-carved spot among the Canadiens’ elite.
|BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 22 : The Montreal Canadiens celebrate a goal against the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on November 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) |
“I didn’t know that [about the Big Three] actually,” admitted Markov, whose 100th goal held up as the eventual game winner in the team’s second shutout win of the season. “It’s something special not just for a defenseman, but for any player to score 100. It’s thanks to all my teammates who supported me and helped me do that. Without them, I never could have done that.”
Well-versed in the history of the iconic club despite being in just his third year in Montreal, Brendan Gallagher didn’t need any help realizing the magnitude of his veteran teammates’ accomplishment.
“With Marky, he doesn’t talk too much and he lets his play do most of the talking for him,” explained the 22-year-old winger, who helped set the table for Markov’s centennial celebration. “Since I’ve been here, he’s always been a guy who shows up and wants to win. He competes hard and does the right things day in and day out at the rink on the ice and leading by example off the ice. He’s such a smart player and that’s pretty good company for him to be in.”
Markov’s milestone marker was also the Canadiens’ first power play goal in 10 attempts, having gone 0-for-9 with the man advantage over the past three games. The blast from the point marks the 35-year-old’s 52nd career power play goal, now ranking third on the franchise’s all-time list among defensemen in that category as well, again trailing Lapointe (57) and Robinson (65).
“With Andrei Markov, you always know what you’re going to get,” confirmed Michel Therrien, who coached a rookie Markov when the Russian blue-liner was first breaking in with the Canadiens during Therrien’s first tour behind the bench in 2000-01. “That he scored his 100th career goal as a member of the Canadiens says a lot. Not just about him as a player, but as a person. His 100th goal was really important in tonight’s game because he scored on the power play and really gave us momentum.”
Opening the scoring for the visitors, Markov also helped the Habs get on the board first in a game for just an eighth time this season. The Canadiens have now gone a perfect 8-for-8 when lighting the lamp first.
“Scoring 100 is something special for sure, but it’s more important that we got the win tonight,” said the two-time All-Star following the team’s second shutout win of the campaign. “I’m just happy to have those two points.”
Having recently passed eight-time Norris Trophy winner Doug Harvey for career points in early November and having crossed another item off his career checklist on Saturday night, Markov knows he’ll need to start setting new goals for himself pretty soon. While he still has 97 goals to go before catching Robinson for first in team history, he prefers to take a shorter term approach to his pending To-Do list.
“The next target is the game tomorrow,” he said, with a game against the Rangers slated for Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. “We’re going to prepare ourselves and hopefully we’ll play even better than tonight.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com
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