There will never be another defenseman like Bobby Orr, but there can still be those that have moments of brilliance that remind us of the great blueliner. Tom Gilbert had one Thursday night.
Late in the second period, with the Canadiens down 2-0 to the Kings and a faceoff in the Los Angeles zone, David Desharnais won a draw back to Gilbert. With room for Gilbert to skate down the wall, he took it and proceeded to drive all the way to the front of the net. With a quick deke Gilbert brought the puck from the goal line to the front of the net, reached all the way around Jonathan Quick and tucked it in the far side.
It’s the moment right after the goal, though, that is most reminiscent of Orr. When Gilbert was sweeping the puck past Quick, the Kings netminder stuck his stick into Gilbert’s skates, sending him sailing through the air post-goal. Take a look:
No one will be confusing Gilbert with the legendary Orr anytime soon, let’s be clear about that. But this kind of rush is exactly what landed Gilbert a two-year, $5.6 million deal with the Canadiens in the off-season.
A Brendan Gallagher marker followed Gilbert’s tally less than two minutes later, and the Canadiens took the lead seven minutes into the third frame. The Kings forced overtime with a late power play goal by Marian Gaborik and downed the Habs 4-3 in a shootout.