Still, rookie goalies have won Stanley Cups (Dryden did it in 1971), and the fact that Sevigny has the league's best defense in front of him will certainly make his job easier. Brian Engblom and Rod Langway have emerged as top defenders, Larry Robinson is the best, and Serge Savard and Guy Lapointe have been through the wars so many times they can survive by memory. "They won the Cup with that same defense two years ago," says Berenson. "Our team doesn't look down on any club, but we still look up to a few, and the Canadiens are one of them. It takes a while to get over that."
It took two periods to get over it Thursday night. Most of the pressure was on the Canadiens, who had a 20-game unbeaten streak at home. If they had any hope of finishing first in the overall standings, they needed to beat St. Louis. And while Montreal did, indeed, come away with two points in the 4-3 win, the Blues came away with fewer stars in their eyes. That should serve them well if the two teams meet in the playoffs. As Canadien Center Doug Riseborough said afterward, "This was a very big game for us, a very big win. I just wish I felt a little better about it."