For what it's worth many of the newspaper accounts of the game point out that Lemaire (along with Savard) as being amongst the best Canadiens players on the ice that evening. Some of the reporters (especially within the french media) suggested that he should have been named one of the nights three stars. In addition, many of those around Lemaire (teammates, coaches, and broadcasters) would in the years ahead point to this particular game as a real turning point for him.
Not to mention, the guy who supposedly made Lemaire look bad, Alexander Gusev, played also some really sloppy defense that night (bad passes/losing the puck many times). Admittedly, when he plays well, he looks good, but he just had a habit of making horrendous blunders - and usually near his own net. Not a fan of his.
BTW, I just saw the "forgotten" New Year's game, i.e. CSKA vs. the Habs from the 1979-80 Super series, and IMO the Canadiens play even a better game there, and that against Red Army that was probably stronger (ON PAPER) than the 1975 version; Montreal's passing is a lot sharper than in '75, and the game has even a better tempo. Bob Gainey especially is a monster and skating miles in the game; once coming from behind Kharlamov and taking the puck away from him like a candy from a baby! This is one of the games where one can see the deterioration of Valeri Kharlamov quite clearly.