Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm not titling this "Atlanta gets thrashed," but...

A few thoughts on the Habs-Thrashers game tonight, which won't be a liveblog per se but I'll probably update every period.

-Okay, I'm mostly just happy to have a Tuesday evening game again because I've seen way too much So You Think You Can Dance Canada over the last few weeks... there's only so much my brain can take.
-Halak in nets tonight. This is only his second game of the season, so he could definitely use the ice time if we want two healthy and sharp goalies - and I don't know about you, but I do.
-Ilya Kovalchuk is the face of the Thrashers... I've always been happy that the Habs were more of an overall team than a supporting cast for one guy, but at a time when our team is in transition and needs some time to blend together into one unit (at least, that's what I'm hoping our problem is) I've got to be honest and admit that I'm a little worried about this game, if only because we're the weaker team going into it. (My random selection of Atlanta among potential backup teams isn't seeming like such a ridiculous idea anymore, is it?)
-Marc Denis becomes the latest in a long line of hockey players turned TV sports journalists. I'm going to play the ever-valuable rookie card here and choose not to comment because I have no idea how he'll fare.
-Could it be that part of the reason why francophone journalists love francophone players is not only because they have a language in common but also an upbringing? Joel Bouchard talking to Marc-Andre Bergeron basically just seemed like two cousins getting together at some brasserie on a Saturday, or something.
-Another mistake by RDS: There have been a few lately, and this one, "David Setoguchi," is pretty glaring. I don't know who's been making the graphics lately but they might want to start taking vitamins or something.
-The Impact gets honoured for winning their championship, and the whole team (led by my boy, Mauro Biello) comes onto the ice to celebrate their victory. It's like a minute of cheering, but it's better than nothing. Keep in mind, the Impact's season started off pretty weak too so you never know what'll happen in sports.
And we're off.

Ondrej Pavelec in nets for Atlanta, and I shouldn't be the blogger to comment on this. No line changes for Montreal with the exception of Paul Mara's linemate, new Hab Marc-Andre Bergeron, who chose a great number in 47, pulled a Jenny Slate and got a penalty two minutes into the first period. It's nice to meet you, too. It's not like his was the only penalty, though, and if both teams keep this up throughout the game we REALLY need to work on special teams.
I think Roman Hamrlik's been exercising his offensive potential quite a bit this period, and I'm most definitely not complaining.
After about a million power plays, Brian Gionta scores the first goal of the night. It's his fourth of the season. Thank heavens.

Ondrej Pavelec steals goals from us left and right, but at least we're getting some shots in.
Okay, at least Jenny Slate didn't get her ass kicked on SNL. Bergeron just got a disgusting hit from Armstrong, causing a pretty big skirmish starring a very angry Maxim Lapierre and also involving rookie Thrasher Evander Kane, who's been quite physical so far this game.
Pierre Houde dropped a few words in Italian at the end of an interview with Mauro Biello, thus notching him even higher on the awesome scale.
Karma had her way with Armstrong, who wound up with a bloody nose even though the Canadiens hardly touched him.
Habs stayed in Atlanta's offensive zone for quite a while, including a power play that sadly didn't produce any goals but did go off better than a lot of other power plays this season.
It's still 1-0, which is actually pretty good considering our record lately, and I'm sure that things will continue to go our way.

Joel Bouchard interviews an extremely distracted Maxim Lapierre.
Period starts on a power play for Atlanta, carried over from Hal Gill's penalty at the end of the second.
Ugh. I knew this lead was too good to be true, Thrashers tie it up at 1-1.
Max Pacioretty has trouble controlling his speed and hurtles into the net, but even I know that you need a puck to score a goal, and thus our tie is not yet broken.
Evander Kane tries to hit us where it hurts by hooking Tomas Plekanec, one of our most effective forwards these days, which could have been bad, but instead gives us a power play, which is pretty good, even though none of our shots on goal are fruitful.
Uh oh, the team seems to be going back to their old 3rd period tricks, so I'm getting a little worried, but Halak doesn't seem to be faltering as much as the rest of the team, which is a relief. And we get to...

It took RDS this long to tell us that Guy Carbonneau is sitting in the front row tonight. Hi! (One has to wonder if they'd have mentioned him at all if there was no overtime...)
Habs miss a few chances to score, most notably an awesome wraparound by Cammalleri, but at least they're playing.
Lapierre gets combative, nothing new there, but the aggression is most certainly welcome. But that anger is nothing compared to a dirty cross-check on Scott Gomez which makes him very, very angry, and justifiably so. Two infractions for Vyacheslav Kozlov, including a major for boarding, and one minor for Gomez. Power play, but the Habs can't quite make it happen. So...

Geez, it's not that I don't like the excitement, but I also like winning games in regulation time, but they make me wait even longer because of a Zamboni break.
Cammalleri: misses.
Kovalchuk: gets booed, and misses. Still, don't boo him. He's not Mats Sundin.
Gomez: YES. Wow, is that what it looks like when he gets the puck in the net?
Peverley: misses. Great job, Jaro!
Gionta: HOT DAMN. Gets the puck in with a fakeout that you can't help but cheer at. Amazing. He's like a superhero.

Three stars, apparently, are Gomez, Pavelec, and Gionta. I would have made Gionta first star, but no one ever listens to me.

We won, and the game ended on a high note, and it feels really really good.

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