Welcome to the inaugural (and hopefully not last) +/- post, where, like a player's plus-minus ranking, we're going to keep track of what happens, spotlight the good, and sulk at the bad. Since this first week (technically, nine days, but that's procrastination) was as insane as we've come to expect during the hockey season (especially for Montreal), we've got a lot to get this going:
+ Winning the first game of the season. Take that, Toronto! Not even the big bad defenceman that we molded (who then jilted us) can hold us down.
+ Josh Gorges starting his season with a game-winning goal.
+ Beating the Sabres.
+ Brian Gionta saving our asses on a regular basis.
+ Andrei Kostitsyn and Tomas Plekanec de-zombifying from their former selves and producing goals in both road losses, one of which was a wicked backhander that had an eye for the net
+ The return of Kyle Chipchura and the unleashing of his badassery on Eric Nystrom (the newly-born Habs' killer). While we know he's no Laraque (and...thank goodness for that, actually), we need to see Chip bringing that physical edge to his game and hopefully he'll find other ways to keep his spot, for good this time.
+ Travis Moen unleashing his angry self. We've seen his bad side, and it's scary stuff
+ New additions to Centennial Plaza. The central monument has a clean, classy design. It's also nice to see de la Gauchetiere renamed. It wasn't necessary, but it's a nice way to recognize the epicenter of hockey in the city. I mean, the Hippodrome is on rue des Jockeys, the Labatt brewery is on Labatt street, and there are streets named after recording artists, so why shouldn't a legendary hockey franchise get the same treatment? And who wouldn't want a miniature Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montreal street sign as part of their hockey-themed home accessories? (I'd take it over a wooden sign anyday.)
+ The Hamilton Bulldogs starting off their season with a 3-0 win against the Ice Hogs, which is just an unfortunate name for anything.
-3 for injuries to Andrei Markov, Ryan O'Byrne, and Glen Metropolit happening way too early in the season. And for happening at all. If we subtracted a point for all of their jersey numbers, it'd be -97. And I have half a mind to do it because my favourite Canadien is out for four months, but I'll try to hold back.
-2 for two losses on the road, especially getting flattened in Vancouver (but I think it's a general consensus that no one wanted that game to end that way... except for maybe the Canucks.)
- This letter to Stu Cowan, Gazette sports editor, that was actually published in the newspaper. The letter-writer may simply have intended to express appreciation for the numerous Quebecois hockey heroes of yesteryear, but all I saw when reading this letter was a whiny, xenophobic rant about the supposed evils of money and the ethnic vote and I honestly thought we'd be past that as a society.
AND OUTSIDE OF HOCKEY
a PLUS to Robin Scherbatsky from How I Met Your Mother. She's a total HerWay girl: smart, funny, knows her hockey and wouldn't be caught dead in a pink jersey (we assume). We should be mad at her since her Canucks beat our Habs, but her mini-speech about the 2004 Canucks in this week's episode was made of awesome. We'd still totally be her friend if she was a real person.
a MINUS to public transit, since over the last week or so, both of your friendly neighbourhood bloggers were basically left stranded on their way home thanks to malfunctions of some sort or another. It's just not normal for a 35-minute commute to take over two hours.