Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
By no means should I have considered it logical to have even come up with the idea to give myself a manicure this week. Fortunately (but unfortunately for the pillows) it survived, and so did Canada. But more importantly for our purposes, Montreal Canadiens' goaltender Jaroslav Halak will have been a prime Slovakian responsible for what will be, regardless of his next game's outcome, his country's greatest finish at an Olympic Games. How's that for something to hang your hat on?
Friday, February 26, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Final score of 8-2.
I thought Germany was a formidable opponent, as everyone in my house who heard me say "I forgot Christian Ehrhoff was on this team, we're so f**ked" at puck drop can attest to. Ultimately, our Canadian men got themselves together and knew exactly what they had to do to rebound from Sunday's USA game.
See? All your worries, Internet people, were for naught. Which is a good thing, because if our goaltending needed an extra push I definitely didn't want it to come in the form of a tacky Ryan Miller-style goalie helmet makeover.
Our defencemen made themselves very visible tonight, and our star forwards did not disappoint, unless you count Sidney Crosby's fail on that penalty shot. (I'm going to get all kinds of hate mail for using the words "Crosby" and "fail" together, aren't I?) Personally, I would have liked to see Rick Nash take the shot since he'd have been ready for it, but Mike Babcock knows what he's doing.
After being the victim of some whining after Sunday's game, Jarome Iginla again proved why he's the reason I started watching hockey in the first place. His powerful shot, off a great play by Staal and (I think) Boyle, was my favourite goal of the night. And with eight goals to choose from, that's saying something. For the men's team I mean. Don't get all offended, female Team Canada. You know you own this town.
Tomorrow, our men's team plays Russia.
The day after, our women's team meets the Americans in the gold-medal game.
It's on. It is so on.
Monday, February 22, 2010
+ for the superfans: the Vancouver Green Men who've been having their fun at the Olympics, and to the "He Shoots He Scores" gentleman who never misses a chance to cheer on Canadian hockey at an international level. (King blogger Dennis Kane mentioned him earlier this week, before I got the chance to, and I'm glad to know I'm not the only fan.) Does anyone know anything about this man? Should we give him a nickname? I'm thinking Mr. Canada, unless you think Hayley Wickenheiser wouldn't mind sharing the title of Captain Canada.
+ Our Hamilton Bulldogs for their 5-0 win on home ice at the Bell Centre. Yes, I said home ice.
+ for our medallists, for their hard work and their sheer glee at making it to the podium, and to the athletes who didn't win medals but gave it their all and just happened to be outdone by stronger/luckier contenders.
+ to the silver and bronze medallists in women's snowboard cross, who instead of being disappointed that they couldn't catch up to Maelle Ricker, acted like they were too happy to share the podium with her and share a happy moment with Canadians. It was a fantastic display of sportsmanship.
+ James Duthie has won me over during these Games. He's been relaxed and affable and he holds nothing back, from his burns on Michael Landsberg to his WTF face at the atrocity that is MuchMusic's ski cabin.
+ An enemy plus goes to Shaun White, who's ridiculously good and so fun to watch on the halfpipe. He makes me want to try snowboarding, even though I know it's not as easy as he makes it look.
- Can anyone else believe the horrible taste that the Globe and Mail and Chartered Accountants displayed by running this ad mere days after the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili?
- to all the people who can't make up their mind about these Olympic Games. They say that our women's hockey team is too arrogant by finishing games with such high scores, and that the Own the Podium program is un-Canadian, and yet the very same media outlets will bitch and moan when a medal hopeful doesn't pick up any hardware. You can't complain about having one of the best teams in the world in one sport, and then picking on other Canadian athletes and calling them "disappointing"or saying they "choked" when they place fifth. How can anyone possibly be disappointed that their country raised and trained one of the best athletes in the world, even if they're not the number-one best? The shame shouldn't lie on the drooping shoulders of an exhausted, medal-less athlete, but on every un-patriotic countryman stupid enough to criticize them from the comfort of a couch or an office chair.
- to the genius who wrote to the Gazette this week and said that un-firing Georges Laraque would solve all of the Canadiens' problems (which he listed, by the way). Sure, having a little extra muscle might help during a time when all pucks seem to be directed at Habs' heads, but it's quite clear that Laraque was let go because things just weren't working out with him. I don't see how his return would change everything for this team, especially since the same end could be met by different means: finding another fighter before the trade deadline, begging Tom Kostopoulos to come back, reversing Greg Stewart's waiver situation, calling up Eric Neilson, or giving Travis Moen and Maxim Lapierre a slap in the face and a whole lot of Red Bull to get them good and angry. But I doubt that a fight here or there is what's keeping this team from the Cup finals. (I know I just played armchair GM after criticizing someone else for doing just that, and I'm sorry.)
- on a more serious note, our condolences go out to figure skater Joannie Rochette, who as of this writing has chosen to compete on Tuesday despite her mother's passing. It's not the kind of emotional situation that anyone should have to go through.
Well, it's been another week of ups and downs (mostly downs if you're anyone but me) but there's hope for our Olympians yet. And once the Olympics are over, there will be hockey.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
... Team Canada playing the Americans. Get out your lucky loonies, kids, it's going to be a good one.
We're out to get you, Team USA. I don't care how good all of these guys are in the NHL. I don't care that in real life Joe Pavelski's a nice guy and as a Vancouver Canuck, Ryan Kesler kicks ass. (I was actually quite disappointed to find out he was American.)
It's going to be a big game, and people are expecting big things from an eager Canadian squad, especially with the addition of Mike Richards to the Rick Nash-Sidney Crosby duo, or as they shall henceforth be known, the Baby Captain Line. (Jonathan Toews is itching to get in on that action.)
It's going to be a big game, and I'm guessing a pretty physical one, so I'm looking forward to it.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
There's something about watching guys in Olympic jerseys that strikes this "wooooow" reaction that I can't even explain properly (but you'll bet I'll try). It doesn't even matter who they're playing for.
It's not the weirdness you feel after someone's been traded and suddenly they're wearing colours that seem alien. It's actually quite the opposite, that those colours were the only ones meant to fit. It's this feeling that he's playing for something greater, bypassing the questions of how you fit him in the salary cap or seemingly 'questionable' point-per-game ratios. For two weeks, everyone just shuts up and watches the Games.
The "shuts up" part doesn't apply if you're mainly watching Team Canada (forgive me, you'll obviously realize that I'm not a one-team girl by now) where the worry is a result of Torino II. And the power play. And who's going to play on the power play. And who's not. And the most important part: WHY?! But hey, that's what the mute button is for (check the "guide to..." tag for more references on that).
Olympics time is also crazy time. Case in point: Czech-Slovakia at midnight, bedtime at 3, midterm assignment completion at 8. True story. I have the shopping-bag eyes and the possibly annoyed prof whose lecture had said eyes rolling back in my head just an hour ago to prove it.
The crazier part is that it's worth it, specific sport notwithstanding. Why yes, even figure skating. There's a fun element of team spirit in all the athletes that they all deserve to be there, no matter what country. They train together during the season, compete all year and even pump up the crowd for the gold medallist as they stand just one place lower on that makeshift podium. In hockey, the guys are teammates. Just pick a pair! Last night alone had Plekanec-Halak, Krejci-Chara, Fleischmann-Jurcina (yes I know the latter has since been traded from Washington, but I count it). They look forward to seeing what it's like to play each other and pulling each other's leg about who had the upper hand in the end. No doubt the competition element is fierce, but the eclectic little athlete family at the end will be able to exchange all sorts of memorable stories about the experience for years to come.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I do love the Olympics because our women's hockey team is almost a little bit too good right now. Sweden played a good first game on Saturday, but they kind of got steamrolled today. I'm almost inclined to say they're better than the men (who were fantastic yesterday), but I'll save those statements until the Olympics are over.
I would have gone to the Olympics (and really almost did) not just for the sports events, and the free Our Lady Peace concerts, and the history aspect of it, but also to trade all kinds of nifty stuff with other tourists. I hadn't even thought of it until Dennis Kane shared a picture of a fantastic Habs pin he got from a friend in Russia.
(The rest of the world loves the Habs too. Really!)
If you're still not too convinced about this whole Olympics thing (you know, like if you run the NHL or something) have a look at this top ten list of reasons for Habs fans to love the Olympics.
Unrelated, but if you need a giggle, here's an event that we apparently missed at Concordia:
|Today!! Vegan Iron Chef|
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
First off, a huge congratulations to Maelle Ricker, gold medallist in snowboard cross, which is my favourite thing so far this year.
Roberto Luongo gets the start tonight, continuing my trend of watching him on Mardi Gras, except this time I'm cheering for his team. Oh, and as for the other half of Mardi Gras?
I'll try to alternate between French and English feeds, since I live in a house that's become accustomed to watching RDS feeds, but there's only so much salivating over Patrice Bergeron I can do.
The game hasn't started yet, and there's been a Vincent Lecavalier shoutout. Ca commence bien. Luckily, most of the gentlemen seem to have finally moved on and mention that Bouwmeester, Green, and (ew)Phaneuf would have been more useful to this team than Vinny.
Jeff Carter, who's up in a loge somewhere (not home, which is where he was told to go) should walk everywhere sideways. His face looks alright in profile. Not straight-on, though.
OK, let's get to game time and final predictions. Who thinks Canada will win gold?
- Pierre Houde just made a Thor Nelson joke. This is why I love Pierre Houde. (That, and he said hi to me one time.)
- I think the entire San Jose Sharks team was just on the ice. Like, all of them.
- Corey Perry just had an almost-goal, and I keep on reminding myself that I'm now cheering for this whole team, even the guys I don't know or like.
- Jarome Iginla!!!! More on him some other time, but he's on the fourth line, if you can call it that.
- I think I'm going to like this San Jose Sharks trio a lot in the next two weeks. It's always incredible when players who are skilled to begin with, know exactly how to work with each other.
- Sidney Crosby just missed an open net, then later in the same shift gets the puck knocked away from him. Seriously?
- The first penalty of the game comes up about halfway through the first, right after my dad commented on how smoothly everything has been going without "cattiveria" (how do I translate that? Bad behaviour?) Shea Weber is sent to the box, to the strains of "Cotton Eye Joe." Canada, as expected, kills the penalty.
- Pierre Houde just made a Brodeur/Luongo slipup... not quite as funny as Brian Williams thinking he was still on CBC, but I'll take it.
- Great save by the Norwegian goalie, on a pretty good play by Jonathan Toews.
- The crowd totally just lost its mind over Wayne Gretzky. Raise your hand if you're surprised. Nobody? Thought so.
- Canada's about to go into a power play, thanks to Norwegian captain Jacobsen.
- OK, the last thing I want to see on a power play is Rick Nash falling. I might laugh a little if, like, Crosby falls, but Nash? No. Norway's goalie has been solid so far. Wow.
- Perry very carefully calculated his shot on goal, but seriously, Norway's goalie isn't having any of it. Glove save.
- Sweet fakeout play where Shea Weber waited for Getzlaf to meet him behind the neck, but kept the puck.
- Okay, this Norwegian goalie just made Rick Nash and Sidney Crosby look like amateurs in the same thirty seconds. I don't think this is going to be a 18-0 win.
- Our power play is solid, and will get better as the tournament continues, so long as Ryan freaking Getzlaf doesn't let pucks bounce off his stick like that.
There's always the chance that the "Let's make sure everyone knows whose game they're playing" commercial might get old, but it still gets me all riled up.
OK, in keeping with liking this whole team, do I watch an interview with Patrice Bergeron or Sidney Crosby?
- I will attempt to start typing "Pal Grotnes" instead of "goalie from Norway," but I'm kind of hoping Canada has more goals and less almost-goals.
- Power play. Grotnes (nope, still talking about him) stops Canada's first shot on goal, and like a million after that.
- It took some effort, but Canada scores one hell of a goal. Crosby passes to Iginla, who shoots while Nash screens Grotnes. The puck hits the back of the net so hard that Josh Gorges probably winced while he watched it.
- I think Chris Pronger (and maybe Dany Heatley) is the only person who saw that goal coming. He shot from almost halfway down the ice and it was in the net before anyone knew what was going on.
- Did I just hear the olé olé chant?
- 5-on-3 for Norway. I'm a little worried.
- Pierre Houde remarks that Luongo's mommy is in town, not just to see her son, but because she works for Air Canada. If she works directly with the public and someone finds out she's Luongo's mom, it's going to be the best flight ever.
- Mike Richards shoves the puck into the net on a sort of reverse wraparound - he went behind the net to get the puck, then backed up, and scored. 3-0, Team Canada.
- Nice hit by Doughty, especially rewatching it in slow-mo. Does that mean it's time for another donut?
- Again, on a PP, Dan Boyle has a pretty nice shot on goal, but Grotnes is up to his old tricks.
- I know I'm blogging about hockey here, but the organ player just delved into a bit of John Williams, and I had a nerd moment.
- Dany Heatley gets a penalty, but so far has not asked for a trade, so I guess it's not all bad news.
- On their PP, Norway's Bastiansen (sp?) tries the proposal goal beloved by our Habs and drops to one knee to shoot, but Luongo stops it.
- The second period ends, and everyone in the stands is in great spirits.
JAROME!!! CTV interviews Iginla, and it's awfully refreshing to see both an interviewer and an interviewee who are both actually providing their viewers with information. Iginla, as usual, is all smiles.
- Are you kidding me? Sidney Crosby, apparently the greatest thing since sliced bread, in the penalty box? This is why Nutella, and not Crosby, is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
- Norway has a pretty good PP, but doesn't score.
- After his first attempt at goal was disallowed, Ryan Getzlaf turns his back on Grotnes. And gets the puck into the net without looking,
- Did they just pull Grotnes? Maybe they're hoping Andre Lysenstoen is a bit fresher.
- Eric Staal (that's the one, right? They all look the same) didn't get the puck in the net, but tried to score a goal with himself. Sorry, Staal, that doesn't count. Even I know that.
- Dany Heatley scores a beauty. I'm so glad he hasn't asked for a trade yet.
- Iginla, Nash, and Crosby - they all play a very mental game, and all that thinking paid off in a great play and, of course, a goal.
- Mike Babcock gave silver medalist Jennifer Heil a pair of tickets to tonight's game. He's the best. What can I say? He's a great coach and he gives hockey tickets to our Canadian athletes. Love.
- Staal and Perry get around a great effort by Norwegian goalie and D and score again. 7-0.
- Marleau hits the outside of the net. Pretty close, I guess.
- Captain Jacobsen played in his first Olympic tournament in 1992, back when the closest thing I did to blogging was drawing with crayons.
- Rick Nash shoots the puck into Jarome Iginla's stick and it inches into the net. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's three goals credited to Iginla. Per CTV: "Those hats aren't cheap." And I think my four favourite words are now "Jarome Iginla hat trick."
Final score of 8-0. Norway was a great opponent. Does anyone miss NHL hockey? Follow-up question: if you do, are you crazy?
A big thank you goes out to those of you who commented... I was ready to donate even more money. If there's any excuse to go broke, it's to help people who need it. It's not like we can do much to support Ryan O'Byrne's family during this difficult time, but I wanted to make a small gesture and see how many people would help out (after all, our Habs do an awful lot for this city on the ice three nights a week). We even tried to write just a little bit more often to give you all more content to talk about, and obviously, having an eventful week was quite helpful.
You'll hear more about my actual donation soon. Thanks again!
And happy Mardi Gras now that it's officially Tuesday. Last year on Mardi Gras, I was at the Bell Centre, stuffing my face with soon-to-be-forbidden candy while watching Jaroslav Halak post a shutout against homeboy Roberto Luongo's Vancouver Canucks. It was a great night and I'm looking forward to eating something unhealthy and watching some hockey again. You should too! Go out, get your fill of delicious meat and beer and Canada-themed donuts while our Canadian men's hockey team tries to prove they're just as good as the ladies. Go Canada Go!
Andrei Markov and Yannick Weber will also see some action with their national teams.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
+ to #14 for ending Washington's 14-game winning streak.
+ Our Hamilton callups were a huge part of the team this week, both literally and figuratively. They were fantastic - all thirty-five of them.
+ Scott Gomez was great this week. Two goals, plus he didn't back away from Chris Pronger after Friday's game.
+ to one of our favourite bloggers, JT from The H Does Not Stand For Habs, whose comments section became a minor firestorm of francophone backlash this week after she commented on this city's need for a French-speaking GM. Some people apparently weren't very happy with her, and it was ridiculous criticism for one of the most level-headed and knowledgeable amateur journalists this team has. I'm not going to go into it any further because talking about the language issue as it relates to the Canadiens is like hitting on a gay guy: I can say whatever I want but it's not going to change anything.
+ She looked a little disappointed that she didn't win gold, but I'm still proud of Jennifer Heil's silver in moguls, and of all our Olympians so far, including skier Alexandre Bilodeau who just made history by becoming the first Canadian athlete to win a gold medal in Canada.
+ Team Canada!!! Watching Olympic hockey is part of what got me back into watching hockey, so I'm looking forward to the next two weeks. Hayley Wickenheiser is so awesome.
The biggest + of the week A plus and a big thank you go out to all the readers who made comments this week and increased my donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, to those of you who will comment after I type this, and to everyone who's helped spread the word and to everyone who's going to match our total donation. So far that's only one person, but it still makes $4 for every comment! This plus is also for NHL Arena boards poster bMac for designing the "Comments = Donations" graphic mere hours after I asked for it.
I had originally said that the charity drive would end with this Plus/Minus, but you've got until midnight on February 15th instead so say anything you want until then!
- Geez, what's with the head injuries? It's bad enough that we've already got a variety of injuries on this team. Two Habs were carted off the ice this one week bleeding from the head... I have my suspicions as to why the injury fairy's been going crazy on us lately, which I might share when the time is right. But Gorges and Spacek get a plus within this minus for picking themselves up and not missing the next game, just because they're badass like that.
Of course, only a percentage of the NHL is going to the Olympics, which leaves a few guys at home. Thankfully, they didn't all shoot their mouths off about like some Mikael Samuelssons I know. What do to when you've got free time during the regular season?
Have one snack that you shouldn't generally eat between games. I know they don't want to put on any weight or slow down their digestive systems, but two weeks without games is enough time to digest and burn off a couple of Oreos or a Nutella sandwich.
Cross one or two things off the to-do list. I'm sure there are some wives of NHL players who've been waiting for this break to move a shelf or have a frame put up, and now that they're home I guess there's no getting around it. Just please be careful, guys. I don't want to turn on my computer and read something like "Defenceman injures hand while opening jar."
Street hockey! I'm sure it would do these guys some good to play the sport they love best the way they grew up playing it. No agents, no journalists, no trade rumours, no salary caps to worry about... only the occasional car. (I mean... "CAAAAAAAAAR!")
Watch some movies and get a leg up on the Olympians in your Oscar pool.
Visit your families! This might be a little easier for the North American guys, who don't have as much traveling and time difference to deal with, but whoever can't go to their families would probably welcome a visit from a loved one during a week where they're not off to a game every other day. It'll do the players some good.
In keeping with my attempt to make food recommendations, Tim Hortons has that badass Go Canada donut, which is probably one of the most Canadian fat-snacks you could ask for. Personally, I'll also be reaching for the box of Turtles I got for Valentine's Day while I watch our Canadian athletes skate and ski and do all kinds of active things.
Friday, February 12, 2010
First things first: I seriously hope that Jaroslav Spacek will be all right. It's never easy to see one of your defencemen bleeding from the head. Nope, not even when it happens twice in one week.
The Flyers are a ridiculous excuse for a hockey team. This is why I hate them. I like punching and everything, but there's a reason why I watch hockey and not boxing.
Carey Price's athletic jump over a net-crashing ball of Philadelphia Flyer was worthy of every highlight reel there is in sports.
But let's get to what I really want to talk about. Someone I've been on TV with (through the magic of editing).
Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, Michael Leighton should be very grateful that I won't be anywhere in his vicinity tomorrow because he'd get it. I don't know how much damage a 5'6" girl like me could do on a professional hockey player, but my tiny fists would rain down on him. I'm especially angry that he tried to mess with PK, but what kind of goalie decides to take part in a post-game fight when it's nearly over and just picks out the closest guy to mess with for no reason, especially if he's a rookie that he has no previous beef with?
(PS: Happy Olympics, everyone. Go Canada Go.)
Instead of giving you all kinds of information on what the team's done since the Winter Classic, who cuckolded who, and which players are the ones to watch (y'know, Ray Emery's one of the most talented black players in the NHL, Jeff Carter made it to the Team Canada roster in the nick of time), I'm going to focus on something a bit more obvious.
This team is ugly. I know that female hockey fans are often judged because people think we only watch the sport because we like cute boys or whatever, and don't get me started on snap judgments and generalizations, but here I can't help but say the opposite as loudly as I can.
Honestly, I think the Philadelphia Flyers might be the fugliest team in hockey.
Their style of play is ugly - they don't call them the Broad Street Bullies for nothing. Their jerseys and their logo are complete eyesores. And let's be honest, their team photo isn't going to wind up in the pages of Tiger Beat anytime soon. Mike Richards is one of those twentysomethings that seems to enjoy looking like a forty-year-old suburbanite. Dan Carcillo looks like the kind of guy you'd see on Cops. Chris Pronger's got a weird-ass face, which reminds Czechtacular of some weird, post-sex-change, roid-raging Madonna. And if asked to describe Scott Hartnell, I'm not sure whether I'd go with "vomit-inducing Lord of the Rings type of Viking dude" or tell people he's the origin of the phrase "beat you like a red-headed stepchild."
In normal-looking hockey team news, Carey Price starts tonight.
Thoughts? Are the Flyers the ugliest team in hockey?
And are the Habs going to beat them like... well, you know?
Thursday, February 11, 2010
- Rumours of trades to come, mostly involving forwards because we've only got like three-quarters of a defenceman left.
- Dominic Moore is the newest new guy on the block, and we got him in exchange for a draft pick which the Florida Panthers will use, then develop, then inevitably trade away so maybe we'll see that player wear the CH sometime. RE: Dominic Moore. Who's dis guy?
- Ben Maxwell is back in Hamilton, and he may or may not be happy to reunite with his other two-first-named teammates.
- PK Subban has been called up. Sorry, let me rephrase that: Talented, bubbly, potential-laden Habs prospect who constantly acts like wearing this jersey is winning the lottery PK Subban has been called up. There's what, like 20 games left in the season? That's not enough time to become Rookie of the Year! (A title which I have held for a while, waiting for PK to fully develop, turn into the greatest thing ever, play a full season, amaze the universe and win the Calder.)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Since I had a pre-game responsibility of another nature all day and missed out on the game preview, I come to you now with a live blog. Quick bullet points before puck-drop:
- Carey Price finally gets some ice time in goal, facing Michal Neuvirth, who has 4 wins in his last 4 starts. Washington's got a ridiculous win-streak going if you haven't heard about it by now (14). Also the same number of points separating them from the 2nd place Devils last I checked.
- Alexander Semin has five game-winning goals, and he and his buddy Tomas Fleischmann (see shirt design) were a lethal double-team last time they faced the Habs, which I missed, which is good, as both of them happen to be part of my extracurricular Enjoyable Hockey Players and I'm not allowed to enjoy them in such a context.
- Mike Green is back after nearly decapitating Kladno native Michael Frolik, so you can bet I'll be one of the ones looking on pretty skeptically.
First period notes:
- Holy quick start, Batman. Gomez allows Tom Pyatt to get his first NHL point. Penalty upcoming, though.
- This game is happening faster than I can type it. 1-1, Brooks Laich with the goal from the infamous two extracurriculars.
- I've lost track of which Hamiltonians are here and which aren't.
- First time I actually see the "C" on Ovechkin. I feel like there should have been more fanfare around that.
- Maxwell to the box for hooking. The only thing fun about that is his caption which says "Benjamin."
- I just realized the ridiculous amount of hockey I have to follow tonight.
- Gionta and Pleks shorthanded 2 on 1 ruined by my favourite Kladno-killer.
- Hope Tom Pyatt can provide some energy in this game (not that it's currently lacking.)
- RT (yes, in a blog) @All_Habs: Bell Centre seats seem to filled, but sounds like game is in Atlanta.
- Semin in the box. Capitalizing on the Capitals? ...We'll never know. Gionta goes off with a penalty of his own.
- ....Josh? Yikes.
- The place seems to have gone completely dead. Kudos goes to the Capitals for their response to that injury. End 1st.
(Intermission: all I seemed to notice was the "Krispy Kernels" ad behind Jacques Demers' head.)
Second period notes:
- PYATTTTTTTTTT!! First point and now first goal in the NHL. Assists to O'Byrne and Gomez.
- ...And Washington's use of the classic tic-tac-toe ensures their ridiculously-quick response to THAT.
- Desharnais' turn. Soon, please? Or I'll need more wine.
- Maybe Pleks' line could stop being offside sometime soon?
- Since when is Ovie anti-McGill?
- Goalie change, just as my mother (the one who keeps reminding us Jose Theodore exists) comes downstairs. Coincidence? I think not. Also nice timing for the fans to wake up in this game.
- Habs to the powerplay! It's about time. Don't ruin it now.
- First half looks like a powerfail. Second half has some nice passes but no finish.
- "OMG. omg. OMG! omg. (pause) whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!" - the most coherent translatable reaction to the Pyatt line's barrage, all stopped by Theodore.
- Brendan Morrison to the box on that play. Hopefully less of a powerfail will result...
- Pleks hits the side of the net, aaaaaaaaaand DESHARNAIS' 1ST NHL POINT. Unless Toronto decides otherwise.
- Not so. Glen Metropolit does indeed record his 12th goal of the year. How long before the Caps respond to this one?
- Sergei Kostitsyn and Maxim Lapierre team up and give the Caps more of a challenge. 4-2 Habs. Good on them!
- HALA--err. The Price is Right!
- Kinda wish the Habs would save their best for every team, not just the throne-holders of the league.
- Well. That goal was a ball-buster. Everybody into the net?....Waved off. Wow.
- Ryan O'Byrne was rude and will have a two-minute time-out.
- Pleks looked like he wanted to have a little rest on Ovie's shoulder listening to that explanation.
- Update on Gorges via Twitter (might also have been from the TV but my parents have been conversing loudly as part of their own liveblog): RT @All_Habs: Gorges with scalp laceration, lost fair amount of blood but will be ok.
- PLEKS! Sweet pass from Sergei and ladies and gentlemen, we have chicken wings! End 2nd.
Third period notes:
- 13 seconds. And 3 seconds after that, it's 5-3 on Mike Green (him again)'s 14th of the year. Numerical irony there if you can spot it.
- "There goes Pyatt's GWG," - Rookie. Good point, sadly made :(
- Sergei K has been silently kickass this game. Right there, he was loudly kickass.
- "Potty?" - my brother on Washington's #3. I haven't been paying attention to see if RDS still calls him that.
- "MAKE SOME NOISE!" Yeah. Maybe something other than chanting poor Theo's name. (I was a fan, okay)
- ...damnit. On second thought, maybe you can resume that taunting.
- Uh oh. 5-4. And now RDS is all over O'Byrne.
- Boyd Gordon sounds like a cheesy superhero name from one of those shows you'd find on Teletoon Retro.
- Ovechkin. Go away.
- Youppi sitting where he does in the third period irritates me. If you know me well this isn't the first time you've read this. (To quote Christian Bale, the words "it's fucking distracting!" come to mind)
- Another powerplay (or powerfail?) ... answered by one Hal Gill.
- I reinterate the point I made three bullet points ago.
- My mom just said a bad word. In French.
- Fleischmann, how dare you even try.
- My dad just said a bad word. In French. (But seriously, was that really a non-call? Poor Gionta.)
- From a score that was 5-2, RDS shouldn't be tipping their hat to the Habs getting a point. They also gave one away.
Overtime (...) notes:
- My dad's "affection" for Ovechkin can be resumed in the word "hotdog."
- Someone be my hero. Someone whose jersey isn't dominantly white. Please.
- The Halakisms are on their way back in the fans' vocabulary already. Where's the justice in that? I don't see any.
- !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY HERO WAS MY HEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. (My poor dog has run for the hills.)
- I can't formulate any other comment, other than my joy at my post picture being ironically relevant. So I leave it up to you. Habs win! 6-5 in OT!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Would it help if we said nice things about the injury fairy? Can we somehow build up good karma and have her hurt some other team? Can she maybe bang up Crosby a bit after the Olympics?
Both Bergeron and Pouliot are said to be out for about six weeks. I seriously don't know how these things keep happening to us. Ugh.
At least the Mike Cammalleri injury song still applies: Two weeks off for the Olympics, less time without some key players.
Okay, complain about how much it sucks/wonder whether Tom Pyatt is going to kick as much ass as we hope he will in the comments below. I know the "Comments" link at the end of each post is tiny, but that's no excuse!
I just read Réjean Tremblay's article in today's La Presse about Bob Gainey resigning, and despite getting just a little too francophone-happy toward the end (he's tickled that our new GM is named Gauthier) it's actually quite tasteful and balanced. I would have expected a bunch of inflammatory comments from one of the city's more biased reporters, but M. Tremblay actually managed to be kind of journalistic about this whole ordeal. Good job, guy.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Oh also, the Habs played a bunch of games and they were all really good and we won most of them.
+ I'd like to thank the Boston DJ for playing "That's What I Like About You" during OT. Is he/she aware of the Montreal hobby that is Halak puns? I didn't even have to think of a title this week!
+ Brian Gionta for his Giontastic finish to a great game against the Bruins, and his performance against the Penguins.
+ Usually when the Hamilton Bulldogs win a game, it's against like Manitoba or Binghamton... not the Pittsburgh Penguins. Our callups were fantastic on Saturday, even if two of them are now
+ Sergei Kostitsyn? You earned this plus. Good on you.
+ Ryan O'Byrne, who should have been in B.C. with his family, played some great hockey during a week when his mind was clearly elsewhere. Speaking of Ryan, remember how earlier I said you'd want to read this post the whole way through? Please do.
+ I don't usually give pluses to enemies, but Shawn Thornton? Clearly born to be a Bruin. You know you're playing for the right team when your mustache matches your uniform.
Superbowl + Carrie Underwood made it to the Super Bowl before Tony Romo! (joke courtesy of my big brother, who I'm pretty sure hates Tony Romo like I hate puckbunnies)
- Czechtacular would kill me if I didn't get mad at the Calgary Flames organization for trading Brandon Prust. I mean, sure they gave Christopher Higgins a new home and a damn haircut, and they finally unloaded that eyebrowless anchor (and horrible trade) most people call Olli Jokinen, but it's ridiculous that the Flames have traded him twice. What's with the Ross and Rachel treatment? The worst part of this is that I'm pretty sure this trade is permanent. He's young, energetic, and can throw a punch. I hate to say it, but the Rangers are going to love having him.
- Poor Patrice Cormier. I guess kids have to learn from his example and start listening to their parents: do your homework, eat your veggies, and don't hit the other kids, otherwise you'll get traded to the Thrashers with a busload of other guys.
- To Réjean Tremblay of La Presse for turning on Mike Cammalleri almost as quickly after his injury as the whole Internet turned on Taylor Swift after the Grammys. Too bad Tremblay had little more to offer than two paragraphs.
- Serious lack of people dressed up as Green Man at the Canucks game. What gives, people?
- You know how Facebook tries to specifically target you in sidebar ads?
- How Jeff Carter skated away from this without a penalty is beyond me.
Superbowl - The post-Superbowl timeslot used to be a big deal for networks. Once a show knew that it would be on after the Superbowl, its writers would pull out all the stops to write an episode worthy of North America's biggest audience. CBS aired a bunch of promos for their CSI's and NCIS's during the big game, but opted to premiere "Undercover Boss" instead of giving the honur to one of their scripted shows. Yes, "Undercover Boss." Good job, CBS.
This is the last week that the Canadiens will play, before we focus on the Canadians. So we've got about seven more days of Habs coverage, which sounds like just the right amount of time for a good-girl initiative.
As I mentioned before, Ryan O'Byrne had a very good week despite mourning his mother on the opposite side of the country. How about, as fans, we give something back? For every comment you all leave us on our posts, starting with this one and ending with the next Plus/Minus, I'll donate $2 to the Canadian Cancer Society. Two dollars doesn't sound like a lot, but if you guys have lots to say, it'll add up.
The plot thickens...suspected to take over his duties is Pierre Gauthier. The press conference itself will be available on RIS, plus RDS' online feed for those still at work.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Due to the Sunday afternoon game (and yeah, the Super Bowl) Plus/Minus probably won't go up on Sunday night as usual, but I'm sure that you, our lovely readers, will have tons to read and talk about after the game.
You might have your Super Bowl menu all lined up, but if you're wondering what to eat during the game, I've got you covered.
Usually Sunday afternoon is the time that Italians have a huge lunch and stuff themselves (although, yes, we eat copious amounts of food all the time). In honour of Brian Gionta's awesome goal-scoring against the Penguins, I suggest pasta alla gigi. There's a recipe for it here that looks easy enough to make; you can use another kind of pasta if you don't like tortellini, I guess, but if you don't like tortellini then there's something wrong with you.
I would have tried to come up with a dish to spotlight the greatness of our Hamilton callups, but... you can't eat a bulldog.
Oh, and go Colts!
Friday, February 5, 2010
According to rds.ca, Marc-Andre Bergeron is unlikely to indulge in the Habs' Superbowl Weekend festivities, out with everyone's favourite elusive "lower body injury", allegedly suffered in Boston. With Benoit Pouliot, Tomas Plekanec and Sergei Kostitsyn all taking therapy days at practice this morning, a quick call to Hamilton brought them three "just in case" replacements in Brock Trotter, David Desharnais and Ryan White.
Hamilton, for its part, has a game in Rochester tonight that starts an important three-game roadtrip before their return on February 13th to face Abbotsford. Their 32-12-3-4 record is good for first in their division and conference, with two of the three latest call-ups in the top 10 scoring leaguewide. Should their stay in Montreal be extended enough, one's gotta wonder where the Dogs' reinforcements will come from...
Thursday, February 4, 2010
The Columbus Blue Jackets decided to part ways with coach Ken Hitchcock. It all sounds just a little bit familiar.
Per an NHL.com article:
Hitchcock led the Blue Jackets to the first playoff berth in franchise history last spring...
A team whose entry into the playoffs both surprised and excited their fanbase, the likes of which hadn't been seen in a very long time (or in this case, ever)?
The defense, usually a trademark of Hitchcock-coaches teams, has struggled -- and 2008-09 Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason hasn't matched last season's performance in goal.
A sophomore goaltender who wasn't putting up the same numbers he had as a rookie, numbers which catapulted him into the spotlight and caused his elder, former #1 goalie to be traded away?
"It's terrible news," Nash, the Jackets' captain, told the Columbus Dispatch. "It's terrible news. It's terrible we couldn't play better and the coach had to be fired..."
No other solution but to fire the coach of a team whose season has been, to say the least, disappointing?
Maybe it's just me, but this sounds an awful lot like last season's Canadiens. We'll have to see how - and when - Columbus turns around. Will the team need to clean house? Or has our example proved that a new roster might not always make the huge difference you hope it will?
In any case, I know one thing: Columbus can't have Brian Gionta. Sorry.
Tonight's game spells the return of Halak to the net (third start in a row, for whoever's counting), and Spacek to the blueline. Clinging to 7th place in the East, the Habs take on an old foe in Boston who, it has to be said, hasn't been awesome lately, but are hot on the Habs' trail for a playoff spot (much like everyone and their mother). Both games between the two teams this season have been won by the Canadiens, however lots of factors have changed since then, begging the question "what to expect tonight?"
The last 5-1 score had Mike Cammalleri score a hat trick. Today, he stands on crutches. To that effect, neither team has a 20-goal scorer. Plekanec and Gionta are tied for second on the board in that category with 14 each, while on the other side, Marco Sturm leads with 16. Given the history of these division/all-time rivals it's only natural to expect that one can look for a physical affair, with more skirmishes and trips to the box than bouts of offensive flashiness.
- The aformentioned Marco Sturm would love to show his goal face to the Bruins' faithful.
- Patrice Bergeron and Marc Savard are a double-team of annoying when it comes to these matchups. They've combined for 54 points in 73 games against the Habs, which doesn't quite seem staggering enough of a statistic so maybe it's just me that finds them annoying.
- Zdeno. 'Nuff said.
- David Krejci has been one bright spot in Boston's recent woes, and no doubt he also has a little bit of revenge planned for his compatriot Tomas Plekanec (if you have no idea what I'm referring to, YouTube-search the two names).
- Michael Ryder may find himself in trade rumours, but he's no less dangerous against his old team.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
But a couple of them have piqued my interest over the last couple of days. (Especially since Dion Phaneuf was apparently up for grabs.)
First, there are reports that Ilya Kovalchuk may not be chained down in Atlanta like we thought he was. I don't know what you'd have to trade for a player like him, but I'd be interested to see where he ends up. (By which I mean, um, here. So that the Habs don't have to play against him.)
Also, apparently the Penguins miss Hal Gill and want him back. Really? I know there are some Habs fans who'd give him away for a bag of chips, but if a team like Pittsburgh really wants something, what are they willing to give up? Play hardball, Bob. Keep at it until you get us Dan Bylsma.
Does anyone think there'll be any more major transactions, or is Gainey pretty much done his shopping for the year?
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Let's face it: the Habs don't have the best record, and they've got guys who are injured, guys who are sick, and guys who aren't playing as well as they always do. I was really hoping for a great game against the Canucks, win or lose. (Don't get me wrong - I wanted a win, but Halak and Luongo are my fantasy hockey goalies, so in this particular instance I'd get points either way.) Whoever spent $125 on scalped seats in the blues got their money's worth, for once. No, seriously, this morning I asked a scalper how much tickets were going for, and that's what he told me.
This is the kind of hockey that I'd love to watch every day... Two teams fighting for the puck, literally and figuratively, penalties going back and forth, and just enough goals to keep things going.
If I hadn't decided it already, I have to say that Joel Bouchard is completely useless. I appreciate his intentions in interviewing Kirk Muller, but he might just have the worst grammar of any English speaker on RDS. He was also wearing a shirt the colour of a Dora the Explorer lunchbox, and when asked what happened when Sergei Kostitsyn left the ice late in the 3rd and walked RIGHT PAST HIM, had little more to contribute than a Kanye shrug.
I know I do an inordinate amount of complaining about RDS, but this next thing isn't really their fault: Sami Salo's name doesn't translate to French very nicely.
If I had to guess which Habs were going to nab two penalties in this game, Roman Hamrlik might have been on the list. Yannick Weber would definitely not have been on the list. Then again, you can never predict when someone's going to get Ryan Kesler where it hurts.
I also wouldn't have guessed that a mini-rivalry is blooming between Ryan O'Byrne and Mason Raymond, but they took advantage of their shared ice time to get in a few hits. They're both my homies, so it was quite entertaining. In case you missed it, I was outed as a Raymond fan today, but it's really not Habs-threatening at all.
When you're facing a goalie like Roberto Luongo (who's been 19-5-2 in the last two months, holy crap), you've got to step up your game. And our forwards did - those were some wicked goals. Luongo looked mighty angry after Plekanec's game-winning goal... but he knows better for the Olympics, right?
This wasn't necessarily the easiest win this team has had, but if our Habs can manage to play like this every game, it'll be a very good thing.
*Pictures cropped from Canadiens.com
Third in the west, first in the Northwest, in addition to their usual pain-in-the-butt nature the Vancouver Canucks add their illustrious timing to come to prey on a Cammy-less Canadiens' squad tonight at the Bell Centre. Judging by the way my dog reacted when I finished typing that sentence (though it could just be the mailman), things once again look ominous for the bleu-blanc-rouge. But apparently the more ominous I make my game preview, the more they come out to surprise everyone.
Tomas Plekanec once again faces the prospect of new linemates. D'Agostini, Spacek and Mara made the pre-game skate this morning, but no word on their return dates. Cammalleri is out for six weeks. Insert other depressing fact here.
Neutral fact: Jaroslav Halak gets the nod between the pipes tonight. And now, bullet points:
- Remember when no one knew who Alex Burrows was? Man, those were the days.
- Reminding everyone what Swedish meatball leads the league in scoring is too redundant, but word is his twin brother's not too shabby, either.
- Mason Raymond, a Rookie favourite, risks prompting a Rookie hiatus similar to the one I just started with the Calgary Flames, which is ironic because Raymond grew up a fan of theirs. NHL.com reports he has five points in his last three games.
- If it was possible for Mikael Samuelsson to be more annoying, he has been since the famous Snub.
- Last but not least, Rookie called it St-Leonard's national holiday for a reason. Roberto Luongo looks to backstop his team for their second win in the Canucks' current roadtrip.