Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sort of a Plus Minus... but... spookier

Wow. So. We haven't updated in a week... please pray to the Apple gods that my Macbook will be fixed soon.

So, for some Halloween fun, revisit last year's HIHW Halloween fun and my Halloween costume post at All Habs (which, regrettably, doesn't include Three Hole Punch Jeff Halpern). Also, enjoy this Plus Minus all dressed up for Halloween.

Some type of Robert Johnson business going on? Andrei Kostitsyn and his crazy goal-scoring these days. Some people may attribute his success to supernatural causes. Other people know that he's just working very, very hard.

Extremely deserving of candy: The aforementioned AK46 and, obviously, his linemates. Good job, guys. Have a Kit Kat.

Would probably make a great Halloween prankster: PK Subban. So unbelievably fun. So unbelievably fast.

Like werewolves: Benoit Pouliot and Maxim Lapierre are just regular guys, until a full moon or something happens, and then they're sort of superhuman.

Trying his hand at a sexy (but totally hetero) pirate costume: Brian Gionta. Cut me some slack here, I've just been waiting a really long time to make "captain" jokes.

The invisible man: Jacques Martin. Does he wear those ties so that we remember he's there?

Practicing the Thriller dance: Scott Gomez and Jaroslav Spacek... if they're not going to step up on-ice, they'd better be doing SOMETHING.

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin: Are there still people out there, holding their blankies, expecting Gomez and Gionta to start producing once the magic linemate is found?

Don't come to my door: No jerks allowed. I missed the Coyotes game for a film screening, which was slightly ruined by the movie-talkers sitting next to me. Then I came home and watched CH Express and had my eyes assaulted, repeatedly, by some moron in a highlighter-yellow shirt. If people get great seats at hockey games, they should use them to ACTUALLY WATCH THE GAME. If you want to be on TV so badly, try being talented at something.

Happy Halloween to everyone! (Especially the kids who got an extra-special treat yesterday from the Canadiens and Leucan.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Plus/Minus: Cool as ice

Somehow this Plus/Minus is longer than the two games the Canadiens played this week. And considering how long that Devils game felt, that's saying something. I took a break from it to watch The Office and I doubt I missed a single thing.

+ Andrei Kostitsyn: holy crap. I wish Statistics Canada could give us stats on how many people got rid of their #46 shirts before this season and now regret it.
+ I almost want to give Carey Price two pluses: One for playing so well, even though one of this week's shutouts didn't belong to him, and the other for giving me the kind of happiness that only comes from giving Carey Price a plus every week.
+ Steve Bégin has a job!! Proud of him.
+ Did you guys see Marc Denis on TSN? He was much more focused and articulate than I've ever seen him on French TV. He gets a plus for keeping it together in a language that isn't his first, on a network that has slightly higher standards than RDS.
+ Building another rink for kids to skate on. Canadiens > municipal government.
+ Elsewhere in the league: hat tricks! Daniel Alfredsson (scoring his 1000th NHL point), Brad Richardson led the LA Kings to a win (matching the #GoKings' win in the Twitter hashtag battle for charity) and John Tavares and Lee Stempniak scored their first NHL hat tricks. (It's OK, Stemps isn't a Leaf anymore.)
+ If you're a Flyers fan, savour this moment for all it's worth. I may never give a Plus to a Flyer ever again. But Scott Hartnell has truly earned this Plus for donating his hair to Locks of Love. There's a sick little kid somewhere who's going to love his or her new wig, no matter whose hair it contains. And anyone who's cut their long hair really short knows that you notice when it's gone.

- We had to wait 5 (FIVE!) days between Canadiens games.
- And then not a single goal against the Devils.
- Did I mention that I didn't see last Saturday's game, so I actually went six days between games?
- Now that Dave Morissette, giant teddy bear and BFF of PJ Stock, has left RDS, all the network has going for it is, um, Pierre Houde. And ok, Guy Carbonneau too. What are the odds that they'll hire someone else I like, or fire pretty much anyone not mentioned here?

Is there anyone left in this picture worth watching?
- Speaking of RDS: Alain Crete. The jacket. Again.- Does Mike Boone think that the Four Habs Fans are holding auditions for a #5? In the last week alone, he ripped off their "capitalize the CH wherever possible" thing, imitated the style of their Morning Skate posts, and talked about hoochies ice girls. It's not funny when Boone does it. Do what you're paid to do, guy.
- You know what? It's not even worth writing about all this "Rick Rypien attacks a fan" business. If you didn't already know that you should accept the consequences of your actions, now you do. The "fan" got a little shaken up (literally) after getting out of his seat to shout at an already angry hockey player. Rick Rypien let out his frustrations on someone other than an opponent. Whatever. And, by the way, it seems a little strange to me that the "victim" gave his statement to the NHL, then went crying to the press, and THEN went looking for legal representation after that. Then again, I am neither a lawyer nor a lawsuit-happy opportunist, so what do I know?
- Edmonton: good job getting cheerleaders. You know, because having three of the most talked-about rookies in the league isn't going to help you sell tickets. Taylor who? People go to hockey games for the skanks, right?

Not sure if this is a plus or minus
Did anyone else notice, in his pre-Senators game interview, Tom Pyatt's hair made him look a little bit like Vanilla Ice?

Friday, October 22, 2010

No power outage here

It would appear that a power outage prevented the Canadiens from skating at practice today. Or did it?
(The conspiracy theorist in me tends to come out when I'm annoyed, and I could have made plans yesterday but I decided to put hockey in those plans. And then it was 4-0.)

- Maybe an Arrested Development fan turned off the lights just to quote "Young or old, it doesn't matter... in the dark." (Any teammates that have never watched AD were probably a little freaked out.)

- Maybe they were practicing for some kind of team-building Halloween haunted house activity. (I hope it involves the Thriller dance!)

- Maybe they were trying some type of séance or something, since they got beat by the Devils.

- Maybe they wanted to see if they'd still be world-class athletes in the dark, but then chickened out.

- Maybe it was movie time.

- Maybe they turned off the lights and shouted insults at each other, in a bid to have thicker skin should some kind of Rick Rypien situation occur. (Being in the dark makes it harder to grab the guy who yelled at you.)

- Maybe it was the ultimate test for Mike Cammalleri to prove, once and for all, whether or not he is a Jedi.

I guess we'll find out tomorrow. Hopefully our team won't, ahem, leave us in the dark.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hello again, Devils

(Note from Rookie: Site maintenance prevents me from posting pictures at this moment, which is too bad because I had a good one!)

So how'd that Kovalchuk thing work out for you in the end? I fell asleep after like 600 pages. It was a really long story, and there just wasn't enough suspense. From what I can gather, Ilya's still around and you guys only have like ten other players on the team.

In case you didn't hear, last summer we took Brian Gionta from you and things are going great. We were together for a whole season, plus three rounds of playoffs, and over the summer we missed him so much that we decided to give him our captaincy when he came back. Yeah, we're pretty happy, thanks for asking. OK, fine, now that you mention it, he and Scott Gomez aren't scoring as many goals as our top line, but whatever. This is like the only fight we've had with him and we've been together over a year. How's having an eleven-player roster working out for you so far?

I fully expect any and all Habs fans attending the game tonight to wear their Gionta jerseys and T-shirts and show off that "C" very proudly to every TV camera and New Jersey Devil they run into.
Also, since site maintenance won't let me put up that picture, you'll have to settle for the ones I made for today's Game Day Thread at The NHL Arena.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Short fuse on Long Island

If I were the New York Islanders, I'd be mad too. Their biggest accomplishment this season is snapping the Maple Leafs' winning streak. In overtime. Otherwise, there's nothing really special going on in Long Island. Their record is okay. They've had their share of injuries already. They lost a player to a suspension (would you call it "lewd behaviour" or just the suggestion thereof?). And, they got subtly jabbed again on 30 Rock. Iit's not easy being the New York Islanders. Sometimes you have to resort to desperate measures.

I'm not the first person to discuss this ad, nor will I be the last. There are some great comments being posted about it over at All Habs that are worth a read.
This ad couldn't be more obvious in targeting the Canadiens' fans, rather than the team. This ad could have easily featured a picture of many other things: just a Canadiens logo or jersey, a moment from a previous game between the two teams, a player (maybe former NY Ranger Scott Gomez, or rookie-spearing Mike Cammalleri), or a sea of enthusiastic Isles fans (if that exists). Instead, they chose a picture of three youngish male Habs fans in jerseys, with wigs and scruffy facial hair. The majority of people who see this splash page, even if they're sitting in bed with their laptop, will probably think these guys look a little obnoxious. Even the placement of the Great Orange Circle Of No allows us to see all of their faces.

It's just like a negative political campaign, the kind we often see in the United States (for basically any sort of election). I guess it makes sense that in sports, you'd want to cheer for the team playing against a team that you don't like. (Isn't that why everyone who isn't a Yankees fan wants the Texas Rangers to beat the Yankees? ...ugh, no more baseball talk.) However, it seems that the main reason for making the Canadiens the enemy is because of their fans. Which makes sense, I guess, since Habs fans have a bad reputation, but what's the use in disliking a team if you won't boo their players?

Then there's the oh-so-original slogan, "No Habs No". Yeah, they're the first ones to come up with that. What's next, are they going to run an ad campaign with a picture of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes wearing an Islanders shirt and peeing on a Habs logo? That would be a breakthrough in advertising. They'd probably have to hire a fancy ad agency all the way in Manhattan to come up with that one.

Under the world's snappiest slogan reads "Show the Canadiens that this is Islanders country." Is it just me, or does that sound a little creepy? It's the kind of thing I'd expect to hear if I was in some type of backwoods swampy area, and I accidentally walked on some creepy old man's lawn, and he's sitting on his decrepit porch wearing beaten-up overalls, chewing tobacco, and holding a shotgun. "You best git away, Canadiens girlie! We don't want yer kind. This here's ISLANDERS COUNTREH." And as I try to run away as fast as my little legs will take me, I swear I hear yodeling and banjos. "But this is New York! The Great Gatsby took place here! I don't understand why they talk like this! And I like John Tavares!" I'd think to myself as I ran for my life.

A rivalry is a great way to sell tickets. But I think the Islanders marketing team might be reaching a little far with this one. Unless, of course, they're trying to rile up Habs fans, hoping that more of us come out of the woodwork. After all, a seat filled is a seat filled. Whether it's filled by a mullet-wigged Habs fan or a banjo-playing Isles fan shouldn't really matter.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Plus/Minus: Second verse, same as the first

The Canadiens have played their first home game. It's officially too late for your pre-opener Bell Centre shopping trip. (I had to make my trip all by myself for the first time ever this year. I was indecisive and trying to stick to a budget. It wasn't my finest hour.)
It was a pretty good week for the team. Most of them, that is. I can't necessarily say the same for people who do not play for the Montreal Canadiens.

+ This is a very general plus: winning. 5 out of a potential 6 points is not too shabby.
+ Is this the resurgence of Andrei Kostitsyn? Or does he have a sense of humour, and wanted to take advantage of the "Frère Andrei" puns?
+ Carey Price. I happened to see someone I know over the weekend who is a huge (and I mean huge) Price-hater. He didn't have anything to say about the goalie. Thank you so much for shutting him up, Carey. It means more to me than I can say.
+ The Carey Price-PK Subban postgame celebration. Someone on Youtube dubbed it a "triple low 5" which makes sense. I like it.
+ It was a very simple introduction, nothing really out of the ordinary for Montreal, but I really liked the home opener ceremony. It may not have been as regal as the LA Kings' home opener ceremony, for instance, but the Bell Centre treats every game like it's a big deal.
+ Good to hear that former Habs, Glen Metropolit and Matt D'Agostini, are putting up points for their new teams.

- The Lightning beat the Canadiens during their home opener, but get pummeled by the Panthers? The PANTHERS, really? Why couldn't Dan Ellis have been in net on Wednesday night?
- The Buffalo Sabres really pulled out all the stops for their 40th anniversary! And their fans were excited beyond belief!
- The men on RDS commenting on the relative lameness of the Sabres' anniversary celebration. Those of us at home, who are not on camera, can say whatever we want. If you're on TV, it might be nice to show just an ounce of professionalism.
- 3 The Canadiens organization told us they had three big announcements, but none of them are really that great.
First, fans can vote for the game's three stars, which is a nice initiative, but incredibly flawed.
Second, they launch a smartphone app, which is supposed to be news, even though pretty much anyone who's anyone already has an app on the market. Not to mention that it's not compatible with many smartphones - Android is the world's top-selling smartphone operating system, and yet the app is only compatible with two Android phones. TWO. Neither of which is the phone that both Czechtacular and I are using. But whatever, you get all the news (and more!) by following Dave Stubbs and All Habs on Twitter.
Third, a Bell exclusive Canadiens reality show. A few years ago, I might have thought this was a good idea. But I know better now. Nearly everyone in Montreal will recognize their favourite Canadien if they see him on the street or out shopping. We live in one of the biggest NHL cities. A reality show seems superfluous. If this show had never been filmed, I'd be okay with that. (I might watch it, but I probably won't enjoy it.)

There's no Canadiens game until Wednesday Thursday. What on earth will I talk about on Tuesday night's Game Points?
No, fate, that was not a challenge.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Home opened!

There are a few things that jumped out at me during last night's home opener, and not just because my HD was crystal clear. Seriously, I don't know how much money goes into buying cameras for the Bell Centre, but it's worth every cent. This digital image nerd knows a thing or two about clear picture. The team was excited, the crowd was alive, and as a result, I was louder than ever watching the game from home. (After a goal by Tampa Bay, I screamed out "NOOOO!" which caused my mother to say "Oh, no!" and then the cat meowed, and it sounded like she said "no." True story.)
She's a Habs fan.
Yes, that was a bilingual "Nous sommes / We are" flag that the little flag kid skated around with. Who's going to speak louder, the francophones who don't want our team Americanized, the pro-bilingual people who'll be pleased, or the people wondering why they wrote the same thing twice?

Brian Gionta may have been criticized by some for his incorrect pronunciation of players' names and numbers, but he did a pretty good job. Except for the parts where he didn't, on purpose. He called #40 Maxim "Laperriere" as payback for not being taught to pronounce the word "vingt" properly. His slip-up in referring to Dustin Boyd as "Justin", however, is due to Boyd's resemblance to a young Justin Timberlake.
Gionta's nervousness was probably caused by the fact that he's accustomed to riling up crowds by scoring goals, not by speaking. After all, Michel Lacroix is the one paid to say people's names in an exciting manner.

No confirmation on whether the assistant captains were chosen solely because their jersey numbers are so close. If that's the case, I'd expect a mutiny from Gomez and Cammalleri. (For more on this, see HabsLaughs' take on Cammy and the captaincy.)

Joseph Kaiser was selected to sing the national anthems before the game because Charles Prévost-Linton did not brush his hair. Again. (Also because Kaiser might be a better singer.)

Kirk Muller drew bigger cheers from the crowd than any member of the crew or coaching staff. It might be because he won the Stanley Cup as a Hab, but it might also be because the entire city has a crush on him.
Bet you didn't notice Don Cherry
As for the game, there were some very bright points. Carey Price was in fine form as he has been lately. Which means that I'm about 20% less likely to want to slap Jack Todd after I read his next column. Andrei Kostitsyn looked rarin' to go before the game, and delivered. And, best of all, Dominic Moore and Guy Boucher's team won the game!!

...wait, what do you mean neither of those guys is on the Canadiens payroll anymore?

Oh. Right.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Top 5: The Bell Centre gets some stadium love

The home opener is tonight!
I'm not sure what I'm more excited about: the idea of a season's worth of potential run-ins with Habs' or rival players, seeing the city more alive than usual before a home game, or knowing that I'm just that much closer to the action.

Probably that last one. Watching a game on TV gives me the advantage of replays, closeups, and making fun of most sportscasters, but going to a Montreal Canadiens game at the Bell Centre is a sports experience that I have yet to rival. Thus...

Top 5 Best Things About Going To The Bell Centre
The ushers. If you're lucky, you'll get one of those old man ushers either pointing you to your seating section or welcoming you to your seats. I don't mean to take anything away from the younger ushers, but for some reason it's the senior Bell Centre employees who really know what they're doing. You get the feeling that this has been their job since people wore their finest clothes to the Bell Centre, before Chris Chelios was even born. It was a time before people in customer service jobs became jaded due to poor treatment, and the old man ushers still act that way. They're having just as much fun as the fans are.

(Some of) the in-game entertainment. Seeing a new "Get To Know Your Habs" video before it's posted online is always a treat. You all know already how much I laughed at Hal Gill's Randy Johnson-related giggling. Or the "puzzle" that one fan gets to solve, and just by seeing a tiny corner of a picture, somehow EVERYONE knows that the eensy bit of black hair visible in that photo belongs to Maxim Lapierre. Except, of course, for the comedian next to you who still calls out "C'est Kovalev!"

Pregame excitement. I'm just going to take the words right out of Czechtacular's mouth: "the sheer and massive amount of ridiculously awesome material put into every pre-game pump-up video for every single year. 101 years of goosebumps, baby."

The music. Okay, I wasn't super impressed with the in-house music during the preseason (too many of those nondescript technopop songs, you know, the kind that are popular thanks to that whackjob Lady Gaga) but in general, the music is pretty decent. Some current hits, some rock classics, and at least one pop song from the 90's. (The latter, in case you couldn't guess, is always the best.)

The crowd. (On a good day.) Sure, when they start booing their own players, fans at the Bell Centre suck. But when they're on their best behaviour, you can't help but love being surrounded by them. Do you remember the goal song that Simple Plan recorded a couple of seasons ago? I don't. I have no idea what it sounds like because you can't hear anything after the Canadiens score at home. Two metro stations stay full for ages after the game lets out, and going home from a game is almost as much fun as actually being there. I've said it before: there are a lot of things that divide Montreal socially, but when a bunch of Habs are having a good time at a game, none of that matters.

If you're going to the game, have a great time! The rest of us are only a little bit jealous.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Plus/Minus: Start Me Up

If you spent your summer hating on Carey Price, you might be a little dizzy after doing a complete 180 on him recently. It's okay, just take some aspirin, sit down, and read this week's Plus Minus. You'll feel better.

PK's moment of glory yoinked from
+ Carey Price. That is all.
+ Speaking of Price, anyone who's anyone has had their say about his new mask. So here's my two cents: I like it. I don't generally dislike his masks, with the exception of his Ed Hardy Masque of the Red Death, but I like this one a lot.
+ Rumours that Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik are thisclose to coming back? That's the kind of plus that can eradicate basically any minus.
+ I'm still angry at Mike Cammalleri for the behaviour that led to his suspension, but, as usual, he handled it like a pro.
+ Ryan O'Byrne and Hal Gill volunteered at the Old Brewery Mission on Thanksgiving. It takes a big man to spend a holiday away from your loved ones.
+ Before the season started, I lamented the fact that 2010 wasn't the Summer of Toews, even though he won a gold medal and a Stanley Cup. Thank you, new Canadian Tire commercial, for fixing that. It's so nice to see a commercial on TV that doesn't have Sidney Crosby in it.
+ Holy first NHL goal by Jordan Eberle, Batman!

- Why, oh why, did we ever let Mike Ribeiro go? Getting arrested for public drunkenness in a restaurant after your wife picks a fight with someone is classier than anything any Canadien has done lately.
- It's going to take me a long time to forgive Dion Phaneuf for becoming captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Jack Todd tried to comment on how well Carey Price played against Pittsburgh. But he failed. Saying that Price almost looked like Halak is the kind of backhanded compliment that leaves a mark. I stopped reading his column after that sentence. To be honest, I don't even know why I bother looking at it.
- It's the first week of the season. How can we already be seeing serious injuries? John Tavares has a concussion, the Flames are down by two players already, and Ondrej Pavelec just straight-up passed out. This is not cool, people.

There's other stuff to cover; this plus/minus is only part of this crazy week. And to think that I was worried about a lack of content for Plus/Minus this week!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Giving Thanks: Montreal Canadiens Edition

Right now everyone in Canada is tired and lazy thanks to a belly full of turkey, and maybe sitting in front of a football game. I don't have much time left to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.

So here's my Thanksgiving post. Hopefully it's better than the half-hearted "I'm thankful for... Twitter" I squeaked out yesterday, not long before perusing my Twitter feed in an attempt to avoid the anti-Glee dinner conversation. (It's a SATIRE!) After all, I am a hockey blogger in the biggest hockey city on Earth... so there are a couple of things to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for my team, obviously. The spectacular goaltending, the scrappy fighters, the incredible goals, and the wicked wins. I'm thankful that the five Canadiens on the cover of Elle Quebec don't look ridiculous despite the bizarre fashions they were dressed in. I'm thankful that our highest-paid players are going to earn every cent of their salaries this season. I'm thankful that we have an excess of talented prospects.

I'm thankful for everyone who reads and supports Hab It Her Way. I appreciate all the support and feedback that Czechtacular and I have had from the blogging community. It's always good to know that there are other female fans who know their stuff and are trying to kill the puckbunny stereotype.

Lastly, I'm thankful for the people who stress me out. I know it may sound strange, but if I didn't have villains and nemeses, there would be so much less to write about. I'm grateful that there are idiots out there who'll hate Carey Price no matter what, and people who think the world can't be a better place unless the NHL comes back to Quebec City. If I didn't have people to criticize, I would have so much less to write about. I'd have lower blood pressure, that's for sure, but the blog would be boring. So... it's a tradeoff, I guess.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope you all had lots of pie!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Fan Divided

If hockey and SNL were the same thing, life would be grand.

I never thought I'd have anything in common with a superhero. But my dual nature is causing me to have a bit of an identity crisis.

As you may already know, I'm a TV fan and a hockey fan. Thursdays in October are supposed to be an embarrassment of riches. Instead, I find myself torn between two loves: TV or hockey? Hockey or TV?

I thought it would be easier to catch up on TV a little later and watch hockey live. (Believe me, three years ago this would have been unheard of. Unheard of, I say!) However, due to a faulty DVR, I can't just do like I did last season and tape a show while watching a hockey game in HD, then watch it as soon as the game is over. Unless I want to watch the three minutes that my DVR decided to tape, rather than the whole episode.

Hockey or 30 Rock? That's been my big question these last two weeks, and those of you who know me know what a difficult decision that is. For those of you who don't, well, here's what I said last year during my season premiere vs. home opener debate:
To put things into perspective, the 30 Rock premiere is like the TV equivalent of the home opener when your team is coming off a wicked last season and a Stanley Cup win, but not in a bucktoothed Sidney Crosby kind of way. I love Tina Fey more than Carey Price loves Garth Brooks. I speak more highly of Tina Fey than Jacques Demers does of Guillaume Latendresse.
Clearly, this was and still is a love triangle of WB-size proportions. I chose hockey but still had 30 Rock at the back of my mind. And then the Habs lost both of their Thursday games. They couldn't even score yesterday between 8:30 and 9 just to make it worth my while.

Who's at fault here? Videotron, for refusing to replace my defective DVR? My beloved Canadiens, for scoring outside of 30 Rock time? The Sabres and Maple Leafs, for beating my team? NBC, for changing my favourite show's timeslot in order to benefit new comedy Outsourced? Should I blame Outsourced for existing, even though I know one of its staff writers and he's a really funny guy?

I'm not sure. I think I blame Outsourced. (My apologies, Sonny.) And the Leafs. It's always their fault.

Dear Montreal Canadiens: Please start winning on Thursdays. At least until you start winning some Emmys. Love, Rookie.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I want a do-over

It looks as though the Leafs' idea to make their ice out of river water from everywhere in Canada (!) paid off. We're screwed, then, because the Leafs won and Toronto still thinks it's the center of the universe. Remember, everyone: Montreal has better bagels. And Arcade Fire. So yeah, OK, Toronto, you won this game, but whatever. Go listen to Down With Webster and eat your bagels that look like donuts.

Oh, and Toronto? You brought out Leafs legends from all ten provinces before the game, but Canada also has territories. And they hate you now.

"Remember us?"

Carey Price may have started the game in a not-ideal way, letting in 2 goals in the first ten minutes, but he quickly found his stride and made us all forget he was sick yesterday. Which is excellent news for Jaroslav Spacek, who wasn't exactly in top shape tonight. If I were Spacek, I'd thank Carey Price profusely.

Other than Carey Price, one person on the Canadiens payroll is probably smiling quite a bit: Pierre Gauthier. Our two goals came from new guys, to which I say good job, Boyd and Halpern. And shape up, Scott Gomez: an almost-goal is not the same thing as a goal.

I'm hoping that for the majority of the season, this team can stay healthy. If the Canadiens have a full roster for most of the season, they'll be ok, but powerplays just weren't as good as they needed to be because we were missing key players.

Also missing: fights. It took the Battle of Alberta like ten seconds to get fighty. This was just a little bit too tame for a Habs-Leafs game... unless you count the fight that broke out after the game ended. Ryan White could have fixed that. But I won't dwell on White being cut... as long as Mathieu Darche can stop taking stupid penalties. He knows better.

Okay, it wasn't a perfect game. That's okay, game 2 is in less than 48 hours, and the Habs know a thing or two about beating Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just one more day

(Apologies, this is going to be a very brief post.)

Just think. 24 hours from now we will have watched the first game of the Canadiens' season. FINALLY.

I, for one, would be very okay with Josh Gorges making a tradition out of season-opener GWG's. Pretty please, Josh?

Today's cuts and Monday's suspension leave us without (among others) Alex Henry, Ryan White, and Mike Cammalleri. You know what that means: get ready, Moen and Lapierre. The Habs will need their fighters to be in top form.

If Carey Price really is missing tomorrow's game because of the flu, I'd like to put a plague upon the house of whoever let him catch that flu. (Yes, I'm aware that the house doesn't need a plague, as its inhabitants are probably already sick.) I have faith in Alex Auld, but this is clearly a different goaltending situation than the one our team was in last season. We can't afford to have a top goalie who's sick. Can the Canadiens hire someone to chase after players with warm blankets and Purell? I think it would be a good investment.

See you at puck drop!! ...Maybe not you, Carey.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Plus/Minus is back!!

After giving the NHL a vacation from Plus/Minus this summer, I'm back at it. Has it really been four months since I've written one of these?

With the Habs' preseason over, and the team at sleepaway camp in Charlevoix this week (last chance to wear sweatpants in public!) there's finally some material to plus and minus. Yay!

Does anyone else have a sudden urge to go dancing with these guys?

+ We actually have a captain. I almost forgot what it felt like.
+ White, Engqvist, and all the other young players who took advantage of their preseason ice time and showed us what they're made of.
+ Mathieu Darche gave arguably the best interviews out of any Hab this preseason. Players' relationship with the media was pretty relaxed in most cases, but Darche gave honest answers and was supportive of his teammates. Being perfectly bilingual also helped a little.
+ Slightly unnecessary goalie equipment plus: Nice helmet, bAuldy. Nice pads, Carey.
+ The Bulldogs just won in a shootout!
+ This isn't so much a "plus" as it is a "WTF": Alex Kovalev (isn't he supposed be Alexei again?) getting into a fight with Francois Beauchemin. Seriously. Kovalev fought. What.

Bad news, you guys. I checked, and that's not how you score a goal.
- This Mike Cammalleri/Nino Neiderreiter business. Nino, if you try to hit our Cammy again, we as a city will make you regret it. Cammy, you have to be the bigger man in cases like this. Just give him one solid poke and leave it at that. Don't run after a rookie like a kid chasing a kitten.
- Everyone who's still whining about Carey Price - both fans and journalists.
- Enough with the Nordiques whining! Some people need a new hobby.

Enjoy your sweatpants, everybody!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Want the full story on "my 12"?

You've probably read the dream opening-day lineups we've both posted (if you haven't, just scroll down), and if you're wondering why this came out of nowhere, here's a little background.

It was a challenge put forth to any Habs blogger who was game but Scott Schmidt over at Schmitzy Says. He has posted links to all of the lists written so far.

All Habs asked its writers to take the challenge a step further, and post an entire lineup for opening day (including defencemen). I gave it my best shot.

At least it's pretty obvious which goalie I'd choose.