Monday, February 28, 2011

Plus/Minus: Trade deadline is over

Hopefully my thoughts on the last week will be even a little bit cohesive. Turning the trade deadline into a drinking game was a bad idea on my part. The stress caused by Ryan White being told not to practice, then sent to Hamilton, then returned to the Habs mere hours later, was not my fault at all. (The rumour that Jarred Tinordi was traded is also not cool.)

Go Bulldogs!
+ 3 What a game against the Canucks! A plus to Andrei Kostitsyn for finally busting out of his funk and putting some points on the board this week. And the biggest Stanley Cup contender in the league lost a game because of two of its shortest players. Fantastic goals by Gionta and Desharnais.
+ I'm looking forward to closing out the season with Brent Sopel. He knows what it's like to make a Stanley Cup run and above all he's a good guy.
+ Ryan O'Byrne had hisface sliced open on the ice, and finished his shift. I think it's really unfortunate (and yes, a little bit gross) that the injury had to happen, but O'B gets a few Chuck Norris points for this incident.
+ Great game by the Hamilton Bulldogs at the Bell Centre on Friday. Goals by new hire Nigel Dawes, my boy JT Wyman, and Aaron Palushaj (who's some kind of Bell Centre scoring machine).

I have a couple more of these if anyone's interested
- I hate spelling mistakes. Especially when a professional journalist makes the same typo over and over and over again. I'll overlook it once or twice, but Francois Gagnon didn't notice after he typed "Cancuks" the twentieth time?
- I'm not good with trades, to be honest. So even though I knew that Ben Maxwell wasn't the guy to lead the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup victory, I'm going to miss him. Until I see him tomorrow in Atlanta and will have to cheer for my Habs.
- Mike Komisarek should get slapped for hitting Tomas Plekanec.
- Habs fans: Haven't we been through this before? You don't boo your own players. How can you hate Alex Auld when he's only started a handful of games?
- That being said, yes, I know. Phil Kessel and Brett Lebda scored goals and the Leafs beat the Habs. It sucks.

At least this week we won't have to deal with the stress of a Brad Richards rumour every other minute.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy anniversary, Josh

Wow. Today marks the 4-year anniversary of the trade that brought Josh Gorges to the Montreal Canadiens. Four whole years. That's a long time. Am I supposed to know everything a grown-up hockey fan knows by now? Please say no.

Anyway, when Josh became a Hab I couldn't even be called "Rookie" yet. I was, at best, a draft prospect. I couldn't even have told you that the freshly traded Craig Rivet was assistant captain, or that that was what it means when there's an "A" on someone's jersey. I only found out after hearing all the complaints from people I knew that assistant captains shouldn't be traded away for no reason. While I may still think that the concept of trading hockey players is a little cruel and kind of barbaric, I didn't really get why all the frustrated fans, already missing Rivet, were already complaining about what the Canadiens got in return. All the "we don't even know who this guy is!" and comments of the like just seemed hurtful. Here was a guy that no one knew anything about, and they were already writing him off. Being the kind soul that I am (when it comes to Habs) I told everyone to give the new guy a chance, and I tried to lead by example. It worked out pretty well for me, I think.

He came to the team at about the same time as I did, so obviously I'm sort of attached to him. I told people not to hate on the new guy. I cheered when he (finally) scored his first goal as a Hab. I gasped when I saw him pick a fight with Dion Phaneuf. I was inconsolable when he took a puck to the head. I smiled when I saw media outlets and teammates saying he'd make a great captain for the greatest franchise in NHL history. And I really, really wish he wasn't missing most of this season.

Happy anniversary, Josh. Here's to four more years (or more, hopefully).

(Also a very happy anniversary to the Canadian Olympic women's hockey team. One year ago today, they won gold! I couldn't be prouder.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Habs 3 - Canucks 2 - Scientology 0

When your team has lost three consecutive games against teams they should feasibly be able to beat, there isn't always much to joke about. Luckily for me, someone told Twitter that Tom Cruise for some reason or another attended last night's game. Photo here, although what they omitted is that director/funnyman Simon Pegg is RIGHT THERE NEXT TO HIM. Come on!

Anyway, those of you who do not follow me on Twitter missed all the Tom Cruise jokes I made.

If Tom Cruise gets really worked up about the game, will he jump up and down on his seat?

Dear Tom Cruise: If you try to lure any Canuck or Hab into joining Scientology, rest assured I WILL cut a bitch.

If someone gets injured during this game, will Tom Cruise cry and scream "TALK TO ME GOOSE!!"

If Scott Gomez scores, will Tom Cruise say "Show me the money"?

Is Tom Cruise going to personalize his hockey jersey by putting "Xenu" on the back?

Can we use Tom Cruise as an example to all the people who like to laugh at how short some Habs are?

Thought they were... RT @ Probably a good thing we're not there. Tom Cruise in the bldg. Scientologists are not fans of Greenmen

Please let this game not self-destruct in the third period.

On Scott Gomez getting ice time over Desharnais: trying to get the best out of every penny, I guess.

too tired to get up and cheer. I really, really liked this game.  had all the right moves.

Highway out of the danger zone, Habs. Come on home with your 2 points in hand.

Only thing that sucks: I couldn't come up with any Interview with the Vampire puns.
(Although, without noticing, I made one within that tweet. Also, if I could go back to yesterday, I'd say that Tom Cruise was probably expecting vampires pretending to be humans pretending to be hockey players.)

I'd say more about the game, but I was so excited the Habs won I'm not sure I slept at all. So all I will say is congratulations, Habs.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Plus/Minus: Maybe not such a well-oiled machine

Earlier this week, I watched my all-time favourite Jeopardy contestant, Ken Jennings, lose a Jeopardy tournament to a supercomputer. (Yes, I love Jeopardy, deal with it.) It was bizarre. The whole thing was won by a computer, with no face, no feelings, and an inhuman thought process. It was just as crushing as watching the Canadiens lose this week. But just a little bit scarier.

+ I know his options were limited, but it really says something that Jacques Martin put Tom Pyatt in the shootout against Buffalo. Pyatt hasn't exactly wowed anyone this season, and you'd think a coach like Martin would want him out of the way, but he threw Pyatt a bone. Maybe it'll just take a little more for him to put some points on the board this season.
+ Congrats to the Old Habs on beating the Old Flames at the alumni game!
+ Mike Cammalleri is back!
+ Paul Mara's beard!
+ Hat tricks: Devin Setoguchi helped the Sharks to a win and Neil Young (no joke, it was actually Neil Young, I swear) applauded him. And Taylor Hall had a natural hat trick, which as I learned this week is even fancier than a regular hat trick.

+ My favourite non-hockey sporting event of the year, the NBA All-Star Skills Competition, did not disappoint. It was flashy and over-the-top and famous people were there and Cee-Lo performed. Also, the slam dunk competition was so good that I am literally unable to choose my favourite dunk. I can't even give advantage to everyone's favourite basketball player Blake Griffin. (A Minus within this Plus goes to Michael Jordan... c'mon man, I know you're the greatest that ever lived, but don't text during the dunk competition!)
+ Just when I started getting jealous of the NBA All-Star Weekend for its multitude of relevant musical acts, the Heritage Classic busts out Metric as the live entertainment between the 2nd and 3rd periods. Thank you, universe. And this, just one week after the other best band in Canada won Album of the Year at the Grammys.

- I looked forward to the Heritage Classic because two teams that I like very much were going to play outdoors. It turns out only one of those teams played. What happened, Habs?
- 2 I might be sad that the Canadiens didn't do enough in Calgary, but I would never disrespect them like some people did. First, there was François Gagnon on Twitter, complaining about the American anthem being performed at an all-Canadian game. I'm not saying his whining was unfounded, just a little excessive, especially for a professional journalist who should probably have known that they were going to sing it. It's as if there wasn't a hockey game after the anthems were performed. And then, I saw people who had spent time and money to get to McMahon Stadium, to see what I'd consider a once-in-a-lifetime hockey game, and they LEAVE EARLY. Unless all those people were in danger of frostbite, they should be ashamed. A real fan will watch their team, win or lose.
- I loved everything on CBC leading up to the Heritage Classic, except for the complete lack of imagination on the part of whoever set a montage to the Requiem for a Dream music. Really? REALLY? You think you're the first person to think of that?
- The Canadiens lost to the Buffalo Sabres and I can't even blame Ryan Miller for it? That just makes me sad.
- File James Wisniewski's puck-to-face incident under "Things That Should Have Happened To Sean Avery."
- Patrick Kane parties like nobody's watching and dresses poorly while doing so. Never change, Patrick Kane, never change.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be bracing myself for the Canucks game on Tuesday.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Serious New NHL Trade Rumours! For Real!

Friday was one of the busiest trade days in recent memory. Somehow, though, I know that we haven't seen the last trade of the season. With a little over a week left until trade deadline, we're probably all on the edge of our seats. But what would happen if the league's GMs ran out of cap space for players they want to buy, or simply decided they were done?

Would they start trading other stuff? Because I have some rumours to start.

LOS ANGELES has been making aggressive offers to COLORADO concerning Matt Duchene. They've offered The Real Michael Cera, as well as an assortment of hoodies, in exchange for Duchene. (But it's a bit of a longshot, because Colorado knows that Hollywood has no more use for Cera with the recent emergence of Jesse Eisenberg.)

DALLAS may send a Texan Cowboy to CALGARY in exchange for an Albertan Cowboy.

ANAHEIM and LOS ANGELES are both fielding calls left and right re: Churro Stands. Teams interested include NEW YORK RANGERS (Hot Dog Cart), NEW JERSEY (One Cake Boss Cast Member), and MONTREAL (one Lafleur's franchise).

More MONTREAL updates: Pierre Gauthier has been fielding offers for Ryan White's Hair. He refused EDMONTON (Ryan Jones' Hair) after yesterday's loss, but might still be in talks with VANCOUVER about Ryan Kesler's Hair. Any speculation about a trade with ANAHEIM (Ryan Getzlaf's Hair) is completely unfounded.

PITTSBURGH has asked Hilary Duff to waive her no-movement clause in hopes of sparking the interest of NASHVILLE (Carrie Underwood). David Poile has refused the offer, but TORONTO has offered Elisha Cuthbert and two draft picks.

The NEW YORK RANGERS have contacted CHICAGO in an attempt to get Patrick Kane's Awful Sweater in exchange for Sean Avery's Hipster Glasses.

The rumoured OTTAWA-WASHINGTON deal (Stephen Harper for Barack Obama) is not going to happen.

Hottest rumour of the day: It appears that PHOENIX may send Paul Bissonnette's Twitter Skills to CALGARY for Craig Conroy's TV skills.

Confirmed: MINNESOTA has agreed on terms to take Sand from FLORIDA in exchange for Snow.

While I was out

(Posted because I've had a couple things to say and hadn't blogged them, and also because poor Czechtacular is still recovering from the Habs and Oilers playing against each other in the same game.)

The return of Paul Mara's Beard! You may or may not know that this is very exciting news for me, because why should the NHL's best beard live in California? Plus, Mara probably made Ryan Getzlaf feel really inadequate about his own ability to grow hair. The Mara trade story broke literally fifteen minutes after I went to bed the other day, proving that the news just hates me. Things always happen to the Habs right after I turn off the TV or computer, or the only day of the week that I work overtime, and now apparently also in my sleep. Thanks, Pierre Gauthier, I appear to be the only person happy about Paul Mara's beard and you wait until the middle of the night to buy him back.

The curse of the "western swing." Unfortunately for me, I live in a house with people who aren't horrified by the concept of watching dance-based reality shows, so I'm pretty sure "western swing" is some type of music. But there's usually no reason to dance when the Habs show up in the Western provinces at this time of year. Last night, the Habs gave up two goals in fifteen seconds then didn't reciprocate. Oh, and James Wisniewski's face got broken. Everyone was disappointed in the team, even though they JUST LANDED in a different time zone. Does no one remember two years ago? The Canadiens surrendered like seven goals to the Oilers (minus this year's magic rookie crop) when we all could have been watching this unfold live:

It was arguably the best celebrity crazy moment of the last couple years, and I chose to watch the Habs crumble instead. (Save your arguments about Lady Gaga in an egg, because if it turns out that his Young Pheezy rapper alter ego was just a cover and Joaquin Phoenix is Lady Gaga, I'll hate to say I told you so.)

Luckily this time around I taped my NBC comedies and the Habs only gave up three goals to the Oilers, so all I missed was Justin Bieber getting shot on CSI. I can live with that, because "watching Justin Bieber get shot" involves "watching Justin Bieber."

We've got to count our blessings, Habs fans. We can't be all doom and gloom, mere days before the Heritage Classic! Come on.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Plus/Minus: love stinks, like hockey equipment

So apparently there's some "holiday" coming up (I think it's called "The Eve of 50% Off Chocolate Sales") that's all about pink and hearts and stuff, and it sounds way too girly for my taste. But it's about love, and I love hockey. Obviously.

This came from G9 Sports' "Runs On Duncan" and I really wish I had the creative juices to make Habs valentines
+ You know what I love? When goalies I like post shutouts. Carey Price shut out the Maple Leafs, and then looked like he pretended his stick was a lightsaber. Then, as if things couldn't get better, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick shut out the Flyers. Good weekend.
+ We're so proud of David Desharnais!
+ Benoit Pouliot showed the kind of confidence and aggression during the Bruins game that some people didn't think he had.
+ Ryan White and Max Pacioretty were great together this week. Do the Habs have a new one-two scoring punch? I hope this keeps up, because they have the potential to be a better pair than Hall and Oates or Jay and Silent Bob.
+ Time to stand up and applaud the New York Islanders - not for turning into a bunch of goons, but for actually playing. Behaviour aside, they didn't play like a last-place team this week. I'm sure there's an Islanders blog out there called "Isle Be Damned" that is really happy about some road wins.
+ I'd like to thank the Detroit Red Wings for standing up for the classier half of the Original Six and beating the Bruins with a quite enjoyable final score of 6-1.

- Thanks, Gregory Campbell, for beating Tom Pyatt's face with your elbow pad or whatever it was. That was super classy. I could totally go after you because I'm not employed by the NHL so your dad can't suspend me. Oh wait... you've got like 80 pounds on me. Fine. You win this time.
- If this Max Pacioretty injury turns out to be serious, I will be very upset.
- Can the NHL just crack down on useless violence and head shots once and for all? I like good fights and clean hits, but no one deserves to miss half a season (or more) because he got hit.

- Biggest Minus of the week, and possibly ever: Habs Inside/Out shared two clips of a couple of amateur broadcaster idiots in Boston desperate for radio callers who clearly thought that making stupid generalizations makes better radio than actually talking about sports. I figured no one could say anything dumber this week, and clearly I was wrong, because some Leafs fans had a ball on Saturday night and Sunday morning tweeting about PK Subban. Now, I don't like it when people say he's a jerk, or that he plays dirty, or whatever, but at least those are hockey-related complaints. When you have nothing better to do than make comments about the colour of his skin, you need to turn your computer off and think about how comfortable you'd be making those comments out loud in public. If you still have no problem with the fact that you're a filthy racist, please ask someone to club you over the head, or at the very least, make sure you never ever have children. The world would be a much better place without people like you.
I can't even tell you how happy I am that the few Leafs fans I follow on Twitter didn't say anything of the like.

I can only hope that this is as stupid as people get. Please, universe, don't make me eat my words this time next week.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Playing catch-up

You know those days where everything happens? I feel like Habs fans had two of those in a row.

I'd love to sit here and lie and say I watched Wednesday's Bruins game live, but I had a rivalry of my own to take on that night: "Rookie vs. All-You-Can-Eat Sushi." A friend of mine was in town, and even though she grew up in Massachusetts she was hoping for a Habs win. We had a blast swapping Bell Centre stories and saying "TD Banknorth Garden" in the most ridiculous Boston accents we could muster. (Apparently the rule is that if it doesn't offend your ears, it's not a real Mass accent.) My phone kept buzzing with Twitter updates from Dave Stubbs, so all I knew was that some crazy stuff was going down at TD Banknorth Gahhhden. Eventually I put it on silent, because there was unlimited sushi to be eaten, and Jackson, The Only Boy At Dinner, put his Habs hat on for good luck. He would later excuse himself from tea to watch Canadiens Express. I can never pass up a good cup of Davids Tea and an hour with my non-biological family, and it turns out I was wise to get a good night's sleep and wait until morning to catch up on what I had missed. Because HOLY CRAP WHAT A GAME!
Anyone who says that only idiots like high-scoring games probably ate their words after what might be the best Habs-Bruins game I've ever seen. Some great fights, and some non-fights, pretty much reminded everyone that Original Six rivalries might be the best kind of rivalry. As much as I love Carey Price, I'm glad that his encounter with Tim Thomas wasn't an actual fight. Tim Thomas probably threw a punch or two in his youth, and if he'd managed to land a blow on Carey Price he'd have to incur my wrath. And, much like his black and yellow jersey, it would not have been pretty.

While I was catching up on that game, the absolute best (although a little belated) news was announced. My boy Ryan White was back. I've been waiting for this news ever since he'd been sent back down two weeks ago. I will not dwell on the fact that he wasn't a Hab when I was at the Bell Centre last week, and that he will hopefully still be a Hab when I have Bulldogs tickets on February 25th. I'm willing to look past that, though, because Ryan White is a Hab again.
It felt kinda like this
Oh, and undisclosed number of injuries after the Bruins game and because we're at that point in the season.

Having to work late means I missed most of the Islanders game as well, so I didn't get to see any Habs goals, I missed the epic Ryan White assist, and I wasn't able to post this on time:

I just got to watch the Islanders score, then win a shootout. I guess that's their reward for giving us Jamie Wiz.
Some days you just can't win. In this case I'm not sure if I'm talking about the Habs or myself. Luckily with a Habs Tweetup tomorrow during Hockey Day In Canada, I know for sure that I'll be able to watch my Habs.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

C'est à ton tour...

Kirk Christopher Muller is 45 years young today. And most likely wearing a smile as big as this one (though tomorrow's game will be telling, but let's not ruin this with that just yet).

Strange to think that it's already been eight and a half years since he last played in the NHL. Our favourite Kingstonite is also already verging on his fifth year as assistant coach for our beloved Tricolore. How the time flies! Here's to many more years of health, happiness, and most of all, in-game interview harassment by BFF Joel Bouchard :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Plus/Minus: a thriller of a week.

Any week where snowfalls don't outnumber Habs wins is a good week, right?

+ How great is our captain? What a week for Brian Gionta.
+ Carey Price was just one of the younger guys who impressed me this week. PK put points on the board. Yannick Weber was great against the Rangers. And Picard actually did things.
+ Johan Franzen scored five goals in one game. Um. I don't even know what to say. Other than I'd look really good right now if I'd put him on my All-Star team. And "you don't mess with the Johan."
+ G9 Sports, launched on February 1st, should be in your bookmarks. It's a website, written entirely by female sports fans, that covers every major North American league. Most of its writing staff don't have other blogging outlets, so it's also a great showcase for writers who seriously know their stuff. Take note of two of G9's hockey blogs: "Straight Jackets" which is run by our friend Dannie, and "Leaf It To Her" which may be a Leafs blog but it's also run by our friend Bhavna, who introduced us to the "Joe Thornton Is Canada" concept. We're incredibly proud of both of them. And you should be too!
+ Biznasty scored a goal!!!
+ Congratulations, Green Bay Packers! Now I don't have to stop wearing my Packers tuque.
+ Oh, and the Habs fans at the Super Bowl. Proof that a) we're everywhere and b) there are more expensive tickets in sports. (Which does not refute a Minus in this post.)

- See that picture up there? Someone wrote that on the wall in a bathroom by the Bell Centre. I found it on Saturday after the Rangers game ended. I'm often grossed out by things I see in public bathrooms, but this might be the worst. Who on earth would desecrate a public place like this? Those walls are reserved for Habs' names and hearts. This is like graffiti terrorism.
- The snow (or something) prevented Team 990 superfan Louis from being at work on Wednesday night. He's an usher at the Bell Centre, and I was a little disappointed to see he wasn't at the entrance to his section. I could've totally been recognized for the non-celebrity I am. After all, it's not like being the girl on Game Points every Tuesday will get me free meals at the city's finest restaurants.
- Concessions at the Bell Centre got even more expensive. My popcorn was $6.60, and Steph Darwish of Lady Loves Hockey noticed that beer now costs $10.10. What? I remember when beer cost $9.75.
- George W. Bush, Cameron Diaz, and A-Rod were all on TV during the Super Bowl. OK, whatever, thanks, but next time can we see someone on TV who's either relevant or cheering for one of the teams that's playing? There were plenty of celebrities at the Super Bowl. And I bet most of them weren't stuffing popcorn into A-Rod's mouth.

- So a lot of people were upset by a contest on called "Twitter Hockey Hottie" wherein  girls with pretty profile pictures get seeded, then voted off bracket-style and the winner gets a prize. The upside to this contest was that the women who participated last year didn't pander to the online creeps and put up ridiculous pictures that make them look like Maxim wannabe-models. That's literally the upside. So, obviously, this contest already looks like it would be minus material. People spoke out against it, and the guy running the contest decided to cancel it. Of course, he didn't apologize to the people who disagreed with him. He was just too lazy to take the heat for something he'd done, so basically no one on either side of this "debate" is happy. He should have either continued the contest and accepted all the hate directed at him, or cancelled the contest and ended it there, instead of whining like a petulant child. But that's my two cents.

Oh, and happy birthday, Steven Stamkos!

Off Topic: Super Bowl 45! (Not about football)

The Super Bowl used to be my one football sporting event of the year, back when I was exclusively a TV girl and watched the occasional minute of sports just to prove I was well-rounded. Proof: I have no recollection of the Raiders and Bucs in the 2003 Super Bowl, but I remember the episode of Alias that aired after it. It was a great episode!

Obviously, entertainment plays a huge role in the biggest NFL game of the year, and why wouldn't it? Nothing gets better ratings than the Super Bowl. Not even American Idol, and that alone should be proof that there is justice in this world sometimes. So I look forward to all the singing and the celebrity sightings and the postgame TV (and the commercials when I get to see them). This year was... interesting.

Maroon 5. I missed this due to hockey, so I tried watching it online. I stopped the video after about a minute. I could have maybe understood seeing Maroon 5 at the Super Bowl when they were burning up the charts about seven years ago, but seeing Maroon 5 at the Super Bowl now makes no sense at all. Was this supposed to be some kind of peace offering, the NFL inviting a California band to the Super Bowl after some announcers implied that Mark Sanchez was "soft" because he's from California?

Lea Michele singing America The Beautiful. She's been Fox's go-to It Girl for a little while now, and her appearance would help promote Glee so that maybe a few straight guys could get over their macho hangups and give the show a chance. She was dressed very tastefully, which came as kind of a surprise because lately she's had a lot of fun being glamorous and/or sexy. She has a lovely voice, but I've heard her sound better.

Christina Aguilera singing The Star Spangled Banner. A lot of people criticized her appearance for some reason, which I don't understand. They should have focused their negativity on her singing. She sounded a little rough. Also she flubbed the lyrics. I understand that singing the anthem at the Super Bowl can be extremely high-pressure for a singer, but... how do you mess up your own national anthem? Anyway. At least it wasn't as bad as that time Roseanne sang, right?

The Black Eyed Peas. Oh dear. I was opposed to this idea even before it was announced. Luckily I was prepared:
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Gaffel Kölsch. I had not seen any brand of Kölsch since I first had it in Germany five and a half years ago. It is quite possibly the only type of beer I've ever liked. It's also the reason why this post wasn't published in the morning.

I'm too afraid to rewatch the Black Eyed Peas' performance on YouTube but I kinda want to, in the same way some people watch those shows about toddler beauty pageants.

BEP weren't dressed for the Super Bowl. They were dressed for a very shiny dystopian future. I feared some type of awful mashup when I heard the opening riff to "Sweet Child O Mine" only to find out that poor Slash had somehow been coerced into this halftime show (Guest Appearance #1). And then Fergie sang some more. I don't understand how a voice that can sound so great on record can be so painful live. Maybe she should've used some of that robot Auto-Tune her bandmates had.
Then they did "Let's Get It Started," which technically they should have opened with, but Hot Tub Time Machine and The Office star Craig Robinson was nowhere to be found (Missed Chance At A Guest Appearance #1). Then people made a bunch of Tron jokes because the dancers were glowing. What they don't know is that almost the exact same costumes were used in the climactic dance battle of Step Up 3-D, a movie that owes me two hours of my life back but feels like a masterpiece of 21st-century pop culture compared to this halftime show.
See? It's the exact same thing.
Then somehow Usher showed up, in all his radio-clogging, Auto-Tuned, overproduced glory (Guest Appearance #2) and as fast as you could say "Please stop sucking, Usher," he kind of stopped sucking. A little bit. I mean, his music hasn't been any good since before I discovered Kölsch, but he actually put on a show for the first time in ages. (Anyone who's seen Usher perform at recent awards shows knows what I mean.)

Then BEP decided to veer away from their bizarre leather version of the future and brought us a blast from the past. Suddenly everything went all red and hearts and cheer and they performed "Where Is The Love." Which was a pretty decent song when it came out, the same summer I discovered Kölsch. But that was a long time ago, and bringing that song back just reminded everyone of how far they've fallen. It was basically the musical equivalent of chanting "67!" at Leafs fans. Also, am I the only one willing to  admit that that song was popular (in part) because of a chorus by Justin Timberlake? (Missed Chance At A Guest Appearance #2, unless he really is banned from the Super Bowl for life.)

Oh, and as an anglophone Montrealer, I was offended by the people with the square heads.

And then, mercifully, it ended. Never in my life had I been so happy to see football.
Then the Packers won! I was right, my big brother was right, Matthew Ross was right, and Bill Simmons was right, so it was a good night all around.

Glee. I was so excited to see what they'd do in this episode. Many of the episodes this season had huge musical production numbers ("The Time Warp" being a notable example), so my expectations were pretty high. There'd been rumours of a Bruce Springsteen song being sung, then a Bruce Springsteen tribute episode, then a guest appearance by Bruce Springsteen, then those rumours were quashed and replaced by the announcement that they'd be doing "Thriller." Best described in the episode by Mr. Schuester as "the most iconic song of all time." There hadn't been a new episode since before Christmas. I was jazzed.

Like most openings to a Super Bowl episode, the show tried to cater to a post-Super Bowl audience in order to grab their attention. Bring in the cheerleaders.

I wasn't a huge fan of the beginning of this episode. It didn't quite toe the line between vintage Glee and broad comedy as well as I'd hoped. (I would have loved to hear one of her "You think this is hard?" lines. My personal favourite is "I'm passing a gall stone as we speak, *that's* hard.") Also, the football team did an absolutely terrible job of ambushing Artie with slushies.
Then, like many football games I've seen this season, things picked up. A lot of the best things about the show's story this season were brought up: Kurt having transferred to another school after being bullied by gay jock Karofsky, the hate that basically everyone in the school has for the Glee Club, Sue Sylvester refusing to be anything but the best. The next musical number confused me a little: Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" isn't exactly the most rocking jock jam I've ever heard, but it's insanely popular and gave a good showcase for Fox It Girl Lea Michele to prove just how pretty and talented she is.

(Also, the Chevy commercial. I should hate it but it's just so good.)

There was time for some classic hilarity when Sue Sylvester threw a tantrum. Then it was zombie time. First, the boys did a creepy-cool cover of The Zombies' "She's Not There" in full zombie makeup, as a team-building exercise and preparation for "Thriller."
Weak point in the episode: the football team gets slushied by the hockey team. (Kids on Glee get humiliated by having Slushies thrown in their faces in the hallways, in case you didn't know.) But I just don't like that a show that tries so hard to build interesting characters still finds comedy in really obvious things like hockey players with mullets, or fat kids that can be bribed with chocolate. Until, of course, the show apologized to me by having Darren Criss lead a rival glee club in covering "Bills Bills Bills". I don't know what appeal that number had to first-time watchers, but as a fan I loved it.

Oh, and then there was football stuff. And then they mashed up "Thriller" with "Heads Will Roll" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and it made up for every mashup this show has done that I didn't like. I kind of wish they'd release a full-length version of the video without any shots of audience reaction, which were useful plot-wise but took away from the song itself.

Glee can do music. And football. Really well. It was a fun episode overall and hopefully is a sign of what we can expect from the second half of the season. I think anyone's doubts about the show as an appropriate Super Bowl coda have been quashed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Big (slightly late) announcement!

In case you haven't heard, we're like important blogger-people now because we have a URL that's easy to say out loud.

From now on, you can find Hab It Her Way at! How fancy. I almost feel like buying our blog a monocle and an ascot.

You don't have to update all your linkages and bookmarks and stuff if you don't want to. For the forseeable future, our shiny new .ca address redirects to the same address you know and (perhaps) love. But in case you forget what that address is, or want to tell your friends about those crazy girls who love the Czech Republic and British Columbia and cats a little too much, we've made your life easier.

Go Habs Go!

Rookie shouldn't be making Super Bowl picks

I've spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about the Super Bowl. I guess that's what talking football on the radio does to you. I still have no idea how I'm supposed to pick who wins the Super Bowl. I mean, Aaron Rodgers is good at throwing, but Troy Polamalu is good at catching, so he can intercept things. The Steelers have really crazy physical defense. And is it possible to sack Ben Roethlisberger? Also, how is he engaged to a woman?

I didn't get to make my picks on Game Points on Tuesday, which is probably for the best. My thoughts here are proofread and organized, and even if they're not, it just makes my writing quirky and lovable, right?
On second thought, don't answer that.

Too bad my pick can't be "cupcakes"
So... who will I go with? Do I want my New York Jets' loss avenged by the Packers, or would it suck to watch the Steelers lose, and they beat my Jets for nothing? Should I answer the ever-popular "better hair" question and cheer for Polamalu and the Steelers? (No offense, Clay Matthews, but... Polamalu's got curls. I gotta represent.) Should I cheer for the team that has won more Lombardi trophies? Or the team that I almost chose as my NFL team of choice?

Maybe I should look at the numbers. Which isn't as easy as it sounds, and it's not my style. (I'm not good with stats, in case you haven't heard me on the radio say something like " So the Canadiens won more faceoffs than the Sabres. And guess who had 24:53 of ice time?") So I have one stat for you, which involves the most football words I've ever put into one sentence:
Teams that have returned an interception for a touchdown are undefeated 10 and 0 in the Super Bowl.

What does that have to do with anything? From what I can tell, one of the two teams left standing is quite capable of that. People are expecting Charles Widmore Woodson or Tramon Williams to be capable of returning an interception and getting those six points, and if superstition is anything to go by, help win the game.
It sounds like something I want to see, so I'm picking the Green Bay Packers.

Or, I can go with the opinion of someone I trust. It's taken me this far in the whole "TV girl learns about sports, inspires others to hug their little sisters and teach them to ignore Don Cherry" process, so I'll keep doing it. At the end of his column this week, Bill Simmons picks the Packers, 37-27. (I'm not going to try and guess the final score for myself.) Bill Simmons knows a lot about sports and loves TV. Thus, I trust him.

Of course, being the good person that I am, I also like seeing people get what's coming to them. Aaron Rodgers is a choirboy compared to Big Ben. I'd hate for this season to be known as the year that Ben Roethlisberger came back from "adversity" and won the Super Bowl. Let's be honest: if an athlete accomplishes a lot on the field or the ice, people tend to ignore some of the more unsavoury aspects of his personal life. Maybe karma will be on my side, so I'm picking the Packers for a moral victory.

Also, because "Tramon Williams" is a fantastic name.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Habs-Panthers: We interrupt this snow show

It happens to me once every season. Some type of crazy winter weather descends upon Montreal on the exact same day that I have Habs tickets. This time it was more snow than I've seen in weeks. Thanks, Snowpocalypse! At least our game didn't get cancelled on us, like those poor St. Louis Blues fans whose city appears to have shut down.

Streets were clear around the Bell Centre. It's just that Montreal turned into the Rockies.
In extreme weather situations, it's important to always have a plan. I had the tickets. Czechtacular had the Plekanec T-shirts. And Tomas Plekanec had to make us yell and cheer and scream until we were hoarse. Mission accomplished.

I don't need to tell you how long Czechtacular has been a Plekanec fan. (I have some choice quotes should you need proof, but you most definitely do not.) Yesterday somehow was the first time she had the chance to see him awarded with the Molson Cup. So, yeah, it was party time. And all the Czechs were invited.

A lot of people didn't really like last night's game, but I learned a lot while I was there. I got a better idea of the Florida Panthers' roster - no matter how hard I try, I always forget who plays for them. Now I understand that the Florida Panthers are to adult hockey players what the corner was to us when we were children: you go there when you've been bad. (Poor Steve Bernier. Poor Christopher Higgins, who inspired a lot of Habs almost-goals in the first period.) I learned that a little snow won't stop most people from going to a game at the Bell Centre. I found out who Andrei Markov had a crush on when he was 10 years old. I learned that if you ask enough questions about who Stephen Weiss is, he'll score a goal, so stop asking about Stephen Weiss. And I was reminded of something that we all probably knew: No matter what kind of day you've had, or how impossible it was to get to the Bell Centre, or who the Habs are playing or who's in net or who's injured, once the lights dim and the Canadiens hit the ice, nothing else matters.
And if you don't believe us, then you clearly didn't hear our voices after three periods' worth of screaming.

First star! Another Molson Cup in the making?