Beauty At The Bell

Have you forgotten completely about the regular season yet?

What a night at the Bell Centre as the hometown heroes edge the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in game one, with bangs and bruises and rapid fire goals the order of the day.

A hard-fought win by the good guys in an emotional and mostly bitter contest that has me chomping at the bit for game two on Friday. My back is sore from sitting on the edvge of the couch. And I can yell loudly now and not scare the cat because, and I say this with a heavy heart, she died recently.

Props to the Canadiens fourth line – Torrey Mitchell with a goal, Brandon Prust an assist, and Brian Flynn with two assists and a big goal which proved to be the winner.

The trio caused havoc all night, they skated miles and crashed and thumped while doing so, and ain’t life grand when the grinders step up and get it done with our 37-goal scorer on the shelf.

It didn’t begin well, as we saw Andrei Markov shovel the puck into his own net after P.K. misplayed things. It was a downer for sure but it was still early, and over that first frame, both teams hit hard and skated hard, and any good Habs fan knew that the game was far from over.

We also saw Brendan Gallagher blatantly mugged with no penalty called, and Devante Smith-Pelly rattle bones like we knew and hoped. Overall a fine first period, except for the mugging, but nothing like what was to come.

The second period was as wild and wooly as can be, and the goals came quickly. Torrey Mitchell would first tie things on a wraparound, and just 15 seconds later, Tomas Plekanec buried it after coming in from the left side, making it 2-1 Habs and life worth living.

That was good. But then P.K. got kicked out of the game with a 5-minute major and a game for slashing Mark Stone on the wrist, which sent Stone sprawling to the ice like he’d had acid thrown in his face.

Five minutes later, Stone was back. Soon after he left again. Then he was back. And to show how badly hurt he was, he also managed to get into a scuffle at the end of the game.

But no matter. Embellish. Sort of hurt. Maybe hurt. I don’t care, as long as the league does the right thing and not punish P.K.

Stone and his team lost the game, and it makes my heart soar like an Asian Ground Cuckoo bird.

Second period scoring didn’t end with Pleks’ marker either. The Sens would score on the power play to tie things. Then Lars Eller, our playoff weapon, put his team ahead with a delicious shorthanded goal. And shortly after that, Ottawa, still on the same power play, would tie things at 3.

Five goals in 4:43.  And soon after, Brian Flynn would score one of the biggest goals of his career.

No goals in the third frame, although, on a good Habs power play (their only one), Jeff Petry bounced one onto the top of the net and Smith-Pelly hit the post.

The team held on with the goalie pulled, and game one is in the books. With no Max and only half a game from P.K. And four goals on the saintly Andrew Hammond, who might need a hamburger to ease the pain.

Best of all, the team was alive and rugged and played a brand of hardworking, hard-driving hockey we rarely saw in that now-forgotten regular season.

Random Notes:

Carey Price came up with some huge saves, but this was a night when others stepped up for a change.

Watching Flynn, Mitchell, and Smith-Pelly on this night, and along with the always good Jeff Petry, makes me think that Marc Bergevin is an absolute hockey genius.

Shots on goals – Habs 39, Sens 33, with Montreal outshooting the other guys 19-17 in the second period alone.

C’mon Friday.


20 thoughts on “Beauty At The Bell”

  1. Subban’s major was deserved, the game misconduct is an unfortunate rule, but now the Senators are whining for an overkill. If anything their coach should be suspended for threatening the league to either suspend Subban or they’ll deliberately start slashing our stars. Hopefully all Canadiens will stay out of it and just relish the win and repeat it on Friday.

  2. Dennis , first off condolences to you and Luci on the loss of your furry little friend , pets are more than friends though , they are family. Kudos to the Habs for standing up to adversity in such a positive way . Sometimes it is scary but most times it’s fun ,if the boys keep this up we are in for a ton of fun . Screw Buttman , screw the useless refs and mostly let’s go win # 25 !

  3. Didn’t like Eller getting his stick near a guy’s throat. Didn’t like P.K.’s slash. Liked the solid hits that were dished out though. Just want us to play tough with our sticks on the puck NOT using them to be a man short.
    This could go seven games, hoping for five. Be nice to wrap it up at the Bell.
    Near the end of the 82 game show, I was wondering if our guys were saving something for the playoffs———- last nite they gave us a new look!!! AND a new sound—— THUMP,THUMP, THUMP!!!!
    Sorry about your cat Dennis, this has been a year with much loss off life.

  4. Nearly retired to the reading room after the first period….not impressed with the “stars on ice”…however glancing at my autographed photo of the “Rocket”…I heard a voice…”hang in there kid….you’ll wake up tomorrow regretting you didn’t watch the whole game”….what a second period!…thrills, chills, spills and goals….even PK didn’t disappoint taking a stupid penalty and not keeping his mouth shout…..what a poser….Carey Price should give him a mantra to keep him chilled out and focused in the game at hand.
    Third period didn’t disappoint either….at the end if the game…I thanked the “Rocket”…put on my Habs pyjamas and went to bed glad I watched the whole game.
    Dennis…sorry about your cat…..they’re only gone in body not spirit….I think about our dear cat Benni that we had in Vancouver for 19 yrs just about every day. Great pal and companion…even liked watching HNIC.

  5. Good, solid win at the Bell. Very nice. Way to shove it down Ottawa’s throat. Noticed how Mark Stone was involved in the scrum at the end of the game. Someone should have slashed him then when the ref wasn’t looking. The 4th line worked like bastards, they were amazing. And, I loved Smith-Pelly’s performance. Gallagher always makes my heart warm, he works so damned hard. I know my old man, if he was still alive, would have loved that little guy. Lets hope these whining shites from this city (I live in Ottawa) don’t go overboard with this whole slash thing. I can see them doing it, unfortunately.

  6. I agree with Chris about PK and his punishment and also think we should tone down our sticks as they belong on the ice not in the air. This is hockey and not lacrosse (I love both sports so no issues). I wish the NHL would do a better job picking ref’s for the playoffs and give them more directives as Friday’s game could get out of hand and more players may get hurt. The Sens should be watched more now for retaliation after their coaches comments which were out of line. What a game to be at but I was a little disappointed in the pre game video and it didn’t seem to stir the fans enough. We outscored them 5-2 but one was Markov’s so luckily no harm. Hopefulluy no injuries on our part in this series and we get thru healthy. I would offer condolences but not a cat fan sorry.

  7. Because I absolutely despise everything about the Senators, I’m more than good with Eller’s high stick. I think a spearing might be in line on Turris, too. Why?

    The cheap slewfoot stunt at the end of the game by #7; I use to like him, too. Stone was looking to trade punches at the end of the game. Yeah, you’re hurt. MacArthur still has his chippy Make Belief game, 100% punk.

    It is a bush league organization, from ticket sales, to their very shallow fan base. They do not have a standard of behavior beyond gutter level and this been that low forever.

    Last night lived down to everything I expected from the Senators and the stripes. No Patches, minimal Subban and Ottawa is still crying.

    12 hours later and I am still fuming. I absolutely hate that franchise.

  8. So sorry to hear about the loss of your cat Teesha. Losing a dear pet is tough because they love us no matter what.

    I think last night was a statement game. The Habs battled through adversity and never backed down. They looked a lot tougher physically than the last time they faced the Sens in the playoffs.

    No Max.
    No P.K.
    No problem!

  9. And now the coach says Subban should be suspended (which was just announced that he won’t), or his players will start the injury attempts. Best case scenario is get this series done quickly before injuries happen. I can see one their fringe goons going after Gally or Pleks, and of course PK. I hate the friggin’ Sens. And Sens fans I talked to after Chara nailed Max thought it was hilarious. And they thought the Eller thing was too. Now they want payback for the Stone thing, and would jump for joy if one of our guys was put out of the series. The fans are as bad as the team. C’mon Habs. Win again on Friday. And if Stone plays, hit him harder than usual. Maybe we’ll see him cry next time instead of grimace like he’d been shot.

  10. According to ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun , the NHL has decided there will be no further discipline imposed on P.K. Subban for the slash on Sharon Stone.

    Of course the whinny little Sens fans are going to go apeshit when P.K. hits the ice at the Crappy Tire Centre for game three on Sunday. Sens coach Dave Cameron should be fined for uttering threats during his post-game press conference.


    We lost two dear pets recently Dennis. It’s crazy but we think about Pom Pom and Ringo pretty much every day. Pets can really steal your heart like that.

  11. Danno, we’re gonna hear Sens fans cry for the next ten years about this. And sorry about Pom Pom and Ringo. Little Teesha truly stole my heart. Even now I’m welling up as I type this.

  12. Montreal played playoff hockey last night Dra, and it was great to see after wondering during the regular season. And part of that, for me anyway, is to be a bit chippy. I love that they didn’t look soft. Ottawa has some big and aggressive guys and I was proud of the way our guys fought through things and played with an edge. It’s the way they should’ve played against the Rangers last year.

  13. A great start, Travis, and now, because you live in Ottawa, you’re gonna have to endure Sens fans whining about Subban. If Montreal wins game two and Subban scores, Sens fans’ heads will explode!

  14. Good thing you hung in there and saw the rest of the game, Ed. That second period was sensational. And thanks about the cat wishes and sorry about Benni. But was he or she a Habs fan or Canucks fan?

  15. A whole new look for the boys, Peter. We weren’t sure after their regular season. Although it’s only one game. Yeah, they gotta stay out if the box because it appears the Ottawa power play is decent. But I sure liked what I saw from the guys Last night. The fourth line was great. Eller scored a shortie. They bumped and worked. We need more of the same on Friday.

  16. Thanks about the cat, Joe. And the refs gotta start giving Gallagher a break. He’s being mugged out there and it’s going to wear him down.

  17. Christopher, the whining on the Internet from Sens fans is growing by the second it seems. I was okay with what PK got, with no suspension. Ottawa isn’t though. We really need a game 2 win so we can see and hear how it screwed with Sens fans’ heads.

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