Breathing Easier After Habs Win In A Shootout

Yes, they won the game. All it took was shootout, a concussion, several posts, a near head-crunching to Scott Gomez, and great play by the Gomez, Gionta, Cammellari line.

Marc-Andre Bergeron was left woozy and wobbly after a head-slam into the boards by Colby Armstrong. He continued to play after that against the advice of doctors Bob McKenzie, Mathew Barnaby, Gord Miller, and of course, Pierre McGuire, and whether these TSN guys were right or not, I’ve no idea. All I know is, it didn’t surprise me that the guy brought in to help out the power play and add some relief to the Andrei Marlov-less blueline would almost get injured and almost never to be seen again. Didn’t surprise me a bit. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if the entire team came down with swine flu.

But he came back. Although the power play was zero for a hundred.

The biggest problem was, the Habs ran into some guy with pads on named Ondrej Pavelec who stood on his head and probably played the best game of his life. And of course, it had to be against Montreal.

But I still have a hard time gushing praise on the Habs, even though they won, outshot Atlanta 36-23, and hit two or three posts. They’re still not finishing, they’re still turning the puck over (which Pierre McGuire, when he wasn’t spreading love for Ilya Kovalchuk, wouldn’t stop harping about), and there are still too many players not earning their paycheques.

But I’m in a giving and forgiving mood. They won the game. It’s two huge points. The fans at the Bell Centre saw exciting hockey and went home happy. And Pierre McGuire might have hoped he could go home with Kovalchuk.

Mini Rant on a Night I’m Feeling Good:

In many ways I admire Pierre McGuire. He’s not my guru like he is for some, but I appreciate that he knows his hockey. But sometimes, I wish he’d shut up a little. He just couldn’t help himself in his non-stop criticism of the Canadiens. At one point he said it was unacceptable that the Habs only had ten shots on goal. But he didn’t mention that Atlanta only had half that at that point. He couldn’t stop going on about Habs turnovers, about the power play, the lack of aggression, and probably even off mic about the lousy coffee and hot dogs at the Bell Centre. Very little made him happy when it came to the Canadiens. And there was almost no critique of the other team. Yeah, that one. The one that was outshot and lost.

I just wanted him to stop.

Random Notes:

It will be nice to see Glen Metropolit back. Maybe with his work ethic and leadership, he’d light a fire under some of those who need a fire lit.

Islanders next up at the Bell Centre on Thursday night. Dare we dream of a two-game winning streak?

Jaroslav Halak was solid in net. Will he play Thursday night?

22 thoughts on “Breathing Easier After Habs Win In A Shootout”

  1. Dennis,

    Im glad you also notice this with Pierre Mcguire. Like you said he definitely knows his hockey but he is the most annoying guy on the mic at times when he starts playing favorites. He also has a real bad habit of over analyzing simple plays regularly seen in a game. More times then not he pisses me off because of this. And I will also mention hes the reason I have to basically watch the nhl draft on mute, according to him every player picked is a great selection, he could make an 11th round pick sound like hes going to be a hall of famer.

    I enjoyed the habs game tonight, i thought it was a fun game to watch. They definitely had there chances to finish the game off in regulation but the bottome line is that they got the win.

  2. Sometimes he’s too much for me, Jordy. He just won’t let up. He made it sound like Atlanta’s one of the greatest teams ever.
    Man, did the Canadiens ever need this tonight. I’m breathing easier.

  3. McGuire must have an axe to grind with the Habs, with the exception of Carey Price, who he has a man crush on. The Habs can’t do anything right and Carey can do no wrong. It must be nice to talk a boat load of crap and get paid handsomely for it. Bottom line is we got the win and every win from here on in is going to be a struggle until Marky is back.

  4. Good morning, Moey. Maybe if they can put together three or four in a row, everything will be fine. Right now, ot’s only the Gomez line doing anything. We need Plekanec and Latendresse and all those guys to chip in a little. (That means you, Kostitsyn.)

  5. Good game, fun to watch. When’s the last time we could say that.

    peeair is one of the most annoying sports wads out there. Rumour has it that he’s been turned away many times by the Habs org. He apparently has pleaded for a job and insisted the CH needs him. Otherwise, I think he likes the sound of his own voice and really enjoys ‘washing brian burke’s car’.

  6. I wonder if that’s it. Pierre has been jilted by the Canadiens. Now it makes sense. Thanks, Moeman. And a good game with lots of Habs chances – lots of posts. One step at a time.

  7. my friend never told me about Pierre trying to join the Habs. He usually tells me about most of the things about him. like he told me when he tried to join the Minnesota Wild last season

  8. Dennis I thought exactly as you did when Bergeron was hit, scratch another D-man oh well!

    Not a bad game, good effort by Moen, nice to see Latendresse starting to stand in front of the goalie, Halak made a few key saves.

    Hammer’s backhand hitting the post was my “Ah crap” moment.

    As for McGuire I use to like him when he was on Habs this Week, but now he is becoming tiresome even when watching other games he’s doing. Last night apart from his love affair with Kovalchuck I think he has a huge crush on Evander Kane which became really annoying.

  9. Ryan – wouldn’t it be nice to see something like 5-1 or so? Just a little more work on finishing and it’ll be there. Those couple of posts were bummers.

  10. we have the talent to be a top offensive team. we just need to finish and build chemistry, give it some time. we shouldn’t be too critical at this point, although it is hard, we’ve gotta give them a break

  11. I vote for keeping Halak in goal against the Isles and keeping him in as long as he is hot. The Habs will need quality net minding against the Rangers so if Halak chalks up another W for the team keep him in and maybe we will get that three-game steak and be playing 500 hockey again (5 wins, 5 losses). On the other hand, if Halak does not deliver the goods against the Isles, Price will be the man to start on Saturday with full justification.
    The only argument in favour of playing Price on Thursday is to give him a win and morale/confidence boost against an “easy” team. Well, its painfully obvious there are no easy teams or easy victories out there anymore. So I disagree with the idea of going with the #1 guy tomorrow night even if it bruises Carey’s ego a little bit.
    What’s important to keep in mind is the situation isn’t like the CH are sitting on a comfortable win-loss margin in their favour. And Price has not been stellar every game. So for the above reasons I vote for Halak until he screws up.

  12. I have to admit that I am a little confused with all the complaints and impatience from Habs fans. Must be the Montreal island hockey pressure cooker?

    Sure, they’re 2-5. Oh, make that 3-5. But look a little deeper – with the exception of a very bad night in Vancouver, this new team with a new coach, gets better every game. In a few short weeks Martin has implemented his system so that the Markov-less defense is allowing fewer and fewer shots and scoring ops. They spent most of last night in 4-1 Atlanta’s end. Oh, make that 4-1-1 Atlanta.

    The smurfs have been playing hard from the get go, and it is really starting to click. I foresee many big goal nights in their collective futures. Our two excellent goalies are playing well. Pleks is back. Hammer is earning his sweet paycheck. Spacek, Mara and Jorges are too.

    Sure, it’s not all rose coloured glasses, and far from Glorieux – Gill is worrisome, the Kostitsyns are a mess, Lats & Laps are disappointing and I never can wrap my head around BGL playing in the NHL.

    ….

    As this remade team continues to settle into itself, I predict .500 or better hockey until Markov returns, and a strong finish from there on in.

    And who knows what might happen if Gainey makes a decent deal for the disgruntled brothers K soonish, and Hammer later on?

    Despite the troubles finishing at the net, I have much more confidence in this new incarnation of the Markov-less Habs then I did last year’s version.

  13. Thanks, Andrew. I suppose the reason we’re not all that happy is because in the first seven games, they won two which maybe they shouldn’t have won, then proceeded to lose five. Their power play has been fairly sad, and only a few of their forwards have contributed. But you’re right, they’re playing tighter hockey with a better shots-on-goal ratio, and I hope you’re right that they can go .500 until Markov gets back. And losing O’Byrne, who was surprisingly good, also hurt. But you make good points and you’re absolutely right. Frankly, I was just scared they were going to go six losses in a row which would have made everything worse. But now that they’ve won this past game, I think collectively we’re all feeling much better.

  14. I vote for Halak too. Forget about sharing the load. Just go with the hottest guy. Price is still very young and they ned to be careful with him.

  15. It’s all about finish, Phil. They’re not doing it yet. Maybe their timing is still off or something. (although it shouldn’t be.) By the way, how’s China? And are you watching games there?

  16. It’s still quite a mystery to me, how Cammalleri isn’t finding the back of the net. now, expecting 40+ goals is pushing it, since we don’t have a Jarome Iginla-like player, but i’m hoping he can at least score 30. So far it’s been very upsetting. But as i said, we have to give it time.

    And Dennis, yes i have been watching games, i found a streaming website, my life has a purpose again.

  17. Thrashers were non-threatening last night. Even Kovalchuk checked out early. And their best shootout guy was tossed for his hit on Gomez. I’m glad they won, but it was kind of troubling…

    They did play better defensively, save for that one brain fart when Army scored. Last time they played that kind of keep to the outside defense was in Buffalo.

  18. 31, It sure is troubling. But everytime I mention it, someone says it’s too early and I’m over-reacting. When are we going to see a good-fashioned win by a large margin?

  19. Dennis, it is too soon to be troubled but there are some troubling signs. We need a win streak with a good blow-out to make up for that ugly slide.

    Andrew, I liked your comment, lots of good points. I’ve been a bit disappointed in Spacek so far and have been pleasantly surprised with Laraque. Everything else bang on.

    I’ll give you the reason for my complaints and impatience. When I watch the Habs, I expect the Habs I grew up with where they dominated most games winning 80% of the points. That’s the standard they set.

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