Category Archives: Brendan Gallagher

Another In The Win Column

I set my PVR to record the Habs-Flyers game, went to work, and avoided the computer and radio for hours so I wouldn’t know the score. I almost made it. A fellow I know drove his semi off the ferry later in the evening, opened his window and yelled at me, “Habs 4-1!”

But I also really liked it when I heard the score. So it was a good/bad thing.

For the time being at least, the Montreal Canadiens find themselves a lofty 5th overall in the league and 2nd in the east after taking it to the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday night at the Bell, although some dark clouds may have drifted in. Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty, Colby Armstrong, and Alexei Emelin all left the ice, and we’ll hear soon enough whether the team just took a major hit in the body count department, or whether some serious bullets just got dodged.

Imagine if Max is down for the count? One thing after another. Where’s his Guardian Angel for goodness sakes? And Gallagher. Imagine if he’s gone for awhile? What a sensational young player this guy is, and until he disappeared into the infirmary, he’d recorded a goal and an assist and was a man on a mission. Armstrong’s been playing better lately, seems to have turned a small corner, and now he might be down. And Emelin is a guy who goes about his business of making players on other teams keep their heads up.

We need these guys back right away, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Random Notes:

PK Subban made an amazing defensive play when the game was 2-0 Habs. With the net wide open, he slid across and blocked a Philly shot that seemed a sure goal, and if there’s any justice, it’ll be on all the highlight packages for the next twenty-four hours or so. Unless TSN and others decide to show more Colton Orr fights.

Shots on goal, Habs 29, Broad Streeters 19.

Next up – Monday, when the Carolina Hurricanes pay a visit.

Peter Budaj in nets was solid as can be and stopped some quality chances from the Flyers, although there weren’t a lot. The Flyers showed very little zip tonight.

Whenever I see camera shots of Philly coach Peter Laviolette, his face and hair somehow reminds me of Reggie Mantle from Archie comics. Next time you see the Flyers, dig out your Archies and see what I mean.

Rene Bourque was hauled down when he had the puck and the net was empty, so he was simply given the goal, even though it never went in. This is not something that occurs on a regular basis. In fact, I can’t remember seeing this. Although me not remembering things isn’t all that unusual.

Along with Bourque, scorers were Gallagher, Desharnais, and Tomas Plenanec, with his seventh of the season.

A fine but maybe costly win for the Habs. It’s three straight now, and the bleu, blanc et rouge are way up the standings. Although that could change within hours. Imagine if we wouldn’t have blown those third period leads against Boston and Buffalo.

Doing Lines

Hockey Inside Out reported yesterday that Michel Therrien is going to put Max Pacioretty with Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk, and place Brandon Prust with Erik Cole and David Desharnais.

That’s fine. Max might be a good fit for the kids, adding some size and puck skill, and maybe Prust will provide some spark and sandpaper for his new partners. Gotta try something. The season’s almost over.

It’s just too bad though, that the line that had so much chemistry, Max with Cole and Desharnais, hasn’t worked out as planned. It’s disappointing. It was the one line, last year at least, that couldn’t be tampered with, the one that we could rely on seeing fine and exciting things from. It was nice to have a big line. It made me think we almost had a good team.

But that was then. This year, Cole has a lousy two goals and two assists, Desharnais isn’t much better at three and two, both in eleven games, while Max has managed six assists and not one goal in his seven games. These are not numbers we expected from the so-called big line, the line without a cool name like the Punch Line or Kid Line. Maybe that was the problem. They began to go downhill because they didn’t have a good name.

Therrien probably didn’t expect these low numbers either. So he’s trying something different, and we can only keep our fingers crossed that things will click, the kids will love playing alongside Max, and Cole and Desharnais get the message and turn things up a notch or two. Although the kids might be taking their life in their hands playing near Max, who’s so unlucky he’s bound to have an Acme safe fall on his head at some point.

On another subject, it’s not hard to see what the difference in Rene Bourque has been. Bourque is now moving his feet like he’s doing the Quickstep, it seems he’s overcome all that he had to overcome, like the abundance of beautiful Montreal women which surely had affected his groin area, and we see that the guy can really motor and be a dangerous presence. It’s great to see. He was so ineffective last year, almost Colby Armstrong-like, but it seems it’s all in the past now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White No Help Whatsoever

If there’s one thing we’ve learned so far this season, it’s that except for a lot of hair, Ryan White doesn’t have a whole lot underneath his helmet.

White helped his team lose in Ottawa four games ago by taking four minutes in penalties, and tonight he helped lose the game in Buffalo by taking four minutes again, this time by retaliating and flailing away after getting bumped on a solid hip check by Steve Ott.

Einstein then watched from the sin bin as Tomas Vanek closed the gap to 4-3, which ultimately led to the Sabres tying it with just two seconds remaining in the third.

Damn. It’s hard to re-live this.

The game then went to overtime, no one scored, but the Sabres ended it by finding the back of the net twice in the shootout.

Three games in the press box after the White display in Ottawa didn’t teach him a thing. How many should it be now, ten? Maybe more. The Canadiens don’t need this immature lack of discipline. For them to win, everything, in all areas, has to be going almost perfectly.

Tomas Plekanec opened the scoring, but the Sabres replied almost immediately. In fact, just 15 seconds later. In the second period, Brendan Gallagher gave his team the lead, which lasted all of 35 seconds before it was tied again. But P.K. Subban, on a 5 on 3 power play, gave the boys the lead once more, and then in the third, Tomas Plekanec buried one on a clear cut breakaway.

It was 4-2 at that point. Things were going swimmingly. Two big points coming up.

Then Ryan White stepped on the ice.

Random Notes:

Yes, Ryan White will sometimes come to the defense of a teammate. Yes, he adds an edge, which can be an important aspect at times. And yes, he can cost his team the game. Or games. This sort of thing can’t continue.

Shots on goal – Buffalo 40, Habs 32.

Peter Budaj was in goal tonight and although he stopped many difficult close-in encounters, he still makes me nervous. I can’t help it.

It’s two games in ten that Budaj has been called upon, and I don’t understand this. Maybe I’m wrong. Who am I to question an NHL coach? But does the number one guy have to rest every five games or so? It’s just my personal opinion, but it would be only around now that I’d even be considering putting the backup guy in for a night. Maybe even several more before I’d give him a start. These points are important. And Price might be the best on the planet right now.

Alex Galchenyuk was the lone Habs marksman in the shootout. Rene Bourque and Brian Gionta couldn’t get it done.

Next game – Leafs in Montreal on Saturday. I’m thinking we won’t be seeing Ryan White.

 

 

Up To Now

Borrowed from Canadiens.com, here’s how they’re doing so far.

Forwards & Defensemen
# Pos Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S%
79 D Andrei Markov 7 4 4 8 0 4 4 0 3 10 40.0
61 D Raphael Diaz 7 0 8 8 0 4 0 0 0 9 0.0
14 C Tomas Plekanec 7 4 3 7 -1 2 3 0 1 22 18.2
27 C Alex Galchenyuk 7 1 6 7 5 4 0 0 0 12 8.3
17 R Rene Bourque 7 3 2 5 0 6 2 0 0 17 17.6
73 R Brendan Gallagher 6 3 2 5 6 0 0 0 1 14 21.4
21 R Brian Gionta 7 2 2 4 0 0 1 0 0 23 8.7
51 C David Desharnais 7 2 2 4 -2 10 1 0 0 7 28.6
67 L Max Pacioretty 3 0 4 4 1 0 0 0 0 10 0.0
55 D Francis Bouillon 7 0 3 3 3 0 0 0 0 7 0.0
81 C Lars Eller 5 1 2 3 0 4 0 0 0 12 8.3
72 L Erik Cole 7 1 1 2 1 4 0 0 0 17 5.9
8 L Brandon Prust 7 1 1 2 4 46 0 0 0 5 20.0
22 D Tomas Kaberle 6 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 7 0.0
32 L Travis Moen 7 0 1 1 -2 9 0 0 0 5 0.0
26 D Josh Gorges 7 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 6 16.7
74 D Alexei Emelin 7 0 1 1 2 4 0 0 0 3 0.0
53 C Ryan White 6 1 0 1 1 42 0 0 0 9 11.1
76 D P.K. Subban 1 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 0.0
20 R Colby Armstrong 7 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 3 0.0
68 D Yannick Weber 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
GOALIES

Habs Blast Buffalonians

I’m so proud of the Habs today. They brushed off their 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators like pigeon poop on a new fedora, came out alive and well for this Saturday matinee against against a normally fine Buffalo Sabres squad, and played with fire and drive, even outshooting the visitors 15-1 in the first period.

It was 1-0 after the first, when the new and improved Rene Bourque, with his first of two, converted on the power play with just eight seconds remaining, and it became 4-0 after two when all kinds of great things happened, unless you’re a Sabres fan. In that case, things sucked.

Brendan Gallagher, from Alex Galchenyuk, gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead, then David Desharnais with his first, finally, and Lars Eller, also with his first, just 28 seconds later, and the Habs had things well under control. To see the kids sparkle, to see Bourque continue his merry ways, and to see a couple of guys finally get those Steinways off their backs, and it becomes a tremendous way to grab two points.

P.K. Subban, in his first game in eleven months, was effective, hitting the post with a big drive in the third, and assisting on Desharnais’s second goal of the night, a power play marker that made it 6-1. Subban is so flamboyant, even when he’s rusty.

Carey Price was once again as stellar as can be and although not overworked, was steady and showed both his club and the Sabres that not much was going to get by him. No player can be more important than a good goalie, and we’ve got one of the best.

The Ottawa game soured things for a few days, but rebounding like this makes my heart soar like a San Benedicto Rock Wren.

The third period got complicated, at least for me. Rene Bourque made it 5-0 before Buffalo finally got on the board when the red-hot Tomas Vanek broke in, and I had to begin watching the clock for a quick exit to leave for work. So at this point, there can be no random notes, no scoring summary, and no real wrap-up to this at all. All I’m doing is trying to see the end of it before bolting to the car.

Gotta run. 6-1 Habs. A great day. Tomorrow, the big Habs-Sens rematch. Same time, same place.

 

 

A Crashing Halt

The Canadiens had a decent third period, and maybe a goal early to make it 4-2 might have set the wheels in motion, but the goal didn’t happen, and the boys get hammered 5-1 in Ottawa. That’s fine. Maybe a good kick in the ass is healthy sometimes.

Ryan White didn’t help matters by taking two minutes for roughing and two more for mouthing off to the referee in the second period when the scored was tied at one. Because of his silly lack of discipline, the Sens suddenly led 3-1 and the game for all intents and purposes was over. This type of avoidable stuff can set in motion all kinds of nasty stuff, beginning with a loss, which could lead to another loss or three, and all of a sudden a team going good becomes a team going bad.

Sport can be a fragile thing, and blowing a fuse at the official is never the smartest thing to do. The guy in stripes always wins, and White needs to put on a dunce cap and go stand in the corner.

Lars Eller went from the first line to the fourth, than back to the first, then enjoyed power play time. Was he being punished, then rewarded? Will he be on the trading block soon? Is his job secure? Hey Danno, ask that eight ball, will ya?

This was only game six. Did Michel Therrien feel Carey Price was tired? I think the coach should have gone with Price in the hopes that the winning streak could continue. Why tamper with momentum? But Peter Budaj was in nets, and you can say he was fine and the team was fairly bad, but the bottom line was five goals going in. I think I would’ve waited at least several more games before I rested our number one guy. This isn’t a forty-year old Johnny Bower we’re talking about here.

At least the Canadiens continued their power play ways, although it was just one, a Tomas Plekanec marker helped by Andrei Markov and Raphael Diaz. This goal was the opener, and at that point, all was right in the universe. Then the universe exploded.

Random Notes:

Montreal outshot Ottawa 32-27.

The G-Force kids were mostly a non-factor all evening. I guess they can’t be expected to rise us out of our seats every night. Okay, we expect it. It’s just not going to happen, that’s all.

Erik Cole and David Desharnais really need Max back. The three compliment each other, at least they did last year, and with Max gone for awhile, it’s not the same. Cole has created some dangerous moments, but Desharnais has been mediocre at best. The good thing is, we know he can play better. So we wait.

Next up – Saturday at the Bell, when the Buffalo Sabres provide the opposition.

 

 

 

Canadiens Find A Way

From start to finish, the Habs and Winnipeg Jets gave us a humdinger, with just about everything thrown in – goals, pucks off goalposts, fights, nastiness, great plays, close calls, a see-saw battle. and the G-Force rising fans out of their seats. And in the end, Canadiens win 4-3, their fourth straight and the fourth time in a row they’ve scored four goals.

It’s good right now. Early but good.

Two more power play goals for a team that a year ago couldn’t score into a soccer net. But things are different all round now, beginning with Andrei Markov leading the charge, notching two assists tonight, both on the PP, for a nice total of four goals and three assists thus far. He’s the key guy, and has been outstanding so far.

Tomas Plekanec, Rene Bourque, and Brian Gionta were dangerous all night, with Bourque opening the scoring with a big blast from far out, and Plekanec finding the back of the net on the power play in the third, which was the winner. Gionta chipped in on Bourque’s marker.

Carey Price seemed shaky for awhile, and made things a bit nerve wracking in the early going. But as things carried on, he settled in and came up big often. Price was an important reason the gang skated away with two points on this night.

And then there was the G. Force – Galchenyuk and Gallagher. They’ve injected youthful spirit and charm into this team, and they’re getting their points to back up an energy you don’t see often in the NHL. In the World Juniors, energy and enthusiasm like this abound. In the bigs, not so much. As the season unfolds, things may calm down with these two, but for now, all they do is catch our attention, create all kinds of excitement, and produce timely goals and assists. They’ve been a joy, and with them on board, along with a sensational Markov, this season has promise written all over it.

But I can’t get carried away, it’s only five games in. Then I say too bad, because I like it.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal Montreal 26, Jets 22.

The Canadiens blew a two-goal cushion, then rallied from down 3-2 to come back and win it. It was one of those fine nights when the team got it done and folks got their money’s worth.

I still can’t get over that play late in the game when Brandon Prust was smashed into the boards, a dangerous play that could have seen Prust injured, and instead of giving the Jets player a boarding penalty, Prust was sent off for diving. I didn’t get this at all, and I strained to understand any explanation from the RDS guys but my French is lacking somewhat. I still don’t get it. Am I missing something?

Raphael Diaz now has no goals but seven assists. Galchenyuk is at one goal and four assists, and Gallagher two and two. Erik Cole finally got his first, which has to be a relief, and Tomas Plekanec sits at three and one. Now we wait for David Desharnais to get cracking.

Onwards to Ottawa for a tilt tonight. Habs fans will out in full force for sure.

 

 

Boys To Men

The kids are staying with the Habs and of course this is great news. They’re so exciting to watch, they’ve injected a healthy dose of vim and vigour into the club, and I’m happy this has transpired, even though the players’ wives may want to mother them instead of me. You see, it’s all about the team, and I’m almost willing to sacrifice the wives’ warmth for the overall good. That’s the kind of guy I am.

Alex Galchenyuk won’t be 19 years old for another two weeks and makes $925,000. When I was 18 I remember having ten bucks once. The best things I owned were a jean jacket and the Sgt. Pepper’s album. The only time I was asked for my signature was at the police station when I was busted for drinking underage. The only time people cheered for me was when somebody admired my long bank into the near corner to win a snooker game at Dino’s pool hall.

Imagine how proud Galchenyuk’s mom and dad must be. It was only a few years ago that he was just a kid, tormenting his sister, being yelled at to turn the music down, leaving his socks all over the place, and being a regular goofy teen who loses most brain cells and gets them back a few years later. And those parties, those crazy nights when he screamed “Rock and Roll!” at the top of his lungs and lunged at giggling girls as he guzzled lemon gin and puked the night away. Of course I don’t know any of this for sure, but he’s a teen, so it must have happened.

Brendan Gallagher’s way older. He 20, so he’s mature. Probably no lemon gin, no screaming, very little puking. Maybe he still hassles his sister but I understand that. The way they spend so much time in front of the mirror and all that.

Hopefully, because Gallagher’s much older, he can guide young punk Galchenyuk along the way. Teach him the ways of the world like older guys do. Wean him off One Direction and skateboards. Take him to the store and get him pants that don’t fall down.

This is how the world evolves. And it will be probably be extremely helpful for the two kids to sometimes be around really old guys, men from another time, a distant past, like Carey Price, who’s 25. But it’s a generation gap. What could they possibly talk about?