Category Archives: Buffalo Sabres

The Controversial Brett Hull Goal

During the third overtime period of game six of the 1999 Cup Finals between the Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres, the Stars’ Brett Hull scored the winning goal that gave his team the Stanley Cup.

The Sabres and much of the hockey world screamed blue murder over this, as Hull’s foot was in the crease.

Below is the video of the play and explanation from Supervisor of Officials Bryan Lewis, and below the video are a couple of pucks (both sides), produced afterwards, that kinda show that the lovin’ feeling was lost with Sabres fans.

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Canadiens Blank Buffalonians

Habs win 2-0 against Buffalo at the Bell and the beauty of a game like this is that because not much happened, I don’t have to babble on and on and I can go to bed.

The Canadiens just didn’t have much in the way of fire, coming off big games in Toronto and Boston, and it’s understandable. These guys aren’t machines. The emotion was spent.

Two big games and then a third one in four days against a team lower than J.J. Daigneault’s hairline. It was like watching a violin recital after a Little Richard concert.

But they got the win, Carey Price played well and nailed down a shutout, and the boys have now won six of the last seven. It makes my heart soar like a Red Footed Booby.

It took two and a half periods before the Canadiens’ first goal was scored against Matt Hackett, Jeff’s nephew playing in only in his second NHL game, when Max converted a nice passing play involving linemates Vanek and DD.

Six minutes later the team struck again when Daniel Briere beat Hackett, and that’s how it ended up.

Oh, there was a brief disagreement near Price when the game ended, but it was quickly snuffed and two points are in the bag. Now it’s Detroit on Thursday to start thinking about.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Habs 35, Sabres 24

The Leafs lost their sixth straight, 5-3 to St. Louis.

 

Two Big Points In Buffalo

Dustin Tokarski and company blank the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 on Sunday night, and although it wasn’t a classic, the Canadiens were in control for the most part and they have to feel good about that.

Score four goals in less than five minutes on Saturday, and have their third-string netminder pull off a shutout on Sunday. That’s Habs magic to me.

Just a mighty successful weekend that sees the gang remaining nicely lodged in playoff shape instead of slipping and sliding and having us all wondering if the post season is in the cards or not.

The Canadiens, with this win, jump ahead of Toronto into second place in the Atlantic Division, bump Tampa Bay down to a wild card spot, and are a lofty third overall in the east.

Third overall. It’s amazing.

But there can be no serious faltering. That’s when we get mad at them and we hate that.

Both goals In Buffalo came midway through the first, with Dale Weise scoring his first as a Hab and Brendan Gallagher notching his seventeenth. And for Toker between the pipes, it was his first NHL shutout.

Now the task at hand is to prepare for Patrick and the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night. How sweet it would be to win this and there’s no reason why they can’t.

The boys have picked it up, and although some fans are getting impatient with Thomas Vanek, I don’t think it should be the case.

Vanek’s getting solid chances, he and linemates DD and Max have been dangerous often, and whether or not he’s scored, a new and important dimension has been added with him in the lineup even though it’s not always obvious.

Random Notes:

Habs outshot the Sabres 32-28.

Lars Eller skated well and showed confidence. Same with Weise.

And speaking of confidence, PK certainly had his moments. Fine moments. In particular, one play late in the game when he dazzled with the puck on his feet and stick. If only he would’ve scored.

Sabres For The Third Time

Canadiens face the Sabres in Buffalo tonight (7:00 pm), and after the drama of last night, the boys should play with big time passion.

One would think anyways.

Unless they were so pumped from last night none of them could sleep and tonight they play like it.

Carey Price is staying behind to get some added rest for his knee before Patrick Roy’s gang arrives on Tuesday, and why not? A few extra days to get the knee shipshape is smart.

And beating Patrick and his pupils would be incredibly satisfying for all concerned. Including us of course.

I just hope Price didn’t damage it slightly more last night.

The Habs and Sabres have squared off twice before in this year, beginning on November 27 in Buffalo when the Canadiens won 3-1, which was their fourth straight win at the time.

It was also the night Douglas Murray and behemoth John Scott went toe to toe and although Murray fared well, his face ended up a bloodied mess.

The second time these two teams met was on December 7th, a game Luci and I were at, and which ended in a 3-2 win for the Canadiens, although they played poorly.

At that point the boys had won 9 of 10 games and had caught Pittsburgh for first place in the east, but it was the beginning of some mediocre outings for the team which had been going so well up until then.

The Canadiens would lose their next three of four, get into some maddening “win one, lose one” sequences, and even get to a point not long after when they lost six of eight games.

After that December 7th game against Buffalo and up until now, Montreal has won 17 of 37 games, which has kept them in the thick of things, but isn’t exactly overwhelming.

Hoping we can look back at the March 15th comeback win at the Bell as the beginning of great things for the Canadiens. Which means a big game  tonight in Buffalo to get the ball rolling.

 

 

 

Holy Mackerel, Habs Pull It Out!

Three goals by a down and out Habs team with just over three minutes left in the third, and then the winner in overtime.

I was getting set to rant and rave and now I won’t have to. Talk about going from upset to feelin’ good. Boom shakalacka!

The game at the Bell began in fine fashion for the Canadiens. Daniel Briere scored just 38 seconds in and the boys dominated the Sens, outshooting them 17-4 with Briere and Thomas Vanek getting several great chances, and others like DD having their moments too.

But aside from Briere’s marker, no one could score as usual, Ottawa got one, and we’ve seen this before. Burst out of the gate and slowly but surely the other team picks up steam when the game should’ve been out of reach.

It became the same old thing. Scoring dried up. Tiring to say the least.

No surprise when it became 2-1 in the second for Ottawa, who outplayed Montreal in the frame.

In the third, it was soon a depressing 3-1 and then 4-1. I was ready with my thoughts. Again they can’t score. They blew their chances. It was going to be four straight losses. The power play was a dismal 0-6. The EGG line at this point was -11.

And then it began. Like Pit Lepine, Sprague Cleghorn, the Rocket and all the gang pulling strings from above.

Lars Eller made it 4-2 at 16:38 of the third, and the team was still so far from a comeback that Eller didn’t dare crack a smile.

At the 17:56 mark, Brian Gionta bulged the twine and it was 4-3, and a small glimmer of hope became a large wheelbarrow full.

Finally, with a Senator in the box for misbehaving and Carey Price pulled to make it a 6 on 4 advantage, David Desharnais shot one over the hot-headed Robin Lehner with less than a second left and the game, miraculously, was tied.

And just 1:26 into overtime, Francis Bouillon won it for his team and us.

It’s hard to believe what we just witnessed. The Canadiens needed these two points badly, and they did it in such heart stopping fashion.

A great win, and have you ever seen such crying to the refs as the Sens did after the last couple of goals? You blew it, Ottawans. Suck it up.

Random Notes:

Marjo and her son were at this game, fifteen rows behind the Canadiens bench. Talk about a game to get tickets for, and I’m happy for them that they saw a mind blower.

Canadiens outshot Ottawa 48-34 on the night, but until the last three minutes, could only score one measly goal. But that’s all forgotten now. Sort of.

Carey Price had no chance on a couple at least, and it was reassuring to see him finally back on the job.

Healthy scratches included Parros, White, Bourque and Tinordi.

Onwards to Buffalo for a Sunday 7 pm game against the Sabres. Can’t wait to see how the Canadiens play after this whopper.

 

 

Annually Disappointed

Interesting story in The Hockey News sent over from Ian Sirota about fans in 10 cities who are completely long-suffering.

Always teased, always disappointed, their team always falling short.

And no, the Habs aren’t on the list. They’re not even on the honorable mention list. I’m not sure why. We’re annually disappointed.

It’s right here. Thank you Ian for the link.

The Drabness Continues

Canadiens showed lots of life Thursday night in Philadelphia. After the game had ended when Brendan Gallagher and Brian Gionta showed displeasure with Flyers goalie Steve Mason.

Before that, most everyone was comatose.

Habs lose their second straight, 2-1 to the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. They didn’t deserve to win.

Remember the good old days when they were 9-0-1 and we were gleeful and full of merriment? That’s gone now. But I remember it well. Mainly because it was less than a week ago.

At least they scored a goal, although they didn’t until 56 seconds left when Alex Galchenyuk squeaked one over the line. And at least Galchenyuk came to play. Most didn’t for the second straight night. Third if you count the listless win against the Sabres last Saturday.

Again a disappointing effort from the boys. There wasn’t much drive, or pinpoint passing, or crashing the net, or any big blasts from P.K. But there was lots of dazed and confused play from way too many and that’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

If we’re expected to pay 11 bucks for a beer when we go to the Bell Centre, then the team is expected to at least give a solid effort whenever they play. That’s the deal. We cheer and pay through our noses. They play hard and cash six-figure cheques every two weeks.

We’re keeping our end of the bargain. Right now at least, they’re not.

I wonder how much beer is at the Wells Fargo Centre. Is it eleven bucks? Or is there a law in place saying Flyers fans shouldn’t drink?

Daniel Briere returned to his former home, and now we can only hope the charter leaves without him.

Brian Gionta barged in on a three on one and fired the old biscuit into the one place he shouldn’t – Mason. He had a bunch of options, none of which he decided to choose. He could’ve dropped it back, or sent it over, or maybe tried some kind of move, or even, and I know this sounds farfetched, shoot it where the goalie wasn’t.

Instead, right into the gut. The mark of a guy who might have had half-decent hands once upon a time but doesn’t now.

Carey Price was solid, the kids were fine, and most everyone else wasn’t.

Alexei Emelin got thrown out of the game for what the officials deemed a head shot on Steve Downie. I watched the replay several times and to me, Emelin nailed him in the upper chest and Downie acted like he was shot by a cannon. Either the camera angle didn’t show the true picture, or Steve Downie performed a magnificent embellishing act that would make Brad Marchand proud.

Next up – Canadiens on Long Island Saturday to end this short yet disturbing bummer of a slide.

Philadelphia, a team that began the night 12 points behind the Habs, outshot the boys 27-21, with Montreal managing 4 big shots in the first.

 

 

Fourth Line’s Turn

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Brandon Prust, Ryan White, and Travis Moen enjoyed a fine game Saturday night as the Canadiens downed the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in front of folks of all ages, sizes, religious beliefs, good hair, bad hair, and Luci and I.

How nice it is to see the fourth line chip in in a big way. If the guys with good hands aren’t getting it done, the grinders step up. That’s how teams win. When the usual suspects are flat, others aren’t. It’s why teams are called teams.

And even though the boys could have easily blown it to the basement dwelling Sabres, they didn’t, which is the bottom line.

Five straight wins. They’ve caught Pittsburgh in the east for top of the pops. Winning while not exactly setting the world on fire. I wish we were still downtown right now celebrating.

Personally speaking, what an excellent day. This is what living in Montreal can be about. If you want my advice, I say move to Montreal. How hard could it be? Just do it and then we can all eat smoked meat and get lost together.

A fine day, capped off by the Habs winning. I just wish I could figure out a straight and easy route back to the south shore. It seems I can’t, no matter how many times I try.

We parked under the Sun Life Building ($7) early in the afternoon, walked down Ste. Catherines Streets to Bishop, had a Guinness at the Irish Embassy Pub, then headed to the gigantic Bay where I sat in women’s wear for 45 minutes while Luci checked things out, and I have to tell you, if you think it’s a piece of cake hanging out in the bra department, then you’ve never done it.

It sounds good but trust me, it’s not.

Being in this women’s world is like being on a different planet. Women all over the place, strolling around with underwear in their hands. It’s not something I want to do again anytime soon. I’m still recovering.

So many different kinds of brassieres hanging all over the place. Hundreds of them. Like walking in to a Nevada brothel. Or Kim Kardashian’s closet.

After the Bay, it was over to Reuben’s for smoked meat, then down to the Bell Centre to chat with scalpers where we got an idea of things, didn’t rush into anything, left and sat in McLean’s Pub for awhile where we came up with a plan of attack.

Then we went back and scored two tickets in the last row of the section 103, close to cost price, and which were near the blueline with the steps to our seats right in front of us so we had nobody blocking our view and could even stretch our legs.

Something like what flying first class must be all about.

Going to the Bell might be old hat for you, but not for us, mainly because we lived 3000 miles away up until recently. But it was a beautiful evening, the boys won, and I don’t care that P.K. has seen much better nights and the team in general looked quite lousy. At least we saw them lousy live.

It’s two points, and we savored the experience from start to finish – the siren, the anthem, the sound of puck hitting stick and boards, the crazy bunch up in the nosebleeds, the flag kids, the sights and smells all around us, the salty popcorn, and for me – the abundance of urinals in the men’s room not far away.

Random Notes:

Andrei Markov seemed to hurt his knee but finished the game. But it was scary to see and hopefully he doesn’t wake up tomorrow and it’s ballooned to twice the size.

Buffalo outshot Canadiens 25-19. The Sabres’ second goal saw a guy named Girgensons waltz around P.K. with the greatest of ease. P.K. also took a “holding the stick” penalty which is an infraction that makes me cringe. Hate those penalties. C’mon P.K., smarten up.

Brandon Prust and Tomas Plekanec both had a goal and assist, Travis Moen had a couple of assists, Ryan White added an assist, and Alex Galchenyuk scored the winner which caused a young lady above us to scream like she was at a Beatles concert.

Next up – Kings on Tuesday at the Bell, which should prove interesting. Will the Canadiens pick their game up a notch or two? And who will be the next lucky couple to sit in section 103, row w, seats 3 and 4?

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Yellow Fever

Luci and I are heading downtown today to hopefully find a couple of cheap tickets for tonight’s Habs-Buffalo affair.

We’ve decided that it doesn’t matter where we sit. We just want to be in the building. We want to see the red hot gang with 20,000 other Habs fans.

Marjo asked to see the good old Scientific Habs Information Tracking System and her wish is my command.

Have a look, but please be careful. With all that yellow, you might want to think about sunglasses.

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A Tired Team Triumphs

They were a tired bunch that skated out for the third period, leading by a goal but with the gas gauge way below empty.

They’d played the night before, and two nights before that. The other team hadn’t played since Saturday. And the other team was good, and leading the division.

And of course you know how it ended. The Montreal Canadiens blocked shots, relied on Carey Price, got lucky, held on, did what they had to do, and that late second period goal by Max Pacioretty became the winner and the Habs now find themselves in the Atlantic Division penthouse after taking the slow but sure elevator up for the past three weeks.

It makes my heart soar like a souped-up Snowbird.

Random Notes:

Praying that Johnny Boychuk is okay. The Edmonton-born Bruins forward was rammed hard into the end boards by Max Pacioretty and taken off on a stretcher. And although Max was given a two minute boarding penalty, I watched the replay twice afterwards and truly feel it wasn’t nastiness on Max’s part. It was a hockey play that went bad in a big way.

We need Boychuk back, Bruin or not. I’m sure the guy has a nice young family, and he and them and everyone close to him must be going through quite a time right now.

I’m hoping to wake up tomorrow morning and hear that’s he’s fine.

The Bruins had taken a 1-0 lead in the first but Tomas Plekanec found the short side in the second, and then Max fired a backhand that would’ve made the Rocket proud, and which would ultimately sink the Bruins.

Brandon Prust has been feisty lately, has turned his leadership dial up another notch, as we see on 24 CH, and on this night tangled with rugged Shawn Thornton in a bit of a slow motion bout. Two cool and calm customers adjusting their pads and jerseys and making things just right before grabbing on and getting the odd punch in.

George Parros might as well have not even dressed. Or maybe just his presence kept things in check.

Boston outshot the Canadiens 33-27.

Next up – Saturday, when the Canadiens host the Sabres. Not sure yet but Luci and I just may be there.