Category Archives: Columbus Blue Jackets

Canadiens Clip Wings

Maybe a tad too many giveaways and Carey Price has seen better nights, but no matter, the Canadiens win another, a 5-4 affair in Motown, and thus, the train keeps a rollin’.

Seven wins in eight games. Fighting it out in the standings with Tampa Bay for home ice advantage in the first round. A team more and more are thinking of as a bonafide contender in the east.

It makes my heart soar like a reawakened Avro Arrow.

They almost blew it though. Some inexcusable turnovers and some slightly off-kilter work by Price, but many of the guys showed up for work, like DD, Vanek, and Max line, and in the end, it’s two points deposited in the bank of Montreal.

Now we have a good sleep, make sure we wear our lucky socks for the next two days, and get ready for Saturday in Sunrise.

Tomas Plekanec scored two goals in the first period, his 19th and 20th, but beginning in the second and then into the third, Detroit would answer whenever the Canadiens lit the lamp, and the hometown team continued to keep it close.

The Wings made it 2-1 in the second before David Desharnais converted some nice work by Tomas Vanek in the corner and it became 3-1 for the good guys.

But in the third, P.K. Subban suddenly decided to do what no Norris Trophy winner should ever do – lob a softball up the middle, which of course was intercepted, and it became a 3-2 game at that point.

The Wings then took advantage of loose play in the corner, the puck skipped out, and the game was tied faster than you can say Alex Delvecchio.

The goal scoring onslaught didn’t finish there either. Max made it 4-3 on a slightly offside play, Thomas Vanek then deflected an Andrei Markov shot and it was 5-3, but just 21 seconds later, Detroit made it 5-4 and it was still anybody’s game.

Until it wasn’t.

The Canadiens held on and downed the Red Wings who are fighting for a wild card spot but these are the breaks. No one worries about the Habs, and we’re not about to worry about hurting others’ chances. At least I’m not. It’s dog eat dog out there.

And Detroit is still in the thick of it, although Washington, Columbus, and Toronto are really happy the Habs won and the Wings lost.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Detroit 30, Montreal 29.

Habs multi-point getters on the night were Vanek with a goal and two assists, Pleks with two goals, DD with a goal and an assist, and PK with two assists.

Vanek has 5 goals and 4 assists in his 11 games with the Canadiens so far.

Max notched his 33rd.

Habs hit Florida for a Saturday night tilt against the Panthers. It’s always interesting to see how many down low, center ice, primo empty seats there will be at the BB&T Center. It must drive hockey fans in Quebec City crazy.

 

Habs Wrapped By Jackets

It just wasn’t enough on this night for the Montreal Canadiens as they fall 3-2 to the visiting Blue Jackets.

But spending half the third period in the penalty box didn’t help. Either did the shorthanded goal the Canadiens allowed in the first period.

But it’s over now and we move on and concentrate on Saturday’s meet and greet with the Leafs at the ACC.

The guys were good on the penalty kill though as the Blue Jackets went 0/8 on the power play and the Canadiens also killed a big 5 on 3 and a four minute high sticking infraction to Tomas Plekanec.

But too many penalties. Six to Columbus’ two in the last two periods, including a too-many-men, which always sucks.

They still managed to make a game o f it, even though the fine-looking Blue Jackets team had lots of chances which caused Carey Price to sprawl desperately all over the place far too often.

It was 1-0 Habs on the power play in the first period after Brendan Gallagher’s rebound hit a Columbus player and went in, and it became tied at two in the third period when Thomas Vanek once again got the crowd roaring after a nice one-timer set up by Max.

But Columbus would take the lead, hold it, and Montreal’s winning streak, which sat at three games, comes to an abrupt end.

Can’t win ‘em all.

Random Notes:

Columbus had lots of shots – 40 to 27, and the Canadiens kept it close anyway.

Lars Eller was awarded a penalty shot but failed to score. It would’ve tied it at that point, but Vanek would get it done not long after.

Max was in a fight with Ryan Johansen, Max’s fourth career fight and his first in 790 days. He also got the better of Johansen, who was dangerous all evening it seemed. This is a great young player, a B.C. boy from Port Moody, which is just east of Vancouver..

Next up – Toronto on Saturday. It goes without saying that the Canadiens need to grab two points and help drive another nail into the Leafs’ coffin.

 

Good Wins, Fight, And Finish

It’s the Columbus Blue Jackets on tap, and so far this season. it’s been two wins for the Habs in their two meetings with the BJs.

On Oct. 17th at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens managed to blow a 3-0 lead but still won when Tomas Plekanec notched the winner and then scored on the empty net for the insurance marker.

On November 15th in Columbus, the Habs won 3-2 after David Desharnais settled it in the shootout, coming just after Montreal mayor Denis Coderre tweeted that DD should be sent to Hamilton.

Now this from Beatnik.

Joel Theriault and Gaby Roch go at it in LNAH (North American Hockey League) action.

It’s a good fight with a good ending.

Vanek And Gang Come Through

Win one for Patrick was the rallying cry for the Colorado Avalanche. His team was going to play a big offensive game, promised Patrick.

And they lost 6-3.

It’s one of my happiest moments in this long season. A huge win and two more big points.

They did it with energy and lots of time in the Avs’ end. And Thomas Vanek finally broke through in dramatic fashion by scoring three times.

Two wins on the weekend and a huge mother of a win tonight. Patrick loses, Habs win, Vanek breaks out, and it’s just a feel good story all round.

It looked dire in the beginning though, with 18-year old Nathan McKinnon opening the scoring, and then it became 2-1 Colorado in the second after Vanek had previously tied it.

But the second period also saw the puck often in the Avs’ end, the Canadiens showed lots of energy, and when Travis Moen took a pass from a sprawling Brandon Prust, wheeled in reverse and backhanded it home to tie the thing at two, it was game on.

Everyone in the building – fans, both teams, Patrick, all knew that the Avs weren’t about to have their way.

This was a game that had playoff vibes. It was important. And the Canadiens came through.

Prust blasted one home in the third, the Avs tied it, but then the Canadiens power play, and in particular Vanek, went to work and just like that, it was 5-3 for the good guys.

Dale Weise, who was involved in a scrap in the first, salted it away with an empty netter as the clock wound down.

Most impressive was the fact that the Canadiens never sat back, didn’t go into their defensive shell, and kept things interesting in the Colorado end all night.

That’s what we need to see from the boys. They’re a skating team, and when they’re flying they can get things done. Forget the New Jersey-style. Put the pedal to the metal.

Prust ended with a goal, an assist, and second star.  First star Vanek with three and his linemates DD and Max each collected two assists. Moen scored his beauty, Emelin had two assists, and Weise was an assist short of a Gordie Howe hat trick.

Just a great night. A wonderful night. Unless you’re Patrick Roy, that is.

Random Notes:

Maybe the miracle on Saturday night really did light a fire.

Shots on goal – Habs 36, Avs 28.

Montreal went 2/3 on the power play, and this is the Vanek factor at work.

Next up – Columbus Blue Jackets in town on Thursday. Once again, can’t wait.

 

 

 

Habs Edged In L.A.

I was up slightly earlier today so I could see on the scoreboard and PVR how the Habs did in L.A., after a 10:30 pm ET start that was way past my bedtime.

I see that the boys dropped a 2-1 decision to the Kings after Jeff Carter scored the go-ahead goal with Ryan White in the box for holding.

I was curious to see if it was a dumb penalty so I had a quick look. White hauled down Trevor Lewis in a race to the puck and it could’ve been avoided, as most White penalties can.

P.K. Subban’s goal in the first period that evened things at one wasn’t a hard blast, just a wrist shot from the point that banked in off Jarret Stoll’s skate.

Random Notes:

The Kings outshot the Canadiens 22-18.

You probably didn’t miss much if you were sleeping, although I watched the third period and there were some close calls at both ends. But when you look at the shots, you’ll see -
1st. Habs 5  Kings 5
2nd. Habs 5  Kings 8
3rd. Habs 8  Kings 9

So not a barnburner to say the least.

Now it’s slightly east on a dreadful freeway to take on the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at 10:00 pm ET.

The Ducks, featuring Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu etc. The number one team in the NHL with 91 points. (Montreal has 75).

Toronto lost 2-1 to Columbus.

 

 

 

DD Nets Winner

The Canadiens clawed back from an early 2-0 deficit, tied the game, and then won in the shootout when David Desharnais gave a little stick fake, found the back of the net, and the questions now are – can he do it again relatively soon, and did Denis Coderre jump for joy?

It wasn’t a great game by the visiting Canadiens, although they did manage to outshoot the Blue Jackets 40-25. But Peter Budaj was steady, and probably more important than anything else, Alex Galchenyuk stripped a defender of the puck with seconds winding down in the first period, waltzed in on Columbus goalie Curtis McElhinney, and narrowed the gap with just eight seconds remaining.

So instead of the team going to the dressing down 2-0, suddenly it was 2-1, and what a boost that must have been.

In the second, Lars Eller tied it on the power play and that was all the scoring until the shootout.

That’s the problem. Only Galchenyuk and Eller could manage. Once again, most of the team remained silent and I don’t mind whining about this. It seems like it’s only a handful doing any scoring while most aren’t. All at the same time. It’s like a guy digging a ditch with six guys in white hard hats watching.

It was a big two points, a huge goal for Desharnais, and did I say it was a huge goal for Desharnais?

Random Notes:

Saturday night it’s back home to meet and greet the Rangers.

Yes, I can sort of remember times when Gionta and Plekanec and Max and Bourque and Markov and Subban scored. Sometimes a few of them on the very same night. I hate to live in the past but it’s such fond memories.

I had confidence in Budaj going into the shootout. I don’t know why. Maybe because Columbus didn’t seem overly threatening.

You Probably Already Know

Big game tonight, and Brandon Prust will be back after finally recovering from his shoulder injury he suffered on Oct.19th against Nashville.

And apparently Alexei Emelin (pronounced YeMELin) will be suiting up on Saturday after being on the sidelines since April 6th when he got in the way of a rushing train called Milan Lucic.

It doesn’t seem right that the team is recovering from injuries. It just seems weird.

Peter Budaj will be between the pipes.

But you’ll have to excuse me, I’m going for my pre-game meal – beer and ribs.

Friday Night Columbusing

It’s Thursday and still no game. Not until tomorrow night.

So many Friday games this month for the Canadiens. Four in fact. It’s really playing havoc with my pub schedule.

I hope the boys won’t be partying too hard in “The City That is Somewhere in the U.S.”

Canadiens are in Columbus, Ohio, home of Jack Nicklaus, Phil Ochs, and Beverly D’Angelo, located 983 kms (611 miles) southwest of Montreal, not far from Cincinnati one way and Detroit the other.

I know because I did what I had to do – I went to Wikipedia.

No offence to Columbians. Columbusites? Columbusans? Just never been there, although I’m sure it’s fantastic and probably has a river running through it and traffic jams and people who wash windshields at street corners, just like normal cities.

Canadiens need to win their game while in Columbus (pop. 809,798 – 2012). The Blue Jackets aren’t exactly setting the world on fire, sitting third worst in the east with 13 points, ahead of just Florida and Buffalo. Leading scorer Brandon Dubinsky has 5 goals and 10 assists, while Wiz, James Wisniewski (remember him?), is second with 2 goals and 12 assists.

Although they’re in Boston Thursday night so things could change slightly.

I enjoyed Wiz when he was a Hab in 2010-11. He played hard, is a good skater, got himself some points (30 in 43 games), and took a puck in the face and looked like this -

Montreal has won just once in six games in November but they’re hanging in somewhat. But it goes without saying they need to win in Columbus, and then the next night back home against the Rangers.

A couple of wins isn’t asking a lot. And then they need two more after that against the Wild and Caps. And then two more after that maybe.

 

 

 

Crazy Loss

The chances were there for the Canadiens from time to time, but 6’7″ Ben Bishop was a wall. A high wall. And much of the time Tampa Bay dominated but led only 1-0 in the third.

And wouldn’t you know it, the Canadiens would tie a game they shouldn’t have been close to doing, with just 4:38 seconds left in the third period, only to lose 2-1 in the shootout.

They also did their best to lose it several times in the late going, with chances starting to come and Carey Price playing like Jacques Plante, when suddenly Rene Bourque took a penalty for high sticking at 16:27 of the third, then Lars Eller went off at 18:54 for a face-off violation, and just forty seconds into overtime, Andre Markov went to the box for shooting the puck over the glass.

But Price continued to be sensational throughout, until of course the shoot-out, a time when things just don’t go right. Price struggles with these clear-cut situations, and the laws of nature say it’s a terrible combination when his shooters can’t put the puck in the ocean with their own chances.

How come other teams manage to beat goalies in shootouts?

Galchenyuk – nope, Tampa – yes, Briere – nope, Tampa – nope, Gallagher – nope, and the game ends 2-1 for the visitors and the Habs get a point thanks to Carey Price and no one else.

The Lightning played like a real team – quick both ways, solid checking, sound goaltending. The Canadiens often looked lost and confused. Like it was them who were without Steven Stamkos, not Tampa.

Not a good night for the Canadiens, except for Price, even though they kept it close and managed a point. So I suppose if you look at it that way, it was a good night after all. But they were tremendously outplayed, outshot 45-29, and the Bell Centre only came to life when the puck bounced in off Briere.

A perfect road game for Tampa. A less-than-dazzling display by the home team. And three seriously ill-timed penalties is enough to drive a man to drink.

Random Notes:

Brendan Gallagher, with his new mustache, looks like a young apprenticing porn star. Did he have that the other night or is it black felt pen?

Max assisted on Briere’s marker.

Is it fair to say Rene Bourque isn’t exactly helping right now? What do you think Mayor Coderre?

Next up – Friday in Columbus