Category Archives: Montreal Canadiens

Price & Co. Snuff Sens

Ye Olde Coffin Nail

It wasn’t easy, for the players and for us, but with Carey Price being Carey Price, the Canadiens move on and the Sens don’t.

A big 2-0 shutout win in game six to end the drama. As tense as can be with the Senators swarming the Canadiens goal, with shrieks and oohs and aahs filling Canadian Tire Centre as the Sens poured it on with the clock winding down.

But Price and company withstood those heart-stopping moments, and now wait patiently for the Detroit-Tampa to end, with the Red Wings currently up 3-2 in the series.

Of course, whenever one talks to a Sens fan anytime over the next eight months or so, the conversation will center around the play being  whistled dead when Price bobbled the puck and it was banged home. But from where referee Chris Lee was standing, Price had the puck and that was that.

A good and proper call. Sorry Sens fans.

For the first time in the series, Montreal opened the scoring when Brendan Gallagher batted home a bouncing puck, and overall, the Canadiens as a whole played a fine, hard-working first period.

It’s a beautiful thing when the team is in the lead instead of behind, and not having us wonder if Craig Anderson can be beaten and a game made of it. A much better feeling. Love those leads.

It was just a matter of getting a second goal, which ultimately didn’t happen until Max sent it down the ice into the open net in the dying seconds. We need the Habs to open the scoring more often. It’s much easier on the nervous system and several vital organs. A second goal soon after would be nice too.

The second period saw the Canadiens play their disturbing ‘sit back’ type of game, at one point being outshot 12-1 and totaling 16-3 overall, but Lars Eller rang one off the post and and Tomas Plekanec had an amazing chance to buried it but it sailed over the net instead.

So regardless of the fact the boys were outshot, they still showed slivers of danger. How the air would’ve left the building if Eller or Pleks had buried one of those. It would’ve been a beautiful thing.

In the third period, Canadiens found themselves with a plethora of great chances, including a Parenteau and Mitchell combo on one sequence, Weise on another, and at least two from Brandon Prust. Beautiful chances, and when no light was lit, dark clouds began to form. We knew how these things usually work. Great chances, no goals, and the other team scores shortly after.

That’s how it usually works. Just not tonight. Because Carey Price was Carey Price and his teammates for the most part, stood their ground. Good, grinding hockey while withstanding an Ottawa team that refused to let up.

So nice to be rid of the Ottawa Senators. I’ll spend a couple more seconds thinking about them, and then begin wondering about the Wings and Bolts.

Either will be tough, but nobody said winning the Stanley Cup would be easy. For the players or us.

Random Notes:

Ottawa outshot the Habs 43-20.

Andrei Markov was a bit of a disaster, coughing up pucks, looking slow, showing uncharacteristic sloppiness with the puck from start to finish. We need Markov to be the general and in strict control out there, not a Mike Komisarek or Dion Phaneuf clone.

Hard and effective workers included, among others,  PA Parenteau, who was inserted into the lineup for Brian Flynn; Brandon Prust, who played a feisty game and as mentioned, had a handful of good scoring chances; Brendan Gallagher, who scored what became the winner and was his usual Gallagher self; Lars Eller, who once again was excellent; and of course Price, who rose to the occasion after not exactly being on top of things the other night.

Maybe it was my ears, but I think I heard the wild and crazy Glenn Healy give us what he called a Beatles reference when he mentioned things being “A long day’s night.” It’s “A Hard Day’s Night” Glenn. Or maybe you were thinking of “A Long and Winding Road”. Regardless, leave the Beatles out of your mutterings.

Tampa and Detroit play game six on Monday. We watch and wait.

 

 

 

 

Habs Drop Another

The Canadiens were pounded 5-1 in game five at the Bell, and although they’re digging themselves a little hole, they still need just one win in the next two games, which is better than what the Sens need.

So all’s well. Except for the part about scoring one measly goal in two games, with that lone marker coming after more than five periods. Goals have dried up, and when the Sens grabbed an early 2-0 lead, we were screwed.

Guys can’t score anymore, and when you look at some of our forwards, you see Max, Gally, and Smith-Pelly with just one assist thus far.  Young de la Rose has zero points. And a bunch of others have a feeble two points.

The pathetic power play, again firing blanks, went 0/3, while the Sens scored twice on their four. One power play goal on 19 attempts over the five games.

Maybe the power play will come together on Sunday. Or Tuesday. Just kidding.

It was all Habs for the first ten minutes of the game, but when Bobby Ryan’s shot found its way through, which gave the Sens the lead on just their second shot of the game, everything changed. The Canadiens’ balloon was popped, while the Sens experienced a crystal meth-like rush.

Tomas Plekanec, one of many who needs to do more, found himself on a shorthanded breakaway when it was still 2-0, and if he could’ve buried it, things might have been different. But he didn’t. And it’s cheap hindsight anyway.

A third goal was scored soon after the Plekanec chance and the game was over, even though it was still only the second period.

A couple of other red lights flicked on as this nightmarish evening unfolded, including the fourth that came from a brutal turnover by the wily old vet Andrei Markov.

It was 3-1 until that point, still a chance to make it a thriller, but the turnover and ensuing goal was a party killer if there ever was one.

All night the Canadiens, for the most part, failed to crowd the net and make life difficult for Craig Anderson, even though they outshot Ottawa 46-25. I’m going out on a limb and saying the Sens, or any team who might have watching from afar, weren’t exactly mesmerized by any Montreal onslaught.

But I’m keeping the faith. They still remain in better shape than Ottawa, and if they have any character at all, they’ll rebound and rid themselves of these guys, whether it’s in Ottawa on Sunday or Montreal on Tuesday.

I can see it now. Sens fans on Sunday give their team a nice standing ovation after 60 minutes.

And the Habs skate off the ice and move on to round two.

 

 

 

 

Canadiens Fail To Sweep

Before I start, there’s something you might not have heard. Mark Stone has a sore wrist.

It’s back to Montreal for game five on Friday after the Canadiens were shut out 1-0 by the Sens and that’s fine. They’re still up 3 games to 1. And they didn’t deserve to win anyway.

Montreal just didn’t have it, pretty well right from the get-go. It was easy to sense that they were off, and they never managed to be on.

There was never any huge pressure on Craig Anderson. They were forced to defend way too much. Passes missed tape, they seemed disorganized, they had way too much trouble keeping pucks inside Ottawa’s blueline, and abundant scoring chances weren’t happening.

Ottawa was better than the Canadiens on this night, although they weren’t all that great either. They could’ve been had if Montreal showed more fire. But there was no fire.

Maybe when Brandon Prust came close to scoring on a shorthanded breakaway. Maybe a couple of other times. And Carey Price was good. But overall, no fire.

It took until the third period before a goal was scored, coming when Tom Gilbert was way too soft in trying to shoot the puck out of his end, which didn’t happen. Gilbert then scurried to the front of the net where he managed to help screen Carey Price as Mike Hoffman’s shot bulged the twine.

Gilbert’s wife is part of the seven Canadiens wives watching a period of hockey with a couple of lucky contest winners and I hope the winners remained nice to Mrs. Gilbert. I know I would have.

But regardless of Gilbert’s faux pas, the team was off for most of the sixty minutes. But I guess if they’re going to be bad, being it with a three-game lead is sort of okay.

The Sens and their fans are certainly happy the series goes back to Montreal. I’m assuming Geoff Molson doesn’t mind that much either.

Not a great night but the boys are still in the driver’s seat. That’s the main thing. Just close it off on Friday and be done with it.

Random Notes:

Did someone forget to freeze the pucks for this game? They were bouncing around all night. And did I mention that Mark Stone has a sore wrist?

Ottawa outshot Montreal 32-28.

The Canadiens went 0 for 3 on the power play. Of course.

 

The Contest

I move out of Montreal and not long after they come up with this contest – Watch a game with the Canadiens wives. Talk about lousy timing.

The wives of Carey Price, Lars Eller, Torrey Mitchell, Tom Gilbert, Dustin Tokarski, and Mike Weaver, plus the lovely and talented Maripier Morin, girlfriend of Brandon Prust, will show up in a limo at a couple of winners’ homes to watch a period of tonight’s game four vs the Sens.

But I’m in BC, shut out from any chance of doing something very high on my list.  Although one lousy period with the ladies isn’t exactly what was on the list.

It’s not right that because I’m so far away I can’t win this and I’m wondering if the Canadiens will hold another such contest down the road, for out-of-towners like me. But only for those in Powell River. And whose name is Dennis Kane.

 

 

Habs Chill At Tremblant

The Canadiens are holed up at beautiful Mont-Tremblant, a resort village nestled in the Laurentian Mountains, far from the madding crowds.

Here they’re able to bond, practice nearby, nurse wounds, put shaving cream in teammates’ shoes, and focus on one particular order of business.

Sweeping the Sens.

I just don’t know why they need to escape at all.  Habs fans and the media are a laid-back bunch who would hardly bother them at all. Right?

The Canadiens have been heading to this spectacular region at playoff time off and on for decades, and below are a couple of write ups from my scrapbook when they were preparing to do battle with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1964.

At that time they chilled out in Ste-Marguerite Station.

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008

Weise!

I was worried about a couple of things. And then I wasn’t.

Of course there was that 1-0 lead Ottawa had, and were wearing our guys down with some serious banging and new-found vim and vigour.

And I was worried that I’d have to endure Sens fans and media go on for the next two and a half days about how the gang from Kanata is back in it, and how Erik Karlsson took the bull by the horns and led his team to victory.

But Dale Weise had something to say about all that.

With the Sens holding on to a 1-0 lead well into the third frame after Clark MacArthur had beaten Carey Price midway through the first, it looked dismal for the boys, who were hit hard and often, and who simply couldn’t solve Craig Anderson any which way.

They also went 0/6 on the power play, which is basically the same old song and dance, and for all intents and purposes, they seemed quite done.

But Dale Weise, switched to the fourth line with Brandon Prust and Torrey Mitchell, tied things at 14:13 of the third, and in overtime it was Weise again, sending a shot from the left side that Craig Anderson, in nets in place of Andrew Hammond, should have snagged but didn’t.

Weise’s heroics puts his team up three games to none, and even the most optimistic of Sens fans might have to concede the fact that their team is probably done.

I say good riddance anyway.

Ottawa opened the scoring after PK Subban took a Patrick Wiercioch stick to the head with no call on the play, and later on, Erik Karlsson nailed Nathan Beaulieu at centre ice with a check to the head, also with no call.

The explanation from Don Cherry regarding the Subban stick to the head? Because he’s Subban. Which might be the case, but shouldn’t be. And Beaulieu sat on the bench for all of the third, plus the overtime, possibly because of the illegal hit which should have sent Karlsson to the showers.

Montreal’s power play was as pathetic as it’s been all season, all six chances including one in overtime when they had a chance to make amends. But it wasn’t to be of course.

All this after the PP looked fairly formidable in the previous two games.

But whatever. Because even though the Senators bashed and bruised, including the handing out of 27 hits to Montreal’s 16 in the first period alone, they still find themselves in the deepest of holes, and are now on life support.

Ain’t life grand!

Random Notes:

The Canadiens outshot Ottawa 49-34, but were outhit 61-36.

Now we wait until Wednesday for game four. But we wait while feeling high, and Sens fan feeling low.

 

 

 

Boors At The Bell

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As disgusting as can be were the actions of a couple of morons at the Bell Centre last night who abused two young ladies wearing Senators jerseys – Harassed at the Habs game.

These aren’t Habs fans, althought I’m sure they say they are. These are strictly first-class sub-humans that, when they’re not abusing young ladies, loot and riot after the Canadiens win a playoff series.

They steal radios from storefront windows and go home to their parents’ basements and play music while they pick their noses and ogle naked women in old National Geographic magazines. And if they can find what they’re looking for in their pants, they feel like they finally have a love life.

As an old and proud Habs fan, it’s embarrassing what has happened, and I apologize to the ladies involved for the actions of these cockroaches. Hopefully these dudes will visit an out-of-town rink someday and good old karma raises its head.

A night at the Bell, with Mrs. Beliveau cheering wildly, with PK putting on a show and Chucky winning it in overtime. And meanwhile, a couple of neanderthals pull this nonsense.

I just hope the Habs organization, which we all know is probably the classiest in the league, does something nice for these young ladies. And I also hope these guys are exposed and dealt with in proper fashion.

People have to know that most Habs fans aren’t like this, although what remains mind-boggling is the fact that people in surrounding seats sat back and apparently did nothing.

All in all, very disappointing.

 

 

Chucky Pulls The Trigger In Overtime

Alex Galchenyuk wheeled and fired in overtime, Sens goalie Andrew Hammond slammed his stick in disgust a second later, and the Montreal Canadiens skate away with a 3-2 win in game 2.

How big a win is that?

Now it’s on to Ottawa on Sunday to do it again.

It could’ve been a night squandered though. Leading 2-1 in the third frame, the Habs failed to score on two consecutive power plays, which would have sealed things, and soon after, with Alexei Emelin in the box for interference, the game became suddenly tied.

But it was still anyone’s game, eventually finished off by Chucky, and all things considered, this has to be a solid punch in the guts of the Sens and their fans. Are you feeling bad about this?

It was a lively, fast skating, hard-hitting game, with none of the fireworks expected after the PK/Mark Stone affair had everyone in a dither. Rough and tough, mind you, but no ugliness. And, if you’re a Habs fan, which I’m sure you are, it was a fine win that gives the Canadiens a lovely two-game lead in the series.

Two straight must be like a flurry of punches in the guts of Sens fans.

Definitely a punch in the gut came when none other than PK himself, as despised as can be by Sens fans and one they see as the anti-Karlsson, sent a missile past the head of Hammond, making it 2-1 Habs at the time.

How sweet it would’ve been if Subban’s goal was the winner, which in itself would have been even one more great punch to the gut. And I’m pretty sure Sens’ fans weren’t all that thrilled to see Max notch one in his first game back too.

I don’t blame Emelin for his interference penalty which led to Ottawa’s tying goal. He seemed to be headed to the bench at the time and got caught in traffic, which led to holding someone up. And I also think Emelin played a fine game at both ends of the ice, and even found himself with a great scoring chance early on.

Devante Smith-Pelly has stepped it up since he first arrived and now finding himself with scoring chances, along with  making nice little plays, and he doesn’t mind thumping bodies. This guy could be truly important as things move along.

Up two games is a beautiful thing and I’m very proud of the boys. Now it’s time (on Sunday), to really turn the screws. How about another couple of nice punches in the gut.

Random Notes:

Montreal outshot Ottawa 42-31 and went 1/6 on the power play. Ottawa was 1/3.