Category Archives: New Jersey Devils

Not Enough From Habs In Toronto

It wasn’t a lackluster effort like the previous Philadelphia and New Jersey games, and they weren’t wildly outshot and outplayed like in Ottawa, but when all was said and done, it just wasn’t enough on Saturday night and the Habs drop a 5-3 decision to the Leafs, which puts the Torontonians just four points behind them in standings.

And even though it wasn’t a dud like the aforementioned games, it proved as depressing as can be to see the irksome Nazem Kadri play well, to see the Leafs take the body throughout (something the boys can’t do), and to see Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin flounder.

The game didn’t start out well, especially when Kadri undressed Emelin to set up the game’s first goal, but the Canadiens eventually found some legs and made it a game.

Canadiens’ goal scorers were Brendan Gallagher, Brian Gionta, and David Desharnais, and it also could’ve been Andrei Markov who had a couple of great opportunities to tie it in the dying minutes, but he couldn’t hit the net.

Anyway, I’m not able to continue. I’m fighting something, been laid up all day, and can barely sit and type. Sorry but I need the couch again.

I gave it the old college try.

Montreal outshot the Buds 33-30.

Next is Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

 

Needing A Win Tonight

Sens

Habs in Ottawa tonight, and it’s must-win of course.

Because I harken back to the old adage that a slump is three straight losses and a bad bounce from being four.

And seeing how they fell to New Jersey on Tuesday, with the Sens now and then the Leafs on Saturday, we need a win to avoid the old adage and kick off this three-game road trip in fine style, which, by the way, also includes Pittsburgh next Wednesday.

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Brodeur And Jagr Gang Up On Gang

It’s the schedule maker’s fault. He arranged for the New Jersey Devils to come in after figuring Montreal would have a great game a few nights before.

I’m not going to say it was boring, this 4-1 win by the visitors. Because more than enough Habs efforts have been this sort of thing. I guess it was crazy of me to hope for two high-octane games in a row.

The Canadiens jumped into a 1-0 first period lead when Max Pacioretty blew one by Martin Brodeur, and I’m probably not the only who thought, hah, Brodeur should’ve had that and his last game in Montreal is going to be a mediocre one.

Then he became unbeatable for the rest of the night. A fort holder.

And Jaromir Jagr played like he did when he was a newcomer in the league, about eighty-five years ago.

I thought the Canadiens began to make a move in the second period as they were skating better and getting chances, including a dinger off the post from Tomas Plekanec that would have helped considerably if it was different by a half inch.

But I never say a word when other teams hit posts against the Habs, so forget what I just said.

It was 3-1 at that point, and when Brendan Gallagher’s goal was called back because of the decision that it was a kicking motion, the rest of the night became a lost cause, even though Rene Bourque, Lars Eller, and Raphael Diaz all had great chances to get the team back in it.

I didn’t think it was a kicking motion. It seemed on the replay as more of the puck off the skate as he happened to be moving. Does that make sense?

It’s disappointing that the boys couldn’t reproduce the effort they showed on Saturday against the Hawks, but this team is what it is. Whatever that is.

And their netminder was solid.

David Desharnais sat out with the flu, with Alex Galchenyuk and Ryan White gone, you have to think that Louis Leblanc kneels by his bed every night and prays for a trade. They just don’t want to call him up and it has to be as discouraging as can be for the guy who was chosen in the first round by the Habs, 18th overall, in the 2009 Entry Draft.

But I really can’t talk because I haven’t seen him play in a Bulldogs uniform. Maybe his heart’s not in it anymore.

I really liked that feeling when the Habs played Chicago. It was a good feeling. But so short-lived.

Now it’s up the road, through Ottawa, and out yonder to Kanata to play the Senators on Thursday. There’s no sense in trying to predict how the boys will play. They’re a riddle wrapped in a box of frustration, inside a giant CH.

Random Notes:

Canadiens outshot the Devils 30-19 on the night, including six shots to two in the third. Talk about a slow final frame. Snailwagon hockey.

Great Game, Great Win

A rootin’ tootin’ doozy of a game at the Bell Centre, with the boys in red beating the defending Stanley Cup champions 2-1  in overtime when Andre Markov buried the puck and the Chicago Blackhawks with his second goal of the game.

An Original Six matchup that captured everything the original Original Six would muster – great goaltending at both ends, lots of scoring chances, end to end action, tremendously close calls, the fans into it in a big way.

If only Danny Gallivan had called the game. It was all we were missing.

Unless I’m forgetting something, this had to be the best game at the Bell Centre this year, or at least the most exciting, which, I suppose, is one in the same. The guys were alive. They came to play and they got it done.

I’ll bet the downtown Montreal bars were hopping for hours after, filled with good vibrations and cheer.

And what a confidence booster it could be for the Canadiens, seeing that they can compete against a fine team after getting taught some harsh lessons from L.A. and St. Louis last month. Forget the bad ones and remember the good. And then do it again more often.

A revitalized Alexei Emelin, who hasn’t been his normal self lately, snapped out of it and went out and thumped several Hawks, including a beauty on Patrick Kane that very well may have charged up an already charged-up team that would ultimately carry through to the end.

Brendan Gallagher found himself in a scrap with Kris Versteeg that of course put smiles on faces, with Gallagher, at 5’9, holding his own with the 5’11 Versteeg. It’s not often we see Gally squaring off like that, and it was another moment to make us all realize that the Canadiens were fired up for this game.

Chances came fast and furious, including some beauties when the Canadiens were shorthanded, with Plekanec and Prust coming close, and then Eller, who had it in the bag until a sprawling Corey Crawford got his skate on it. It was a great save, but a tad lucky too. And that’s no slight on Crawford, who was excellent for his team.

So close with all those chances, and yet so far, as the Hawks would tie this barnburner in the third after first having a goal disallowed because of a player in the blue paint interfering with Price, and with just over a minute to go, rang a puck off the post which almost sealed it.

But they didn’t seal it, and in overtime, Andrei Markov, from a deflected pass from Max Pacioretty, bulged the twine behind a screened Corey Crawford, and Habs fans rejoiced, especially Luci, who may have damaged my left eardrum. I enjoyed it in slightly quieter fashion.

What an enigmatic Habs team. They sleepwalked and were generally quite pathetic in Philly on Wednesday, and a few days later play a dandy against a tremendously strong Chicago Blackhawks squad. We just never know what to expect, even though for the last month they’ve been on the listless side, which more and more we’ve come to expect.

Saturday night they came to play, and let’s hope this is a springboard for a strong rest of the season.

It was a complete team effort which begs the question – why don’t they play like this more often?

Random Notes:

Habs outshot the Hawks 38-20 and although Crawford had more work, Price was equally outstanding.

George Parros dressed and was on the ice for 3:33.

Next up – Tuesday, when the New Jersey Devils visit. Some real big games coming up after that but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

 

Holik’s Gun Blog

I stumbled across a blog written by ex-NHL star Bobby Holik titled Holikonshooting and I’m not going to comment on it. I have my views which happen to differ from his. But that’s democracy and freedom of speech, right?

Holik played for four teams during his 1314 games in the bigs, won a couple of Cups while with New Jersey, and was a New York Ranger for two seasons, the team the Habs play tonight.

Holik’s blog deals with his love of guns and I thought I’d simply paste his introduction.

Take it away, Bobby -

“2013 turned out to be great year for supporters of the Second Amendment. Our government threatened the masses again to create more restrictions on our constitutionally guaranteed right. There is very few things I am more passionate about than this issue. As I’ve mentioned many times before, this is as important as standing up for the First Amendment. Surprisingly too many people in this country do not want to recognize it. Well, sometimes it’s good to have spineless politicians in Congress.They were not willing to pay the political price to accomplish any major changes. Great news not only for gun owners but for everyone else. United States of America is a better place for it and the whole world can envy our ability to coexist peacefully.

I had a wonderful and exciting year. I improved my pistol shooting skills, participated in fund raisers shooting clays, harvested mule deer buck and fell in love with upland bird hunting.

I usually write about the events or trips I have experienced. Today I would like to recap some of the guns I used. Keep in mind I am above average in size and bellow average in shooting skills. I try to compensate with great passion for all things involving guns.”

Wild And Wacky Win

It sure wasn’t pretty, but somehow, after the dust had settled, the Canadiens found themselves with a 4-3 shootout win in Newark against a solid New Jersey Devil squad that is probably still shaking their heads.

Like us.

With the clock rapidly winding down, I started getting up from the couch to head to the computer to babble nonsense for a couple of uninspired minutes and then hit the sack so I’ll be fresh to give my usual 145% at work tomorrow.

But before I could even unhinge my creaky knee bones, the Habs tied it with mere seconds left and took it to a shootout where they won yet another game, their 7th in the last eight outings.

Once again it wasn’t pretty, but the two points are. And you should hear my knees crack when I get up from the couch.

The Canadiens had opened the scoring in the first period when Brian Gionta converted a nice Daniel Briere pass, and the score remained just that through the second and into the third.

And through most of everything, the Devils were the much better team, but Peter Budaj was shutting the door when called upon.

But then a Devil shot surprised everyone on the ice as it made its way through to the back of the net, and the game was suddenly tied.

Midway in the third, Michael Ryder put his team up 2-1, and it was that old sinking feeling. It would be tough to rebound against a tight checking and disciplined Devils team who could taste it.

Then it all went nuts.

With 3:50 left, Lars Eller tied it up, and overtime seemed a sure bet.

But as horrible as could be, with all the talk about P.K. Subban not always being trustworthy enough to be chosen for Canada’s Olympic team, our guy suddenly lost the puck near his own net, and the Devils, with just 1:06 remaining, once again took the lead and this is where Luci went to the kitchen and I got up to move to the computer.

Then we sat right back down. Because 27 second later, with just 37 seconds left on the clock, David Desharnais deflected the puck and overtime was once again a sure bet.

Overtime proved scoreless and the game went to a shootout, and with goals from Eller and DD, the team overcame a bunch of odds, grabbed a couple of points, and very shortly need to refocus on the task ahead, which is the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

Random Notes:

Seeing P.K. cough up the puck like that wasn’t good game-wise, and it wasn’t good Olympic-wise either. But this sort of thing happens in hockey games. Pucks are lost off sticks. But next time, P.K., please try to be more careful.

Brandon Prust took on Cam Janssen in the first frame after the Devils player had rammed Alex Galchenyuk hard in the boards. It was an even fight, and also one of the longer ones you’ll ever see.

New Jersey outshot the Canadiens 34-30.

There sure were a lot of empty seats at the Prudential Center. Imagine going to see the Habs and being able to sit front and centre, or choose anywhere you like. It’s never happened in my lifetime. Any Habs game I’ve ever been at have been sold out affairs.

Bruins on deck, waiting in Montreal, getting pissed drinking Pink Ladies.

 

 

 

Canadiens Find A Way

They were lousy in the first, slightly better midway through the second, and much better in the third.

And through it all, Carey Price kept them in it, a few of the boys found the back of the net, and the Canadiens skate away with what I would say was an awesome two points.

Awesome because they beat Martin Brodeur. Awesome because they won the game even while outplayed. And awesome for the sake of being awesome.

So great when the team is winning and we’re not bitching. I feel like singing “It’s a Wonderful World” ending with “boom shakalaka”.

They sure were an out-of-sorts bunch in the first period though, mainly because New Jersey was playing a solid New Jersey game, and the boys fell behind 1-0 on a deflection Carey Price had no chance on. Being behind by even one goal against the New Jersey Devils is tough sledding.

And they came out in the second and continued to be on the slightly dazed side. But David Desharnais created a little hard-working magic, Rene Bourque found the short side, and suddenly and without warning, the game was tied. A chance to win was a possibility. The joy of having hope.

Being tied is way better than being behind.

Then holy mackinaw, Rocket Pacioretty put the team in the lead on the power play, converting a nice pass from Andrei Markov and yet more nice work from DD.

Max and DD have been flying lately and Brendan Gallagher has to have something to do with it. He’s had some sort of influence on two guys who only recently were struggling. Gallagher is without question one of the team’s most important players. I think he adds passion.

For Desharnais, the tar and feathers have been hauled back to the barn. For Max, pucks are going in in bunches. Keep it up boys.

In the third, the game became tied at two when ex-Hab and sometimes sniper Michael Ryder snapped one home. I didn’t even know Ryder played for the Devils, but there he was, sniping like he does sometimes. And now the game could go either way.

This is why hockey’s the greatest sport on the planet. Tension is a good thing. As long as the heart’s strong and you don’t start biting your nails.

The Canadiens would win it on a Alex Galchenyuk close-in shot after Alexei Emelin sent one in from the blueline. How great is it when a guy is in the doghouse the previous game like young Galchenyuk and comes out and scores the winner.

This why hockey is the grea…….Oh, I just said that.

Late in the game Max had a shorthanded breakaway and Lars Eller was there flying around and nearly scored too, and when Martin Brodeur was pulled for the extra attacker, David Desharnias capped off his fine night by not icing the puck but gently chipping it to centre, sealing the game for his team and earning first star for all his good work on the night.

What a rag to riches story for DD right now. Or something like that.

Random Notes:

PK Subban continues to not only secure himself a spot on the Olympic team but is on the right track for a second straight Norris Trophy. And yes, I know, it’s a long season.

Canadiens were outshot by the visitors 29-17, including 11-5 in the first and 11-4 in the second. But they still found a way.

Rollin’ along. Clear the track.

Next up – in New Jersey on Wednesday, and home to meet the Bruins Thursday. The Canadiens are a busy bunch. I wonder how the wives are doing.

 

 

Have Money, Have Rink

Habs lace ‘em up on Wednesday at the Scotiabank Saddledome, formerly the Pengrowth Saddledome, formerly Canadian Airlines Saddledome, formerly Olympic Saddledome.

In Ottawa, the Senators play at Canadian Tire Centre, formerly Scotiabank Place, formerly the Corel Centre, formerly the Palladium.

It’s out of control. Just get someone with tons of money to back the rink for a lifetime and be done with it. Like Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus.

“Flames are at home Wednesday at the old Miley Cyrus to host the visiting Habs, led by the NHL’s second star of the week, Lars Eller, who totalled  five points in two games. Meanwhile in Kanata, the Senators held a light skate at the Bieb before heading to the airport to battle the Kings at the Kardashian in L.A.”

“On tonight’s agenda, the Devils are at the P. Diddy in Edmonton while the Panthers takes on new Philly coach Craig Berube and his Flyers at the Jay-Z, which should really be rappin’ tonight. The Habs don’t return to the Kane until ten days from now and insiders say league officials are concerned that Mr. Kane will have died of old age by then and are looking at Paul McCartney for a new name possibility.”

“The Bruins remain idle until Thursday when the Avalanche visit Boston’s brand new Charles Manson Center.”

Random Note:

Max Pacioretty has a sore wrist but is with the team for the Western jaunt. My son lives just up the hill from the Miley Cyrus if Max remains on the shelf and would like to play some cribbage while in Cowtown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadiens Lose Rematch With Canes

They gave it the old college try I suppose. But one night after demolishing the Hurricanes in Quebec City, the Habs return to the friendly confines of the Bell Centre, hit some posts from time to time, don’t show an overabundance of oomph, and it becomes three exhibition losses in four games after dropping a 3-1 contest to the Canes.

But it’s still only preseason so there’s to be no judging or whining from me. I’m taking it easy, like I just had a session with the Maharishi.

We won’t see the real team until the dust settles. Until prospects pack up. Until set lines and set defence pairings are in place.

And hopefully we won’t see any more 0-8s on the power play.

Jarred Tinordi laid the body on a few times tonight and dropped the gloves, and it’s this sort of thing that’s going to earn him a true spot in the lineup where he can relax and rent a nice condo in Old Montreal and become a solid mainstay on the Habs blueline for many years. He hits hard, he does it well, and with him and Alexei Emelin in the lineup, along with some bone crushing from P.K., we have a team that punishes and it becomes a massive step on the way to a strong and dynamic team.

Up front, when you see Ryan White jawing and smiling and such, do you get the feeling this is a guy who will serve up another year’s worth of stupid penalties to put us behind the eight ball on way too many occasions? I find his act wearing thin.

Carey Price played the full game and I thought he looked good. He didn’t seem shaky and he shouldn’t considering he’s the number one guy, a veteran now, and if he’s shaky, we’re in big trouble.

Although it remains to be seen. He’s already been shaky this preseason. So we keep our fingers crossed.

Michael Bournival scored the lone goal for the Habs, his fourth in this preseason, and how can you send a guy down when he’s your leading scorer? Bournival is forcing his way into a regular spot and that’s how it works.

The Canadiens weren’t sure about Henri Richard when he reported to his first camp, but when Henri owned the puck in training camp and no one could take it away from him, he won the job and the rest is history.

Eleven Stanley Cups kind of history.

Random Notes:

Montreal outshot Carolina 42-27.

Next up – Monday, when New Jersey is in town.

Two more after that, a home and home with Ottawa on Wednesday and Thursday, and then we can say goodbye to all this preseason stuff and get on with the nitty-gritty.

 

Tonight’s The Night

As you can see below, the Buffalo Sabres are in town tonight to clash with the home team.

This is a big game for the Habs. The Sabres are tied with them for first in the standings. And it’s the same tomorrow when Boston comes a callin’. They’re also tied with Montreal and Buffalo.

Then it’s the Hurricanes, Devils and Sens, who are also tied with the Habs, Sabres, and Bruins.

Then I add a couple of :-) :-) so people don’t think I’m an idiot.

September 2013

Date Visitor Home Time (ET) TV Network/Results
Sun, 15 Sep 2013 Sabres Canadiens 7:30 PM RDS
Mon, 16 Sep 2013 Bruins Canadiens 7:00 PM RDS, NHLN-US, TSN2
Fri, 20 Sep 2013 Canadiens Hurricanes
(Quebec City, QC)
7:30 PM RDS
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 Hurricanes Canadiens 7:00 PM RDS
Mon, 23 Sep 2013 Devils Canadiens 7:30 PM RDS
Wed, 25 Sep 2013 Canadiens Senators 7:30 PM RDS
Thu, 26 Sep 2013 Senators Canadiens 7:30 PM RDS