The Canadiens showed life for five minutes in a sixty-five minute game, fall 2-1 to Detroit in overtime, and they grab a point whether they deserve one or not.
And how important that point might be.
This is the first of nine tough games in a row for the Habs, it’s make or break time, and if they don’t play better in most of the next eight, they just may find themselves outside looking in at a playoff spot.
It’s going to be a tough stretch, points will be tougher than John Ferguson to come by, and although they were flatter than a pancake in this first game after the Olympics, Brian Gionta gave his team a point when he netted one with 29 seconds left in the third and fans got at least a little bit of their money’s worth.
Detroit wasn’t great, but the Canadiens, at least until they woke up after the Gionta goal, were worse.
But it’s a point nonetheless. And now it’s Pittsburgh in a few hours.
We’ll see how this whole thing plays out in the next two weeks. But one thing’s for sure – they have to show more life than they did tonight or the fall won’t be pretty.
The pre-game introduction of Olympians and the crowd singing the anthem was a high. After that, things got very low.
Brendan Gallagher, PK, and Alex Galchenyuk had their moments for a few seconds here and there. All in all though, no one did a whole lot of dazzling.
P.K. found himself in the box a couple of times for questionable penalties – one for a little swat, one for was was deemed a dive, and Peter Budaj came up big from time to time as Detroit outshot the Canadiens 30-20.
Not an overly impressive night to say the least.
Pittsburgh coming up.
The Canadiens get back to work on Wednesday when Detroit comes to town, then it’s off to Pittsburgh for a Thursday evening tilt, then those wacky Maple Leafs visit the Bell on Saturday.
After that it’s a serious swing into L.A., Anaheim, Phoenix and San Jose, so the boys are in for a dandy time in the next while.
Did I mention that after they get home, they get to host the Bruins and Senators?
Jarred Tinordi has been called up, and Nathan Beaulieu, who played well for the big team before the Olympics closed things down, will continue to hone his craft in Hamilton.
I like what Bergevin and the gang are doing. They’ve seen that Beaulieu can fit in nicely and now it’s time for Tinordi to show the same type of thing.
The blueline changing of the guard is approaching fast. So is the March 5th trade deadline.
Speaking of defencemen, Andrei Markov is supposedly not crazy about a one-year, 6 million dollar offer and wants a three-year package instead.
Alex Galchenyuk’s broken hand is healed, and apparently he’s ready to go. I’ve missed the old fellow. He turned 20 on Feb. 12th.
I’m guessing that Peter Budaj will get the nod in goal on Wednesday. It’s a lot of big games in a short space coming up, and Price could use a break after stopping foreign pucks on foreign soil.
But of course I could be wrong about Budaj starting. It’s time now to put the hammer down and secure a playoff spot, and the best way would be to have Price in nets as often as possible.
Michael Bournival is still fighting concussion problems, and isn’t ready to go.
Team Canada was just too much for the Swedish team on a warm winter day in Sochi.
Too strong, too workmanlike, too solid on all fronts in blanking Tre Kronor 3-0 and ending this 2014 Olympics with gold and an astounding three goals allowed in six games.
What a sixty minute job by the Canadians and what a feather in Carey Price’s cap with his second straight shutout and just three total goals behind him in his three other appearances.
Carey was great, but this wasn’t a one-man show like it was with the Latvian goalie in Canada’s fourth game. It was Price and an unreal defence and an amazing group of forwards, all there to win gold, and they came through in spades.
There was no way the Swedes were going to win this game. The Canadians owned the ice at both ends, and goals by Jonathon Toews in the first, Sidney Crosby on a breakaway in the second, and Chris Kunitz with a great shot in the third was more than enough to put smiles on fans from sea to shining sea.
Great to see P.K. get his medal with the group. What a sensational smile he has, and his turn will come in four years when he and Price will lead the charge for another gold.
This Canadian win can only help Price and Subban with the Habs. They’ve seen what it takes, and it’ll translate into bigger and better things for them while wearing the CH.
Yes, I’m choked up now. I’m proud to be a Canadian. Proud of Team Canada. Proud of Carey Price.
Gold for Canada in men and women’s hockey.
It’s a moment for Canadians to cherish.
Thank you, Team Canada.
Canada didn’t do well in Nagano ’98, finishing fourth behind the Czech Republic, Russia, and Finland, while in women’s hockey, the U.S. took gold and Canada silver.
But all I’m doing here is showing Gretzky, Roy, Yzerman and the Team Canada gang in action against the U.S. early on in the tournament, when Canada won 4-1, and which I thought you might enjoy because of seeing these guys again.
Team Finland demolished the U.S. 5-0 today to capture the bronze medal, and that’s it for the Americans who had begun Sochi by lookin’ good with a taste for gold.
But it all changed on Friday when Carey Price and company edged them 1-0.
You could see that the Americans weren’t all that into it. Canada most certainly had ripped the enthusiasm out of them, and bronze wasn’t all that worth fighting for, I suppose.
The great Teemu Selanne scored twice in his last of four different Olympics, and maybe this had inspired his Finnish teammates as well.
Or maybe it was Patrick Kane missing on two penalty shot attempts that burst the balloon. Whatever, both the American men and women definitely aren’t crazy right now about how things ended up.
Now we focus on just one more game – the big one, tomorrow at 6 am ET, when Canada and Sweden go for gold. (I thought it was 7 am but they kept saying today it’s 6).
I don’t know about you, but I’m setting the alarm. And if you get up at 6 and it starts at 7, don’t blame me.
My original plan was to be a gymnast at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but all these things like age, weight, arthritis, and lack of any ability whatsoever kept coming up that completely discouraged me.
I remember telling my wife how frustrating it was as I lowered myself onto the couch near the table where my beer, drugs, and chocolate cake sat.
“I don’t think I’m going to the London Games as a gymnast”, I told Luci, and she couldn’t believe it. All along she thought Canada was the land of opportunity, and now she saw it wasn’t.
London came and went, and I’ve been watching the Winter Games in Sochi, trying to decide which sport I could do, and once again it doesn’t seem fair.
They all seem to take lots of hard work and talent. I hate that. I also haven’t flown through the air and done somersaults since that night at the quarry when me and my buddies ate all that mescaline.
But I looked and kept looking and I now see that I can still take part in the Olympics. I can be either the person who opens and closes the door for figure skaters or the guy who shoots the gun to start races.
How do you go about becoming a race starter? Is there a course?
I can do these jobs. Both of them. I can open doors, and I can pull a trigger if my arthritis behaves itself.
Although if there’s a course I might pass. Always hated school.
South Korea in 2018. The dream is alive.
Team Canada played a tremendously solid game against a good U.S. and now move on to meet the Swedes on Sunday for the gold medal.
As a proud Canadian, it’s been a good two days, with first the women winning it all and now the men moving a big step closer.
I don’t care that the weather up here leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes the weather’s great. Anyway, we’re a tough bunch, and If we didn’t have bad weather, we’d have a lot less to talk about at parties.
Canada’s an exceptionally wonderful country and anyone who hasn’t been here needs to smarten up.
But back to the game.
Many said leading up to today that it could be a high scoring affair. It wasn’t.
Many said throughout the tournament, and long before, that Carey Price in nets would be a mistake. It was no mistake.
Price has been solid as a rock. He’s come through. And his calm demeanor has probably helped not only himself but his teammates too.
The pressure of winning in the Olympics is intense, but Price is used to it. He plays for the Montreal Canadiens.
Just a great showing by the Habs goaltender in Sochi, and maybe the critics will take a few days off now.
Jamie Benn scored Canada’s lone goal, a nice redirection of a Jay Bouwmeester pass, and that was it. The lone goal and the winner. It was all that was needed with Price holding the fort.
Benn’s been good. And I thought Crosby and Kunitz had their best showing of the tournament and swarmed the American end often. Kunitz especially had about a half dozen good chances.
Now it’s Sweden at 7 am ET on Sunday for all the marbles. One more big game needed. One more game where everyone has to play like it’s game seven of the Stanley Cup finals, which is bigger than you think, Rene Fasel.
Proud of the two Canadian teams, proud of my country. But I can’t get carried away. I’ll have nothing to write on Sunday.
“Did you like the game, Elmer?”
“Sure did, Red. Did somebody say the weather’s good in Canada?”
Congratulations to Team Sweden for edging the Finns 2-1 and earning themselves a berth in Sunday’s gold medal game.
It wasn’t a barnbarner by any stretch. And I was hoping for Finland because of our good friend and Habs fan Jarno Tauvo in Turku.
Now we wait impatiently for the Canada-U.S. game coming up.