Category Archives: Ottawa Senators

Price – Like We Knew He Would

A sharp looking, bow tied Carey Price took the stage at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to collect three biggies at the 2015 NHL Awards, and only one question remains unanswered. Why didn’t wife Angela smile more?

Price collected the Ted Lindsay Award for outstanding player as voted on by other players, the Vezina as league’s best goalie, decided by the 30 GMs, and the Hart Memorial Trophy for league MVP, voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Serious awards indeed. And now we wait to see if Pricer rides a horse into the lobby of Caesars Palace later on tonight after getting down at Bill’s Saloon where Big Elvis sings nightly. At least I think the big guy is still going strong. He looked slightly out of shape when I was there five or six years ago.

Price also shared the William M. Jennings Trophy with Chicago’s Corey Crawford for fewest goals allowed during the regular season (189).

Way to go, Carey. How come Angela didn’t smile more?

If I could produce the NHL Awards, I’d change two little things. The  laugh attempts and the music. Show clips of Stanley Cup wins and throw in some Slapshot, and most of the room, and us at home, are happy.

Instead of cue cards and awkward silliness, go for the important stuff, like the Jonathan Pitre segment. The young fellow suffers from a rare and painful skin disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa, and members of the Ottawa Senators, including Bryan Murray, came on stage and gave him gifts like a trip to next year’s All Star Game in Nashville.

Memories to last his lifetime, which, like Jonathan said on stage, could last until he’s 100.

Every year I hate this awards show. The entertainment sucks. Forget the laughs. Forget the music. Am I dead inside?

Rob Riggle, also known as obnoxious real estate agent Gil Thorpe on Modern Family, gave his all, I suppose, and I don’t want to be critical of this fellow. It must be a helluva tough gig. You get up in front of a room full of hockey players and executives and see how you do.

It’s gotta be a tough crowd to say the least. They just don’t laugh a lot, these hockey people. Not in a place like that. Maybe at the golf course or a father-son banquet.  Maybe if Tina Fey and Amy Poehler stepped in. Or Jim Ralph or Dennis Hull.

Chris Daughtry, from American Idol a few years back, sang with his band and not one goosebump showed up on my skin. And when he ordered everyone to stand up, they did. Only they didn’t want to.

Daughtry ordered the room to “get up. I mean it, get up”, and so they did, They stood there, of course, with a serious lack of swaying or bic lighter lighting, and I think it was only Ted Lindsay and Glen Sather who shook their booties and did a couple of splits in the aisle.

I hate when bands order us to stand up. We’ll stand up if we want to. And it’s usually when we like the band. So shut the %$#& about standing up, Daughtry, you mediocre, ultra ordinary American Idol fourth place finishing arena rocker.

A serious lack of cleavage was noticed throughout the proceedings. There were glimpses of it on the red carpet, but the wives and girlfriends in their seats within camera range were all buttoned up. It was a disappointment that ranked up there with P.K. Subban not winning the Norris (Erik Karlsson did).

Speaking of Karlsson, his dark-haired girlfriend was a ravishing beauty. Va va voom! And during his speech, he mentioned that when he gets home every night, she always treats him the same. I’ve been wondering about this ever since.

All in all, a normal NHL Awards Show that featured not a whole lot, aside from Carey Price winning some monumental awards and the Jonathan part. We’re proud of our goalie, and for me I thought he was terrific when he spoke about encouraging First Nations kids to be all they can be.  Way better than Chris Daughtry singing and ordering everyone to stand up.

On a personal note, I can relate, in my humble way, to what Price experienced on this night, having also captured an MVP award and various other big time honours during my life.

I just don’t like to talk about it much, but just this once I’ll bring it up.

Robin Hood

Bartender

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Sean’s Fine Piece

This story –  Canadiens Extend Series, is written by my friend Sean Farrell, who, when he’s not covering the Habs for Canadiens.com and NHL.com, works at Classic Auctions near Montreal, where I also worked before moving back to the West Coast.

Sean and I did the exact same job – we wrote descriptions of rare and unique hockey items for the auction catalogues.

During our big company hockey game a couple of winters ago, Sean tended goal and I was a smallish-yet-shifty forward on the team that won the game and in doing so, we got a day off with pay. It was a beautiful moment.

Sean also spent a season a few years back covering the Ottawa Senators for NHL.com, but is back where he belongs, taking care of Habs business.

 

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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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.