Category Archives: Philadelphia Flyers

Win One, Lose One Etc

Not too many big chunks of yellow on the Scientific Habs Information Tracking System (SHITS) lately, just a lot of “win, lose, win, lose”, and the boys are going to have to smarten up.

Because as you can see (hopefully), they’re coming up against some good teams in the near future, and if they aren’t careful, they could even find themselves in a bit of a pickle, with the Rangers, Philadelphia, and Toronto breathing down their neck.

Heck, making the playoffs isn’t even a given.

C’mon Habs. Give us some more yellow.

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Moving On, Sort Of

Not all that thrilled with Michel Therrien right now, not that it matters I guess. Of course he could care less what me or anyone else thinks, aside from Marc Bergevin.

The Canadiens played like a frightened, hesitant, overwhelmed team against Philadelphia, and the one time one of them showed some fire and passion, PK Subban, who took a penalty for smacking a guy, the coach sat him on the bench for parts of the third period as punishment.

The one guy who was was actually awake and who may have helped in any sort of comeback attempt. Guys can sleepwalk, not score for fifteen games, and play like they’re hungover, but when PK shows some fire, not long after being named to the Olympic squad which means he’s one of the best of the best, he’s punished like a kid in school.

And Danno brought up a good point about Therrien not pulling Budaj for an extra attacker in the last minute. Therrien said he saw no reason, because the boys weren’t in it anyway. What kind of reasoning is that?

Mike also suggests that maybe those who thought it was wrong to bring in a coach who’d been canned once before by the team might be right after all.

Anyway, moving on. It can’t be healthy to stew for so long like this.

From the CJAD website – a backyard rink in St-Lazare, near Montreal.

rink 1

rink 2

rink 3

rink 4

 

 

 

Futility In Philly

Another tough one to watch. It’s hard to know where to start.

The Canadiens drop a 3-1 decision to the Flyers in Philadelphia on Wednesday, and on paper at least, a 3-1 score looks almost respectable. There’s been 3-1 scores for a hundred years.

But this was no barnburner, no close game with close calls, no “it could have gone either way” game.

It was the Flyers night for sixty minutes. The Canadiens might as well have stayed home and talked football.

How bad were the boys on this night? How about nine shots in the first period, six in the second, and five in the third.

It had to be the airplane food. Or the Philadelphia cheese steaks.

Or maybe about twelve of them are still sulking because they didn’t make an Olympic team, while the eight that did were deciding, when the game was on, how many suits to bring to Sochi.

What’s with this team? Deader than a Texas salad bar. Some nights they’re so completely out of sorts. Uninterested. Boring. I could go on.

If you have a job that pays six or seven figures, being uninterested isn’t an option.

Maybe it’s a subtle form of mutiny against the coach. Or maybe the captain isn’t good at rallying the troops.

And for added enjoyment, when they desperately needed some kind of oomph in the third period, Michel Therrien decided to sit P.K. Subban for several shifts. Did Therrien think Daniel Briere and Rene Bourque and the likes up front would probably get it done? Or maybe the high-powered Subban-less defence?

That’s seven straight losses for the Canadiens in The City of Brotherly Love. It’s ten straight wins for the Flyers. It’s all so very depressing.

With all my heart I hope for a shakeup. A trade. Maybe a Tinordi and Beaulieu call-up. Maybe even, and I know it’s as farfetched as can be and ridiculous to even wish for – a goal or two, and a great game, from Rene Bourque.

Random Notes:

Total shots on goal – Flyers 27, Habs 20. Not a huge margin, but if you saw the game, you know it was.

Peter Budaj in nets came up big several times, which is good. But he’s lost his last three starts, which is bad. Budaj’s record now stands at five wins, five losses, and a shared loss with Carey Price, which is mediocre.

Tomas Plekanec, on a nice pass from Brian Gionta, broke the shutout and gave us hope. But most of his teammates were in a coma and so it was a hopeless hope.

Brandon Prust pummelled Zac Rinaldo in the second period, which could have got things going, but on this night, Angelina Jolie could’ve dance the hula naked at centre ice and the boys still wouldn’t have woken up.

Next up – Oh goody, it’s only the Chicago Blackhawks to contend with on Saturday. Should be no problem there.

 

 

Habs Nip Cats

The Canadiens overcame a pesky Florida Panthers team to win 2-1 and make us not quite so testy about things.

And although the boys scored only twice, if they could have figured out Tim Thomas a bit better, it might even have been a lopsided deal. Because the chances were definitely there.

Montreal outshot the Panthers 13-5 in the first period, swarming the Florida net constantly, coming in in waves, looking like a million bucks. And all was right with the world when David Desharnais found the back of the net after first fanning, and then relying on his back hand to get the job done.

They were playing well. Another small yet fine step after a dismal November, added to a better first few games of December.

But things changed when Florida tied it up late in the frame, and suddenly the jump, the coming in in waves, suddenly calmed down and the visitors picked things up a notch. One goal and Montreal’s first period vim and vigour went out the window somewhat.

Was it a sign of an unsure or fragile team, when the foot is suddenly off the pedal like that? Or orders from the guy behind the bench, telling them to never mind the fancy stuff and tighten up?

Tomas Plekanec was flying on this night, both ways, showing the offensive and defensive skill throughout. Pleks will make a fine captain of the Czech Republic squad. A quiet guy leading by example.

And because Pleks was motoring, his linemates Brian Gionta and Daniel Briere found themselves with jump and opportunities, and it was Gionta who would notch the winner late in the second.

It was a swell two points, even with Andrei Markov and partner Alexei Emelin being on the ice for the Panthers marker, making it another night, especially for Emelin, of being in the minus column.

Markov struggled more than normal, best illustrated, for me at least, when a Panther player simply slid the puck through Markov’s open legs and the biscuit ended up in the back of the net.

Not the kind of play expected from a wily veteran.

And Emelin has been spending a lot of time getting confused instead of rattling bones and making the smart, quick play. But he’ll rebound. Hopefully before spring.

At least it was two big points against a team who had previously handed our boys a couple of dismal defeats. And although the original swarming of the net subsided after the first, the team still managed to get lots of chances, outshooting Florida 12-6 in the second before being outshot 16-10 in the third.

Carey Price kept them in it, Thomas at the other end did too, and the low scoring affair was still a win for the good guys, no matter how you slice it.

Final shots on net Montreal 35, Florida 27. Great to see lots of shots by the home team.

Random Notes:

Rene Bourque found himself in close with chances as well, and seemed to have some zip to his game. What an important guy Bourque could be if he came to play every night. He’s got the tools, but the tools seem mostly rusty or seized up.

Three times it seemed we were about to lose key guys, with Brendan Gallagher, Brandon Prust, and PK Subban all experiencing some sort of injury that thankfully didn’t keep them out of the game. Imagine if PK was seriously hurt on the eve of the Olympic roster decision.

And imagine a Montreal Canadiens team without P.K. for a long period of time. Whew.

Next up – Wednesday, with the guys in Philadelphia. No sense in saying the obvious about how a win is a must.

The Drabness Continues

Canadiens showed lots of life Thursday night in Philadelphia. After the game had ended when Brendan Gallagher and Brian Gionta showed displeasure with Flyers goalie Steve Mason.

Before that, most everyone was comatose.

Habs lose their second straight, 2-1 to the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. They didn’t deserve to win.

Remember the good old days when they were 9-0-1 and we were gleeful and full of merriment? That’s gone now. But I remember it well. Mainly because it was less than a week ago.

At least they scored a goal, although they didn’t until 56 seconds left when Alex Galchenyuk squeaked one over the line. And at least Galchenyuk came to play. Most didn’t for the second straight night. Third if you count the listless win against the Sabres last Saturday.

Again a disappointing effort from the boys. There wasn’t much drive, or pinpoint passing, or crashing the net, or any big blasts from P.K. But there was lots of dazed and confused play from way too many and that’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

If we’re expected to pay 11 bucks for a beer when we go to the Bell Centre, then the team is expected to at least give a solid effort whenever they play. That’s the deal. We cheer and pay through our noses. They play hard and cash six-figure cheques every two weeks.

We’re keeping our end of the bargain. Right now at least, they’re not.

I wonder how much beer is at the Wells Fargo Centre. Is it eleven bucks? Or is there a law in place saying Flyers fans shouldn’t drink?

Daniel Briere returned to his former home, and now we can only hope the charter leaves without him.

Brian Gionta barged in on a three on one and fired the old biscuit into the one place he shouldn’t – Mason. He had a bunch of options, none of which he decided to choose. He could’ve dropped it back, or sent it over, or maybe tried some kind of move, or even, and I know this sounds farfetched, shoot it where the goalie wasn’t.

Instead, right into the gut. The mark of a guy who might have had half-decent hands once upon a time but doesn’t now.

Carey Price was solid, the kids were fine, and most everyone else wasn’t.

Alexei Emelin got thrown out of the game for what the officials deemed a head shot on Steve Downie. I watched the replay several times and to me, Emelin nailed him in the upper chest and Downie acted like he was shot by a cannon. Either the camera angle didn’t show the true picture, or Steve Downie performed a magnificent embellishing act that would make Brad Marchand proud.

Next up – Canadiens on Long Island Saturday to end this short yet disturbing bummer of a slide.

Philadelphia, a team that began the night 12 points behind the Habs, outshot the boys 27-21, with Montreal managing 4 big shots in the first.

 

 

A Better Night For Briere?

Philadelphia Flyers v Montreal Canadiens

We’re 32 games into the season, not all that far off from the midway point, and Daniel Briere has played in 22 of them, with a tremendously mediocre 5 goals and 5 assists thus far.

Tonight Briere returns to his former home, Philadelphia, and if he doesn’t show zip and goes through the motions like we’ve mostly seen so far, then maybe it’s time to give up on the guy and say yes, this was a mistake signing and Marc Bergevin, as smart as he is, wasn’t so smart on this one.

Briere’s older (36), slower, and lacks the good hands he once had. But all we’re asking is a touch of the old good hands. Especially against his former team, on a night when his brand new team needs an important rebounding after having their bums kicked by the L.A.Kings.

It should be an emotional night for Briere. Surely he’ll play with passion.

Or maybe not.

It’ll be interesting to see.

Flyers And Parties And Such

This, from 119 years ago -

old

This from much later -

party

Not many more days until Christmas, which means there’s a good chance you’ve either been or will be going to a Christmas party.

A time to put on your best sweatshirt because it’s important to look nice while heading across the room to where the booze is.

I myself like Christmas parties much better than Halloween parties. Ever since I showed up at a Halloween party and was the only one with a costume. With Christmas parties, there’s no costume. Except for the lampshape on the head after drinking DKRFSB.

I’m almost comfortable at Christmas parties. In fact, all I ever worry about are small things like foreign objects hanging from my nose, holes in my socks, and saying something I’ll regret for the next fourteen years.

Other than that, pretty darn comfortable.

Habs in Philly Thursday night.

And speaking of Philly – This, from Feb. 11, 2010:

PK Called Up

PC_070623subban-pk_n

PK Subban has been called up to play in Philadephia Friday night. This is terrific news because the young buck is considered a keeper and part of the future of the Habs blueline, but it also reminds us that it’s a little bit like pre-season in Montreal right now, with guys being called up and sent down and others called up etc.

It’s never boring with the Montreal Canadiens.

And this, from Feb. 17, 1974

 

Spanked

Quite a dismal Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. Clobbered 6-0 by the visitors. Back to earth with a thud.

Dismal after the boys had come out in the first and went through several flurries where they peppered a guy named Jones and couldn’t score. Three power plays where even one goal might have changed the climate.

But Anze Kopitar scored with three seconds remaining in the first to make it 2-0, and it was the iceberg that sunk the good ship Habitant.

Goals three and four scored with Kings forward Kyle Clifford making himself at home in the blue paint and interfering with Carey Price.

A big and talented Los Angeles Kings squad sending fans out of the Bell Centre when the game was still in the second period.

Carey Price pulled after four goals on sixteen shots, although not completely his fault. Peter Budaj allowing two more.

Canadiens’ streak of allowing two goals or less in their last thirteen home games, stopped one short of the record of fourteen set back in 1968-69.

And they couldn’t muster even one goal on that guy named Jones.

All things that just leave a sour taste in the mouth. Like sucking on a lemon.

There’s only one thing to do. Remind ourselves that the Canadiens couldn’t continue to win every night. We wanted them to because we’re greedy bastards. But it had to end and unfortunately, it ended by getting slaughtered.

They went through a 9-0-1 stretch, hottest in the NHL. An amazing run. Proud of the boys for that. And now we put it behind us, move on, and watch them win in Philadelphia Thursday night.

 

 

Habs Whacked By Wild

It was almost a heroic road game. Down 2-1 in Minnesota after two periods. Down 3-1 in the third. Then they tied it up.

And then they lost 4-3.

Damn. A point or two down the drain because Jason Pominville was left wide open near Carey Price with five and half minutes left. Which was enough to send 20 Habs dads, who were there on their annual road trip, to find the nearest watering hole to drown their sorrows.

Drown their sorrows? I don’t think so. Their kid plays for the Montreal Canadiens. They’re happy. It’s the rest of us who think the game sucked.

The Egg Line was pesky for much of the evening, and although Eller, Galchenyuk and Gallagher once said that they’re not crazy about the name “EGG”, what else can it be? Kids?

Maybe they’re not crazy about that either. Anyway, it’s not their call. We decide on the name, not them.

Carey Price wasn’t sensational but not terrible either. At least better than the Steve Mason/Ray Emery duo who combined to allow seven goals in the Washington Capitals’ 7-0 slaughter of the Flyers Friday night.

Brendan Gallagher tied the game at one against those Wild, in the third P.K. blasted one home on the power play to close the gap to 3-2, and not long after, Brian Gionta tied it up and the dads and Habs fans of the world were happy.

But soon after, it all went down the proverbial toilet.

Can’t win ‘em all. Wish they could but of course it’s asking too much. Just win on Saturday, several more in a row after that, and all’s forgiven.

Random Notes:

Habs outshot the Wild 31-25.

Andrei Markov assisted on all three goals, P.K. had a goal and assist, and Alex Galchenyuk assisted on Gallagher’s opener.

George Parros returned from injury with his mustache shaved off. Maybe he should grow it back after being minus-3 in his almost five minutes of ice time.

David Desharnais remains frozen with just one assist so far this year.

Next up – Saturday evening in Denver to take on Patrick Roy’s red-hot Avs. How great it would be to see the bleu, blanc et rouge stick it to Patrick’s pupils.

Apparently Max will be suiting up, once again coming back from injury sooner than expected. Maybe he can help pull DD out of his ridiculous slump.