Category Archives: San Jose Sharks

Sit Back And Enjoy Others Pound Away

Isn’t it nice to sit back, put the feet up, smile, light a stogie, stretch, hum a tune, clean ear wax, and watch other teams beat each other with sticks while our team has already got the job done?

At this point in time, Boston leads Detroit 2-1, Pittsburgh is winning 2 games to 1 over Columbus, the Rangers are up 2-1 on Philly, San Jose holds a huge 3-0 lead over L.A., Anaheim is leading Dallas 2-1, St. Louis has a 2-1 edge on Chicago, and Colorado leads Minnesota 2-1.

Of course by the time you might read this, it’ll have changed. But no matter. Change, don’t change. Whatever.

We’re relaxed. We watch without jitters. Our team is moving on, which is just about as good or better than anything we do with our clothes on.

And should we root for Detroit or Boston to play our Canadiens? With Detroit we’d be up against a talented, great skating team that for the most part plays it clean.

With Boston, there’s talent and a plethora of ugliness and uncouthness.

Maybe at this point I’m going with Detroit, really for no particular reason other than the Canadiens might stand less of a chance of getting injured.

And if it’s Detroit, it won’t take long for me to despise them as much as any other team playing the good guys from Montreal because that’s what we do. We hate the other team because they’re trying to get in the way of our happiness.

Montreal went 3-1 against the Bruins this year, and 2-1 against Detroit.

 

March 15th Madness

The Canadiens were in the midst of a three-game losing streak, scoring just three total goals in losses to Phoenix, San Jose, and Boston.

The Senators would be up next, in a game at the Bell on March 15th, but from the first drop of the puck it seemed the Habs had turned over a new leaf, with Daniel Briere scoring just 38 seconds in and many others coming close on several chances not long after.

The Canadiens looked like they truly had put aside the three losses and were about to get back on course.

Slowly but surely though, Ottawa began to take it to the Montrealers who seemed confused and disorganized after that good opening frame. It quickly became Ottawa’s game, and as the third period wound down, the Senators held a comfortable 4-1 lead and the Canadiens slump would soon reach four.

Ottawa fans smiled. Trickles of fans at the Bell slowly made their way to the exits. Another loss and again no offense from the Canadiens, with just one goal scored.

But at the 16:38 mark of the third, Lars Eller would send the puck past Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner to make it 4-2, although it was too late for any thought of a real comeback. Just not enough time. And they’d been outplayed.

Just over a minute later, at 17:56, that Brian Gionta would suddenly make it a 4-3 game, and eyes and ears perked up. What’s this? Could they score again?

And when Ottawa took a last-minute penalty and Carey Price went to the bench for an extra attacker, the impossible suddenly seemed downright possible.

And it was, with David Desharnais tying it with less than a second to go. And just 1:26 into overtime, Francis Bouillon bulged the twine and sent Sens players and fans to bed cursing.

Tonight these teams play again, in Ottawa this time, and will the mood be ugly? Will the Sens be an ornery team looking for revenge after their collapse at the Bell?  Has a growing and heated rivalry been thrust into another gear, with bad blood now overflowing?

Can the Canadiens beat them and put what should be the final nail in the Sens playoff hopes?

Canadiens want home ice in the opening round of the playoffs. They also want no one getting hurt. Tonight’s an important game for all concerned.

 

 

 

Impressive At Seven

Danno sends the Sportsnet NHL Power Rankings and as you can see, the Canadiens are right there behind the six everyone considers to be the class of the league.

I think it’s pretty darn impressive to see the Habs ranked that high. Could it be a touch of respect thrown their way?

Team Previous
1 Thanks to Montreal, Boston’s 12-game winning streak has been morphed into a 13-game point streak. A seven-point lead over the Penguins for the Eastern Conference crown is a big deal for the best home team in the conference. 2
2 The West-leading Blues stumbled early in their four-game road trip, getting outscored 8-1 combined in losses to the Flyers and Blackhawks, but bounced back to shutout the Penguins and pile onto the Maple Leafs’ misery. 1
3 Led by two 30-goal scorers, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski, the Sharks have points in four straight and look to be a serious Presidents’ Trophy threat. With a 26-5-5 record at the Tank, home ice is worth fighting for. 3
4 Tough one-goal losses to the Sharks and Caps underscored the Ducks’ need to get Cam Fowler back as soon as possible. But while Anaheim has surrendered the Pacific lead to San Joe, the Ducks have three games in hand. 5
5 Chicago is playing into the wind, and playing well. Despite the loss of leading scorer Patrick Kane, the defending champs have points in five of six and welcomed future star Teuvo Teravainen to the NHL Tuesday. 10
6 A big W in Philly — the return of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter — shows that the Kings are peaking at the right time… again. Winners of four straight. 8
7 The Canadiens wanted the Bruins to extend their league-best winning streak to 12 games just so they could be the Bruins’ unlucky 13th opponent. And they were. Here’s hoping these two passionate and on-fire clubs meet in the playoffs.

The entire league rankings can be seen right here

Chewed By Sharks

No need to go into a lot of detail. The Canadiens were outmatched in San Jose as they drop a 4-0 decision to the Sharks and thankfully the western U.S. road trip is now finished, as is a killer stretch of seven games in eleven nights.

The funny thing is, even though the Habs have just gone through a tiring time, they’ve had worse nights over the course of the season when they were absolutely fresh and still stunk.

I guess that’s not that funny.

Regardless, they remain in the thick of things, the new guys Vanek and Weaver will now have a chance to catch their breath and realize what team they’re playing for, and things will be just fine in Habsland.

There’s no way I’m jumping on the team for dropping three out of four on this California/Arizona trip. That was then. I’ve forgotten it already.

There’ve been several low points in the season for the boys, and they’ve always rebounded. So what’s the problem?

Regarding on-ice action, Peter Budaj let in a goal in the first period that was a downright killer, especially when they’d had some jump up until then.

A shot from centre ice that Budaj stopped while on his knees, but for some reason, he decided to stand up before the whistle was blown, and the loose puck at his feet was quickly banged home.

But maybe in the long run it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. The boys just didn’t have it.

Budaj was replaced by Dustin Tokarski in the second period after a screened shot beat him, and although the backups have worked hard and shown some fine moments, we’re more than ready to see Carey Price again.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Sharks 33, Habs 27.

Next up – Bruins at the Bell on Wednesday.

It’s late.

Shark Waters

Canadiens clash with the Sharks tonight in San Jose and wind up a tough four-game trip to California and Arizona.

Time to get back to Montreal where the weather’s much better.

The last time these two teams met it was at the Bell Centre on Oct. 26 when the Habs were blanked 2-0 by the Sharks.

It was a night when Travis Moen took a puck in the face and missed a couple of weeks due to a fractured orbital bone. I remember saying at the time that it was probably just a little cut and no big deal, which makes me no better than Dr. Recchi.

They were also losing just 1-0 that night when a puck hit a glass support on a shot from outside the blueline, and with Carey Price behind the net ready to corral it, it when directly in and suddenly it was 2-0.

Sound familiar? The same thing that happened to Dustin Tokarski a few nights ago in Anaheim. These California rinks have to fix their glass supports.

Big game, Peter Budaj’s in net, and how great it would be for the boys to come home after playing .500 hockey on this swing.

They should be rested now. Tomas Vanek and Mike Weaver should be feeling more comfortable, and seeing the Canadiens play great would make it much easier to stay up so late and watch.

 

 

Habs Eaten By Coyotes

With Thomas Vanek in the lineup and Dale Weise a healthy scratch, the Canadiens drop a 5-2 decision to the Phoenix Coyotes, a game they were in until they weren’t.

Maybe it’s because Vanek played alongside smallish Tomas Plekanec and wee Brian Gionta, but he looked absolutely huge. He’s listed at 6′ at the Canadiens website, but 6’2″ everywhere else, including Hockey Database and Hockey Reference.

I’m going with those. He’s definitely bigger than 6′.

But that’s beside the point. The Canadiens lost, although it isn’t the end of the world. They just have to win in San Jose on Saturday to erase the bummer.

The Coyotes struck first when a long shot caromed off Douglas Murray, but Andrei Markov tied it with a big blast. Then with Lars Eller taking a tripping penalty in the offensive zone, Phoenix once again grabbed the lead and visions of Eller in the doghouse danced through many of our heads I’m sure.

But he was back out shortly after, which was nice to see. I hate seeing guys in the doghouse all the time. And if life was truly fair, Rene Bourque shouldn’t have played since last November.

The killer for the Habs came with just nine seconds left in the first period when Phoenix made it 3-1, and as they say, Antoine’s your uncle.

Montreal did narrow it to a 3-2 game in the second when Alex Galchenyuk scored on a 5 on 3, and Alexei Emelin had previously bulged the twine, but the goal was called back because Desharnais was stuck in the crease.

We could also say the Canadiens were all over the Coyotes in that second frame, but the home team had four penalties to Montreal’s none, and that might have something to do with it.

In the third, I listened to the game on the radio on my way to the airport to pick up Luci. That’s when I heard Phoenix make it 4-2 and then 5-2. It’s also when I got lost at the airport trying to find the parking garage.

Random notes:

Along with Weise, healthy scratches included George Parros and Francis Bouillon. Josh Gorges is back in Montreal having his damaged hand looked at.

The Canadiens apparently didn’t arrive in Phoenix until 3:00 am, but no excuses, right?

Habs outshot the Coyotes 26-23.

Thomas Vanek, although looking slightly out of sorts which is understandable, still managed to have three or four good chances to score, which is three or four more than Rene Bourque has managed in the last month.

Peter Budaj was less than sharp. We need Carey Price back, but with the final stretch and upcoming playoffs, it’s very wise not to rush things. Groin injuries take time. I remember suffering one myself after that private party with the players’ wives. Took me months to recover.

Newly acquired d-man Mike Weaver didn’t seem overly impressive in his debut but I think it’s unfair to judge after just one outing.

Next, the San Jose Sharks on Saturday at 10:00 pm ET. Another tough game, and it’ll be nice when this road trip is over. Not only because it’s a tough four games, but also because they’ve all been past my bedtime.

Maybe we’ll see a camera shot of grumpy Neil Young at the game. He’s been a season ticket holder in San Jose for years. Ex-Hab Terry Harper, who lives a couple of hours north of San Jose, also goes to games there from time to time.

 

Big Games On The Horizon

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.

Annually Disappointed

Interesting story in The Hockey News sent over from Ian Sirota about fans in 10 cities who are completely long-suffering.

Always teased, always disappointed, their team always falling short.

And no, the Habs aren’t on the list. They’re not even on the honorable mention list. I’m not sure why. We’re annually disappointed.

It’s right here. Thank you Ian for the link.

Mellow Yellow

A fine time to put up the S.H.I.T.S. (Scientific Habs Information Tracking System) with the Olympic break now upon us, and as you can see, the boys have given us five wins in the past seven games.

As you can also see, they’re not giving up many goals.

It’s good yellow, but we need much more. And if you look what’s coming up when play resumes, you’ll see that the Habs face Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Toronto, and then a tidy little road trip to Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, and San Jose.

Then it’s back home to host the Bruins and then the Senators.

Yikes. The yellow won’t come easy.

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Habs Handled By Sharks

8

The Canadiens found themselves in tough against the San Jose Sharks Saturday night. Overmatched I suppose.

Although I usually hate to admit that.

But as Confucious once said, “He who doesn’t bulge the twine, doesn’t win.”

Les Glorieux simply had no real flow to their offence, which of course showed on the scoreboard as they weren’t able to muster even a single goal, which translated to a 2-0 win by the ungrateful guests.

It’s a good team, these San Jose Sharks. But they got a major break in the third period when a shoot-in deflected badly off the glass with Carey Price behind the net preparing to corral it, and suddenly a 1-0 game became 2-0.

And at that point, the way the Sharks were playing, the way they were checking the Habs into the ground and ringing pucks off posts, the siren might as well have gone off and everyone head home.

It was 0-0 after the first, and the Canadiens were showing that they could play with this Western Conference team. They were step to step with them, and a goal might have given them the extra adrenaline they would need on this night, not to mention the extra vibes from the crowd.

But it began to look dismal when Montreal took their third straight penalty, the Sharks finally broke the ice, and from then on the Canadiens looked ragged and a tad confused. And then that horrendous bad deflection off the glass and it became one of those nights.

Basically it was a one-goal game throughout, aside from that fluke. And aside from the couple of posts the Sharks hit.

Carey Price was once again solid in nets, but a goal or two at the other end would have helped. But as long as hockey has been played, shutouts have happened. It’s as normal as jock itch.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Sharks 37, Habs 22. So I guess the home team basically took a spanking.

Travis Moen took a puck in what appeared to be the forehead, and blood came gushing out. But I feel he’s fine because I can remember when I was playing beer league hockey in Ottawa and a puck fluttered my way at about two miles an hour, hit me in the forehead, and there was so much blood it looked like I’d need about ten stitches at least.

It was one measly stitch. Apparently there’s a large storage of blood above the eyes that will flow like Niagara Falls if hit just right. But of course I’m no Dr. Recchi so I can’t say for sure.

Next up – Monday, when the Canadiens hit Broadway for a meeting with the Rangers. Then it’s a quick trip home to take on the visiting Dallas Stars on Tuesday.