Category Archives: St. Louis Blues

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

Canadiens Blank Buffalonians

Habs win 2-0 against Buffalo at the Bell and the beauty of a game like this is that because not much happened, I don’t have to babble on and on and I can go to bed.

The Canadiens just didn’t have much in the way of fire, coming off big games in Toronto and Boston, and it’s understandable. These guys aren’t machines. The emotion was spent.

Two big games and then a third one in four days against a team lower than J.J. Daigneault’s hairline. It was like watching a violin recital after a Little Richard concert.

But they got the win, Carey Price played well and nailed down a shutout, and the boys have now won six of the last seven. It makes my heart soar like a Red Footed Booby.

It took two and a half periods before the Canadiens’ first goal was scored against Matt Hackett, Jeff’s nephew playing in only in his second NHL game, when Max converted a nice passing play involving linemates Vanek and DD.

Six minutes later the team struck again when Daniel Briere beat Hackett, and that’s how it ended up.

Oh, there was a brief disagreement near Price when the game ended, but it was quickly snuffed and two points are in the bag. Now it’s Detroit on Thursday to start thinking about.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Habs 35, Sabres 24

The Leafs lost their sixth straight, 5-3 to St. Louis.

 

Max Mentionings

All the way home I listened to speculation on TSN 690 about the possibility of Max Pacioretty getting traded, with the question being, for whom?

Or is it just idle gossip on a slow news day in Montreal, aside from all the ice and snow.

I don’t want Max traded. Streaky or not, he’s a big power forward who can find the back of the net.

How many others on our team can we say the same of? And how many are out there who are similar?

What, we’re going to get even smaller? If Marc Bergevin trades Max for a little guy, I’m moving to Tibet to find the true meaning of life.

Okay, I can be swayed. I’ll take either David Backes or Alex Pietrangelo for Max.

There was also talk that he and Michel Therrien don’t see eye to eye. Twenty guys on those ’70s Habs teams didn’t see eye to eye with Scotty Bowman either.

There’s probably a thousand examples. It’s part of nature. Working for the man.

Again, I don’t want Max traded.

And congratulations to him and his wife Katia for their new baby boy, Lorenzo. May Lorenzo grow up in Montreal. At least during the winter.

 

Outmatched In Missouri

In the category of “what if”….. what if the Canadiens had scored on a first period power play instead of St. Louis scoring while shorthanded?

It became 1-0 for the home team at that point and it was an early dagger….and soon after it became 2-0, and then 3-0.

And the Canadiens were screwed.

And I couldn’t help thinking, are the St. Louis Blues ever a nice big club. Who can skate. And score. How nice it would be to see a Habs club with that kind of size and mobility. We’ve got guys so small the fans in the nosebleeds think it’s a bunch of red, white and blue pucks on the ice.

Ottawa beat this Blues club 3-2 in OT last Monday. How’d they do that?

Brendan Gallagher made it close for awhile, scoring just his second goal in 18 games, which came in the second period and which gave us hope for awhile. And although the team did begin to make a game of it, the third period saw the Blues tally twice more and the Habs fall 5-1 and basically got whupped.

If all goes as planned, Montreal will win on Saturday in Nashville, if only to keep the mediocre “lose one, win one, lose one, win one” thing going.

Random Notes:

Brandon Prust took four minutes for hooking and roughing, but the boys killed it. That sort of thing that got them going the other night against Phoenix, and they did pick things up a notch. But with a 5-1 final score, they obviously didn’t pick things up enough.

Shots on goal – St. Louis 29, Montreal 26.

Alexei Emelin might have wished he missed the plane. A stick in the mouth and on the ice for four of the Blues’ five goals.

Back to the drawing board. These thumpings probably don’t affect the players nearly as much as losing heartbreakers, but it affects lots of us.

When they get their asses kicked, the shortcomings are magnified. It makes for a dismal night all round.

 

 

 

 

Tonight in Old St. Louis

Daniel Briere has been announced as a healthy scratch in St. Louis and rightly so in my mind.

But I also noticed in surfing around that many Habs fans still feel David Desharnais is the worst thing to come along since hockey was invented and they want him demoted, traded, bought out, tarred and feather, and kicked to the curb.

Frankly, I must be missing something. I thought he’s been playing well lately and has been a big factor in Max Pacioretty’s recent prowess.

Maybe my eyes are getting worse. Maybe the acid flashbacks have started again.

An 8 pm Montreal time puck drop. In St. Louis it’ll be 7 pm.  And 5 pm in Powell River.

Falling To Florida

For the third straight game the Canadiens scored just one goal, with Sunday night at the Bell seeing them fall 2-1 to Florida and once again play less than stellar.

When I look at the Scientific Habs Information Tracking System (S.H.I.T.S.), I see that the gang has lost three out of their last four. It’s one of those stretches we have to endure until they give us another lengthy good stretch.

They’re my team through thick and thin.

Canadiens’ scoring woes continue. They failed to find the back of the net until Alex Galchenyuk managed in the third period on the power play, and they were unable to capitalize on a brief two-man advantage late in the game. They’re not going to win a ton of games from here on in unless the scoring begins again. The season gets harder, not easier.

I think they’re a tired bunch. A team that isn’t big and relies on speed is going to wear down a bit when they’re playing a lot of games bunched together. They’re off for about seven days at Christmas and that has to help. The Olympic break will too. There’s some serious batteries to be recharged here.

A couple of big tests coming up, with the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday and St. Louis Thursday. Maybe nothing more than a fluky goal will get things going. Or, maybe a big trade isn’t far off.

Therrien Likes Things Drab

Geez, I hope this doesn’t hurt my stick boy chances.

What do I think about the seemingly never-ending P.K. Subban/Michel Therrien saga?

I personally believe PK drives Therrien crazy, only because Therrien is an idiot who believes PK should be harnessed and talks too much and doesn’t deserve more ice time or playing for Team Canada in the Olympics because Therrien never really grew out of his grade eight mentally or understanding that some people just have high-level personalities. Unlike him.

It’s a personality conflict that would make this coach dislike PK even if he was nothing more than his next door neighbour.

Therrien might also feel he’s getting into Marc Bergevin’s good books by not showcasing him and possibly keeping PK’s bucks from being sky-high when it’s time for a brand new contract. Kind of a brown-nosing, self-serving approach.

Why does the entire hockey world wonder what Therrien’s doing with this young stud? Because like I said, there’s a strong chance the guy’s an idiot.

And what was so wrong with PK and Price’s triple low-five?

“I always like teams who are humble” Therrien said back then when he banned the triple low-five. “It’s a team concept. It starts with that. In life, I think you have to be humble. And we have to respect the game. We have to respect the other team. And we have to respect our fans.”

PK’s personality almost certainly rubs this guy the wrong way. Something will have to give soon.

Random Notes:

My co-worker Gilles Gratton, who played goal in both the NHL and WHA, said the Canadiens wouldn’t have scored on Jaroslav Halak the other night in the shootout even if every player on the team took a turn. Halak didn’t move, the skaters waited for him to do just that, and they ultimately were confused when he stood his ground. Whereas, says Gilles, Carey Price is a slow goalie, his reflexes aren’t overly quick, he can’t react in shootouts, and if he was smaller, he wouldn’t even be in the NHL.

Canadiens Dumped In Denver

Peter Budaj loses his first of the season, P.K. Subban has definitely seen better nights, and the Canadiens start the month of November by dropping their first two games.

Time to right the ship before they find themselves in a mess of trouble.

It began with a couple of first period fights, one between Ryan White and Cody McLeod, and two minutes later a heavyweight tilt between George Parros and Patrick Bordeleau, with the two big boys falling to the ice at the end of the tussle providing us with a split second vision of George cracking his head again.

He didn’t crack the noggin, thank goodness. But his wife must be in the habit of covering her eyes.

Quite a job George has. Fight for no real reason and risk another head injury. We don’t need this good Princeton boy to end up like Mohammed Ali.

Colorado opened the scoring in the second period, and then the Hab player most deserving to score, Brendan Gallagher, did just that on the power play in the third period to tie things up. But P.K. Subban left a man open in front of Budaj, and then gave the puck away behind the net which led to another, and that nice 1-1 tie that had us thinking they just may get it done vanished into thin air as it quickly became 3-1, and finally 4-1 with an empty-netter.

Now it’s the tough St. Louis Blues to contend with on Tuesday, and then the rival Sens on Thursday.

It won’t be easy, but you know the Habs. They love to surprise us with their Jekyll and Hyde routine. We may see a spirited club firing on all cylinders, or the winless November will keep rolling along.

It’s tough to be a Habs fan.

All in all the Canadiens weren’t terrible, but way too many guys are quiet now, and players continue to miss the net on great, close-in chances. It’s maddening. Hit the net, boys. You only get so many good chances in any game and when you do, at least make a rebound happen. Maybe you should try straight blades.

Random Notes:

Colorado edged the Canadiens 31-30.

Max played a fine game, skated like the wind, and rang one off the cross bar. He and the kids were the best Habs by a long shot. Gallagher especially was a Tasmanian Devil.

Good night. Did you put your clock back?

 

 

Lars Eller Day At Classic

Lars Eller was at Classic Auctions for a few hours on Sunday to sign pucks and jerseys and photos, and Luci and I were there to help out.

Luci helped at the entrance table, and I stood around a lot and unwrapped some puck holders.

But I talked to Lars a little bit and I’ve come away knowing that this is a nice and polite fellow who seems a bit shy, and the kind of guy that Luci and a lot of other women would like to mother and the kind of guy who makes me feel really freaking old.

I wanted to ask him if he’d put in a good word for me about the stick boy job but I figured he might think I was a raving lunatic so I didn’t. Was I wrong not to ask?

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And in non-Lars news, Classic Auctions is in the Guinness Book of Records for the following -

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Sidney Says……..

ESPN asked 11 players which goalie they thought was the best in the NHL. Here’s what they said:

(Sidney’s answer is the the last.)

Thanks to Affairs de Gars.com for the link.

Mike Smith ( Phoenix Coyotes)  said Henrik Lundqvist – N.Y

Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)  Henrik Lundqvist
 
Patrick Sharp (Chicago Blackhawks) Henrik Lundqvist
 
Steve Ott (Buffalo Sabres) Henrik Lundqvist
 
David Backes (St. Louis Blues) Pekka Rinne – Nashville
 
Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes) Pekka Rinne
 
Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche) Jonathan Quick – L.A.
 
Matt Moulson (New York Islanders) Jonathan Quick
 
Tyler Seguin ( Dallas Stars) Tuukka Rask – Boston
Jonathan Toews ( Chicago Blackhawks) Roberto Luongo – Vancouver
 
Sidney Crosby (Penguins Pittsburgh)  Carey Price – Montreal