Great Night….Except….

So many great things. And just one bad one. But that one bad one might be plenty. 

A 7-2 demolishing by the Canadiens is one of those things Habs fans don’t see very often from the boys. I don’t know what got into them and I hope they didn’t decide to do steroids or something. Regardless, they flattened the Carolina Hurricanes in a big way and we have to be happy about this.

It’s good to see a real good spanking from our guys every now and again. And tonight it was one of those, as guys throughout the lineup garnered points and it seems slumps are being broken out of in dynamic fashion.

But Andrei Markov may be seriously hurt again, and it’s like throwing a wet blanket over a hot fire.

Markov got tangled up with Eric Staal and crashed into the boards, and it looks to be a leg or knee problem, which of course is possibly the worst thing that could happen aside from Tomas Plekanec or PK Subban or Carey Price going down. (Price, by the way, made a beautiful stop tonight that you can see in all its glory below). 

When Markov slammed his fist into the boards with frustration, my heart sank.

But we’ve learned to live without Markov before and we’ll do it again. Is it too late to keep our fingers crossed?

Habs point-getting was all over the map on this night, and take away the Markov incident, this became a time to celebrate. Tomas Plekanec, quiet lately, had a goal and three assists. Andrei Kostitsyn, also less than sparkling in his last few games, tallied a goal and an assist, as did Mike Cammalleri, who is another one who could’ve started the season with more of a bang.

Benoit Pouliot continues to prove me wrong. Brian Gionta is starting to roll. Mathieu Darche from the legendary PhD line chipped in, and Maxim Lapierre scored a dazzler that deserves sports hilites for days to come. Lapierre raced in, did a Savardian Spinnerama and in the net it went, and Lapierre’s smile could be seen from miles around.

Scott Gomez added a couple of assists, and Jaroslav Spacek, Travis Moen, and Roman Hamrlil also had helpers.

So you can see it was all hands on deck on this night and it’s not too far-fetched to say things are coming together in many ways.

How I would like to gush and throw adjectives all over the place on a night when Montreal onloads on the opposition. But I can’t. Not seeing Andrei Markov go down like that.

Yes, it’s great that we won and tremendous that we won in a big way. But now it’s a waiting game about Markov and I’m worried.

Random Notes:

Good old Tom Kostopoulos scored Carolina’s second goal, which briefly tied the game before the flood gates opened. If somebody from the enemy’s going to score, it might as well be Kostopoulos, a good ex-Hab.

Shots on goal – 33-30 Habs.

Next up – Tuesday when Philadelphia shows up.

Lapierre’s Savardian spinnerama goal wasn’t the only Montreal hilight play tonight. Carey Price made this stop that had everyone oohing and awing.

24 thoughts on “Great Night….Except….”

  1. You’re right, what a game but it’s hard to feel too good with Markov’s injury. At the same time we know the team can win without him and Picard played well when given the chance. Is there a Murphy’s Law about a player getting injured right after you trade one? Losing Markov is bad but not as bad as in previous years and maybe that’s because of PK.

  2. Dennis, it’s nice to be the one holding the paddles and delivering the spanking instead of being on the receiving end. I’m truly delighted for Cammy and AK, who have been working hard and found the back of the Canes net tonight. And since I’ve had a hate on for Cam Ward for a long time, allow me to say NYAH NYAH NYAH!

    Markov is a problem on several fronts. RDS is tweeting and stating that he’s out for 3 months, pending confirmation from an MRI. If this is true, it means more ice time for Hamr and Spacek, and that translates into trouble IMO. The only reason Spacek has been getting better is because Jacques took everyone’s advice and started reducing his ice time.

    Also problematic, Markov’s up for UFA at the end of the season. If he’s out until March, then he’s played total 45 games for the Habs last season, and will play even less this season. Yet because the Habs are a noticeably better team WITH him than without, he’s going to be wanting a raise. At this point, he ought to be offering a discount, because the Habs aren’t getting their money’s worth out of this guy any more. If he’s gone for the season, I say try for a trade.

    But right now, I really don’t care to hear anything about MAB and or extending Markov’s contract. Markov is one of my top 3 fave Habs along with Pleky and Gio, and now… I’m pretty close to wanting him gone.

  3. The score reminds me of the first round of the ’06 playoffs. Montreal, ranked 7th in the East takes on Carolina, ranked 2nd. Carolina beats Montreal, going on to eventually win the Cup. Tonight slightly made up for the pain of that playoff series.

    One thing to note: Philadelphia beat the ‘Canes 8-1. Then we beat them 7-2. Now we play Philadelphia next. Wonder what’ll happen here. Only good thing is that this will be a home game, but the crowd surely hasn’t forgotten about what went down in May. Hope there aren’t riots/abuse thrown at the visitors. (Though I wouldn’t be surprised if there are slashed tires and 10 minute misconducts being handed out with a lengthy penalty list.)

    Go Habs go!

  4. Dennis, that was a statement game by the Habs. The refs were calling a lopsided game in favour of the Canes which helped them to come back and tie the score.

    For example, Cammalleri got the short end of the stick so to speak when he did a tit-for-tat after getting tripped in back of the Canes’ net But he had to go off for two minutes which led to Carolina’s first goal by Babchuck. Then Tom the Bomb popped one in moments after and it looked shaky.

    But I noticed Josh Gorges was on the bench really upset and angry. It was like he was reading his team mates the riot act.
    The commentator on RDS summarized by saying he was telling everyone “That’s enough. Let’s get out there and win this game.”
    From that point on it was like someone flicked a switch.

    There were several highlights following Gorges’ motivation speech but there are two that stood out for me.

    First, Carey Price’s spectacular save (which you posted above). If you watch carefully you will see Price smile and giggle after the save. Priceless!

    Second, that Savardian Spinnarama goal by Maxim Lapierre…

    Then there was the injury…

    But I am crossing my fingers and hoping Markov might be okay. I looked at the video clip of the hit from Stamkos and it does offer some insight. If you watch very carefuly near the end of the clip, Markov appears to put some weight on his right leg after he leaves the ice and walks towards the locker room.

    All in all a great game. Let’s just pray Markov is okay.

    Oh yes, and the Leafs lost their 8th game in a row to Vancouver 5-3.

  5. Great points, Danno. I hadn’t noticed that bench talk from Gorges. And thanks, Danno, for sending that Price clip.

  6. Habby, wouldn’t it be great if we take it to the Flyers? Philadelphia is such an unlikeable team and I’d love to see the Habs win this. I’m just worried about Markov. But with or without him, they’re still a good team contrary to what the TV “experts” say. (Doug Maclean, among others, says they’re just an average team).

  7. Tyg, it was so nice to see the points spread around like that. We need more of that, although I hate to sound greedy. Someone described Markov as fragile lately and I thought, no he isn’t, he just got hurt a couple of times last year but that’s it. Now I’m thinking that maybe he’s cursed.

  8. We’ve done it before, DJ, and we’ll do it again. I just hope he’s not out too long. And you’re absolutely right, having Subban softens the blow a little.

  9. Nice freakin’ win last night, Dennis….what I really love tho’ is your current ‘book mark’ !!! How true…in soooo many ways. With some of these commentators you could swear that they are really Daniel & Henrick under the suits et all.

  10. Tyg, I went in and fixed a couple of typos on my last comment. It was four in the morning and I think it’s a great excuse.

  11. I think you’re right, Moey. It wouldn’t be normal if everything went perfect for us. Now we wait and see how bad this injury is. Ditto the “sigh.”

  12. Poor Markov. We love him so. Thank God we head PK and Price. Not to mention… Well, every forward really. They seem to take turns pumping shots on net this year. The goals have been really even, with the leaders of the pack barely ahead. Yes, Cammy and others are having slow starts. But I’m pretty happy to see the amazing team effort the Habs are putting out this year.

    All last year (until the playoffs, I suppose) the Habs seemed disjointed. They were hockey players on the ice, not the great team we see now. It’s a group effort.

    Which is of course the long way of saying, it’s pretty much all Price. That guy is on fire.

    As a side note, I’m also quite pleased to see Halak doing superb in St. Louis. After getting dumped in a crappy trade without notice he has earned it.

  13. Looking over the hit in slow motion a number of times, it looks like Staal’s knee hit Markov just above the knee. Fingers crossed it was “just” a charley horse or bad bruise.

  14. Now we wait, Sean. Maybe it’s not as bad as it looked. But judging from Markov’s reaction, it seemed like he knew it was bad. It’s such a shame. He was just now starting to play like he can. But I’m going to remain optimistic and believe the boys can get it done anyway, with whoever. We did it before and we’ll do it again. Thanks for this, Sean.

  15. Hi David. I’m convinced we’ll just carry on as usual, continue to do well, and prove all the TV “experts” wrong. And I’m not going to believe any premature reports about this injury until I hear it from the mouth of a doctor or a Habs spokesman. And you’re right – Price is on fire. Thank goodness.

  16. Spot on with the mood Dennis.

    Just watched the game all the way through. I may be busy for a while now as I embark on a PhD. The subject, “Bob Cole – The Disguised Language of Distaste “.

    An “institution” to all of you and no doubt regularly derided, but I’m really only just coming to admire his unique ability to say of a Canadien goal, “that was a beautiful shot”, while at the same time channeling into your mind the image of a bucket of s***.

    A special gift.

    Or am I hearing something that isn’t there? Is it that classic dry Canadian capacity for understatement? Is he like that with everyone?

    He seemed to like Carolina.

    Like everyone else I’m hanging my hat on Markov seeming to put some weight on his right leg as he went off. But it’s a major worry for his career as much as for the team.

    Thanks for your thoughts a couple of entries back Danno and sorry about the keyboard Tyg. Get a touchscreen it leaves the desk free to spit all over.

    The time difference means I can’t always get back to reply and there’s a lot to be said on what makes different sports appeal but that’s for another day.

  17. Blue Bayou, myself and others have been on Bob Cole for a long time now. Bob’s an old pro and all that, but he really can’t seem to get overly-excited about the Habs. Doesn’t matter what they do, Bob just won’t go overboard with praise. Yes, he probably likes Carolina more than Montreal, and he also likes Toronto, Chicago, Tampa, Phoenix, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Vancouver etc. etc. more than Montreal also. It’s very sad. I even invented a drinking game about good old Bob. Many of us feel it’s time for him to retire. It’s very frustrating. Between him and the American ESPN guys, you’re just not having any luck at all with your broadcasts and its too bad Danny Gallivan wasn’t around to describe things for you. The only solution worth mentioning is for you to move to Canada where you’ll get more choices in broadcasts. And a bunch of us will take you out for a very special Canadian dish that will make your mouth water and keep you coming back for more – cheeseburger and fries.

  18. @ Dennis and Blue Bayou — Blue Bayou maybe you should tune in to the RDS broadcasts like I do.

    They are the French version of TSN and in my opinion have the best and most entertaining commentators. Of course, this will only be useful to you if you understand French.

    One thing is for sure, they do not hide their love for their team or their enthusiasm when they yell out: “Et ç’est le buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut!”

    Kind of like those Spanish or Italian soccer anouncers when they yell out:

    I always loved the passion they display.

  19. Man I love seeing that win. A blowout of Carolina adds that touch of delicious shameful joy to my day.

    Sucks that we’ve lost Markov again though. As for trading him I doubt we’d get much. What’s the value on a decent defensemen with legs of glass? Then again, the Rangers took on Gaborik, and Boston got two first round picks for Kessel…hmm…

  20. PK was ready to take on Staal for the hit but was held back. Thankfully they were able to seriously bury that sorry franchise with two late powerplay goals. I mean, they were already buried but two more was icing on the cake.

    As upset as I am for Markov, I just watch Price giggling after that save and I feel better.

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