Due to the Canadiens-Sabres game not being televised, I made an executive decision. Instead of listening on the radio, I watched the Leafs-Detroit game, as a sort of scouting mission. You see, I’m not only an almost-owner and almost-stickboy and almost the guy who makes the players’ wives comfortable, but I’m also an almost-scout. I wanted and needed to get a feel for the Leafs, who the Habs open up against Oct. 1st.
I didn’t see much. Grabovski has put on weight. One of the players walked in to the rink wearing a fedora. Fans were quiet. Komisarek slammed a few guys but not much else, which is what he did in Montreal, although listening to the pre-game patter from the CBC boys, you’d think he was the saviour and a nice blend of Bobby Orr and Doug Harvey. I’m now absolutely convinced these guys paid no attention whatsoever to the Habs last year. Because if they did, why would they speak in such glowing terms about this bum?
From time to time I put aside my scouting duties to check in at the Bell Centre, and I noticed Ryan O’Byrne had a fight, Buffalo led 2-0 in the first and scored a short-handed goal. Short-handed goals are unacceptable. I also noticed that Carey Price is in goal and I’m slightly concerned. This is a guy who needs a big night and it’s not starting out that way.
I then saw on replay that O’Byrne destroyed the guy after the guy hurt Tom Pyatt. See Komisarek? That’s how you fight.
And why can’t the Habs, at some point in time, when all the stars are aligned, not allow any goals in a game? Shutouts are unheard of with this team. When was the last time they had a shutout, 1993? (Just looked it up. It appears both Price and Halak had one shutout each last year although that could be a misprint.)
Back in Toronto, Komisarek just thumped a guy near the net. I thought the announcers were going to have an orgasm. He also threw the puck up the middle which of course was intercepted, and took a bad penalty. Get used to it, Leafs fans, you’ll be seeing a lot of bad passes and bad penalties.
2-2 in Montreal. This is much better.
3-2 Montreal. Much, much better. Price came through in fine fashion. From the stats, it looked like a rough game, a good game, a game that should’ve been televised. Imagine, Leafs coast to coast on CBC, and the Habs nothing. But no wonder - Mike Komisarek and Jonas Gustavsson are the best players who ever lived. And there’s talk now that Gustavsson (The Monster) is better than Terry Sawchuk and Turk Broda combined and will soon be inducted into the Hall of Fame, even though he’s only played three periods in the NHL.
I couldn’t be sure but was that JIm Hughson and Craig Simpson kissing The Monster’s ring in the corridor after the game?
Habs finish pre-season with four wins, two losses and one shootout loss, for nine points. That’s pretty good but of course it doesn’t compare with the magnificent, brilliant and overwhelming display of hockey shown by the Leafs who now have ten points. That’s why CBC shows the Leafs. They’re just too darn good not to.