Tag Archives: Alex Burrows

Habs Strangle Sens

A Shea Weber blast in the first period, two rockets  from Andrei Markov in the second, and the Canadiens, with their 3-1 win, down the Ottawa Senators for the third time in a week.

Montreal’s pathetic showings against Detroit and Carolina earlier this week is now ancient history. The Canadiens win a big one, they once again widen the gap to three points in the Atlantic Division fight for first, and they looked decent doing it.

They’re back in our good books, thanks to Markov with his pair of goals and a helper, Carey Price coming up big when called upon, and a clock-punching, hardworking, hard-skating  effort by everyone.

They make me proud when they play well and win when it really counts. This is a team we can’t always predict. Sometimes they play like fat reefers were handed around at the morning meeting.

But when they’re angry, focused, and determined, they play as a team. Like a contender. Like tonight.

And through it all, through both good and bad, even when I’m mad at them for sometimes playing like they’re still trying to remember the grocery list, I love them.

I love them like me and my buddy loved hula dancers.

Random Notes:

Ottawa outshot the Canadiens 32-24 and were 2/4 on the power play.

A fine example of looking good: In the first period, Ottawa’s feisty Alex Burrows high-sticked Alex Galchenyuk in the face, and a few seconds later, Andrew Shaw tuned Burrows up. I thought it was a fine moment. Teammate helping teammate. Far too often in the past this wouldn’t happen, and it was always embarrassing. Seeing a tougher team is pure joy.

Next up – Tuesday, when the Dallas Stars pay a visit to beautiful downtown Montreal.

 

 

 

A Fine Night To See The Habs

It had to be one of the coolest nights of live hockey I’ve experienced in years. And it wasn’t only because the Habs began slowly with just five shots after the first period, would fall behind 1-0 in the second, and then come back and win the thing 4-1.

It was so much more than that. Starting with our seats.

They were dead-on behind the net, fourth row, directly behind the goal judge, and was almost like being on the ice. Possibly the nicest seats I’ve ever had, and I could see the stitching on Price’s name and number, and watch as players talked to each other and to the officials.

Hell, I even managed to see Scott Gomez pucker up his lips and make a kissing motion to a male Canucks fan sitting near me. I’ve no idea.

It took awhile for the Habs to find their legs, and I learned months ago to not try and figure out why they do what they do. But they would come on, capitalize on a weak night in goal by Roberto Luongo, overtake the home team, and make an entire city and most of a province question once again the hometown goalie, and maybe not smirk quite so much, at least for a day or so.

“Go Habs Go” filled the rink, and it warmed the cockles of my heart. Especially when it was much louder than the feeble “Go Canucks Go” chant.

All around us it was party time for the thousands of Habs fans who came from all over to see their team on this one night on the West Coast, and the air was filled with whooping and hollering as folks with the CH tattooed on their hearts left the building.

Just a night to remember. So much to take in, and I’ll never forget it.

I watched Andrei Markov closely on this, his first night back in more than a year, and although his shifts were short, his passes were smart and crisp. Maybe more importantly, he talked to fellow countryman Alexei Emelin constantly, and how great that must be for Emelin, and for the team in general, to have Markov settling things down and directing traffic. If this guy had been around since the start, we wouldn’t be in the pickle we’re in. He’s forceful, smart, an absolute impact player, and the climate of the team changed drastically with him playing tonight.

Wait till next year. This won’t be a last place team.

Eight feet in front of us, Blake Geoffrion finally notched his first goal as a Montreal Canadien, and it was a big one, one that evened the score at 1-1 with just 17 remaining in the second after Carey Price had held the boys in as the team was outshot 15-5. The combination of Price playing like he can, Staubitz taking on goon Zack Kassian, and Geoffrion getting his big one, and the boys were awaken from their slumber and they began to take the play to the Canucks, a team, I must say, that is as annoying as any in the league.

In the third, it was Erik Cole with a pair, Subban with a power-play marker in between, and the Canucks were done like dinner. This, after the local media had reminded us all day that it was a premier team taking on a last place team.

What a night. What seats. Lousy hot dogs, but whatever. And what a packed Shark Club afterward. The season has been a disaster, but on this night, I’m singin’ in the rain.

Random Notes:

Alex Burrows is Brad Marchand in blue. If only Brad Staubitz could’ve laid his paws on this hot head. But Staub’s knuckles might still have been sore from pounding on Kassian’s head.

I also paid close attention to PK Subban, and this guy is as intense as there is. It’s like he’s about to explode. And he played a wonderful game. Subban is a star, and he was booed constantly, which of course means that Canucks fans would dearly love to have him on their side.

When PK scored his goal, Price in front of us pumped his arms and fists and went for a big skate. Beautiful.

Shots on goal – Montreal 35, Canucks 33.

Next up – Habs in Buffalo on Monday. I believe we’ll see a much different Canadiens team now that Markov is back. It’s just too bad it’s too late.

Canucks Redeem Themselves In Game 5

Roberto Luongo stopped everything  and Maxim Lapierre fired home the game’s only goal, and with that, the Vancouver Canucks are just one win away from their first Stanley Cup. The problem is, the next game is in Boston where Mr. Luongo and company allowed twelve goals in two games.

So once again, it’s never over till it’s over, but at least for now Canucks’ fans can exhale about Luongo. After all, some wondered if he’d even start this big game. No one knew if he’d be good or bad as he’s been quite sieve-like lately. And many worried about Boston’s new found momentum. Now the momentum is back in the hands of Vancouver, and Roberto Luongo is back in everyone’s good books.

If I was a Canucks fan I’d be a little confused about the lack of production from the scorers. The team has managed just six goals in five games. But they lead the series, so what the hell am I talking about?

It must really burn Bruins’ asses to have Maxim Lapierre score the winner. He drives enemy players crazy with his big smile, big mouth, and reluctance to drop the gloves. But he was a force in the third period, and annoying as he is, he’s also a good hockey player.

I don’t know who the Bruins despise more, Lapierre or Alex Burrows, but I’m sure it’s a toss up. And both have been Bruin killers which is funny stuff indeed.

The Cup will be polished and sitting in wait in the bowels of Boston’s TD Garden. Gary Bettman will be there with his speech ready to go. Rioters in Vancouver will be double-checking their smoke bomb inventory. And we can finally get on with building a Cup-winner in Montreal without all this other stuff going on.

Yes, it would be exciting if the Canucks could win it at home, but think of how upset and depressed Bruins’ fans would be to see Vancouver win it in Boston’s barn.

And imagining their disappointment makes me want the Canucks to finish it on Monday even more.

Canucks Blow Series Lead

For Vancouver Canucks fans, it wasn’t supposed to be like this. Because as sure as
death and taxes, the Stanley Cup was coming to Canada’s west coast this year.

It still might happen. But it’s not as sure as death and taxes. Not after losing their
last two games by scores of 8-1 and tonight 4-0.

The Canucks are in a slight bit of trouble. All year long they’ve been a team of strength and consistency, never really slumping, never really looking bad. But they’re a group out of whack right now, who can’t solve Tim Thomas, who can’t get a huge night from the Sedin boys, and Roberto Luongo has allowed 12 goals in two games. The Green Men are looking greener.

It’s just not good right now for the Canucks and their fans. Maybe the team needs a talk with Dr. Phil, or listen to Winston Churchill speeches.

But never fret, it’s not over. The series is tied at two with game five back in Vancouver. The Canucks have got them right where they want them. Sort of.

Oscar-winning acting on the ice was mentioned by the HNIC crew several times, and I’d like to add my two cents.

Enough already with this over-reacting to situations, hoping to draw a penalty. Alex Burrows, Andrew Ference, Maxim Lapierre, Kevin Bieksa and others all at one time or another have tried to pull the wool over the referee’s eyes by trying to make a hit appear worse than it is.

Performances worthy of a Hollywood audition involving getting shot in the knee-cap and acting it out.

I hate this stuff. It reminds me of what we see during soccer matches. A player gets kicked in the shin, cries out like he was shot by a cannon before being carried out on a stretcher, and five minutes later he’s back out running about and looking like a million bucks.

This series is becoming what a series should be. Close, with lots of nastiness and disagreeing. It’d be a bummer if a game is decided after a player pulls his best Robert de Niro impersonation and draws an unwarranted penalty.

Game five is Friday night. It’ll be very interesting how the Canucks react after these excruciating bombings in Beantown.

I hate seeing the Bruins and their fans so happy.

So That’s What Canucks Fans Think

After being so nice to Canucks fans, telling them how good
their team looks, how I hope their boys win it all, suddenly I want the series
to go seven games and have the Stanley Cup fall out of the plane into Okanagan
Lake where it’s swallowed up by Ogopogo, only to be regurgitated next spring by
the big fellow when the Habs make their run.

I’m just not ready after the latest development.

We already have whining, sniveling, insufferable Bruins fans
complaining that Alex Burrows should have been suspended for biting a finger
and shouldn’t have been around to score the winning goal in game two. But of
course, long erased from Bruin fans minds is the Zdeno Chara mugging, the
Andrew Ference finger, and the Nathan Horton scuffle with a fan.

On the other side, I asked a guy at work, a huge Canucks fan
and real nice guy, if fans are going to be bearable in the coming year if
Vancouver wins the Cup. “We’ll be fine, not like Habs fans,” was his
reply.

Enjoy your metal lunch, Ogopogo.

Bruins Lose And The End Is Coming Fast

Alex Burrows scored 11 seconds after the puck was dropped in the first overtime, the Canucks win the game 3-2, and go up two games to nothing in this Stanley Cup final against the yellow and black guys.

Boston had a decent second period and were actually winning this game, but Daniel Sedin scored midway through the third period which tied it, and then Burrows tucked it away to put an end to the festivities.

The Bruins are finished. Let them eat cake. Let them slip away quietly into the night. Goodnight Irene.

For Burrows, it was a big night coming off the “biting the finger” incident, as he scored twice and added an assist. And Manny Malhotra returned after almost losing an eye earlier in the season to add to the drama.

I’m flat out saying this series is as good as over. Nice try, Bruins fans. Karma has come back to bite you after you swarmed the Habs fan in your barn toilet.

This Cup final series is being billed by many as Canada’s team against the yanks, and that’s fine. Vancouver can have this handle as long as Montreal’s not playing. But keep in mind, Canucks fans, the handle goes back to the Habs when this season is finally done. Which should be soon.

And speaking of Canada and the US, I’ve never understood why Americans don’t want anything to do with a health system similar to Canada’s. Many shy away from even the mere thought of it. I don’t know why and never have.

I have a friend in California who explained a little about their health care which I thought you’d find interesting.

“My brother is fortunate he has medical insurance for his family or he would lose
everything.  That is the big difference between Canada and the US.  The whole
medical industry here is totally screwed up.  As an example, if I was 62 years
old and I had $2 million in the bank, I could not retire because I could
possibly come up with cancer and my $2 million would disappear quickly.  Yes, I
can buy medical insurance at 62 but the insurance company can drop me once I
have a dreaded disease.  If I am working at 62 (medical benefits are obtained
through the employer), the insurance company cannot drop me.  At age 65 in the
US, Medicaid kicks in and one can get free medical insurance just like in Canada.  I
rather the government raise taxes so everyone gets free medical insurance but
there are many in the US who believe this is the first step towards socialism.”

 

 

 

Predictions Are For Gypsies – Toe Blake

I’m with Toe on this, so instead of predictions, I think I’ll just think quiet thoughts about different series, and today I’ll think about the Vancouver Canucks playing the LA Kings because I live near Vancouver and many of my friends, as great as they are, love the Canucks.

They could care less about the Habs, but they love their Canucks.

The Canucks had a good season, better than the Habs (I won’t go into the injury factor with the Habs because as Conn Smythe or Donald Trump or Toe himself probably exclaimed, “excuses are for losers.” The Canucks have the Sedin’s, including Henrik, the twin with a big chance to capture the Hart Trophy for the league’s outstanding player. They have Roberto Luongo in nets, who played a big part in Canada’s Olympic gold medal win. Ryan Kessler is the definitive power forward who shows up every night in a foul mood. And the list goes on of valuable guys people in the east don’t see on a regular basis – Alex Burrows, Mikael Samuelsson, Mason Raymond and others.

The Los Angeles Kings finished just two points behind the Canucks in the regular season (101 to 103), and not only boast several good young forwards like Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Alex Frolov, but also have two of the best young defencemen in the league in Jack Johnson and the guy who should win a bucket of Norris Trophies before his career winds down – Drew Doughty.

And although Luongo is a proven star, his goals-against average sits at 2.57 while LA’s Jonathan Quick is almost identical at 2.54.

So predictions are for gypsies, but when I listen to my gut, I see Vancouver with the possible Hart Trophy winner, and a gold medal goalie. But LA has Drew Daughty and Malibu Beach.

Therefore, I’m picking the LA Kings.

Can The Canucks Go All The Way?

Yes, that’s the question. Can the Canucks win the Stanley Cup?

Before the season started, I compared Vancouver with the Toronto Maple Leafs, except Toronto doesn’t have Roberto Luongo between the pipes. But I thought the Canucks were in their rebuilding stages. No one on the team had really accomplished much in the big leagues. The Sedin twins looked like they’d never become more than pretty good players, slow skaters who create nice plays from time to time, but could never be considered major stars. Ryan Kessler showed promise as a power forward, but hadn’t elevated to another level. Mason Raymond, Ryan Johnson, Alex Burrows? Who are these people, castoffs from the Bentley Generals?

Kyle Wellwood is a fancy playmaker, but small and unpredictable, and motivation is often questioned. Mats Sundin didn’t play for more than a year, and is older than Red Fisher. And in front of Luongo stands Willie Mitchell, Mattias Ohland, and the rest of the cast of defencemen, none of whom strike fear in to the hearts of men.

Can the Canucks win the Stanley Cup? They can because they have Roberto Luongo in nets. When you have the league’s best goalie, you automatically have a real shot at the big prize. It’s like having a garage band with Elton John as your singer. And they can because those no-name players I thought compared to the Toronto Maple Leafs are arising as young stars. They’re not acting like no-name players at all. Alex Burrows and Ryan Kessler are making NHL teams throughout the league wipe drool from their bottom lips.

The problem is, as a Habs fan living in Canucksland, I have to endure the car flags, the excited talk at work and in bars, and the smiles and the laughter, all the while knowing my team sits in the cracks in the floorboard while the Canucks live it up in the penthouse after sweeping the St. Louis Blues. This hurts me, this every day reminder.

But I will cheer for the Canucks, but it doesn’t come without a price. Canucks fans must tell me nice things about the Habs. That’s the deal. Because as soon as Canucks fan laugh at my team or say naughty things about them, I’m going for Calgary.