Tag Archives: Braden Holtby

Dumped In D.C.

Who is this fellow? Find out after I babble a bit about tonight’s bummer.

Three goals in the first 2:51 of the game while the Canadiens were still waking up from their afternoon naps, and 4-0 Caps after one period, with Alex Ovechkin scoring three of them.

In the second frame, with Al Montoya in net to replace Carey Price, the Canadiens dominated in fine fashion, with Brendan Gallagher notching a shorthanded marker to narrow it slightly to 4-1 and give us a speck of hope. But Ovechkin, with his fourth of the night, and a goal by Aussie rookie Nathan Walker to make it 6-1 before the period ended, and it was all down the drain like overpoured $12 beer at the Capital One Arena.

The third frame was a lost cause, completely out of reach for the visitors, and all that was left to ponder was whether Ovy would score five. He didn’t.

Just one of those nights. Buried less than three minutes in. Caps goaltender Braden Holtby was terrific, and the Canadiens were demolished even though outshooting Washington 39-23 overall.

Now it’s on to New York for a Sunday game at MSG (7 pm ET), and it’s exciting to think of the possibility of Al Montoya showing up at the Copacabana to sing his massive hit ‘Volare’.

Oh. That’s Al Martino. And he’s dead.

Never mind.

Post-game show:

The cute baby below is Samuel Daigneault from Montreal, and back in June 2013 I posted a small story after seeing him in a 1991 Canadiens magazine that I have. (There’s also a story in the same issue about me and some Russian Habs fans friends, but I digress).

You can see my post about Sam right here – Samuel


Guess what? Samuel is all grown up now, he saw my post a while back, and here he is!

Saturday Morning Close But No Cigar

The Canadiens almost pulled it out in the dying minutes but they didn’t, so why even mention it?

Because I’m feeling guilty for slacking off lately with the recaps and this is the best I can come up with.

A 3-2 Caps win at the Bell Centre, in a game that saw the home team play with more vim and vigor than their comatose display in Philly Thursday night.

But 95-year old Betty White and a full century Kirk Douglas would play with more vim and vigor than the Habs’ Thursday sleep-in. So instead of doing a little summary of that recent yawner, I decided to pick my toenails and melt my ear wax instead.

Today (Saturday) was a game that began at 10:10 am at my house, which works out beautifully because it gives me plenty of time to track down my pusher. Same thing tomorrow when the boys greet the Edmonton Oilers.

Sure hope I don’t get ‘acid’ indigestion while stirring the ‘pot’ full of boiled ‘hash’ while I, uh, drink my ‘coke’.

I can’t wait for the playoffs. This 82-game schedule is merely a series of teams tweaking before real hockey begins. Let the Canadiens play like bums now, it doesn’t matter. Calm down and don’t get your shorts in a knot. Spent some quality time with your pusher instead.

The Maharishi would tell you the same thing if he were alive and not busy hitting on Mia and Prudence Farrow.

The postseason is the real deal, not Gary Bettman’s dream of parity, where almost every team is basically as good as every other team, in the regular season at least.

The top of the heap Caps are notorious flops in the playoffs and I expect them to do so again, mainly because it’s all we know from them. And surprises happen in late-spring. Small and quick teams with great goaltending, who were often boring and inept as hell beforehand, can sometimes surprise and go far at this time. Like Montreal will this year.

Just have to get the wretched season over with.

I hate parity. I want a handful of good teams and plenty of bad ones. It’s nice to see the bad ones play like gangbusters against powerhouses. Sometimes the poorer teams win because of hard work, lucky bounces, milder hangovers, along with supreme cockiness and worse hangovers on the part of the good ones.

Where was I going on this? What’s this about parity? Sorry.

Carey Price allowed his usual three goals, which he does on most nights now, but it matters little because it’s not the playoffs. So please don’t take his play or Galchenyuk’s or Shaw’s to heart. It means almost nothing.

Is there a rule that says Price can’t wear Jacques Plante’s old equipment during a game?

Random Notes:

Alexander Radulov was on fire today, with a goal, an assist, and a goal called back after Max interfered with Caps netminder Braden Holtby.

Below is Lyla, who is the main reason why my priorities have changed. Why I don’t write summaries after every game now. Why I often pace the floor or look at blank walls instead of paying attention to these friggin’ multi-millionaires on the ice who insult all of you when they float or sign their chicken scratch names on a piece of paper, which ultimately looks like something Lyla would’ve scribbled.

Lyla’s become way more important than getting wound up about any lousy regular season showing on the part of this team that I’ve put my heart and soul into for six decades.

My wife Lucy and I are raising this little girl, with great help from Lyla’s mom, even though we’re in our mid-60s. And I’m slowly converting my spare room, that was filled with rare Habs memorabilia, into a little girlie room, which I’m happy to do.

Lyla is real life, unlike the regular season.



Habs Blanked By Caps

Canadiens drop a 2-0 decision to the visiting Washington Capitals, and thus, the three-game winning streak comes to an end, as does the consecutive 3-2 scores.

Not a lot went on in Sunday’s Habs-Caps affair. Carey Price was outstanding as his team was outshot 31-18. Lars Eller played his first preseason tilt. Jiri Sekac had his moments but didn’t truly shine. And Christian Thomas played just nine minutes and I never even noticed him.

What was great was seeing Jarred Tinordi lay out some solid thumps, including one on a hard-skating Nate Schmidt that flattened him, ending with Tinordi getting the best of Chris Brown in the fight that followed.

This is how Tinordi will stick with the Habs. Use that 6’6″ body on a regular basis.

My two favourite moments in the game? Tinordi walloping Schmidt, and Caps goalie Braden Holtby shaking his mask off to try and draw a penalty on Brendan Gallagher, who had clipped the mask and which got the whole thing going.

I really can’t think of a third favourite moment.

Washington’s Joel Ward broke the ice with 1.29 left in the third period when PK Subban was weak on the play behind the net, and shortly after, Brooks Laich hit the empty net.

All in all, not a classic.

I think this is probably more interesting – Rooting for J.P.

Habs Stunned By Cap Guns

The Canadiens came out Saturday night and bombarded Braden Holtby with big three shots.

But they weren’t finished there, as they continued in waves and fired another six blasts in the second.

Washington 5, Habs o.

Close, but no cigar. How did Holtby withstand such an onslaught?

The beat goes on, and the pathetic display tonight by the Canadiens was just an incredibly unacceptable effort.

They should be completely ashamed of themselves. How long do we have to put up with this nonsense?


Price And Subban Invited

Radio hosts on Montreal’s TSN 690 were aghast when they heard somewhere that P.K. Subban will have to battle for a spot on Canada’s National Team going to Sochi for the Winter Olympics.

I’m aghast too. P.K. won the Norris Trophy this past season as the league’s top d-man. Does he need other qualifications?

A Norris Trophy winner has a spot on the team, plain and simple. Whoever said he’ll have to fight for a spot needs to get to the hospital and have the glue melted off his brain cells.

P.K. and Carey Price will be at the orientation camp in Calgary next month, and it’s a different story for Price, who will be battling with Chicago’s Corey Crawford, Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, Washington’ Braden Holtby, and Phoenix’ Mick Smith for one of three netminding jobs available.

If Price plays like he did last spring, he won’t be going to Sochi. But if he plays like we’ve seen him at times, he could be Canada’s number one guy. It’ll be interesting see how things go for Price and Team Canada. It’ll reflect on his day job.

And Subban? C’mon.

Game Day

It’s game day, the Washington Capitals are in town, and this is a team that must be feeling good about themselves right now. The Caps are 6-0-1 in their last seven contests, and are being led by the guy many, including myself, thought had seen better days – Alex Ovechkin.

According to the Capitals’ website at NHL.com, Ovechkin has scored 20 goals in his last 23 games. It seems he’s found new life. The last time I paid any attention, he looked slow and uninterested.

Didn’t he get married not that long ago? Is this another classic example of the old adage that behind every good man is a good woman? Or is it uncool to say this nowadays?

Whatever the reason, he needs to be neutralized. Get him off his game somehow. Maybe we could slip him a note saying his wife was just seen with Sean Avery!

Nicklas Backstrom is hot too, with 28 points in 23 games, and he could also pose a problem. I’m thinking that one of those open-ice wallops from Mr. Subban might do the trick.

There’s absolutely no reason why Montreal shouldn’t close the deal. They’re 13 points ahead of this team in the standings, and as hot as the Caps are, the Habs are right there too, sizzling like a steak on a barbeque. The Capitals may be 6-0-1 in their last seven, but the Canadiens are five wins and just one loss in their last six. So as the famous scholar Alfred E. Newman once said, “What, me worry?”

In their one previous meeting this season, in Washington on January 24th, Montreal won 4-1, and did so with Andrei Markov scoring two power play goals and P.K. Subban sitting at home without a new contract. Subban would sign four days later.

What’s slightly disturbing about the NHL/Capitals write-up is that it mentions that the Capitals have shutout the Canadiens in their last three visits to the Bell Centre, dating back to March of 2011. Three different Caps goaltenders registered these zeros, including Braden Holtby, who is expected to start tonight.

I expect we’ve seen the end of that nonsense.









Who Put Vodka In The Gatorade?

Habs were brilliantly sloppy Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals. Award-winning sloppy. The Keystone Kops giving the performance of their life. And in the process the team falls 4-2 to the streaking vistors, fails to keep pace with Boston (who won tonight), and never really deserved to win anyway.

It was a night to forget, even though, with a little help from above, the Habs could have actually won it. But they were running into each other, their passing was off the mark much of the time, they screwed up many good chances when they got them, including several by David Desharnais, and with some man-advantages they allowed odd-man rushes to the Caps.

All in all, if I were coach I’d burn the video.

Still, from time to time, they managed to tie the game a couple of times and make us wonder if they could actually pull the thing out. They didn’t, that’s all.

And to cap off a lousy night, Tomas Plekanec and Jeff Halpern left early and at this point we’re left wondering if we’ve lost a couple more for awhile which would be par for the course I guess.

The only bright light was Carey Price who once again was sensational and who was responsible for letting his teammates have at least a shot at winning the thing, even if they didn’t deserve it. Price faced 41 shots while the Canadiens fired only 26 at young Braden Holtby in the Caps net.

Random Notes:

It’s not the end of the world, however, except for the part about Plekanec and Halpern leaving the game. The boys are still nicely entrenched in a solid playoff spot and who knows, maybe it’ll be Boston as the first-round opponent.

Travis Moen potted Montreal’s first goal, and Andre Kostitsyn with a wicked wrist shot, scored the other.

PK Subban played well but partner Hal Gill was stuck in quicksand.

Washington’s first goal came with the puck coming off the glass in a weird direction, catching Price completely out of position. But Moen’s goal came only 20 seconds later when Holtby was caught out of his net. It was a strange beginning to a strange game.

Next up – Thursday, when it’s Tampa Bay’s turn to visit lovely Montreal.