Tag Archives: Cam Ward

Game Day – Canes In Town

Like so many other teams, and there’s about six of them, the Carolina Hurricanes are hovering around the eighth and final playoff spot. So they’re going to want to win the game tonight at the Bell Centre.

Of course, wanting, and actually doing, are two different things.

Carolina has won just one game in their past seven, although the win happened on Saturday against the Jets, which means they’re on a one-game winning streak. This team is missing two goalies, Cam Ward and Dan Ellis, due to injuries, so we might expect coach Kirk Muller to possibly don the pads the way Lester Patrick, coach and general manager of the N.Y. Rangers, did in 1928 against the Montreal Maroons at the Forum.

Montreal also has injuries. Rene Bourque and Raphael Diaz have concussions, and Henri Richard and Dickie Moore have arthritis.

Random Notes:

And how did the 44-year old Lester Patrick do against the Maroons? He allowed one goal in regulation time and his team won 2-1 in overtime. This was game two of the Stanley Cup Finals and the Rangers would go on to win it all in the five-game series.

Mind-blowing side note:

Lester Patrick, along with his brother Frank, lived for a while in the Slocan Valley, near Nelson B.C., where they played hockey and helped out at their dad’s sawmill. My daughter lives in the Slocan Valley, and I knew you’d be amazed by this incredible coincidence. And not only that, I once worked in a sawmill which was only about 700 miles from the Slocan Valley. Truly eerie stuff.

Lester

Habs Roll Along

What a terrific bonus it is when the backup comes in for the ailing starter and wins both games, the second being a nice fat shutout. And what a bonus it is, after a young spark plug goes down with an injury, that another young spark plug carries on and helps get the team on the board when the score was tied 0-0 in the third period.

And then there was Max, notching his first of the season on a brilliant……..well, not quite, goal that put the game out of reach. More on that in a minute.

Peter Budaj and the gang take out the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0, and find themselves number two in the east, just a point behind the Pittsburgh Sidneys. It’s now six wins in the last nine, the guys are going good, and I’ll go as far as saying we like it like this. Yes, they were in our bad books after losing three straight recently, but that was then, so long ago. It’s now lodged deep in the far recesses of our memory banks and the gang is presently forgiven.

Don’t forget team, we love you, win or tie.

It wasn’t a barn burner by any stretch, this meeting with the Raleighites. (Raleighonians?) The night was mostly a tight checking affair that lacked any thriller effect, but at least the crowd got their money’s worth in the third when Alex Galchenyuk dashed in and helped Brandon Prust open the scoring. It was reminiscent of Rene Bourque’s overtime winner in Florida when Galchenyuk burst in and got the puck over.

Seeing this driving to the net makes my heart soar like a Ryukyu Woodpigeon. It’s what the team needs to do, and didn’t do much of last year. It’s terrific that they’re making enemy goalies and defence work now, and it’s mostly led by the kids, a new guy who’d come over from the Rangers, and a guy named Bourque whom we thought was a dud, at least I did, and is turning out to be a beauty.

Just a different-looking squad now. It gives us great hope.

Soon after the Prust opener, Tomas Plekanec beat Cam Ward to ease things somewhat, and then Max Pacioretty, looking for his first of the season, bounced one in from his side of the red line, the puck did a little dipsy-doodle, and suddenly, Max had his first and the team held a 3-0 lead.

There’s nothing like a lucky bounce to possibly get the motor running for Patches. Hopefully, one crazy puck will lead to a bucket of goals from here on in.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Montreal 26, Canes 19.

Max’s goal was similar to the way J.C. Tremblay would sometimes light the lamp. The difference is, Tremblay was actually trying to score when he attempted these. Max was as surprised as anybody on his.

Next for the Habs – Tuesday night, when they make their way to Manhattan to meet the Rangers. This will be Brandon Prust’s first clash with his former team and we should see a big game from this key guy.

Carey Price caught a stray puck while sitting on the bench and tossed it to someone in the crowd. It was a nice, funny moment, with smiles all around.

The team is second in the East, which makes them first in the Northeast, a point ahead of Boston. This see-sawing will likely continue for awhile, but as long as the boys keep winning, things are bound to open up just slightly.

So the new task at hand is this – never lose. It’s the only way.

 

 

 

A Habs’ Loss, And No Storm Squad

I looked for them during the game and couldn't find them.

It was a night of great saves by both Cam Ward and Peter Budaj, and in the end, it was another Habs unwanted point in a 2-1 Hurricanes shootout win.

It was a game that gave the Canadiens last place overall in the east, third last in the league at this point, and it’s back to what we know best – losing and not scoring, especially on the power play, after a great game the night before against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Montreal was a tremendously sad 0 for 7 with the man-advantage, the Desharnais line was shut down, and the cameras never once showed the Carolina Hurricane cheerleading Storm Squad, a spectacle I don’t mind seeing as long as it’s not at the Bell Centre. I just enjoy the jiggling and bouncing of the assets.

Peter Budaj and Cam Ward put on a show, foiling players left and right, with a little help the posts from time to time, but the big one was Ward on David Desharnais, when, with a wide open net, Desharnais fired it and Ward got the big paddle out. You’ll see it when you tune in any hockey highlights in the next 24 hours.

Montreal’s only goal came from Blake Geoffrion, his second of the season, when he swooped around the back of the net and found an opening. I’m sure grandpa Boom Boom scored many a goal like this. Boomer wasn’t just a one-trick pony, booming shots from the point on the power play. He was a gifted scorer and although Blake’s was a beauty tonight, I’m sure he’ll never come close to racking ‘em up the way gramps did.

I can’t wait for the misery to end. This was game 81, and mercifully, only Toronto is left, a Saturday night tilt to close off this most embarrassing of seasons.

No wonder I drink.

Random Notes:

I thought Chris Campoli played a fine game, carrying and blocking pucks, and although this guy can have some bad nights, he’s still more effective than Tomas Kaberle.

Shots on goal – Montreal 31, Canes 29

Rene Bourque was…has…did……….never mind.

At one point it became a 4 on 3 Montreal power play, with as much open space as you’ll ever see, and two Canadiens still managed to run into each other.