Tag Archives: Cory Schneider

Habs Dump Devils

A fine game by the Canadien. Yes it was.

The boys handed the visiting New Jersey Devils a 5-2 spanking at the Bell after firing a season-high 48 shots on the Devils net, and getting goals from Philip Danault, Artturi Lehkonen, Max Pacioretty, and a pair from Torrey Mitchell.

My recently lost enthusiasm hasn’t come back yet, though. But I liked all the shots, and I was enthusiastic about seeing Carey Price pound a sprawling Kyle Palmieri several times on the back with his glove after Palmieri forgot to stop as he neared Price.

I was also enthusiastic about the boys crashing the Devils crease a bunch of times as payback. Price is his teammates’ bread and butter, of course. They have to discourage this Palmieri/Kreider type of behaviour. I’d be pissed if they sat back and did nothing.

But about this lack of enthusiasm. Maybe I’m too old now.  Not as old as Kirk Douglas, but old enough to have been second baseman on the Orillia Peewee all-star baseball team before Michel Therrien was born.

And it was during that peewee baseball summer that I smoked my first cigar. I smoked my first cigar before Michel Therrien was born.

C’mon enthusiasm. Get back. Get back to where you once belonged.

 

Habs Taste Their Own Medicine

I suppose Devils players thought if Montreal could come back from a 2-0 deficit on Friday and win, why couldn’t they on Saturday?

And so they did, skating away with a 3-2 overtime win over the Canadiens in Montreal, ending a perfectly good Habs winning streak (4 games), and ruining Alex Galchenyuk’s excellent two-goal night that pointed to yet another example of Galchenyuk’s sudden jump into a new and bright stage of his career.

But in true party-killing fashion, the visitors scored two third period goals, the last with just 28 seconds left and Cory Schneider pulled for the extra guy, and the game was tied.

In overtime, the final wall came tumbling down. But the home team got a point and remain in the penthouse, and things are good in general. Really would’ve like a five-game win streak though.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Habs 32, Devils 31.

Next up – Tuesday, when the Columbus Blue Jackets come a buzzin’.

The Leafs lost.

I’m truly sorry I have to cut this short, but I have to leave soon. Homer’s saving me a seat at the nearby watering hole.

In the meantime, maybe you’re not aware of this but not long ago, the NHL Board of Governors decided that if any NHL referee is deemed truly horrible and far from being up to scratch, they’re sent to London where they’re sliced up and made into zebra burgers.

I had the ‘Chris Lee’ when I was at a London market last week, and it tasted like shit.

Zebra burger

 

 

Habs Claw Back In Jersey

Just when we thought they wouldn’t, they did. Habs grab a couple of points in New Jersey after clawing their way back from a 2-0 deficit in the second period to win 3-2 in the shootout.

What a team.

A character win, Mike Condon held the fort, it’s now four straight wins, the gang sits at the top of the heap, and life is good if you cheer for the Habs.

If you don’t cheer for the Habs, you might be here by accident and may want to get out the barf bag.

The Canadiens were in tough through the first two frames, with New Jersey looking more than decent for a team stuck in 20th place, and were aided by sometimes good, sometimes lucky Cory Schneider between the pipes.

Particularly late in the first when the ex-Canuck backstopper robbed Max Pacioretty and shortly after, David Desharnais. Important stops late in the first period. Those pucks go in and the boys have the Devils by the private and sensitive areas.

They’re big catching gloves these goalies wear now. And Schneider’s save on Max showed just that, although to be fair, the goalie also had to stretch across, making it sort of a bonafide good save. And he got his pad on DD’s attempt, so full marks I suppose.

This guy was good in Vancouver but was basically shafted by the ongoing Luongo/contract/backup/starter confusion.

At the other end, Mike Condon got only part of his glove on a shot, it would have been almost a carbon copy of Schneider’s save if he had grabbed it, but he didn’t, the Devils took a 1-0 lead, and soon after went up 2-0 when they dominated on the power play.

Condon didn’t waver, though. And with less than five minutes remaining in the second, Sven Andrighetto narrowed the gap with his second in two nights, and we knew then that this thing might not be over because we’re Habs fans and we can sniff these things like rats at the local dump.

Over it wasn’t. Midway through the third, Alex Galchenyuk burst through two d-men, flew in on Schneider like Howie Morenz, and buried it to tie the game and send it first to overtime and then the shootout where Andrighetto would score the marker that solved things after Galchenyuk’s backhand on his attempt got the thing rolling.

A fine comeback win, their fourth straight, and now it’s these same Devils on Saturday night, only in Montreal this time.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal were 27 apiece.

Canadiens call-up Bud Holloway got his feet more than wet with 7:19 minutes of ice time.

Holloway, 27, is a Saskatchewan boy, hailing from Wapella (pop. 408), and home of Brett Clark, who played one season for the Habs back in 1997-98.

Below, one of the many interesting things to see and do while in Wapella.

Wapella

 

 

One Writer’s Trophy Candidates

Because there’s been talk of certain Canadiens possibly grabbing hardware at season’s end, I’ve wondered who else around the league might be in the thick of things in different categories, and how professional writers might view some of the Habs who have a shot.

So it was interesting to see how Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province rates players he says are in the running, with him, and maybe some cohorts at the Province, coming up with some personal picks.

The Hart Trophy (MVP)

Jamieson’s three finalists are Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh), Alex Ovechkin (Washington), and Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim), and he decides on Crosby, although he mentions that Ovechkin is pushing hard.

James Norris Memorial Trophy (top defenceman)

Shea Weber (Nashville), Ryan Suter Minnesota, and P.K. Subban and Jamieson chooses Suter. About Subban, he says P.K. has finally decided to let his play do the talking, and the results confirm he’ll win this trophy soon enough. (just not this year). I disagree. Subban has been brilliant and deserves to win.

Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)

Tuukka Rask (Boston), Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus), and Cory Schneider (Vancouver), and Jamieson apologizes to Canucks fans because he chooses Rask.

Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie)

Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher, Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida), and Jonas Brodin (Minnesota) are the three finalists, and although Huberdeau leads rookies in scoring, the writer picks Gallagher, which of course I agree with.

Frank J. Selke (best defensive forward)

Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit), Jonathan Toews (Chicago), David Backes (St. Louis).  The choice is Toews, with his league leading plus-33.

Lady Byng – (sportsmanship/high standard of play)

Datsyuk, Jordan Eberle (Edmonton), and Loui Eriksson (Dallas).  Who wins? Flip a coin, says Jamieson. He then chooses Eberle.

Jack Adams Award (coach of the year)

Joel Quenneville (Chicago), Bruce Boudreau (Anaheim), and Michel Therrien, and Jamieson picks Therrien. He says Anaheim and Montreal have been the season’s surprise teams, and he gives the nod to Therrien for a better storyline – about a guy who’s been frozen out by the NHL since his firing from Pittsburgh in 2009.

Canucks Might Pose A Problem

The Canadiens might want to bring their A game, if they have an A game, when they meet the Vancouver Canucks tonight.

This is a fine squad paying a visit, a team that went to the Cup finals last year, and who could have won the whole thing if they had played like they did during the regular season. But alas, they sort of skidded to a halt and those dastardly Bruins deservedly won. But the Canucks had the team to do it. They just didn’t, that’s all.

So yes, Montreal will have their hands full. This isn’t some lowly team like the Columbus Blue Jackets that they can have their way with. (Oh wait, the Columbus Blue Jackets beat them the other night. Never mind).

The problem for the Canadiens is that the Canucks have only just recently begun to look like the Canucks of last year. It wasn’t that long ago that they had the same amount of points as Montreal, so you know they weren’t playing well for awhile.

The Sedins might pose a problem. Daniel has 33 points and Henrik has 30. Our top point-getter, Tomas Plekanec, has 23. They also have guys like Ryan Kesler, Alex Edler, and a couple who are quite familiar with the Bell Centre – Maxim Lapierre and Chris Higgins. Higgins has 17 points, the same as Kesler, and Max has 8, the same as Lars Eller and twice as many as Scott Gomez.

The Vancouver Canucks also enjoy a true luxury. They have two first-string goalies. If Roberto Luongo isn’t going good, Cory Schneider comes in and stands on his head. Imagine if the Habs had two Carey Prices’? But then again, we don’t need two Carey Prices’. We need guys up front who can score on the power play. And score even strength. And not take dumb penalties. And not trip over the blueline.

These two teams have several differences. Unfortunately for Habs Universe, Vancouver’s are mostly positive.

Max Bottle-Spotting, Van Fans Bottle-Drinking

Max Pacioretty’s personal water bottle has been spotted on the boards at the Habs training rink, and unless it’s a prank or someone grabbed the wrong bottle, or he’s simply just working out, is it possible Max could suit up for Tuesday’s drama?

How great would that be? Maybe he wouldn’t play a lot of minutes or earn first star, (or maybe he would!) but rusty or not, and tentative or not, Max would give his team such a psychological boost, and all of us – players and fans, will take every psychological boost we can get right now.

Maybe Max could do something about the rat’s nose. We’ll somebody please blow Marchand’s nose. With a fist.

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There are certainly a lot of nervous Vancouver Canucks fans in my neck of the woods and I feel for them. I know what it’s like to have a team not getting it done.

It seems only milliseconds ago that Canucks fans were a relaxed and confident bunch, watching their team cruise to 117 points in the regular season, ten more than the second place overall Washington Capitals, with smoothy Daniel Sedin first in the league in points, brother Henrik 4th, and Ryan Kesler 15th. Chicago, meanwhile, made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth and looked to be a walk in the park for the formidable Vancouverites.

The Sedins now, after six playoff games, are a combined two goals, one assist, and minus thirteen, and the Hawks are ready to send the twins back to Sweden for an early summer.

Oh, those crazy playoffs.

Canucks fans have every right to feel nervous. More than nervous. More like depressingly glum. Their team won the first three against the Hawks, then got blown out 7-2 and 5-0, and last night in overtime Chicago evened the series at three apiece. Vancouver’s goaltending situation is a mess with Roberto Luongo not stopping pucks the way he’s supposed to, and Cory Schneider, starting in game six, pulled a muscle and was replaced by Luongo who once again didn’t stop the necessary rubber.

Wow!

But again, it’s the crazy playoffs which means Vancouver could come out and destroy Chicago and make everyone forget the soap opera. Or they could lose and Montreal would just get several million new fans as they they polish off Boston and move on.

I Love Owners And GM’s

It’s just pure entertainment that picks us up when things seem down. Thank you owners and general managers. Please keep handing out ultra long-term contracts to players so we can sit back and watch things unravel.

We can see what teams are thinking. Sign a player for ten years because in ten years, players everywhere will be making ten million dollars and now the boss only has to shell out five or six million to the big star who was locked in a decade ago.

That’s the thinking at least.

The New York Islanders signed goalie Rick DiPietro to a 15 year deal worth 67.5 million, and DiPietro managed to play two normal seasons before succumbing to ongoing nagging knee and hip problems that has kept him mostly in street clothes up until now. 

DiPietro is presently healthy and playing well, but to see the Islanders fork over more than 9 million bucks for nothing, near the start of a 15 year commitment, makes me wonder how I can get a job in hockey finances. Heck, I can lose money as good as they can. Maybe.

Roberto Luongo inked a 12 year, 64 million dollar deal last year and that’s fine except he’s been only a mediocre goalie in the playoffs for Vancouver over the past few seasons with a team that’s been expected of doing serious damage when it counts. But because of the lack of outstanding goaltending, the Canucks fall short of what experts continue to predict.

And to complicate things further, backup goalie Cory Schneider has shown that he’s ready to do more in a starting role. Here’s Schneider’s number so far – 3 GP, 2-0-0, 0.86 GAA, 0.968 save % on 63 shots faced – and Luongo’s – 6 GP, 1-3-0, 2.92 GAA, 0.903 save % on 175 shots against.

But of course, Luongo is there for 12 years with a no-trade clause.

Marian Hossa is enjoying the Chicago Blackhawks’ generosity of 12-years, 62.8 million and the Hawks have had to blow up their Stanley Cup-winning to team to keep their shop in order.

And now it’s a beauty of a soap opera unfolding in New Jersey where Ilya Kovalchuk, with 100 million for 15 years under his belt, was a healthy scratch the other night, replaced by a kid from the minors. And we don’t know why. Is Kovalchuk a problem, or is he just not scoring two or three every night to make owner/management look like they knew what they were doing when they gave him a fifteen-year deal?

Seems like infighting is the order of the day in New Jersey, with different parties involved, including ownership, the General Manager, and the coach, and it makes for fine, quality entertainment for the rest of us.

Isn’t it going to be neat see players looking like Keith Richards by the time their contracts are finished? What’s not so neat is seeing teams raise ticket prices to pay for players looking like Keith Richards.

A hundred million over 15 years for Kovalchuk. And then he becomes a healthy scratch. This is reality TV to rival the Kardashians and the single chick with eight kids.

You can read all the lovely intrigue regarding Kovalchuk here in this interesting Yahoo piece – Deal With Kovy Looking Worse By The Day.

And owners and GM’s, forget about the criticism. Just keep doing what you’re doing. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and we need to laugh sometimes.