Tag Archives: Eric Staal

Habs Drenched By Hurricanes

hurricane

I think it takes a special talent for a team sitting at the top of the heap to lose to a team at the very bottom and look tremendously mediocre while doing so.

Yes, those wild and crazy Montreal Canadiens, bowing to the lowly Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in Raleigh, a team 20-some points behind them.

They can’t be feeling good about this. If Jean Beliveau was captaining this team, he’d politely and respectfully give them all a mighty fine and gentlemanly dressing room tune up.

But the Canadiens have that special talent to play down, having also lost to the 28th place Oilers, the 25th place Avs, and the 22nd place Canucks (and were bombed 6-1 by the Avs and 5-1 by the Oilers in the process).

The only good that came from this night was Daniel Carr, called up from St. John’s in place of Devante Smith-Pelly, who notched a wraparound goal in his very first shift of his first NHL game. That’s the kind of thing I’ve dreamed about doing off and on for about five decades or more.

It’s with great pride to announce that Carr played the 2009-10 season here in Powell River, at the barn not far from my house. However, I didn’t go to one game in 2009-10, so that’s the end of this feel-good story.

But I would like to say one thing. The BCHL is an underrated league, with lots of talent like Carr winding up in the NHL. You’d be surprised by some of the names, like Brett Hull, Paul Kariya, and even Carey Price for a season before heading to the WHL.

There’s been a whack of them. Even Scott Gomez for those three Gomez fans out there.

Carr’s goal in the first period got things rolling, but the Canes would even it up on the power play on a smooth finish by Jeff Skinner who simply flipped it over a sprawling Mike Condon.

In the second, Sven Andrighetto would give Montreal the lead after converting a nice pass by Jeff Petry, but two minutes later Joakim Nordstrom tied things up again, and into the third we went.

Carolina would take the lead briefly, but Michel Therrien’s coach’s challenge saw the goal ruled no-goal because of goalie interference. Whew, we thought. But it made no difference, because the Canes would score another anyway.

Later on, with Tom Gilbert in the box for tripping, Skinner, with his second of the night, won it for the home team.

It’s not the first time Gilbert watched a nightmare unfold from the sinbin. There was that fathers trip recently when he did the same sort of thing. Now, whenever Gilbert goes home during the off season, he’s grounded.

The Canadiens lose their second straight, or 3 of 4 if you want to go that route. And they sleek off into the night, hoping they don’t get beer pored on them by drunken and disgruntled Habs fans because they couldn’t play well enough to beat the team tied with Calgary and Edmonton as league’s worst.

Random Notes:

Eric Staal hit several posts, missed several open nets, and scored the goal that was called back. This is the guy who’s the subject of trade rumours, with Montreal being a possible destination.

Staal would be a nice addition, although we already have plenty of guys who can’t hit wide open nets.

And speaking of Staal. he was sent to the box with just over three minutes remaining for flipping the puck over the glass, but the Canadiens, with Condon pulled and enjoying a two-man advantage, still couldn’t get it done.

And because of that very thing, they didn’t deserve to win this thing.

Shots on goal – Habs 38, Canes 29. The previous game against Washington, which was also a 3-2 loss, they had 35 shots to the Caps 19.

Next up – Wednesday, when the Bruins show up at the Bell.

 

 

 

The Staal Who Isn’t A STAAL

Today’s incredibly important information. Montreal drafted a Staal 92nd overall in 1996.

Of course he’s no relation to the Staal brothers from Thunder Bay. This one came from Denmark and never played a minute in the NHL, although he did manage 34 games in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals.

Is that interesting or what?

Kim Staals’ stats can be found right here – http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=37609

Great Night….Except….

So many great things. And just one bad one. But that one bad one might be plenty. 

A 7-2 demolishing by the Canadiens is one of those things Habs fans don’t see very often from the boys. I don’t know what got into them and I hope they didn’t decide to do steroids or something. Regardless, they flattened the Carolina Hurricanes in a big way and we have to be happy about this.

It’s good to see a real good spanking from our guys every now and again. And tonight it was one of those, as guys throughout the lineup garnered points and it seems slumps are being broken out of in dynamic fashion.

But Andrei Markov may be seriously hurt again, and it’s like throwing a wet blanket over a hot fire.

Markov got tangled up with Eric Staal and crashed into the boards, and it looks to be a leg or knee problem, which of course is possibly the worst thing that could happen aside from Tomas Plekanec or PK Subban or Carey Price going down. (Price, by the way, made a beautiful stop tonight that you can see in all its glory below). 

When Markov slammed his fist into the boards with frustration, my heart sank.

But we’ve learned to live without Markov before and we’ll do it again. Is it too late to keep our fingers crossed?

Habs point-getting was all over the map on this night, and take away the Markov incident, this became a time to celebrate. Tomas Plekanec, quiet lately, had a goal and three assists. Andrei Kostitsyn, also less than sparkling in his last few games, tallied a goal and an assist, as did Mike Cammalleri, who is another one who could’ve started the season with more of a bang.

Benoit Pouliot continues to prove me wrong. Brian Gionta is starting to roll. Mathieu Darche from the legendary PhD line chipped in, and Maxim Lapierre scored a dazzler that deserves sports hilites for days to come. Lapierre raced in, did a Savardian Spinnerama and in the net it went, and Lapierre’s smile could be seen from miles around.

Scott Gomez added a couple of assists, and Jaroslav Spacek, Travis Moen, and Roman Hamrlil also had helpers.

So you can see it was all hands on deck on this night and it’s not too far-fetched to say things are coming together in many ways.

How I would like to gush and throw adjectives all over the place on a night when Montreal onloads on the opposition. But I can’t. Not seeing Andrei Markov go down like that.

Yes, it’s great that we won and tremendous that we won in a big way. But now it’s a waiting game about Markov and I’m worried.

Random Notes:

Good old Tom Kostopoulos scored Carolina’s second goal, which briefly tied the game before the flood gates opened. If somebody from the enemy’s going to score, it might as well be Kostopoulos, a good ex-Hab.

Shots on goal – 33-30 Habs.

Next up – Tuesday when Philadelphia shows up.

Lapierre’s Savardian spinnerama goal wasn’t the only Montreal hilight play tonight. Carey Price made this stop that had everyone oohing and awing.

Carolina Staals The Head-Scratching Habs

I don’t know. I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m not even sure an arena full of psychiatrists would know.

Who knows why the Habs do what they do. Who knows why they come out in Raleigh, North Carolina and play like they’d rather be watching Tiger Woods at the Masters looking like he’d never left.

Carolina, led by Eric Staal with three goals, deflate even more the terribly-slumping Canadiens, and although Montreal’s odds are still fairly good of squeezing into the playoffs, all it means is they’ll probably make a quick exit once they get there. Just another day, another playoff loss.

I’m going to keep smiling and go about my business. Maybe think up some new recipes. Continue to work on my coloured salt idea. Just stay upbeat and think of the good times about a million years ago when the Montreal Canadiens were a force to be reckoned with and would have taken no prisoners from a team like Carolina. 

But this is now. Another time, another dimension.

Now it’s down to one game left remaining in this sad-sack season, against the Leafs in Montreal, and the Habs are a flat, uninspired and listless crew. They’re also probably tense and nervous, which might explain why they’re passing the puck like they have blurred vision and storm the net like they’re allergic to the goal crease.

We have to just smile. The Habs have been mostly depressing for much of the season, so what’s different now?

Can’t wait for day two of the Masters.

Random Notes:

Just a reminder – Montreal has won just three of their last ten games.

What the f………?

Guest Writer Phillip Wu Is Sad In China

sad-face

THERE’S A CRISIS, BUT IT AIN’T ECONOMIC

By Phillip Wu, reporting from China

Oh, wait, there is an economic crisis…

But what is the crisis I’m talking about? Hockey. And where does it take place? China.

China, China, China.

Why, oh why, did you have to follow basketball?
Or even soccer, The sport that consists of actors and 5 year old cry babies.

Wouldn’t it be great if hockey was celebrated everywhere around the world?
Think about it.
“Canada destroys China, 25-0, Staal tallies 14 points and Lecavalier scores 7 goals”
OR
“China upsets Canada in a stunning 3-0 win, thanks to national hero, Phillip Wu, who scored the natural hat-trick for his country in a mind blowing victory.”

Fine, I may be sugar coating it, but, you must admit that it would be interesting.

But those days will never come, not in the near future at least.

Perhaps, the NHL should have a Chinese hockey player, then the biased country would start following this amazing sport.

But those days will never come, not in the near future at least.

Hockey, my dear friend, you will be missed.

The only way for me to watch my beloved Habs, is from a computer screen.
Yes, I have become that desperate.

No longer will I go sit on the top seats of the Bell Centre
No longer will I meet any Habs players
No longer will I go to La Cage Aux Sports
No longer will I be able to comment on the incredible, or weak play of our team with my friends

The Carolina Hurricanes Have A Secret Weapon

It should be really interesting to see how the Canadiens rebound from their less-than-stellar performance against Anaheim when the Carolina Hurricanes blow into town.

 

The Hurricanes are no slouches so far this season, but they’re not setting the world on fire either. Led by Ray Whitney, Eric Staal, and Rob Brind’Amour, this team has so far garnered a 4-2-1 record for nine points. Montreal stands at 5-1-1 for 11 points, so they haven’t exactly left the Canes in their dust.

 

However, the Canes have a special weapon, like so many great teams in the past have had. Boston had Orr, Edmonton, Gretzky. Detroit, Yzerman, Chicago, Bobby Hull etc. etc.

 

Carolina has Sergei Samsonov.

 

You can’t really look at the numbers. Okay, so he has no points and is minus 3 after seven games. But I’ll just bet, by the time the season has wound down, this Russian forward will have accumulated probably four goals and two assists!   

 

You know, there was a time when Samsonov was a real player – when he was a fresh-faced newcomer in Boston. He had been a primo Junior star in Russia, and in his first year in Boston, he won rookie of the year. But it all went away, never to be seen again, like dinosaurs, or Milli Vanilli.

 

Samsonov was soon dealt to Edmonton where they paid this underachiever 7.05 million over two years, and of course, he underachieved. From Edmonton it became Chicago, then the minors, and now Carolina, where they’re giving the guy 7.6 million over three years.

 

Every good young player in the minors, and those in the NHL making much less than Samsonov, must wonder what kind of Houdini tricks this guy knows.

 

Samsonov was the ultimate failure in Montreal too. In his year there, 2006-07, he notched nine goals and 17 assists in 63 games. He had become the new Vladimir Krutov, which certainly would give Canucks fans something to shudder about.  However, there’s no word on Samsonov’s hot dog eating abilities, which Krutov was a force to be reckoned with during his short stay in Vancouver in 1989. He was labelled Vladimir Crouton.

 

Montreal really needs this game on Tuesday. Get back to their winning ways. Get back on track. Don’t let Samsonov score.

 

And I’d like to see Alex Kovalev explode. It’s time. He needs to have a big season, like last year.