Tag Archives: Joe Thornton

Habs Throttled By Sharks

SanJose

The Habs in San Jose may be late for those back east as the puck drops at 10:30 and the thing ends around 1 am, but it’s late for me in Powell River too, where it starts at 7:30 and finishes around 10:00.

That’s late. Because I’m a big suck.

So this recap is gonna be short and mediocre because I need to get to bed so I can get up in the morning and give my usual 165% at my part-time job.

And on Wednesday they’re in Anaheim at 10:00 ET, and Los Angeles on Thursday at 10:30 ET, so those recaps will probably stink too.

First period:

The Sharks opened the scoring when Joe Thornton, left so long at the side of the net that he had time to pick ticks and small mice from his beard, lit the lamp.

Brendan Gallagher would even things when his harmless shot from the side got caught up in Sharks netminder Martin Jones’ skates and in it went.

But the Sharks would take the lead once again when Joe Pavelski blasted one home.

Shots on goal this period were Sharks 13, Habs 7.

Second period:

Brent Burns, who takes a back seat to no one when it comes to beards, made it 3-1 after converting a pass from Thornton. The two of them look like they should be in ZZ Top.

The Canadiens would close the gap when Torrey Mitchell batted home Paul Byron’s short Texas leaguer, and came close to tying it with 30 seconds left when Tomas Plekanec was stoned by Jones point blank.

Canadiens outshot the Sharks 10-9 in this period.

Third period:

4-2. Then 5-2. Then 6-2.

Habs were lousy. Outshot 14-6 in the third period and 36-23 overall.

Mike Condon has seen better days.

Thus ends February, with the team giving us six wins and seven losses.

Next up – Wednesday in Anaheim.

 

 

Another Fine Blanking!

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The Canadiens looked like they were coming off a Demerol party when they lost 4-0 to the Sharks on March 2nd in San Jose, and which kicked off the 3-game hard-to-swallow California crushing.

It had us all in a dither.

But Saturday at the Bell, the boys played hard-hitting, slick passing big time hockey as they slayed the Sharks 2-0, making it three straight wins, four of their last five, coming not long after the aforementioned California slide had us searching for the key to the liquor cabinet.

Great game by the Habs, regardless of the fact the shirtless Joe Thornton told Sportsnet’s Christine Simpson between periods that his line had been in Montreal’s end all game.

Not what I saw, Joe. And really, for the sake of us guys watching, could you please put a shirt on.

Carey Price saved the day when called upon, which could be said for just about every time he’s manned the nets this season, with this being his 9th shutout (tying M.A. Fleury for the lead), and second in a row after beating Carolina 4-0 on Thursday.

The win is also Price 40th of the season, just two back of the Habs all-time leaders Jacques Plante and Ken Dryden, which is absolutely exciting. Price has entered the Land of the Giants.

Tomas Plekanec got his team on the board in the first period, his 22nd of the year, on a great play that gave him most of a wide-open net to shoot at. The goal also came at a great time, with just 1:14 remaining in the period, and we could see that with the way they were playing, taking the lead late like that could very well spell serious trouble for The Shirtless One and his fish.

Brendan Gallagher would notch the insurance marker, his 21st, in the third with the Sharks’ net empty, and with just seconds left and the boys up 2-0, the Ole, Ole song began, with props to the singers. You sang it at the proper time for a change. When the game wasn’t in doubt.

And man, were the last few minutes tense with the goalie pulled and the score still 1-0, and with the game, and a shutout, on the line.

But the Canadiens came through, as they did all night, standing their ground, checking hard, passing well, and all in all, unless you’re a Sharks fan, a mighty fine night at the not-so-old Bell Centre.

A nice, impressive hometown win by the gang, and a tremendous thing to see, considering there’s only nine games to go and maybe, just maybe, they’re rounding into playoff form.

Random Notes:

Tom Gilbert took a puck in the mouth area during the second period and was gone for the night. Hopefully it’s only a chiclet or two and nothing more.

Props to Brandon Prust for playing a fine game, including a nice piece of business on the penalty kill late in the game.

The Canadiens have reached 99 points, tied with Anaheim for top of the heap.

Alex Galchenyuk needs just one more to reach 20 goals.

Next up – Tuesday, when the team hits Music City, U.S.A. to shut out the Predators.

 

End That Streak, Boys

Habs tackle the Rangers tonight, a team going for their 8th straight win, which would equal their longest streak in 37 years.

So how great would it be for the Habs to puncture that overinflated balloon?

It’s kind of an oddity. New York has won seven straight and yet are only four points ahead of Montreal, who have put together a mediocre three wins and four losses in their last seven. It almost doesn’t seem to make sense. A seven-game winning streak puts the Rangers barely ahead of the Habs.

It’s a big game for Montreal (I say this for every Habs game, but whatever). End the streak held by a team Joe Thornton called the softest he’s played against in the east, (although he later admitted it was a bit stupid to say that) and gain two points and find themselves on the verge of that elusive 8th spot again.

It’s a tight eastern conference, and just as I was going to say there’s only six points separating Montreal in 12th and Philadelphia in 1st and so a winning streak could close that quickly, I come back to the Rangers, and the fact their seven-game run hasn’t put distance between themselves and a host of teams, hardly at all.

I’m baffled. Must be new math.

Regardless, a big game for Montreal. Oh, I just said that.

 

Thanks For Nothing, Joe Thornton

Thanks a lot, Joe Thornton.

Thornton and his San Jose Sharks recently played the Rangers, the team Montreal meets on the ice in just a few hours, and Thornton came out and said the Rangers were the softest team he’s played against in the east.

This of course infuriated Rangers’ coach John Tortorella, and it makes me mad too because the Rangers might take a hard look at themselves and decide to prove to everyone that they’re not soft like Thornton said.

So we just might meet a tough Rangers squad tonight. If so, thanks a lot, Thornton. Thanks for nothing.

Canadiens Close Out The Road In Fine Fashion

Several things jumped out as I watched this Habs-Panthers game at the ungodly hour of quarter to two in the morning. This is the time of night when songwriters pour some whiskey, light a cigarette, and reflect about lost love. It’s the same here only I’m not crazy about whiskey, don’t smoke, and am happily married. Other than that, everything’s the same.

I realize as I begin typing that this may be the worst writeup of a hockey game in the history of hockey game writeups.

The good guys won 5-4 in what was a freewheeling affair with way too many Florida breakaways and 2 on 1’s. But Jerry Halak was there when it counted and stopped the big stops. (Do the last five words or so make sense?)

Andre Markov has taken this team from quite lousy to quite good with his return. Three assists for the great defenceman tonight. He’s the difference, the straw that stirs the drink. And if Tomas Plekanec isn’t careful, he could win the scoring race. Imagine. He notched a big goal tonight and sits eighth overall, nine points behind the leader, Joe Thornton. What a guy!

Random Notes:

Hal Gill scored. This is one of the more unusual random notes so far.

There was a guy in a Habs jersey with one of those white paper helmets on sitting behind the Canadiens bench. And he had the same sort of seat in Tampa the night before. Who is this guy and how come he gets great seats?

The Panthers TV crew just may have the best camera locations in the league. They’re down close, and we saw great close-up action all night. Other rinks could learn from Florida.

That long road trip produced six wins in seven games, and if they hadn’t blown their two-goal lead in Ottawa, it would’ve been seven straight. Now they’re home for a Sunday tilt against Buffalo and then head out to Washington for a game on Tuesday. So in general, the team is overcoming both referees and schedule makers as they get the job done in fine fashion.


American Fan Feels Habs Too Small Down The Centre

This is a letter sent to the Montreal Gazette from someone named Steve Bourgoin in Oneonto, NY, expressing his dismay at the lack of size down the centre for the Canadiens. Of course, in a perfect world, the Habs would have either Joe Thornton or Vincent Lecavalier, who both stand at 6’4″.

But we don’t.

 

The Gazette

Published: 20 hours ago

Dear Montreal: I have been a Canadiens fan since the 1970s, and think I know a thing or two about the sport. My first impression of this year’s team, and its makeup, is that with Saku Koivu and Tomas Plekanec as our top two centres, we will advance only so far in the playoffs. Playoff hockey is a different game altogether, and as last year’s semifinals showed, we lack a dominant big man up the middle with size. It pains me to say this, but until that vital position is filled, we only go so far. Happy anniversary, Montreal Canadiens.

Steve Bourgoin

Oneonta, N.Y

 

 

So that’s his letter, and it got me thinking a little. I’ve been happy with the size of the team this year, and I wondered if Steve Bourgoin was right or not. So I looked at our centres and here’s what we have, then I show you the size of the centres in Detroit, who won the Stanley Cup last year, and in Pittsburgh, who made it to the Cup finals. Then you be the judge if we’re too small or not.

 

The Canadiens at centre are:

 Saku Koivu – 5’10”.

Robert Lang – 6’2″

Maxim Lapierre – 6’2″

Tomas Plekanec – 5’10”

Kyle Chipchura – 6’2″

 

Then there’s the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings:

Pavel Datsyuk – 5′!!”

Jiri Hudler – 5’10”

Val Filppula – 6’0″

Kris Draper – 5’10’

Darren Helm – 5’11”

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins centres are:

Evgeni Malkin – 6’3″

Sid Crosby – 5’11”

Jordan Staal – 6’4′

Maxime Talbot – 5’11”

Tyler Kennedy – 5’11”

 

My conclusion? We’re not too small. Although like I said, Thornton or Lecavalier would be nice.