Tag Archives: Martin Biron

All Of A Sudden, After A Long Night, There’s A New Feel To The Finals

Is it possible this could be a dream series after all?

Is it possible that one team, although badly outshot in the series, down three games to one, with one young star, Evgeny Malkin, asleep at the wheel, and the other young star, Sidney Crosby, not behaving like the new Wayne Gretzky, can now make this a real series like we all thought it would be, on the strength of Petr Sykora’s overtime goal in game five that now makes it three games to two.

This absolutey can be a series to remember, although not the way we thought it would be. We thought it could go either way before it started. But Detroit’s been too good and it should be over but it’s not. Now, Wednesday’s tilt in Pittsburgh should be a real beauty.

Although we’ve been fooled before.

 

There’s nothing worse in professional sports than a final series sweep, or even a five game series.  In a perfect world, the showcase stretches out, with drama and heartache, and ending with sheer ecstacy for one team, with one player who creates a legend for himself by hitting that ninth inning pitch into the bleachers, nailing that last second three-pointer or Hail Mary, or notching a game seven overtime goal.

It’s drama. It’s what most of us want. Not some lacklustre, one-sided four game sweep. It’s not good for anyone, except the winning team.

Now we’ve got a series. Maybe.

In the last few hours I’ve talked to people who feel Pittsburgh can now win the whole thing. I’m not sure I feel this way, but they do.

And how can this be? The Penguins have been outplayed, outshot, and outclassed. But goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is starting to play like Martin Biron did in the Montreal-Philadelphia series, which is not something I’m particularly thrilled to remember.

 

Game Note.

When Maxime Talbot tied the game up late in the third period, it was originally announced as having been scored with 34 seconds to go. So I planned on mentioning that this would be the biggest goal with 34 seconds to go since Paul Henderson’s in Moscow in 1972.

Then the official time became 35 seconds to go. So never mind.

 

 

 

 

 

Malkin Blasts Away For Pittsburgh. He Must Have Heard About Bobby Rousseau.

When Pittsburgh star Evgeny Malkin skated in alone and surprised everyone by blasting his slapshot by Flyers’ goalie Martin Biron from only about ten feet out, I knew it was time to pull out my old scrapbook.

It was circa 1965, and Montreal speedster Bobby Rousseau, a slapshot specialist and off-season golf pro in Ste. Hyacinthe, Quebec, was awarded a penalty shot one night in a game against Boston.

Rousseau grabbed the puck at centre ice, took it just inside the blueline, and to the surprise of everyone, including his coach Toe Blake and Boston goalie, Bruce Gamble,  wound up, fired, and scored.

Has a penalty shot or shootout goal ever been scored from so far out? I doubt it.

So when you see breakaways next year, or all the shootouts and penalty shots, ask yourself why the players don’t just tee up and blast away every so often. The goalie is not in the least expecting it.

Like Malkin did the other night. And like Bobby Rousseau did those many years ago.

 

 

The Philadelphia Flyers Got It Done. Montreal Didn’t.

I’m at work this evening, and I watched the scores come in from the computer, so I know without going home to see the recording, what happened. It’s a very disappointing time. Montreal couldn’t get it done. But they’re a young team with lots of positives, and next year will be better.

Philadelphia deserved this series. How could they not? They took out the Habs in a measly five games. Their goalie was better than our goalie. RJ Umberger was better than Alex Kovalev.

How could Montreal allow three goals in three minutes when they were up 3-1? I dunno. I didn’t see it. And I’m not going to watch it when I get home because I don’t feel like it.

To all the die-hard Flyers fans that have been reading my blog, I say good for you and your team, and I hope you’ll read my stuff from time to time as I’ll be posting every day year round. You guys had some great comments and feedback, and you definitely added a lot of colour to this. All’s fair in love and war.

And to the great Habs fans who have been faithful readers as we took this gigantic roller coaster ride, I know you’ll continue to check in. There’s lots to talk about. We gotta figure out together how to make our team better.

So back to work for a few more hours, then the long drive home. I’m not feeling on top of the world right now, that’s for sure.

Hoping to hear what went wrong. Please let me know.

Rodney Helps Me Out In Dealing With Those Flyers Fans

Man, those Flyers fans are a tough crowd. They’re letting me have it in the comments section. So I’ve done what I had to do. I’ve prayed to the man above to help, to give me guidance, to make me strong against these folk in Pennsylvania who are rubbing their hands in glee at this very moment at the thought of their team taking out my team.

Dear Rodney, please help.

“Don’t worry, Dennis. They come from a bad neighbourhood. I put my hand in some cement there and felt another hand.”

Flyers fans drink too much. When they give a urine sample, there’s olives in it.

Flyers fans take viagra and prune juice. They don’t know whether they’re coming or going.

They asked Flyers fans to be poster boys – for birth control.

Martin Biron’s mother had morning sickness after he was born.

The Flyers complained to their psychiatrist that everyone hates them. He said they were being ridiculous – everyone hasn’t met them yet.

When Daniel Briere was a kid his parents moved a lot. But he always found them.

When Derian Hatcher was born, the doctor slapped his mother.

STOP THAT, RODNEY.

Sorry, Flyers fans.

In all seriousness, what I’ve garnered from the comments this past week from Flyers fans is this:

They don’t feel their team is getting enough respect. They’re complaining that when I write about Montreal losing, it’s not because the Flyers played well, it’s because the Habs played poorly.

And they don’t think I’m giving enough credit to Martin Biron.

So I’ve been thinking about this. And really, the big reason Philly is doing so well is because of Martin Biron. It’s not because the Flyers are on fire. Daniel Biron’s been good but not great, and also RJ Umberger. But Mike Richards hasn’t, or most of the Flyers forwards, for that matter. And whatever John Stevens did to make his defence so tight around their net, it’s really working.

The reason I say Montreal is not playing up to their standards is because they’re not. They won the eastern division, they scored more goals during the regular season than any other team in the league. And their power play was the best in the league. They played fire wagon hockey all year, they were dynamic, fast, and were a handful for others teams on most nights.

But not now.

During these playoffs, their power play has fizzled and their scoring in general is way off, and that includes the Boston series also. The guys who lit it up during the season, the Kostitsyn’s, Higgins, Kovalev, Plekanec, are quiet now.

So Montreal isn’t playing up to scratch, and Philadelphia is riding with a red-hot goaltender. (And don’t forget, Flyers fans, there’s been a lot of goal posts hit.)

I don’t know why these fans have a problem with this thinking.

And one last little thing. After Philadelphia scored late a couple of games ago, Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen turned around and laughed in Tom Kostopoulos’ face. This is the kind of thing that turns off most hockey fans. It lacked class, you don’t see this type of mocking often, and when Kostopoulos smacked him in the mouth for this, I’m sure hockey fans, even Habs haters, nodded their heads approvingly.

 

No One Said It Would Be Easy. But The Montreal Canadiens Will Come Out Flying On Wednesday Night.

If the Montreal Canadiens can finally solve Martin Biron, they’ll win this series. If they can’t, they’ll be done, and I’ll have to go to plan B for this blog, which, by the way, will be unbelievably interesting so none of you would have to leave me because you’d miss too much good stuff if you did.

But Blog Plan B won’t be coming anytime soon, because Montreal will win this series. Carey Price will rebound, and this year’s playoffs will make an incredibly interesting chapter in the book that will some day be written about young Mr. Price. He’s cool as a cucumber, he’ll be back, and that’s bad news for the Flyers and their fans.

Montreal needs all hands on deck. That means Mike Komisarek, Guillaume Latendresse, Mark Streit, the Kostitsyn’s, Chris Higgins, Roman Hamrlik, me, Mike, der Habinator, Rick the Trucker, Brian, Robert, Danny, the hockey gods, and the amazing bandwagon punkette, Danielleia.

And I have complete faith that Alex Kovalev and Saku Koivu will take the bull by the horns and lead this team to the promised land.

Montreal just needs to continue what they’re doing, which is outshoot the Flyers, storm the net, and make some of the lunkheads on the Flyers like Derian Hatcher and Steve Downey continue to take unnecessary and poorly-timed penalties which will seal their team’s doom once the Habs power play is back on track completely.

Mike Richards, who was a class act with Canada in the World Juniors a couple of years ago, still needs maturing, and Montreal can get him off his game without much problem. He gets upset too easily, will take bad penalties because he’s upset, and we need to take advantage of his habit of losing it.

And maybe Mike Komisarek could punch him in the mouth from time to time for good measure.

And about blog plan B, coming this summer. Of course it’ll stay Habs talk, but because no games will be on, it’ll be more pictures, more old stories, and maybe even a photo tour of Powell River, a place you’d all like to live whether you know it or not.

Until then, though, it’s get rid of the greasy Flyers, roll over the Penguins or Rangers, and take on, with huge confidence, whoever comes out of the west.

But first things first, and that means Wednesday night. Come on, boys, have a couple of good practices, eat your broccoli, go to bed early, focus, meditate, and concentrate on shooting pucks under, over, and through Mr. Biron.

Habs Universe, and Danielleia, are behind you.

 

 

Philadelphia Steals Game Three. Carey Price Struggles And Provides Serious Drama For Game Four

 GAME 3

Kate Smith singing God Bless America didn’t win the game for the Philadelphia Flyers. She hasn’t since 1975. No one on the Flyers won the game for the Flyers.

Montreal won the game for the Flyers.

The Habs were ineffective during an early-game two man advantage. They held a big edge in play in the first period. They hit three posts. Carey Price, looking shaky, was replaced by Jaroslav Halak in the third, and the team responded by outshooting Philly 16-2. But it wasn’t enough, losing in the end 3-2, and the team is now down two games to one. They need game four so badly, there’d better be focus, concentration, commitment, no late-night dinners, no over-doing the beer or wine, and a good, reasonable curfew these next two nights.

They couldn’t score. Mind you, they got two on the power play when slow-poke Derian Hatcher took a five minute major in the third. And they stormed the Flyers net for most of the third. But they had gotten behind early in the game, and it was too much to come back when Biron is playing like he is.

And most disturbing of all, Carey Price, for far too many games now, has been only pretty good at best. Not great. Not Ken Dryden, or Terry Sawchuk, or Roger Crozier, or Jacques Plante. He’s just been Carey Price, which, in this playoff year, has not been outstanding. It’s a concern because we need Price to be the second coming of Plante and Dryden, and no one less.

So the question is. Can Carey Price make his name this year in the Stanley Cup playoffs, or are these chapters yet to written?

Game four is Wednesday night, and will the questions be answered. Is the power play back? Will the Kostitsyn’s play better. Where is Mike Komisarek? Will Martin Biron look human? And will Carey Price rebound and deliver?

Game note:

Kudos to Robert over at Eyes on The Prize. Robert has a fantastic Habs site which he continues to tweak, and the photo of him sitting at the Habs press conference table is brilliant. (You can click on Eyes on the Prize over in my blogroll).

 

 

A 1930’s Love Story. Plus, The Flyers Even The Series, And Montreal Will Now Win In Five Games Instead Of Four.

GAME 2

Sometime in 1933, when times were hard and prohibition was in full swing, Foster Hewitt and Francis the Talking Mule, while on a secret rendezvous in Newfoundland, and in a fit of flaming passion, conceived a love child, a bouncing baby boy.

They named him Bob…… Bob Cole.

Anyway.

Game two served notice that this is going to be a chippy series. Philadelphia may have won the game 4-2 and evened the series, but this thing’s bound to get ugly before Montreal eliminates the bad guys. Fred Shero’s shadow remains cast over the Flyers even in this day and age.

Montreal had their chances, to be sure. They could have won this game by three or four goals. Christopher Higgins hit the post late in the game. Almost everyone came close at one time or another. But Flyers goaltender Martin Biron was good, Carey Price not quite so good, and Mike Richards and Derian Hatcher are a couple of pricks.

That’s my summary.

Don Cherry said afterwards that Montreal played dopey in both games. What am I missing? I keep hearing how lousy they’re playing, but they outshot the Flyers, had breakaways, hit posts, created tons of chances, more scoring chances than Philadelphia, and although they lost, I didn’t think they looked that bad. Not bad at all.

But why do I keep thinking I must be watching a different game than everybody else? All I’ve heard, from Foster Hewitt’s love child, to Cherry, to Greg Millen, to newspaper writers and TV people, is how poorly the Habs are playing. 

I don’t see it. Of course they can play better, but they’re not flat like they were in the Boston series. Far from it. Montreal’s playing well enough to win this series, that’s for sure.

And global warming’s going to get a lot warmer when all these media Hab-haters’ asses are burning.  

Game note:

For those of you who aren’t sure who Bob Cole is, he’s the CBC play-by-play guy, and the illegitimate son of Francis the talking mule.