Tag Archives: Mike Babcock

Habs Fall To Sharks……And The Theory Of Blockativity

The Canadiens slept for 50 minutes, fell behind 4-0, and finally woke up and made a game of it, scoring twice and also waking Bell Centre fans up.

But it was too late. 4-2 Sharks.

It was so bad, Carey Price was yanked after the fourth goal and replaced by Al Montoya. Price looked pissed at the coach as he exited.

This is the problem with the boys living at home during hockey season and not thinking hockey every minute of the day, especially at bedtime. I think they should live in isolated camps like Soviet players did 40 or 50 years ago, with a couple of phone calls home once or twice a week.

Maybe they wouldn’t be so sluggish like they were on this night.

I’ll make sure your wives are comfortable, boys. Don’t worry about that. Just concentrate on the job at hand. You can hang out with your wives for two months every summer.

Brian Flynn and Jeff Petry scored for Montreal, and if you need any other information… shots on goal, the power play, penalties etc, there’s about 100 places on the Internet, including Facebook and Twitter, where you can see all that.

Leaf coach Mike Babcock said the other day that to stay competitive, he needs his team to grab at least 6 points in every 5-game block.

His Leafs, of course, have failed miserably so far in this regard, although I’m way too lazy to actually figure out their numbers.

But let’s see how the Habs have done, using this Babcockian Theory.

Games      Points

1-5 ——     9
6-10 —-   10
11-15 —     8
16-20 —     3
21-25 —     6
26-30 —     6

Not bad, except for the 16 to 20 game stretch, when they got a point in their 4-3 OT loss to Florida, and a 2-1 win against Toronto. But they fell to Chicago, Carolina, and Ottawa during this 5-game block.

 

Canadiens Burn Leafs In Opener

Price

(Cool Carey Price portrait created by our friend Darth aka Wade Alexander)

Opening night for the Canadiens and Leafs at the ACC in Toronto, and the boys wearing the CH did what we knew hoped they’d do – send the local fans and the homer Sportsnet television crew home to pound whiskey and scream in the shower.

It wasn’t like the Habs outplayed the Babcockians though. Not by any stretch. Much of the time they were flat and disorganized, but Carey Price saved the day, something we’re definitely familiar with, and something which is both good and bad.

Good because he saved the day. Bad because he had to save the day.

Price stopped 36 of 37 shots, while the Habs fired 30 at Jonathan Bernier, who, by the way, has a tremendously hot fiancee (as seen on Hockey Wives).

It’s only game one, much too early to criticize, and in looking at things, we see the Habs in first place and the Leafs in last. But the so-called hockey panelists at TSN and Sportsnet rank Montreal 9th and 11th best overall, so as the weeks and months unfold, we need a tightened-up ship to show these folks they’re talking through their derrières.

Brand new captain Max Pacioretty scored twice, first on his team’s first shot of the game which trickled over the line behind Bernier, and an empty netter to seal things.

New centreman Alex Galchenyuk had put his team ahead 2-1 in the third before Max put the Leafs out of their misery, and the charitable P.K. Subban set up all three markers.

Two points, that’s all we need to focus on. After all, there’s 81 more games to get the proverbial shorts in a knot.

Random Notes:

The Canadiens were 0/1 on the power play, although Galchenyuk rang one off the crossbar.

A Jeff Petry goal in the second frame was called back after the Babcockian One used the new coach’s challenge, which can be implemented instead of a time out. Tomas Plekanec’s stick was found to be bothering Bernier’s chest at the time of the goal, and a closer look decided “no goal”.

A couple of cheapshots to mention – one by Leo Komarov, who slammed Subban from behind, and another from Nazem Kadri, who ran over Alexei Emelin’s face.

This is the kind of stuff that hardrock Zack Kassian might have dealt. And in case you’re interested, Lucy tells me in all seriousness that the name Komarov means “Son of Mosquito”.

Next up, Saturday, when the team skates onto Boston ice to meet Brad Marchand and company. Kassian might have said hello to this rat too, but alas……

Below, Bernier’s better half, Maxime Forget.

images

MF-2

 

 

 

Summer Windbag

May 20 – Mike Babcock leaves the Detroit Red Wings to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, with the deal calling for 50 million bucks over eight years. Seriously, that’s more than I made at BC Ferries.

Last year Toronto brought in a hot shot advanced stats guy, and now it’s this coach. We’re all screwed. The Leafs will probably be fantastic from now on. Unstoppable every year until the two of them retire. Leafs fans are lucky.

May 21 – Babcock mentions at his big press conference that the Leafs are “Canada’s team”.

May 25 – Today I’ve been thinking about what Babcock said about Canada’s team. I wanted to know who Canada is, the one the team belongs to, so I typed in Canada 411 and had a look.

The problem is, there are quite a few people in Canada named Canada, and I’ve no idea which one the Leafs belong to. There’s Graham Canada in Brampton, Vicki Canada in Vancouver, Gorving Canada in Toronto, Sheldon Canada in Alberta, and a whole bunch in Manitoba, including Mervin and Terry. Others too, including Catherine Canada in Quebec. And then there’s the parents and siblings. All these Canadas, and at least one of them owns the Leafs. Right now we don’t know which one, but I’m hoping it’s Mervin.

Whichever Canada it is, maybe his or her granddad was part of the crew that helped build Maple leaf Gardens and took shares from Conn Smythe instead of money. And if it’s one of the Manitoba Canadas like Mervin, the neighbours probably had no idea. They thought the Canada clan down the road were Jets fans.

May 27 – Guy Lafleur says Brendan Gallagher should captain the Canadiens. Guy says what he thinks, and I say good for him, he doesn’t keep things bottled up inside which could lead to ulcers. Last year he put the hammer down on Max and Tomas Vanek for having lousy post seasons, before that it was Bob Gainey and Guy Carbonneau’s handling of Alex Kovalev, and in 2007 he said the Habs were a team of 4th liners. I’m sure there were more.

Management must grit their teeth when they find out that the Flower has spoken again.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter what Guy or any of us think about who should wear the C. It should be put to a dressing room vote. They know each other. They have showers together. But call the vote when no one’s expecting so there’s no time for players to do some personal brown nosing to garner votes, like buying flowers for the other guys’ wives, or babysitting their kids.

And sadly, Carey Price’s name shouldn’t be on the ballot. You know, the goalie/captain thing. But if Price was a forward or d-man, it’s the captaincy for sure.

June 2 – Jeff Petry signs a new six year, $33 million contract with the Canadiens. I like the Habs blueline. You got yer P.K. and Petry and Beaulieu and Emelin and Pateryn and Tinordi. And yes, even Old Man Markov, who will be relying on smarts only from here on in, which is still good.

June 3 – The Stanley Cup Final featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks begins. Canada’s team isn’t involved. Probably next year because they have the coach and the stats guy. Mervin or Graham, or whichever Canada it is that the team belongs to, will be cheering wildly from Manitoba or wherever.

June 4 – Something slightly unusual happens to me today.

 

 

Canada 6 Austria 0

“Whatcha think of the game, Elmer?”
“Best game I’ve ever seen, Red.”
“You gotta stay away from that homemade corn whiskey, Elmer.”

Press box

Just a couple of things to mention:

You could see the guys a bit more in sync in game two than in game one.

And speaking of game one, they showed a Canadian fan in the stands wearing one of those red and white “Cat in the Hat-type” hats. Do you think the person behind him who couldn’t see appreciated it?

For the second straight game, Shea Weber fired a laser from well out that bulged the twine, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this guy’s shot might be in the top one or two hardest in the history of the game.

Don Cherry did his Coach’s Corner with some kind of dog hat on his head.

Announcers Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson, and Glenn Healy were really on top of things when they told us that the Sochi time-out snow shovelers aren’t as good as NHL snow shovelers.

PK Subban had a solid night. Hopefully Babcock and company thought so too.

It’s been said often that if Luongo played well in this game, it should be enough to use him from here on in, which is just silly. What about a bad game from him on Sunday, or the next game?

Carey Price still has a chance to be the guy, regardless of what they say. Luongo had an easier night, but he recorded a shutout. Price allowed one goal, which apparently was too many.

Sunday against Finland. It’ll be good to finally see a real challenge. And Saturday’s U.S.-Russia tilt should be a beauty.

Ryan Miller And The US Squad Take Down The Canadians

How come Martin Brodeur never plays like that against the Habs? For years now, the goalie has been steady as a rock, a better puck handler than many forwards, and a complete thorn in the side when he goes against most teams, especially the Montreal Canadiens.

Sunday night in Vancouver, in a  5-3 US win that put a frown on faces of Canadian hockey fans everywhere, Brodeur was surprisingly shaky, flip-flopping and making blunders while handling the puck, and looked very ordinary, unlike his counterpart at the other end, American Ryan Miller, who was amazing and who outplayed Brodeur by a wide margin. The Buffalo Sabres are very fortunate to have Miller stopping pucks for them.

Shots on goal were Canada 44, US 22.

It wasn’t just Miller and Brodeur who had a hand in the outcome of this classic thriller of historic proportions. Team Canada once again looked out of sync, like they were against Switzerland, while Team USA played with heart and soul and who buried their chances when they got them.  And a prime example of outworking came on the Ryan Kesler empty-net goal with seconds left when he somehow found the fortitude to swat at the puck in a race with Corey Perry, who had decided he’d wait to touch the puck until the proper moment. The proper moment was improper, it was too late, and the puck was in the net.

If I was coach Mike Babcock, I’d sit Perry for this nonchalant play that became the killer fifth goal for the Americans. A lazy play like that, in a game like that, is unacceptable.

I was going to begin this post by saying it wasn’t the end of the world, it was a life and death struggle and heart-stopping and all that, but then I thought about Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette. Joannie’s mom and dad had come to Vancouver to see her skate on Tuesday, and today, just two days before the proud moment, Joannie’s mom collapsed and died of a heart attack. That’s real life, real tragedy, real life and death. This was only a hockey game, and Canada is still in it.

Things were put into perspective for me when I heard this news.

Canada plays Germany on Tuesday. Will Brodeur be back between the pipes, or will Roberto Luongo, or even Marc-Andre Fleury step in?


Pssst. I’m Buying The Habs. Keep It Under Your Hat

Because so many of you clicked on the ads on the side of this site, plus me getting in quite a bit of overtime lately at work, I now have enough money, 400 million, to buy the Montreal Canadiens from George Gillett. This of course will include the Bell Centre, where I will be living, so on those cold, winter nights, I won’t have to go out of the house to take in a game.

I’ll be buying the team to fullfill a couple of dreams. I want to hire the right people to build a team and win the Stanley Cup next year. I want to be stick boy. And I want to be the guy who makes sure the players’ wives are comfortable while visiting the Kane Centre.

Until the sale is finalized, I won’t be announcing coaches and staff. But lets just say I’m pretty tight with Mike Babcock, Roberto Luongo, Scotty Bowman, Ken Dryden, Wayne Gretzky, Nik Lidstrom, and Vinny Lecavalier. And Alex Ovechkin owes me a couple of favours.

So just let me get all the neccessary paperwork done, and we’ll get on with it. But don’t tell anybody. I don’t want this to get out.

I Sort Of Won Rookie Of The Year Last Night At The NHL Awards Show

If the NHL Awards show wants to become more of a flashy and polished affair, they might want to think about replacing host Ron McLean. For as much as he’s a quick-witted and able sidekick to Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner, he comes across on these glittering nights as a bit of a hick. Really hokey. With lame jokes like the Brian Burke bobbing head doll and the cell phone thing. He’s not too funny at all. Maybe he’s overrated?
Gary Bettman looked embarrassed and I felt embarrassed.

Or maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the only one in the world who feels like this.

On the brighter side, there sure were a lot of good looking wives there. It seems that hot women like millionaire athletes! Go figure.

Washington’s Bruce Boudreau beat out Guy Carbonneau and Mike Babcock to win the Adams trophy for coach of the year. For me it could’ve gone either way between him and Carbonneau so this is okay.

Alex Ovechkin won both the Hart for league MVP and the Lester B. Pearson for top player as voted by his peers. This is fine, but my question is, who dresses this guy? He looked so out of sorts with his silly red tie and weird collared shirt that I wondered if he just got off the Red Eye from Moscow.

Niklas Lidstrom took home his sixth Norris for best defenseman. His wife is also right up there for Best Wife.

Gordie Howe was honoured with the very first Lifetime Achievement Award. This is good, but I’m wondering if you have to be alive to win this. Because the Rocket deserves one too. But the Rocket has the Rocket Richard Trophy named for him for most goals in a season, and that’s better than a Lifetime Achievement award in my book.

Last but not least, Patrick Kane beat out Jonathan Toews and Nicklas Backstrom for Rookie of the Year (Calder trophy). I’m happy about this because my name is Dennis Patrick Kane.