Tag Archives: P.K. Subban

Ahoy Captain

It’s big stuff, this talk of the next Habs captain now that Brian Gionta has gone back to his home state.

The fact is, I don’t think anyone right now has what it takes for the role. Kind of sad, but in a few years, it’ll probably all become clear.

Of course, if someone is chosen this year, please forget that you ever saw this.

The names are tossed around. There’s Markov and Subban, and Plekanec and sometimes Max, and for some unknown reason, Brendan Gallagher keeps coming up. I don’t know why. But more about that later.

A captain’s not there just to make the fans happy that there is one. He has to have big time respect and admiration from teammates. They have to look up to him and learn from him. He has to lead by example. That’s why you never saw Howie Young or Sean Avery or Sergei Kostitsyn wear the C on any team.

A Canadiens captain needs to take Rene Bourque aside when Bourque is comatose and give him verbal smelling salts. He needs to tell P.K. to sometimes calm down, or chat now and again with Michel Therrien and politely mention that embarrassing P.K. in public might not be the coolest thing.

A leader of men. Classy, smart, and distinguished. The opposite of me.

The coaches rely on him to talk to teammates and guide and advise. He has to be great with the media and fans. He has to get along in fine fashion with the on-ice officials. Ask the zebras about the wife and kids. Explain politely that Brendan Prust’s fist into someone’s face was a natural reaction caused by the other player saying something uncalled for about the referee’s wife.

It would be great if the players voted on the wearer of the C but chances are it won’t be like that. Which could also lead to the delicate situation of the player being a bit of a brown noser, one of management’s pipelines. That sort of thing is for losers.

Of course that only happens with other teams, not the Habs. This is a team that rises above the nuttiness. There’s never nuttiness in Montreal, you know that.

Andrei Markov leads by example, that’s for sure, and the players, I think, truly respect him. He’s a hard worker, which a captain needs to be, and he’s been around since he paired with Sprague Cleghorn. But when it comes to the microphone or the PR stuff, it’s just doesn’t seem to be in him.

I know a bunch of his fellow countrymen, and most are cut from the same cloth. Reserved and not all great around anything remotely  resembling public attention. Except Lucy’s son Denis in St. Petersburg, who loves to ham it up when the camera’s out. But I think he’s an anomaly.

As much as I admire Markov, he’s not completely captain’s material. At least not in my book. But you might have a different book.

Same with Tomas Plekanec. Not great in front of the camera. Kind of a quiet guy I think. Not one to take a rookie aside and tell him to lay off the booze and broads. Or maybe he does, but surely not the way a Mark Messier or the Rocket would have handled it.

And if you say that’s old time, that this is now, so what? Because leaders are leaders, whether it’s 1914 or 2014.

As much as I like Pleks, and as much as Brad Marchand dislikes him, which is a definite bonus, he, like Markov, doesn’t have the makeup to be a true captain.

P.K. Subban will be a fine captain some day. He leads by example, he struts in public, and he’s fired up to win. He’s perfect in many ways. We don’t want a laid back captain. We just had one. But P.K. still has a bit of goofiness in him, probably what a captain shouldn’t have.

As much as P.K. is liked by his teammates, do they look up to him at this point the way young players in Chicago look up to Jonathan Toews, or in Anaheim to Ryan Getzlaf, or Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh?

Maybe after this season, after P.K. buys a few rounds, wins another Norris, and is voted Most Popular Guy on the Team by his teammates, then it’ll be time to put the C on him. He’s almost there. Just not quite.

The head scratcher for me is why Brendan Gallagher’s name comes up. As great a player he is, with a heart as big as can be, and a guy who would lead by example as a captain should, he’s still a kid. It’s obvious by the one minute interviews we see. He still talks like a kid. He was like a son to Josh Gorges and his wife when Gally rented a room at the Gorges resident.

Of course you could say Sidney Crosby roomed at Mario Lemieux’s house and was a captain at just 19, but these are two different personalities. I’m sure Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog, who was also 19 when given the C, is a man/boy too. There are guys like that. I once had a teammate when I was about 15 who had to shave every day and had this serious man strength. He looked older than the coaches.

Imagine if everyone had his same burning desire as Gallagher. But he’s not captain material because he’s a kid and I don’t understand why it keeps coming up.

Max Pacioretty might make a fine captain, but it seems he gets into areas when he has to re-screw his head back on from time to time. He’s kind of like me in this regard only I probably take longer to recover. It’s not a knock on Max for having his up and down moments. It’s about a captain not having those moments. One who could help Max along when he’s feeling out of sorts.

A captain has to be a big brother. Jean Beliveau was good like this. He knew how to handle all sorts of egos in the dressing room. Max doesn’t seem to have this in his genes, nor does Markov, Plekanec, Gallagher, and P.K., although at least it seems that way to a guy who only watches them on TV and has never been in the room except during the Bell Centre tour.

The captain situation sort of mirrors the team situation. Getting there, but just not quite. I think it’ll be Subban wearing the C in the 2015-16 campaign if he doesn’t screw it up in the meantime by making his teammates want to throttle him.

It’ll interesting to see how this captain thing unfolds. Just wish we had an obvious choice.

 

 

P.K. And Canadiens Kiss

I never attempted to weigh in here or anywhere else regarding the P.K. Subban and his team’s on and off romance and money game, mainly because it was pure guesswork and speculation from the start and I hate guessing and speculating.

I don’t find it fun, it doesn’t help my ulcers, and I’m usually wrong. I’ve also been on this terrific hiatus where not once have I wanted to throw my computer out the window.

I’m not finished with my hiatus either, but the P.K. story has been quite a thing for all concerned, and I felt drawn in.

Everywhere I looked (and I was paying strict attention all along), Marc Bergevin was apparently a misguided bastard. P.K. and his agent Don Meehan were asking too much. The Canadiens didn’t respect P.K. They should pay him whatever he wants. Don’t pay him whatever he wants. Five million. 8.5 million. Long term, Short term. Arbitration. P.K.’s a hot dog. P.K. makes mistakes on the ice. P.K.’s the best thing to happen since Guy Lafleur. P.K this, P.K. that. Even him going to the Leafs was discussed.

It’s all been said and figured out, and yet, when he finally did sign on the dotted line, the figure and term, $9 million for eight years, surprised everyone, even though every angle was completely covered up until then by Habs experts in all four corners of the earth.

It’s quite a sport. Not hockey, the art of getting wound up into a frenzy. The art of thinking the answers are there when they’re not. The art of being smarter than the GM who seems to have done a nice job so far.

Even now some are finding fault with the deal, although if it had fallen flat, they’d be screaming blue murder.

When the papers were signed and the news announced, fans, including me, breathed a sigh of relief, and almost like it never really had anyone’s shorts in a knot at any time, it now becomes quickly forgotten and we move on to the next paramount Habs-related issue.

Whatever it is. (Please don’t change the look of the sweater).

I wasn’t upset at Marc Bergevin and his gang for letting this thing go the distance, only confused. And when it got done, I wasn’t surprised, except for the fact it’s very much a generous offer from the team that supposedly still has issues with parts of P.K.’s game.

I stayed out of it because I’m no contract/cap/term expert. I’m just a longtime fan, waiting impatiently for another Stanley Cup, and for a bonafide superstar to don the CH once again.

And when I say bonafide superstar, I mean bonafide. Not a darn good star. Not a big star – a huge star. One that rarely comes along. The Canadiens were once upon a time blessed with so many, but not anymore. Maybe P.K. can be this kind of player. He’s shown us that it’s a possibility, but he’s not there yet.

I want my team to be king of the hill, top of the heap, as all Habs fans do. And I think the team will be. My faith never waivers. Even when they suck. Even when Scott Gomez moved the puck up the ice and then lost it.

Okay, maybe then.

I also carried a strong belief in Marc Bergevin’s methods during this P.K. process, although I didn’t understand a great deal and scratched my head more than once. But that might only be head lice.

Now we move on. How about a bit more toughness up front?

 

Darth Comes Through Again

Darth (Wade Alexander) has been creating cool pieces of computer art for several years and it’s always a good day when another shows up that I can post.

Some of his other stuff can be seen right here

And now, without further ado, Darth’s newest.

PKPortrait

Darth Does A Devil

Darth has sent over a legendary Devil to join his super cool and ever-growing library.

This one is of a guy Darth says should’ve been a Hab. A Montreal boy whose dad was the Canadiens official photographer for many years.

Definitely, Martin Brodeur would have been a sensational fit for the Canadiens. He’s been playing since 1993 and so for the first three years he’d have to be elsewhere until Patrick Roy left in ’96, and then in a perfect world, the team would have had the future Hall of Famer all those years until young Carey Price  grew up and arrived on the scene.

Here’s Darth’s Martin Brodeur, along with his other Dartharians.

MartinBrodeur

Darth

Old Habs fan

LARSELLER

goalcelebrationpainting1

TheGallys

PK Subban 2

CareyPrice2

DD

waynesimmonds

AlexGalchenyuk

Habs Hurt Leafs

Canadiens top the Leafs 4-3 at the ACC that should have fans leaving the building feeling they got their money’s worth, and which keeps the Habs train rolling and the Leaf apple cart tottering on the edge of the cliff.

It was a back and forth affair, a bunch of posts behind Carey Price were hit, just two penalties were called for each team on the night, and it was tense going in the final minutes when the Leafs pulled James Reimer and the Habs were holding on.

Montreal looked like they were going to burst it wide open in the first when Max and Rene Bourque both beat Reimer on his glove hand, and maybe a third goal would have really got the ball rolling considering Reimer’s fragile confidence.

But credit to Reimer. He came up with some great saves after those two goals, the game never got out of hand, and the Leafs battled back to tie it until a late first period goal by Brian Gionta made it 3-2 Habs.

Scoreless in the second, and then the obnoxious Nazem Kadri was left open at the side of the net and banged it home to tie things at three.

It was nerve wracking to be sure, and heart-stopping when sniper Phil Kessel waltzed in on Carey Price. But Price would stop Kessel, and soon after Tomas Plekanec converted some nice passing from Markov and P.K. and the boys held on and got it done.

Rene Bourque contributed a goal and assist on this night after being a healthy scratch for the last five games, and he played with rare passion. So much so that HNIC named him the game’s first star.

Imagine that. Rene Bourque. Can he do it again two nights from now?

Speaking of HNIC, the intermissions were all Leafs, all the time. Leafs, Leafs, Leafs. This is one of the main reasons I grew up hating the white and blue. Rarely a mention of the Canadiens.

And at the end of the game, Glenn Healy proclaimed that the Leafs were the much better team on the night, even though Montreal outshot Toronto in the first two periods, the shots overall were even at 36 each, and the Habs won the game.

What the Leafs did win was in the hits department, with 37 to Montreal’s 18.

Dion Phaneuf tried to get rough with little David Desharnais, and considering the way Phaneuf fights, this was a fair matchup.

A great win, the screws are tightening on the Leafs, and the Canadiens are jockeying for a nice playoff seeding. It’s also Toronto’s fourth straight loss which adds to the festivities!

Now it’s Monday in Boston for Les Glorieux when they meet a Bruins team that’s racked up 12 straight wins. But all streaks must eventually come to an end. Like on Monday.

 

Habs Edged In L.A.

I was up slightly earlier today so I could see on the scoreboard and PVR how the Habs did in L.A., after a 10:30 pm ET start that was way past my bedtime.

I see that the boys dropped a 2-1 decision to the Kings after Jeff Carter scored the go-ahead goal with Ryan White in the box for holding.

I was curious to see if it was a dumb penalty so I had a quick look. White hauled down Trevor Lewis in a race to the puck and it could’ve been avoided, as most White penalties can.

P.K. Subban’s goal in the first period that evened things at one wasn’t a hard blast, just a wrist shot from the point that banked in off Jarret Stoll’s skate.

Random Notes:

The Kings outshot the Canadiens 22-18.

You probably didn’t miss much if you were sleeping, although I watched the third period and there were some close calls at both ends. But when you look at the shots, you’ll see –
1st. Habs 5  Kings 5
2nd. Habs 5  Kings 8
3rd. Habs 8  Kings 9

So not a barnburner to say the least.

Now it’s slightly east on a dreadful freeway to take on the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at 10:00 pm ET.

The Ducks, featuring Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu etc. The number one team in the NHL with 91 points. (Montreal has 75).

Toronto lost 2-1 to Columbus.

 

 

 

Canada 2 Finland 1 In Overtime

Two goals by Drew Doughty, one in the first period and another in overtime, gave Team Canada a 2-1 win over the Finns, and now Canada plays the winner of Tuesday’s Switzerland and Latvia contest in a quarterfinals contest to be held on Wednesday.

The Swiss beat Latvia 1-0 in an Olympic opener last week.

What a fine player Doughty is. Drafted number 2 overall in 2008 behind Steven Stamkos, this is a great skater, is smart with a nice tough of flair, has a good shot, and is a big reason why the Los Angeles Kings are a threat.

A young hockey star living in Tinseltown. I’m sure life is good for Drew Doughty. I wonder if Justin Bieber has his autograph.

The Finns were outplayed for the most part, but they lined themselves up as the Canadians attacked, and it made for a close, tight checking, hardworking affair.

Definitely not the barnburner the U.S. – Russia game was the other day, but it still allowed Canada to go 3-0 in the tournament and keep momentum flowing the right way.

The boys could have easily lost, but a late save by Carey Price kept things at one apiece and set the stage for Doughty’s heroics. I hope the coaches keep that in mind.

Price came through when called upon and everyone should be satisfied with they saw from him. Although Habs haters will have found several chinks in his armour of course.

But two goals allowed in two starts is pretty darn decent in my book.

Tuukka Rask at the other end was also excellent, and if he didn’t play for the Bruins, I’d say more nice things about him.

Martin St. Louis and P.K. Subban were healthy scratches, and P.K. especially might have made a difference. Big shots getting through that wall of players. His skating that might have opened things up somewhat.

“Whatcha think of Canada’s win today, Elmer?”
Subban shudda been there, Red.”

Press box

What Was That?

I’m sitting here trying to wrap my head around what we all just saw. Kind of at a loss for words.

One thing’s for sure, the Canadiens were pathetic.

They also won.

Carey Price was unreal, with 44 shots peppered at him, maybe 15 of which were ultra-tough, and he sprawled and dived and stuck gloves and pads out and looked like Vladislav Tretiak during the 1975 New Year’s Eve game.

P.K. Subban scored the winner in overtime, and the Canadiens grab two big points. Price (and PK’s goal) was the good part.

The rest of the night sucked rancid rats.

This was a game that folks will be talking about for awhile. It was nothing short of ridiculous, but you had to see it to know what I’m talking about.

I suppose I could give a brief rundown to those who decided to forgo the Habs-Senators tilt to grab a Gallagher at McDonalds. But it’s hard to type when I can’t stop shaking my head.

Montreal jumped into a 3-0 lead in the first period when Travis Moen sent Tomas Plekanec in on clear-cut breakaway when they were killing a penalty.

Max upped it to 2-0 shortly after on the powerplay, and then David Desharnais made a nice little move to make it 3-0.

Three goals on five shots. A glorious night to be a Habs fan. 3-0. Maybe it’ll be 6-0 at the end! Ole Ole!

But without warning, a puck that changed direction made it 3-1, still in the first. And then Erik Karlsson found himself with a wide open net and just like that, it was 3-2.

Shots on goal – Ottawa 19, Montreal 7. But the Canadiens were still winning, as weird as it was.

In the second frame, Carey Price was once again as good as he’s ever been, coming up big on Michalek, Ryan, Stone, and I stopped writing down the others after that.

And suddenly, and with lots of warning because it was so one-sided the boys should be ashamed of themselves, Bobby Ryan tied it at 2:44 and somebody else, and I don’t care who it was, put the home team ahead 4-3 with 1:20 left.

As pathetic as you’ll see from the Canadiens. I thought they were dead or seriously hungover in Philadelphia, but this one takes the cake. I could smell Sens fans’ smugness all the way from St. Hubert.

But as bad as it was, as one-sided and ridiculous as this game was, Tomas Plekanec tied it after being sent in on a nice pass from Brian Gionta, and although he didn’t score, I want to give a big shout out to Jared Cowan, who was chasing him and knocked the puck into his own net by accident.

To think of the Sens fans’ disappointment at that moment warmed the cockles of my heart. But it wasn’t over…………until overtime that is, when P.K. Subban got the puck to sneak by Anderson and the boys skate away with a 5-4 win!

It was like being on the receiving end of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, all the tommy gun bullets missed, and you walked out of the warehouse safe and sound.

Basically, it was a horrendous night. A truly stupid night that somehow ended with the Canadiens winning.

The only two excellent things were Carey Price standing on his head and showing once again how good he is, and the lovely vision of Sens fans grinding their teeth and throwing beer cans at the wall.

The Canadiens need some serious tweaking. That was as bad as it gets, and there’s been some serious stinkers this year. But this was unreal. They looked like a junior team. They floundered, they were outworked and outmuscled.

And they still won. After blowing a 3-0 lead. After having 44 shots peppered at them. WTF?

Random Notes:

Only two penalties on the entire night, one for each team. Just part of the overall weirdness.

Shots on goal – 44-23, including 19-7 for the Sens in the first, 19-10 in the second, and 6-5 in the third.

But Carey Price and P.K. Subban came through, and although it’s a win and two points and keeps the Senators from inching closer, it was still pathetic and unacceptable, and I can’t wait for some sort of change to occur.

I’m sure there’s a ton of teams that would dearly love to have Rene Bourque and Daniel Briere.

In the Austrian league.

Now it’s on to Toronto. Gawd, what’s next?

 

 

 

 

Just A Little Pep Talk

Hardly any difference between the Canadiens and the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, who face off tonight at the Bell Centre (7 pm ET).

The teams are so close it’s mind-boggling, as you can see from the top six point-getters on both teams.

Kane – 54
Sharp -47
Toews – 45
Keith – 43
Hossa – 35
Seabrook – 31

Subban – 33
Plekanec – 28
Max – 26
Gionta -23
Galchenyuk – 23
Markov – 21

Hardly any difference.

Can the Canadiens beat this team that has 67 points to Montreal’s 55, with five guys with more points than our top guy?

I’m saying of course they can, because I’m a optimist, always have been, a Habs fan through thick and thin, and although I get angry at them and want to send up the St. Lawrence and out to sea now and again, the only way I know how to be a fan is to stick with them, keep hoping, and on a night when they play the defending Stanley Cup champions, cross my fingers and hope the power play clicks and guys who’ve been in scoring funks put it together.

Making they’ll play great! Put three solid periods together. Turn the Bell Centre into a riproaring madhouse, with everyone whoopin’ and hollerin’.

C’mon Canadiens, give us one of those games. We know you can do it.