Tag Archives: PJ Stock

Another Shootout Loss

For the second straight night, the Canadiens found themselves in a shootout, and for the second straight night, lost the damn shootout.

Into New Jersey they went, and out they came with a 3-2 loss, which also happens to be the team’s 5th defeat in six games.

And it wasn’t because Toker was between the pipes. It was mostly due to once again being tremendously shitty with the man advantage.

The stage was set though, with just over five minutes remaining in the second period, when, and I have a hard time even writing his name – Scott Gomez – the man who was as useless as can be when he wore the CH, a player I have a harder time looking at than PJ Stock, elbowed Alexei Emelin in the face and received a five-minute major and a game.

The Canadiens couldn’t score during this gift-wrapped situation and it hurt to see it. How I wanted a nail hammered into Gomez’s skull. How I wanted him to see a Habs goal on TV as he sat in the room and smiled and spit.

The boys managed just one shot instead, and Gomez got off scot-free.

Gomez was described as a “wily veteran” by announcers for nailing Emelin after the Russian had crashed Gomez into the boards a minute before. But a wily veteran would have been smarter than that by trying to inflict damage without taking a penalty. Something Howe or Messier knew how to do in spades.

Gomez’s elbow was for all to see. So make that “not wily” and add “incredibly stupid”.

There’s just something about this guy. He and Stock. I wish they’d start up a figure skating school in Reykavik and live happily ever after.

With just over 4 minutes left in the third, with the game still knotted at two apiece, the Habs enjoyed a brief 5 on 3 power play and again, couldn’t score, and at that point, visions of losing in the shootout danced in my head.

They went 1 for 6 on the pp on this night, and along with the lacklustre shootout attempts by Galchenyuk and DD and any other things you can find fault with throughout, it’s as disheartening as can be to see a lifeless and uninspired power play that has crawled along for most of 79 games now and made as much noise and damage as the popguns I played with as a kid when I was Davy Crockett in the field next door.

The boys did take a 2-1 lead in the first though, on goals by Plekanec and Petry, but the Devils tied it in the second period, and that was that until the shootout.

Random Notes:

Montreal outshot New Jersey 33-18.

I try not to go on about bad calls if I can help it, but it was a horrible interference call on Alex Galchenyuk in the second period, who, as it showed on the replay, did absolutely nothing to warrant the two minutes. Big league officiating at its finest.

Next up – Sunday in Sunrise, with a 5:00 pm et start.

I’ve always been a big supporter of the Easter bunny.

bunny

HNIC Starring Don, PJ, And The Gang

Buckle up boys and girls! Eleven minutes of the Hockey Night in Canada gang preparing for and during the broadcast.

Chills, spills, and thrills. Don and Ron watching the game. Don getting ready to talk about shots from the point. Ron trying to impress us by seeming normal and hoping we can somehow save his job.

Don says he tries to think of what those at home would be interested in hearing. (Note to Don. About 20 million Habs fans wouldn’t mind hearing about the Habs sometimes).

P.J. Stock is there! PJ says he and the others like Elliotte Friedman and Kelly Hrudey gather their thoughts and try to make a hockey conversation that people at home can join in on. (Note to P.J. – We’re sort of joining in, P.J. Does “Why is he on the show” count?)

The last thing we see? Don Cherry leaving and saying goodbye, unaware that the collar of his jacket is tucked inside.

It’s all here – The HNIC gang hard at work. See for yourself. Make sure you go to the bathroom first so you can watch it uninterrupted.

 

A Brief Habs-Sens Recap

The Canadiens and Senators clashed three times before tonight, and how did things go?

On Nov. 7th in Ottawa, Montreal dropped a 4-1 decision , their fourth straight loss in November, because for some reason they had stopped scoring  – just seven goals scored in four games.

Sound familiar? Currently they’ve scored seven goals in their last five games.

On January 4th at the Bell, two goals from Daniel Briere and one from Brian Gionta wasn’t enough because with the the game tied and just 19 seconds remaining in the third period, P.K. Subban took a hooking penalty and Ottawa ended it on the power play in overtime.

On January 16th in Ottawa, the Canadiens finally solved the Sens, although it took overtime to do it. And the fact was, the boys were terrible on this night. They had jumped into a 3-0 lead in the first but by the time this period would draw to a close, Ottawa had replied twice and it was a 3-2 game.

For the rest of the night, it was all Ottawa and only Carey Price standing on his head kept his team in it. Finally in overtime, P.K. scored the winner and celebrated like crazy, making the talking heads at CBC and Habs-haters everywhere aghast at PK’s enthusiastic celebration.

I thought it was a justified celebration on PK’s part. After what had happened twelve days before when he was in the box and the Sens won it, and the way they had played so well in the first period of this game and then completely fell apart, it was only right that P.K. was joyful.

Cherry, Stock, Habs haters and Sens fans etc. didn’t get it, naturally.

Tonight is the fourth meeting between these two and it’s time for the Canadiens to start scoring. And it’s time to show some superiority over a team nine points behind them in the standings.

 

 

 

 

Boys Beat Buds

It was almost everything one would want from a Saturday night Hockey Night in Canada Habs-Leafs bash.

Guys skating like the wind, back and forth action, some nastiness, pretty goals, tense times. If only we didn’t have to see PJ Stock.

Aside from that and a couple of other things, the night was almost perfect. Leaf fans might not agree but of course that part isn’t important.

The Canadiens win the game 4-2 on two more goals by the red-hot Max Pacioretty, with PK Subban and Tomas Plekanec also bulging the twine. But they led the thing 4-0 before allowing two goals in 22 seconds late in the second period which quickly changed the gleeful merriment and put a quick halt to the tiresome Ole Ole singing.

They did manage to hang on though, there was no scoring in the third frame, and it’s a beautiful thing to see the boys rebound after losing to the Caps Friday night a shootout, which came after a four-game win streak.

Back on track, ending the month of November in fine style. Now it’s December to concentrate on.

Don’t forget, media and fans everywhere have predicted since last season that the Habs will run out of steam as the season unfolds. So it’s one month at a time, get it done throughout, and show these people they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Pre-game saw a terrific little HNIC clip showing Habs-Leafs action from over the years with soprano Giacomo Puccini warbling in Latin or Italian or whatever it was. I’ll take clips of the Rocket and Plante and the gang till the cows come home. Never tire of it, and I always get goosebumps.

The Bell Centre crowd sang the national anthem, Max Pacioretty opened the scoring after receiving a beautiful pass up the middle from PK Subban with Max banging it home with three or four whacks after the initial stop from Jonathan Bernier,

And after David Desharnais won the faceoff back to PK who sent a wrist shot to the back of the net, it was sort of off to the races.

The second period began with the obligatory Parros-Orr staged fight, and then without warning, first Plekanec scored, and then a shorthanded marker from Max Pacioretty, and the Ole singing really kicked in.

I know what the Ole bit is. It’s from European soccer, meant to be a celebration of the game and the happiness involved. I know it’s not supposed to be a smug thing, sung as a “we’ve got it in the bag” sort of thing.

No matter.  It is a smug thing whether intended or not. I don’t like it, never have, and I think it rallies the other team. And anyway, we’re in North America, not Europe, it’s hockey, not soccer, so can’t we find another way to show happiness? How about standing ovations instead?

The singing died down quickly when Toronto scored twice late in the second to make for uneasy times in living rooms and at the Bell, but the boys shut the visitors down in the third and skate away with a terrific 4-2 win that had me and I’m sure a plethora of others on the edge of couches, which is why it’s called “the good old hockey game.”

Random Notes:

Canadiens outshot the Leafs 39-36.

There was a nice feature about Habs goalie coach Stephane Waite before the game, and when asked if he thought the tandem of Carey Price and Peter Budaj were good enough to be goalies of a Stanley Cup-winner, Waite said “absolutely, without a doubt’ which of course is the right answer.

But Ron MacLean (just kidding he would say) piped in when the clip was done with a “somehow I doubt it” which was uncalled for because (a) he missed the point of the question completely, and (b) he’s a moron.

Canadiens are busy. They played Friday and Saturday, then again on Monday (New Jersey), and then Wednesday (Devils again) and Thursday (Bruins).

More and more I see that George Parros isn’t doing what we’d hoped. These staged fight are ridiculous, and what he does otherwise doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

PK ended with a goal and assist, Max with two goals, and Carey Price assisted on the first Max marker, tying him with Ryan White and putting him ahead of Parros and Douglas Murray in points, who are stalled at zero..

 

 

 

 

Only 5.2 Billion

The big news of course is Rogers (Sportsnet) buying the TV rights for hockey games across Canada for the next twelve years, including four years and beyond of Hockey Night in Canada. For 5.2 billion dollars.

CBC will still do the games, but Rogers collects money other ways. Whether or not Don Cherry and Ron MacLean continue remains to be seen. It’ll be up to the Rogers people but I’m guessing they will be. Love ’em or hate ’em, people still watch.

If Cherry stays, I’m hoping Hazel Mae replaces MacLean.

As they were saying on Prime Time Sports, this is a great thing, this massive deal. Hockey Night in Canada could have died if Rogers didn’t do this. CBC’s taxpayer dollars can’t handle 5.2 billion.

The big question is, will Habs fans see every Habs game like now? What about RDS? Can I get TVA? Where will certain broadcasters go? Will PJ Stock and Glenn Healy have to send their wives back to work?

I grew up with Hockey Night in Canada. It’s important to me.

 

 

 

 

 

Domination In Buffalo

It was as one-sided as can be, a 5-1 Habs romp over a lacklustre Buffalo team, and how nice it is to clinch a playoff spot with eight games still to go instead of on the last day of the season, which is what we’ve seen in the past.

Just a great night for the Canadiens, in many ways, from start to finish.

A terrific rebound performance after losing to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. A domination of the other team like we’ve rarely seen this year. And best of all, a solid effort from almost everyone, top to bottom, beginning with Peter Budaj, who wins his seventh straight game in relief of Carey Price, and who said beforehand how proud he is to be a Montreal Canadien.

Maybe the entire team feels that way. Maybe the ones who weren’t proud aren’t there anymore.

Brendan Gallagher was a force all night, scoring Montreal’s third goal and in the thick of most things whenever he stepped on the ice. His joy of playing hockey and getting his nose dirty is written all over his face. This isn’t a small guy. Somehow his personal stats got mixed up along the way. Gallagher’s a huge guy. Just ask anyone who plays against him.

CBC’s Craig Simpson might be wrong when he says that next time around, opponents will play him differently and he might not be as effective down the road. I ask why not? I see no reason why he can’t continue to be an energetic and skilled guy who causes such havoc. Let other teams adjust. He’ll just plow ahead, play the only way he knows how, and maybe it’ll open things up for his teammates.

Ron MacLean said between periods that Gallagher is the modern day version of P.J.Stock……. I have no words for this.

Francis Bouillon took on Steve Ott after Ott had laid a punishing hit on Gallagher, and the super-strong Bouillon got the better of this Buffalo hothead. Ott also licked Jeff Halpern’s visor for some reason, which is a fine example of Ott not being completely all there.

Rene Bourque opened the game’s scoring, and once again he enjoyed a fine game, his second since returning from injury. Bourque’s a key guy, there’s no doubt, because you can never have enough big forwards who can skate like the wind, burst to the net using muscle, with good hands as a bonus.

P. K. Subban was once again sensational in notching a goal and an assist and moving the puck like a guy who’s been around for years. I don’t see a lot of other d-men around the league, but if someone is playing better than our guy right now, I’d like to know who he is.

Alex Galchenyuk scored his team’s second goal and it’s five games now with at least a point. This is a story in itself. Galchenyuk busted out of the gate in the beginning of the season, but somewhere along the line began to struggle. We chalked it up to a young guy learning his trade and the team and fans have been patient. It can’t be easy.

But wouldn’t you know it, this nineteen-year old has come alive again. He’s got a second wind, with the postseason just around the corner. The timing is impeccable.

I thought David Desharnais played a fine game, and he and Max assisted on Gallagher’s goal. Desharnais came close several times and his playmaking often proved dangerous, but until he lights ’em up, he’s going to hear his critics. Maybe even rightly so. We’re a demanding bunch.

Andrei Markov was in charge on this night, adding a power play goal and an assist and quarterbacking like he’s done so often. Although with him being caught up ice, the Sabres were able to score a shorthanded marker and ruin Budaj’s shutout. But aside from this one little pothole in the road, Markov was solid.

It’s a write-off season for the Buffalo Sabres, who, with a 30th-ranked power play and dismal play all-round, remind me a lot of last year’s Habs. So I kind of feel for them a bit. Then I get over it real quick.

Random Notes:

The Canadiens outshot the Sabres 42-15, and it was basically a nice, easy night for Budaj. But he stopped them when he had to, except for one, and what more can we ask?

Michael Ryder posted two assists, as did Max.

On to Toronto for a Saturday night special. With the very real possibility of the Habs and Leafs squaring off in the first round of the playoffs, it would be so great to see the Canadiens thump the bastards and take no prisoners. Montreal plays these guys not only on Saturday but also on the last day of the season, which is coming up fast. We need a serious statement made on both nights.

 

 

 

Game Day

Game day, with the Habs in Buffalo to meet a team on the outside looking in as far as a playoff spot goes. It’s also a team that has beaten Montreal the last three times they’ve met, so that nonsense has to come to a screeching halt.

It’s going to be interesting for sure. Can Budaj make it seven straight starts in the win column? Will Montreal rebound from their loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday? Will Alex Galchenyuk, now on a four-game point streak, add another? Will David Desharnais enjoy a huge night and get critics off his back? Will the team slip in and out of downtown Buffalo without getting mugged?

Will P.K. have a sensational night and continue to impress professional writers everywhere that he’s deserving of the Norris?

Will the boys look good and bring huge momentum to their Saturday meeting in Toronto, or will they surprise the heck out of us and come out flat and cause us to curse and throw bricks at the T.V. screen?

Game time is 7:30 (I think), and on CBC if you’re interested in hearing whomever it is they have on board to tell it like it is. PJ Stock maybe? If he’s there, the brick might happen before the first puck is dropped.

Candidates

In reading various columns this morning, I see the field has narrowed down to a measly 15 or so candidates for the GM job in Montreal.

Names mentioned include Pierre McGuire and Jacques Martin, who need no introduction; ex-Habs Vincent Damphousse, Guy Carbonneau, and Patrick Roy; player agent Pat Brisson; along with Marc Bergevin, Julien Brisebois, Claude Loiselle, Andre Savard, Larry Carriere, Trevor Timmins, Jim Nill, Blair Mackasey, and Francois Giguere.

I’m sure another dozen names will crop up over the weeks to come, but for now, a few have been left off that leave me speechless.

Mike Milbury. This is a guy who bleeds bleu, blanc, et rouge. He’s smart, never says anything outlandish, and is loved by Habs fans around the world.

PJ Stock. Bilingual and knows more about hockey than you, me, and just about everybody, dead and alive.

Glen Sather. Knew how to get rid of Scott Gomez. Doesn’t that count for a lot?

Don Cherry. Don isn’t bilingual, though. And unfortunately, he also doesn’t speak English. But he’d be a beauty, eh? And there would be no more talk of tanking except when the team played Boston and Toronto.

Donald Trump. Knows the business side, and would be able to bring Scott Gomez, Tomas Kaberle, and Rene Bourque into the board room and say to them – “Scott, Tomas, and Rene, you’re fired.”

Jillian Barbarie. Fox Sports reporter. I’m sure she’s qualified in many ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grey Cup Day. And Gray Skies For Max?

It’s Grey Cup day, which for me doesn’t even mean just the game itself. It’s as Canadiana as there is, even when Baltimore won it in 1995, although I wasn’t overly thrilled by that moment. What the heck were teams like Baltimore, Las Vegas and the Memphis Mad Dogs doing in the league in the first place? Oh, I know. Expansion to the US would mean money and glitter, and the CFL folks, who may have been in some sort of altered state at the time, thought there might be mass acceptance of the Canadian game down south, where there’s the NFL and then the NFL.

IT DIDN”T WORK, DID IT.

The Grey Cup is as Canadian as Don Cherry, Steven Harper, and PJ Stock.

Oh wait, in that case I hate the Grey Cup.

I’m not even a big football fan, although I’ve watched it off and on since the days of Russ Jackson and Sam Etcheverry. Take away hockey and baseball becomes my sport.

Damn I miss the Expos.

I was at a Grey Cup game once, back in 1988 at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, and coincidentally, it involved the same two teams as the ones suiting up for today – Winnipeg and BC. My ex-brother-in-law and I sat in portable end zone seats, and the only thing that stands out in my mind is the Saskatchewan Roughrider fan dressed in green with a huge hat on his head that sent fire four feet into the air when he pressed a button.

Lots of Powell Riverites are in Vancouver for this clash today, but there’s no way I even considered making this trip. I need to save my money for the Habs’ visit to Vancouver on March 10th.

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In just a few more days, Wednesday I think, I’ll draw the names of the three winners of the gift packs from Scotiabank. Like I explained before at  Win Some Stuff, all it takes is a comment on any post and you’re entered.

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Max Pacioretty may have some kind of suspension coming up, compliments of his hit on Kris Letang that broke the Penguins rearguard’s nose. I don’t see the problem. Letang needed a face-job anyway.

But expect a suspension of some sort because Max is a Montreal Canadien, not a Boston Bruin. Milan Lucic got nothing after giving Ryan Miller a concussion. Max improved Letang’s looks, and the guy came back and scored the winning goal in overtime. So what’s the problem?

PJ Stock is such an asshole. He’s calling for a Max suspension, even though Max apologized to Letang right away and has expressed concern about the damage done. PJ says, what, all you have to do is say you’re sorry and you get away with it? Well, PJ. It’s much better than the smirks and jokes that came out of Lucic’s mouth.

PJ, you live in Montreal. Why do you go overboard on the Habs? Did they ruin your childhood or something?