Darth sends along what I think is a sensational image of Ryan White.
If you want to see other Darth masterpieces, just click here
Darth sends along what I think is a sensational image of Ryan White.
If you want to see other Darth masterpieces, just click here
It seems there are no normal games when the Canadiens and Senators play each other.
Friday night in Kanata saw a wild 7-4 win by the Habs over the sinking Sens after spotting Ottawa an early 3-0 lead.
It had been a dismal beginning for the Canadiens to be sure, shockingly finding themselves in a deep hole in under six minutes of play, but soon enough, pucks started finding their way behind a shaky Craig Anderson.
And when the dust had settled, the Canadiens had scored seven straight goals before Ottawa would notch a late one.
This was the same Craig Anderson who stoned the Habs last year in the playoffs. On this night, the Sens might have had better luck with Pamela Anderson.
The DDs burned it up again, with Max getting three plus two assists. Thomas Vanek had three assists and DD two.
I heard recently that some who study advanced stats have decided that because the DD line isn’t great defensively, they could hurt the team and should be broken up.
Talk about throwing water on a beautiful thing.
Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt weren’t exactly defensive specialists either, but no one was complaining when they were popping 50 or 60 goals a season.
The way this game started, with three goals in under six minutes by Ottawa, it was certainly cause to be concerned. Was it one of those nights for Peter Budaj?
Were the Senators determined to pay back in a big way for being embarrassed at the Bell on March 15th?
Instead, Budaj was great. Tremendously sharp. The DD line would soon catch fire. And it all started when Andrei Markov bounced one in off Anderson from behind the line, near the side of the net.
Then it was off to the races, although the Sens would hit some posts and Budaj had to be sharp as a razor from time to time.
After Markov, the goals just kept coming, almost every second shot went in, and it became Weaver, then Max, Eller, Max, Max and DD, and it’s two big points and the Sens are basically screwed.
Shots on goal – Ottawa 43, Montreal 23.
P.K. Subban rode the bench for most the first period after not being harder on checks during a couple of Sens goals. PK would see a very low 13:39 of ice time.
I truly disagree with Michel Therrien’s methods regarding P.K. A Norris trophy winner being treated like a raw rookie.
There were several scuffles throughout, including Galchenyuk and Karlsson, Tinordi and Gryba, and Gally and Neil, with a player scrum developing from it. But all in all, it could’ve been worse. It could’ve been a Canadiens-Nordiques type of affair.
George Parros played while Rene Bourque watched from the press box, and George not only almost had an assist on the night, but was also sent out to cool things down when characters like Zach Smith and Chris Neil were getting overly obnoxious.
Max scored his 36, 37th, and 38 goals of the season and when one looks at the top four goal scorers in the league, it’s Corey Perry with 41, Joe Pavelski with 39, Max with 38, and Sidney Crosby with 36.
How great is that?
Next up – Detroit at the Bell Saturday night. Should be a beauty, but more about that later.
Maybe a tad too many giveaways and Carey Price has seen better nights, but no matter, the Canadiens win another, a 5-4 affair in Motown, and thus, the train keeps a rollin’.
Seven wins in eight games. Fighting it out in the standings with Tampa Bay for home ice advantage in the first round. A team more and more are thinking of as a bonafide contender in the east.
It makes my heart soar like a reawakened Avro Arrow.
They almost blew it though. Some inexcusable turnovers and some slightly off-kilter work by Price, but many of the guys showed up for work, like DD, Vanek, and Max line, and in the end, it’s two points deposited in the bank of Montreal.
Now we have a good sleep, make sure we wear our lucky socks for the next two days, and get ready for Saturday in Sunrise.
Tomas Plekanec scored two goals in the first period, his 19th and 20th, but beginning in the second and then into the third, Detroit would answer whenever the Canadiens lit the lamp, and the hometown team continued to keep it close.
The Wings made it 2-1 in the second before David Desharnais converted some nice work by Tomas Vanek in the corner and it became 3-1 for the good guys.
But in the third, P.K. Subban suddenly decided to do what no Norris Trophy winner should ever do – lob a softball up the middle, which of course was intercepted, and it became a 3-2 game at that point.
The Wings then took advantage of loose play in the corner, the puck skipped out, and the game was tied faster than you can say Alex Delvecchio.
The goal scoring onslaught didn’t finish there either. Max made it 4-3 on a slightly offside play, Thomas Vanek then deflected an Andrei Markov shot and it was 5-3, but just 21 seconds later, Detroit made it 5-4 and it was still anybody’s game.
Until it wasn’t.
The Canadiens held on and downed the Red Wings who are fighting for a wild card spot but these are the breaks. No one worries about the Habs, and we’re not about to worry about hurting others’ chances. At least I’m not. It’s dog eat dog out there.
And Detroit is still in the thick of it, although Washington, Columbus, and Toronto are really happy the Habs won and the Wings lost.
Shots on goal – Detroit 30, Montreal 29.
Habs multi-point getters on the night were Vanek with a goal and two assists, Pleks with two goals, DD with a goal and an assist, and PK with two assists.
Vanek has 5 goals and 4 assists in his 11 games with the Canadiens so far.
Max notched his 33rd.
Habs hit Florida for a Saturday night tilt against the Panthers. It’s always interesting to see how many down low, center ice, primo empty seats there will be at the BB&T Center. It must drive hockey fans in Quebec City crazy.
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.
The Canadiens take out the Leafs 4-3 in overtime with a Max Pacioretty twine bulger, and somehow, some way, the boys just keep on clicking.
Three straight games where it goes to OT, all with Peter Budaj in nets. Two wins in those three games. One loss in their last six.
Putting a tad more distance from the Torontonians who are breathing down their neck.
It’s good but there’s no letting up. A tough California/Arizona test is next on the agenda. Four games against four good teams. But that’s getting way ahead of myself.
This Habs/Leafs clash had its moments for sure, although it started out with whistles about every ten seconds it seemed. But then things got rolling.
The Canadiens overall enjoyed a good first period, taking a 2-0 lead on goals by Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty, but the Leafs would narrow it to one late in the frame when James Van Riemsdyk slipped it under Budaj.
There was no scoring in a bit of an uneventful second period, but in the third, after Budaj had robbed Phil Kessel close in, Andrei Markov on the power play sent a nice pass to the far point which led to a serious change of momentum.
Because no one happened to be there at the time. Except the enemy.
Van Riemsdyck burst down the ice ahead of P.K, Subban and scored one of those depressing shorthanded goals that sinks ships.
It became even worse when Kessel put the Buds ahead. (The Kessel, Bozak, Van Riemsdyck line was definitely a pain in the ass).
But it all worked out (except for the Leafs and Leaf fans) when Leafs netminder Jonathan Bernier came out of his crease to corral a puck, was penalized, and P.K. on the power play blasted it home to tie it and send it to overtime.
And that was when good old Max got it done.
Of course if you saw the game, you already know all this.
Montreal outshot Toronto 30-25.
I thought Lars Eller skated much better than we’ve seen recently and he seemed confident and relaxed.
P.K. was full of beans and did his fair share of dipsy-doodling.
Dale Weise was nailed in the mouth by an errant skate, got sewn up and came back with a cage on. Weise’s wife probably isn’t looking forward to a goodnight kiss tonight.
Budaj came up with some beauty saves and has filled in nicely for an injured Carey Price. Thanks Peter. Now, hopefully, Price will suit up in L.A.
It’s going to be a tough road trip for the boys (aside from leaving frigid Montreal and going to the land of palm trees), with contenders L.A., Anaheim, Phoenix, and San Jose coming up. But with the Habs, who knows, they just might grab a bunch of points along the way.
They don’t overpower, but they stay high in the standings. It’s all quite surprising.
The next four games are late – 10:30 ET, 10:00, 9:00, and 10:00.
Surprisingly, the Habs downed the Pens 6-5 in a shootout at the flightless bird barn, thanks to David Desharnais solving Marc-Andre Fleury and Peter Budaj stopping James Neal, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeny Malkin.
That’s what it came down to after an odd game that saw Montreal win even though Budaj, before the shootout, was often shaky and visions of Carey Price danced through my head.
Lots of scoring from both sides, the boys replied whenever the Pens took the lead, and I’ll take these two points in a New York minute, even though once again, it wasn’t the most impressive display.
Weird and mildly entertaining, but not overly impressive.
Brendan Gallagher broke the ice in the first period following early pressure by the Canadiens, but James Neal tied it when the puck trickled by Mr. Budaj.
Then, when a shot sailed over Budaj’s shoulder for a 2-1 Pens lead, the future didn’t look bright. In fact, I was wondering if backup Dustin Tokarski would be up to the task.
But Budaj stayed in and the game unfolded.
In the second frame, Daniel Briere, playing on the fourth line with Moen and Parros, tied things at two, but the seesaw battle would continue.
Pittsburgh went ahead with Lars Eller was in the box, but Max on the power play evened it again. It was going good. Then P.K. found himself in Michel Therrien’s bad books for about the tenth time this year it seems.
Of course, P.K. screwed up magnificently.
A Habs power play.
P.K. dangling with the puck.
P.K. getting stripped of said puck by Brandon Sutter..
Sutter scoring a shorthanded breakaway goal to put his team ahead 4-3 and PK in the doghouse.
Fodder for Michel Therrien to sit P.K. down for the rest of the game.
But all was not lose. Alexei Emelin, with his second goal of the year, sent a wrist shot from the blueline to tie the thing at four apiece.
And the weirdness kept on coming.
With Emelin in the box on a truly borderline call, the Pens went ahead 5-4, but then Tanner Glass was sent off for five minutes for elbowing Emelin, and Daniel Briere, with his second goal of the night, tied it at five.
After a scoreless overtime, it took DD to end it and give his team two big points.
Was it a good game? It had more stuff, the scoring was there, and they pulled it out. So I suppose, after my whining about lack of effort and no shots or goals, this was a stunning success.
Only seven more tough games in a row to go.
The Pens outshot the Habs 32-29.
Throughout the five minute overtime, P.K. watched from the sidelines. I think Galchenyuk and Briere too. Galchenyuk was hustling and Briere had two goals and an assist, so the coach’s reasoning is a head-scratcher.
I hate all the freaking so-called lessons Therrien likes to teach different players. In fact, I’m sick of it. Especially when they’re trying to win a big game and these guys have the tools to do it.
In other news, Lars Eller was not Jean Beliveau on this night.
Jarred Tinordi hasn’t made the impact so far that Nathan Beaulieu did in his pre-Olympic stint.
Leafs in town on Saturday. No predictions here. Predictions are for gypsies.
The Canadiens showed life for five minutes in a sixty-five minute game, fall 2-1 to Detroit in overtime, and they grab a point whether they deserve one or not.
And how important that point might be.
This is the first of nine tough games in a row for the Habs, it’s make or break time, and if they don’t play better in most of the next eight, they just may find themselves outside looking in at a playoff spot.
It’s going to be a tough stretch, points will be tougher than John Ferguson to come by, and although they were flatter than a pancake in this first game after the Olympics, Brian Gionta gave his team a point when he netted one with 29 seconds left in the third and fans got at least a little bit of their money’s worth.
Detroit wasn’t great, but the Canadiens, at least until they woke up after the Gionta goal, were worse.
But it’s a point nonetheless. And now it’s Pittsburgh in a few hours.
We’ll see how this whole thing plays out in the next two weeks. But one thing’s for sure – they have to show more life than they did tonight or the fall won’t be pretty.
The pre-game introduction of Olympians and the crowd singing the anthem was a high. After that, things got very low.
Brendan Gallagher, PK, and Alex Galchenyuk had their moments for a few seconds here and there. All in all though, no one did a whole lot of dazzling.
P.K. found himself in the box a couple of times for questionable penalties – one for a little swat, one for was was deemed a dive, and Peter Budaj came up big from time to time as Detroit outshot the Canadiens 30-20.
Not an overly impressive night to say the least.
Pittsburgh coming up.
Team Canada was just too much for the Swedish team on a warm winter day in Sochi.
Too strong, too workmanlike, too solid on all fronts in blanking Tre Kronor 3-0 and ending this 2014 Olympics with gold and an astounding three goals allowed in six games.
What a sixty minute job by the Canadians and what a feather in Carey Price’s cap with his second straight shutout and just three total goals behind him in his three other appearances.
Carey was great, but this wasn’t a one-man show like it was with the Latvian goalie in Canada’s fourth game. It was Price and an unreal defence and an amazing group of forwards, all there to win gold, and they came through in spades.
There was no way the Swedes were going to win this game. The Canadians owned the ice at both ends, and goals by Jonathon Toews in the first, Sidney Crosby on a breakaway in the second, and Chris Kunitz with a great shot in the third was more than enough to put smiles on fans from sea to shining sea.
Great to see P.K. get his medal with the group. What a sensational smile he has, and his turn will come in four years when he and Price will lead the charge for another gold.
This Canadian win can only help Price and Subban with the Habs. They’ve seen what it takes, and it’ll translate into bigger and better things for them while wearing the CH.
Yes, I’m choked up now. I’m proud to be a Canadian. Proud of Team Canada. Proud of Carey Price.
Gold for Canada in men and women’s hockey.
It’s a moment for Canadians to cherish.
Thank you, Team Canada.
“Whatcha think of the game, Elmer?”
“Best game I’ve ever seen, Red.”
“You gotta stay away from that homemade corn whiskey, Elmer.”
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.
Luci and I were at the Bell Centre today to see the Canadiens drop a 2-1 overtime decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and as you can see, we were up fairly high.
But having said that, it was still way closer than most seats at NHL outdoor games.
And not only that, we got to see two goals down at our end. Daniel Briere’s in the the third period that tied the game at one, and P.K. Subban’s deflection in the second that put the Lightning up by one in the first place.
On a Habs power play no less.
I’m not mad at P.K. for that big Lightning goal in a game that featured almost no scoring. We’ve seen goals like that over the years from different players.
It’s a natural instinct to stick the stick out when the puck’s near the goal.
As long as he never does it again. Once, maybe twice, in a career is enough thank you very much.
It just wasn’t a barn burner, which is what one hopes for when going to a game. Montreal got chances only here and there, and I found myself glancing often at the scoreboard that showed cute babies in little Habs jerseys asleep in mom or dad’s arms.
I wanted to see a madhouse, people all around me yelling and screaming, but it wasn’t to be. The team just didn’t provide enough incentive to raise the roof.
The Lightning had more opportunities, but Carey Price, who was awarded the Molson Cup for January beforehand, was sparkling often.
The Canadiens still could’ve won it though, it they’d created more chances. But as has been the case so often, the hammer wasn’t down a lot. Maybe one of those little kid’s hammers, but not the big honkin’ workingman’s hammer.
After Briere’s goal in the third, the boys picked it up a notch or two and went hard in overtime. P.K. Subban weaved and wove like he was on a mission to correct his own-net goal, but although we oohed and aahhed, nothing much came to pass.
And it was all for naught, because with 24 seconds left in overtime, the puck found its way behind Price and that was it.
They got a point and we made our way to Ste-Catherines where we drowned our sorrows with smoked meat at Reuben’s.
Brandon Prust was in a scrap with Jean-Philippe Cote early in the first, and then late in the second, he and Lightning goalie Ben Bishop had a slight disagreement, as it appeared Bishop didn’t appreciate Prust telling him his mother wears army boots.
Carey Price skated up to get a closer looked and was given a penalty for leaving the crease.
Christian Thomas saw some action for the Habs in just his second NHL game and was given 8:16 seconds of ice time, just 25 seconds less than Briere.
A kid sat beside P.A. announcer Michel Lacroix and read the Habs starting lineup.
I have a beef here. A serious beef. I’ve been trying for more than 50 years to be stick boy for one game. And some kid who’s been a Habs fan for only a couple of years gets to read the lineup?
Michel Lacroix has an excellent voice. For me, he’s as good as Claude Mouton was.
Shots on goal TB 36, Habs 29.
Next up – Sunday at 1 pm again, only this time it’s the Winnipeg Jets.