Tag Archives: Randy Carlyle

Saturday Night Fever

Leafs

It the Habs and Leafs at the Toronto barn, and of course the Habs need to clean the Buds’ clocks.

I shouldn’t even have to mention it.

As it stands, just six points separate the Canadiens from playoffs and no playoffs, and for the Leafs, it’s three points between them and being gone.

But it’s not about the Leafs, it’s about the Canadiens. The Leafs losing is only a bonus.

The Leafs are having goaltending issues. Their best guy, Jonathan Bernier, is on the sidelines with a groin injury, and backup James Reimer, who feels he isn’t a backup but is (just ask coach Randy Carlyle), will probably be between the pipes and the Habs have to pound away.

Toronto’s also lost their last three – to Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Washington, so hopefully they’re in the midst of a big time implosion. It’s up to the Habs to keep this Leafs free fall going.

You just never know with this Leafs team, especially when they play the Canadiens.

The bottom line is, it’s a game the Habs must win.

At Friday’s practice, Alex Galchenyuk centered a line with Brian Gionta and Rene Bourque.

Brandon Prust is gone for the remaining 11 games with an upper body injury.

Lineups Announced

The rosters for Saturday’s Habs-Leafs tilt have been announced, and as you can see, Leafs coach Randy Carlyle is suiting up. It can’t hurt.

What a team the Habs had, eh?

This is from the 1977-78 season, a season that saw the Canadiens finish with 129 points, take home the Prince of Wales for finishing first, and end with their third straight Stanley Cup.

The Vezina went to Ken Dryden and Michel Larocque; the Hart, the Art Ross, and the Lester B. Pearson trophies were collected by Guy Lafleur; the Conn Smythe was awarded to Larry Robinson; and Bob Gainey won the Selke.

Peter Mahovlich would be sent to Pittsburgh after 17 games, in exchange for Pierre Larouche.

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Canadiens Fall To Falling Leafs

It could’ve been a beauty of a night.  A glorious night to make life even more miserable for the Toronto Maple Laffs.

The Canadiens could have added a serious blow to the Leafs hopes of playing in the post-season, with Toronto coming in with a 1-9-1 record, a record that got coach Ron Wilson fired, and everyone feeling quite lousy about themselves. Randy Carlyle’s debut behind the Toronto bunch could’ve been deliciously ruined. It could’ve been a nice night for the paying customers, who haven’t seen a ton of wins at the Bell Centre this season, and it would have given Darth, who was at the game, something to cheer about.

And hell, I’ve always loved seeing Montreal stomp on the Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada.

Yes, it could’ve been a beauty of a night. Instead, it sucked the big one.

Ex-Hab Mikhail Grabovski scored the winner and the insurance goal for Toronto to once again rub salt in the nose of his former employer and the Habs, in losing 3-1 on this night, have their own pitiful record to worry about. Never mind about the 1-9-1 record the Leafs had going into this. Montreal has two wins in the last 10.

So tonight it was the battle of two teams in freefall.

It just wasn’t to be as the Canadiens scored one feeble goal and allowed Toronto to score three, two of which were in the third period, a period when Montreal usually blows it and once again they did. Overall this season, the Canadiens have been outshot by a margin of 71 to 48, and of course It’s been one of the giant achilles heels in the Habs story this season, letting things slip away in the final 20 minutes. How come they can’t play 60 minutes?

Random Notes:

Erik Cole opened the scoring on a nice play between him and linemates David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty. Such a great line. One of the few things, along with the penalty kill, that we can boast about.

Brad Staubitz got into a dandy scrap with Mike Brown, and I give the edge to Staubitz for more punches thrown, although I didn’t count them.

Shots on goal were a ridiculous 42-22 for Toronto. I have no words for this.

Don Cherry on Coaches Corner was all worked up over Brian Burke not having any players from Ontario on the team. It was a lively rant and I agree, a few local guys are always a nice touch. The other Ontario team, the Ottawa Senators, have five players from the province in their lineup. But maybe I should stop here. I don’t want to get into the issue of Habs and Quebec-born players.

The Canadiens now start their annual Western Canada swing, playing in Calgary on Tuesday, Edmonton on Thursday, and Vancouver Saturday. As far as I know, Luci and I will be at the game in Vancouver.