Tag Archives: Ryan White

Game 3 Coming Fast

There’s not a lot I can add to the Montreal Canadiens situation after  what’s being bandied about on radio, TV, the internet, morse code, and around the potbelly stove where grandpa sits.

The Canadiens almost went up two games to none over the powerhouse Boston Bruins, but settled instead for a win and a horrifying loss after blowing the lead late in game two. It was enough to drive someone to drink.

But instead of dwelling on what could have been, I’d rather talk about Rene Bourque, the Man Who Wasn’t Helping.

He is now though. For whatever reason.

I find it mind-blowing to see how Rene Bourque has played in the playoffs so far. The guy we wanted gone. The guy who looked uninterested and unmotivated and often half-asleep. Now transformed into a force to be reckoned with.

What happened? Did the thought of being bought out finally sink in? Did he have some sort of awakening while sitting on the couch at home, that maybe if he tried harder he could be a strong and incredibly key guy on the team?

Did a teammate call him out in front of others, which is what I was hoping for?

Or do the Canadiens have a terrific head doctor who made Bourque his pet project?

Whatever it is, I like it, because one can never have enough great skating, great shooting power forwards. It’s what Bourque was supposed to be in the first place when he came here in the Mike Cammalleri trade in the winter of 2012.

But as good as Bourque has been playing, and ditto for Lars Eller – another who many of us were truly disappointed in because we’d seen glimpses of greatness – we now need the DD, Max, Vanek line to stop spinning their wheels and lend a hand.

Vanek scored two the other night, but they were merely tip-ins on the power play, which is great but also one-dimensional. We need these three to dangle and pass the puck around like a pinball, like we saw when Vanek showed up in the first place when the line gelled and we were overcome with giddiness.

Vanek has 5 points in 6 games, which is decent, but his overall play is hesitant at best. DD has 3 points in 6 games and Max also has 3 in 6. All three seem invisible for long stretches, and we know absolutely that they can be much better than that.

But no one knows it better than them. The question is, can they do something about it, like Bourque and Eller somehow managed to do?

Against the Bruins, we need all hands on deck, which isn’t rocket science.

For some reason, whatever the DD line was doing in the regular season seems to be gone at this stage. They look tentative and unwilling. They seem nervous. Their passes aren’t of the pinball variety, they’re more like the kind I make.

And about others, is Brandon Prust (1 point in 6 games and often a non-factor in all aspects) playing at 90%, or 70% or 50%, and is his nagging shoulder the reason his play lacks pizzazz? Almost definitely, to answer my own question.

Should Ryan White replace him and maybe add a spark?

Should Douglas Murray replace Francis Bouillon and help calm down the Brad Marchand, Jarome Iginla, Kevan Miller, Milan Lucic feistiness?

Kudos to Brendan Gallagher, who continues to be a whirling dervish. Kudos to so many, Carey Price and PK Subban especially.

The team’s in the thick of the hunt and it’s all we can ask, except for some great players to pick it up a bit.

Just need some tweaking and three more wins in the next week or so. And again, all hands on deck.

Addendum:

I just heard from two different sources, Marjo and TSN 690, that Rene Bourque has the flu and may not play in game 3. Gawd.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Habs Win, Max Hurt

It started slowly for the Canadiens in Raleigh, half the game in fact, but they got it together to win 4-1 and now go into the Olympic break on a three-game winning streak.

The Hurricanes had opened the scoring in the second period when Carey Price was completely screened and had no chance, although he would’ve if P.K. Subban had decided to remove the player he was standing beside.

But no matter, four answered goals buried the home team, and that was that. But PK might want to get a bit more truculent with guys in front of the net once the playoffs start.

Price was excellent as usual, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be the starter in Sochi. He’s deserved it.

A fine win. Not the most exciting (how often have I said that), but a win nonetheless. Three in a row, and a surprising five wins in seven games from a team I thought was sliding somewhat.

And although they’ve been keeping the puck out of the net, they also haven’t been scoring. Until they buried nine goals in the last two games, that is.

They continue the march, somehow, some way. What a crazy team this is. Amazing. I’d love to see them shake off the Leafs, though, who continue to be blazing hot.

But as hot as Toronto is, the Canadiens are right there, sitting just above them. Both have 70 points but the Habs have played one less game.

So take that, Cabbagetownonians.

David Desharnais scored twice, Ryan White, who was selected the third star for the third straight game, and Brian Gionta in the open net were the Habs’ marksmen.

But aside from all that, Max Pacioretty crashed into the net, was helped to the room, and never returned. On the eve of him getting on a plane and heading to Sochi.

A horrible situation, and we wait to hear. But there is a silver lining. Max and his wife have a brand new baby, Lorenzo, and if an injury prevents a trip to Sochi, imagine the quality time he’ll have with his wife and son.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Carolina 32, Habs 24.

Rene Bourque played another solid game. He’s been a new man lately.

It’s Olympic time now, with the Canadiens resuming play on Feb. 26 when the Detroit Red Wings come to town. And maybe we’ll have Alex Galchenyuk back at this time!

I’m here every day regardless of the Habs break. Olympics, summer, Christmas. Like a stray dog you can’t get rid of.

Good luck to all the Habs playing in Sochi. Especially to Price and Subban. Bring it home, boys.

 

Habs Blank Cowtowners

It wasn’t a barnburner, the crowd was in something slightly less than a frenzy, and the boys didn’t fill the net, but they beat the Calgary Flames 2-0 on Tuesday, and that’s plenty good enough.

Especially with Toronto losing and the Rangers winning. Results that tie the Canadiens with the Leafs and keeps them one point up on New York.

It’s a slippery slope out there.

They also end their two-game losing skid. Yessiree, it’s all good news tonight.

We also saw something quite startling. A Habs fourth line that rocked, a Bournival, White, Weise combo that skated miles, checked hard, and earned a few good chances.

Good to see Ryan White back. He adds character, except for those times when he loses his mind. White suffered an upper body injury during the Jan. 2 game against Dallas and has only just returned now.

Newcomer Dale Weise can really skate, seems to know what to do out there, and likes to get down and dirty. It was great to see his fine first contribution.

And Raphael Diaz in a Canucks uniform potted one in his first outing with his new team.

Fine debuts for both of them. Although we want Weise to sparkle and Diaz to fizzle on Thursday when the Canucks pay a visit.

I’m not going to get overly excited just yet about Weise – it’s just one game from the ex-Canuck, but it was a fine outing with his brand new team, and he, White, and Bournival seemed to truly compliment each other.

Having a solid fourth line can prove very important.

Not the greatest game ever played on Tuesday night. Not when the shots on goal were 5-4 Habs after the first period.

But in the second, after the puck came within a whisker of going completely over the line behind Carey Price, the Canadiens then killed a full two minute five on three when Lars Eller and Tomas Plekanec were resting uncomfortably in the box.

It was a huge kill, and soon after, none other than Rene Bourque scored a bit of flukey goal, and the boys held on until David Desharnais found the empty net to salt it away.

A fine win, even though Bell Centre employees are still finding a small scattering of people asleep in their seats.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal 26-26

Canucks in town on Thursday, then it’s a flight to Raleigh to meet the Hurricanes on Saturday night. After that, the Olympics to watch and enjoy.

Fourth Line’s Turn

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Brandon Prust, Ryan White, and Travis Moen enjoyed a fine game Saturday night as the Canadiens downed the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in front of folks of all ages, sizes, religious beliefs, good hair, bad hair, and Luci and I.

How nice it is to see the fourth line chip in in a big way. If the guys with good hands aren’t getting it done, the grinders step up. That’s how teams win. When the usual suspects are flat, others aren’t. It’s why teams are called teams.

And even though the boys could have easily blown it to the basement dwelling Sabres, they didn’t, which is the bottom line.

Five straight wins. They’ve caught Pittsburgh in the east for top of the pops. Winning while not exactly setting the world on fire. I wish we were still downtown right now celebrating.

Personally speaking, what an excellent day. This is what living in Montreal can be about. If you want my advice, I say move to Montreal. How hard could it be? Just do it and then we can all eat smoked meat and get lost together.

A fine day, capped off by the Habs winning. I just wish I could figure out a straight and easy route back to the south shore. It seems I can’t, no matter how many times I try.

We parked under the Sun Life Building ($7) early in the afternoon, walked down Ste. Catherines Streets to Bishop, had a Guinness at the Irish Embassy Pub, then headed to the gigantic Bay where I sat in women’s wear for 45 minutes while Luci checked things out, and I have to tell you, if you think it’s a piece of cake hanging out in the bra department, then you’ve never done it.

It sounds good but trust me, it’s not.

Being in this women’s world is like being on a different planet. Women all over the place, strolling around with underwear in their hands. It’s not something I want to do again anytime soon. I’m still recovering.

So many different kinds of brassieres hanging all over the place. Hundreds of them. Like walking in to a Nevada brothel. Or Kim Kardashian’s closet.

After the Bay, it was over to Reuben’s for smoked meat, then down to the Bell Centre to chat with scalpers where we got an idea of things, didn’t rush into anything, left and sat in McLean’s Pub for awhile where we came up with a plan of attack.

Then we went back and scored two tickets in the last row of the section 103, close to cost price, and which were near the blueline with the steps to our seats right in front of us so we had nobody blocking our view and could even stretch our legs.

Something like what flying first class must be all about.

Going to the Bell might be old hat for you, but not for us, mainly because we lived 3000 miles away up until recently. But it was a beautiful evening, the boys won, and I don’t care that P.K. has seen much better nights and the team in general looked quite lousy. At least we saw them lousy live.

It’s two points, and we savored the experience from start to finish – the siren, the anthem, the sound of puck hitting stick and boards, the crazy bunch up in the nosebleeds, the flag kids, the sights and smells all around us, the salty popcorn, and for me – the abundance of urinals in the men’s room not far away.

Random Notes:

Andrei Markov seemed to hurt his knee but finished the game. But it was scary to see and hopefully he doesn’t wake up tomorrow and it’s ballooned to twice the size.

Buffalo outshot Canadiens 25-19. The Sabres’ second goal saw a guy named Girgensons waltz around P.K. with the greatest of ease. P.K. also took a “holding the stick” penalty which is an infraction that makes me cringe. Hate those penalties. C’mon P.K., smarten up.

Brandon Prust and Tomas Plekanec both had a goal and assist, Travis Moen had a couple of assists, Ryan White added an assist, and Alex Galchenyuk scored the winner which caused a young lady above us to scream like she was at a Beatles concert.

Next up – Kings on Tuesday at the Bell, which should prove interesting. Will the Canadiens pick their game up a notch or two? And who will be the next lucky couple to sit in section 103, row w, seats 3 and 4?

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Habbing Fun

From Ryan White’s Facebook page – him and the gang enjoying some pops.

A happy bunch, taken following Saturday’s game (I think).

Someone who was there overheard many of the wives and  girlfriends asking, “Where’s Dennis”?

(Addendum – Marjo’s right, it might not be after the Pens game because their mustaches are even more feeble than they are now).

Habs

Habs Needing A Super Sunday

I distinctly recall the idea that if the Canadiens can get through the early stages of the season playing .500 hockey with all their injuries involved, then they’re doing fine.

They’re 8-8-1 right now. Not great but it could be worse. They could be the Buffalo Sabres.

Today it’s the Islanders (6 pm EST) with a backup goalie in nets, star left winger Tomas Vanek on the shelf, and star left winger Matt Moulson gone, traded for Vanek.

The Canadiens are now on the playoff spot bubble, in eighth spot in the East with 17 points, with the Islanders just behind with 15. Even someone like Gaston, who blew his brains out smoking gunpowder, should be able to figure out that this is a game the Habs need to win. But Montreal has to score more, has to have guys punch the clock and hit the net much more, and crash and bang and get the Bell Centre walls shaking.

Brian Gionta has four goals in sixteen games. Lars Eller and Rene Bourque five in seventeen, Max has two in eight, DD of course is stalled at zero in sixteen, and although Ryan White isn’t expected to light the lamp or do much offensively, the fact remains he’s zero points in fifteen games.

Alex Galchenyuk, someone we all expect huge things from in future years, is third in team points, but is showing just two goals to go along with his nine assists in seventeen games. But he’s only 19-years old so there’s not much I can say. I just want him to become a superstar as soon as possible, that’s all.

“We’re getting a lot of our shots blocked right now, so that’s a big factor,” says Bourque. Which I think is a feeble excuse. Find a way not to have them blocked. The Canadiens block a lot of shots and other teams manage.

Five straight losses would be dismal, and the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning are here on Tuesday. It could become six.

It’s an important game, this Islanders clash. Even Gaston knows that.

 

Ottawa Ouch

Canadiens get smoked 5-2 in the nation’s capital and it only means two things: It’s time to ship most of the prospects out, and there were some fine signs that these two teams could get involved in some nasty business this winter.

If the Habs are to have any success against Ottawa, Boston and Toronto, they’re going to have to flex a few more muscles than we’ve been used to. Whether or not they can remains to be seen. But all signs point to a whack of gloves being dropped in the real season.

And I love that. As long as it’s the Habs flattening noses and not vice versa. George Parros is almost ready, which should help. Unless he decides to imitate the Right Honourable Georges Laraque.

The Canadiens actually led the game at one point when Magnus Nygren bulged the twine. But of course that was it for the boys making it any kind of a game. There was a big lack of anything resembling much of anything, but it’s also understandable considering it was only a couple of weeks ago that half the team was skating at the prospects camp in Brossard.

Nick Tarnasky, who’s seen NHL action in the past with Tampa Bay, Nashville, and Florida, scrapped with Biff Neil. Then Ryan White got into it with Biff a few feet from where Travis Moen and somebody named Fredrik Claesson exchanged email addresses, and Moen was tossed for instigating.

I thought this was fine. At least Moen was somewhat involved. He’s there to be a tougher type role player, not Guy Lafleur.

It’s never good when the boys get shellacked. It’s just time for so many of these guys who don’t stand a chance of cracking the lineup to head out to their new rinks and come back next year and go for it again. Meanwhile, let’s get down to business with the real club and be done with it.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Ottawa 32, Habs 26.

Peter Budaj played the full game and wasn’t terrible. It was just too many inexperienced teammates in front of him.

Thursday, the two teams go at it again, this time at the Bell. It’s a brand new day. Some tweaking, more veterans, play tough, and pay them back any which way they can. As long as its not Phil Kessel-type leg chopping