Tag Archives: Travis Moen

Success In Beantown!

What a valiant, gutsy, never-quit effort by the Canadiens in Boston as the team ends the Bruins 12-game win streak with an incredible 2-1 shootout win with Alex Galchenyuk doing the deed.

Just a gigantic effort from a team that lost two thirds of its fourth line early when Dale Weise was slammed into the boards and hurt his shoulder or arm, and Travis Moen in defence of Weise fought Kevan Miller, took a punch to the head, and was helped off with obvious concussion symptoms.

Peter Budaj was as solid as a rock, and it’s funny about this guy. We’ve seen him mediocre at times, but not always. Sometimes he great, like tonight, when he stopped all but one deflection and was a wall in the shootout.

As much as I get nervous when I learn Budaj’s starting, tonight he showed that when he’s on, he’s an excellent net custodian.

Alexei Emelin had a big night, scoring the lone regulation time goal for his team, and he threw his weight around, including a beauty Bob Baun-like clean check on Milan Lucic, which of course the Bruins took offense to. Zdeno Chara was ridiculous in his reaction.

The Bruins are whiners that way. Clean checks shouldn’t cause nastiness and scrums. But with that team, it’s part of the agenda.

Mike Weaver was awesome, thumping and blocking and making the right plays and hitting a post, and when Marc Bergevin said after acquiring this guy last month that they’d been trying to get him for awhile, I’m now starting to understand why.

The Canadiens in the third took four straight penalties, and without whining about a couple of others, I’d like to say here and now that that the holding call on Brendan Gallagher was absolute bullshit.

And it was just three seconds left in the Habs fourth penalty, a high stick from Francis Bouillon (which was deserved), when the Bruins tied it up on a deflection which ultimately sent it to the shootout where the Habs joyfully burst the Bruins’ bubble.

What a gutsy showing from the Canadiens. They were outplayed for much of the first half, but they held their ground, held their lead, and Budaj stood his ground. And slowly but surely they began to get more shots, play slowly increased in the Bruins end, and they made a great game out of one that could’ve easily gone south quickly.

Yes the Bruins look good. They’re a great team and could go far in the post season. But one thing’s for sure. The Habs can beat them.

Like tonight, with two important guys gone early. With the back up in nets.

A tense game ending in a win for the Canadiens and putting a happy halt to that 12-game Bruins streak.

I truly love when Bruins fans go home miserable. Oh how they must hate the Habs!

Random Notes:

Brad Marchand had a chance to put his team ahead in the shootout and I cringed as he skated in. How gross would that have been to see The Nose win it. But he didn’t. And Galchenyuk did!

Shots on goal – Boston 29, Habs 22

Dale Weise and Travis Moen appeared to have suffered some serious stuff, it certainly didn’t look good, and with Brandon Prust and Lars Eller already out, we don’t have a fourth line anymore.

Next up – Buffalo Tuesday evening. Carey Price should start, although it’s still a bit of a mystery how hurt he actually is. Talk about his shoulder came up on TSN 690 this afternoon, and he was already nursing a lower body injury. So we’ll see.

Shark Waters

Canadiens clash with the Sharks tonight in San Jose and wind up a tough four-game trip to California and Arizona.

Time to get back to Montreal where the weather’s much better.

The last time these two teams met it was at the Bell Centre on Oct. 26 when the Habs were blanked 2-0 by the Sharks.

It was a night when Travis Moen took a puck in the face and missed a couple of weeks due to a fractured orbital bone. I remember saying at the time that it was probably just a little cut and no big deal, which makes me no better than Dr. Recchi.

They were also losing just 1-0 that night when a puck hit a glass support on a shot from outside the blueline, and with Carey Price behind the net ready to corral it, it when directly in and suddenly it was 2-0.

Sound familiar? The same thing that happened to Dustin Tokarski a few nights ago in Anaheim. These California rinks have to fix their glass supports.

Big game, Peter Budaj’s in net, and how great it would be for the boys to come home after playing .500 hockey on this swing.

They should be rested now. Tomas Vanek and Mike Weaver should be feeling more comfortable, and seeing the Canadiens play great would make it much easier to stay up so late and watch.

 

 

P.K. And Gang Do Dallas

Those wild and wacky Montreal Canadiens. Just when we were mad at them, they go out and play a cool game (for the most part), find the back of the net a bunch of times, and skate away with a truly entertaining 6-4 win deep in the heart of Texas.

Of course we can’t forget that they almost blew it in the third period to the pesky Dallas Stars, giving up two quick ones after leading 4-2, and visions of a Carolina-like meltdown danced in our heads. Or mine at least. I shouldn’t speak for anyone else.

But Lars Eller soon after restored the lead, Max salted it away with an empty netter, and frankly, except for the brief coming apart at the seams in the third, I think the boys played their best game in over a month, even though they allowed four goals.

It makes my heart soar like a Chinese Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler.

P.K. Subban enjoyed some mighty fine moments, weaving and stickhandling, passing well and sometimes using his feet, capping it all with a goal and two assists and looking like the Norris Trophy winner we know and love.

Max tallied twice and added a couple of helpers. DD had two assists and found himself in alone more than once. Snakebit Brendan Gallagher came through with a goal and an assist.

Even Travis Moen was in the thick of things, assisting on Eller’s go ahead goal and pummeling Antoine Roussel earlier on.

Josh Gorges was a warrior in the trenches and in my mind is the team’s true captain. Carey Price was excellent for most of the night. Lars Eller was dangerous.

So many guys showed up. A few didn’t but tonight is not a night to quibble.

Maybe that fiasco in Carolina, blowing a 3-0 lead, woke the guys up and they’re going to play like gangbusters from here on in.

The power of positive thinking.

Random Notes:

Dallas outshot the Canadiens 32-28.

Unlike the Carolina game where they took ten penalties and sat back and tried to win by blocking shots, this time they took just three minor penalties (and gave up a penalty shot), and played fire-wagon hockey throughout.

We want more like tonight. Fun to watch. A nice amount of goals. Lots of chances. Maybe the coaching staff and the players will agree that this is good, this freewheeling business.

C’mon guys, do it again on Saturday when the Sens show up at the Bell.

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).

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Holdin’ On In Washington

As mentioned previously, I wasn’t exactly in front of the TV last night when the Habs faced off against the Caps, but from time to time I’d check how things were, and I managed to see the final three heart-stopping minutes.

Apparently there were a lot of heart-stopping minutes. Two thirds of the game in fact.

The gang jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, but Alex Ovechkin scored with seconds to go in that first frame and whatever that did to the Canadiens, like put the brakes to their momentum maybe, they didn’t score again, Ovechkin would, and Canadiens would hold on for dear life after that.

But they won the game 3-2. A huge one to win, and three guys on the hotseat found the back of the net – Travis Moen, David Desharnais, and Daniel Briere, which is a fine thing to have happen.

I saw Michael Bournival helped off the ice after taking a puck to the foot or ankle (I think), and I heard that P.K. was in a scrap, which I would’ve loved to have seen.

Two huge points, on the road, against a decent team. And Peter Budaj earns his keep.

Tonight – Sidney and the flightless birds wobble into the Bell.

On a personal note, Luci and I are at my brother’s house in Ottawa, another brother came from Orillia, and when you put the three of us together, it’s uncanny how we look like Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Cary Grant side by side.

I look like Cary Grant, who’s been dead for some time now, so it’s not a good thing.

Also, it was grade seven when my teacher was called out of our classroom by the principal, and a few minutes later she came back in crying. “Class dismissed” I remember her saying. “President Kennedy has just been shot.”

November 22 (from a few years later) also marked the day my friend and I hopped on a ship bound for England after I had assembled toilet doors in a factory in Orillia for six months. I had just turned 18, and we were in England for a good part of the winter. The Beatles played on the rooftop of their Apple offices on Saville Row when we were in London, but we had no idea and only found out about it after coming home. I still curse about this.

 

 

Kids Inspire In Habs Win

It was one of those nights to smile. Not only because the Canadiens ended their four game slump by beating the New York Islanders 4-2, but also the way the kids, the EGG line, created and dazzled and were rewarded with eight points on the night.

Alex Galchenyuk, chosen first star, nailed down a goal and two assists. Brendan Gallagher, chosen as second star, added a goal and an assist. And the centre on this line, Lars Eller, contributed a goal and an assist and was given third star.

Leave it to the kids to inspire and bring the team back to life, out of the doldrums, and stop the bleeding that was beginning to flow instead of trickle. When these three are clicking, it can be poetry in motion. The way they work, pass, shoot, finish, it makes my heart soar like Timothy Leary’s mind in 1967.

Just imagine what we have to look forward to as they mature and gain experience.

Tonight was a feel-good story for a change. A big win, led by the youngsters. Love the feel-good stories.

Brendan Gallagher opened the scoring in the second period, but the Islanders tied it soon after with Francis Bouillon in the box for holding. But two Habs power play markers, one by Lars Eller and another by Michael Bournival, and it was 3-1 after two.

In the third period, New York edged closer with a power play goal, but the Canadiens iced it with a lovely Gallagher to Eller to Galchenyuk display, and folks at the Bell went home happy and Michel Therrien went home with his 250th NHL win.

Random Notes:

Tomas Plekanec was sent to the box in the second period for face-off violation. Maybe it was explained on RDS and I just don’t understand French well enough, but I didn’t get it. It seemed to me that Pleks stepped on a stick and went down. And as far as face-off violation goes, I thought it only meant players cheating in the circle and such. I’m hoping someone will clear this up for me. I’m not afraid to admit this is something new to me.

Travis Moen left in the second period, apparently with a virus. Maybe he has to cook his hamburgers a little longer.

PK Subban was motoring all evening and playing like we know and love.

Shots on goal – Montreal 31, Isles 26.

Love these 6 pm games. Not too early, not too late.

Next up – Thursday when the Lightning come to town. Hopefully the kids and their inspirational play will set things in motion and the Canadiens come out breathing fire.

Alexei Emelin might finally be back in action on Tuesday. Here’s hoping.

 

 

Habs Less Than Dazzling

Not the best start for the Canadiens in Calgary. The first period saw them play with a distinct lack of fire-wagon hockey, more like horse and wagon hockey, and found themselves down 1-0 midway after Travis Moen coughed up the puck in his own end and the Flames got the party started.

Lots of red, white, and blue sweaters in the stands, and more where the cameras don’t go. The West is filled with Habs fans, coming from grandfathers and fathers living life on the prairies and foothills, cheering for Les Glorieux over the years, and it makes its way down to the kids who now have money and can afford the ducats.

Suddenly it’s 2-0 Flames with just over a minute to go in the first, coming just after the Canadiens had botched a power play. The Canadiens are making this no-name Calgary team look way too good. The idea now is to get into the dressing room, think about how things have to pick up somewhat, and wait for Mr. Therrien to enter the room and yell a lot.

The second period was even more lethargic. It became 3-0 with Francis Bouillon in the box for an unnecessary shove into the boards. Inexcusable. People are staying up late and it’s not right.

But wait, what is this?

P.K. blasts one home  with 2:14  left in the frame and on the power play! It’s 3-1, Habs fans in the stands perk up, and the rest of us do too except we didn’t pay 200 bucks for a ticket.

Imagine having nothing to cheer about on your big night out to see your Habs? Been there, done that. It’s very depressing.

The third period was a time to build on the momentum from P.K.’s blast. And Subban, interviewed during the intermission, said they’d had a poor practice beforehand and were flat. Does it mean they’ve had lousy practices since 2002, the last time they won in Calgary?

Six losses and a tie in their last seven games in Calgary. What the……?

Will it become seven losses and a tie? And who was running the lousy practice?

The answer my friend, was blowin’ in the wind.

Lars Eller mades it 3-2 with almost half a period to go and suddenly, after only two and half periods, it became a game. The Canadiens found some zip. They could taste it and they gave it their all. For ten minutes.

And in the end………….such a silly penalty by P.K. with 1:49 left, and the everything went pfffft. All that late good stuff down the drain. Too bad, they were on the verge.

All in all, too many were invisible for too long.

Seven losses and a tie in eight games in Calgary. It’s ridiculous.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Montreal 35, Calgary 25.

Next up, Thursday in Edmonton. Hopefully the practice is better.

 

 

 

 

Canadiens Bow To Bruins

You know what’s different between this year’s team and the teams of the last 17 years or so?

They play three hours later. On the Coast the games come on at 4 p.m. or 4:30. I could watch the Habs drive me crazy and still have several hours to spare.

But I grew up with eastern hours and I’m sure in no time flat I’ll be used to it again.

Bruins came to town Monday night and the Canadiens were virtually done from the opening faceoff. Their first period was abysmal, outshot 18-5, with as many scoring chances as the Hunchback of Notre Dame used to get.

The thing ended 6-3 for the Bruins and I could have said that earlier but I didn’t feel like it.

Carey Price was shaky but I’m putting that on hold at least until the season gets reasonably underway. Lumbering Douglas Murray makes Hal Gill look like Paul Coffey. And the penalty kill gave up four goals.

It’s only exhibition hockey. Nobody got hurt. I liked the way Darren Dietz skated with the puck, and I thought Stefan Fournier didn’t look out of place. Moen, P.K., and Max were the Habs marksman.

Now we wait until Friday before the gang plays again, this time at Le Colisee in Quebec City against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Random Notes:

Habs were outshot 40-20 on the night.

Bruins fans will be happy, which is the worst part about the whole ordeal.

I have to get to bed. It’s three hours later.

Slight Tweaking Of 20 Years Ago

“CUP COMES HOME” blared the headline in 1993 and little did we know that the Cup just a year later was going to run away from home and stay away. Stanley come home. We miss you.

Enough’s enough. I think I’ll change it.

It was Montreal’s 24th 25th championship in 1993 2013 and it was done on the shoulders of Patrick Roy Carey Price, who would be named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the most valuable player in the playoffs. Patrick Carey gave us 16 wins and just four losses along the way, and to think if he hadn’t become upset with Mario Tremblay had players like Scott Gomez in front of him in previous years, he might had already won.

But all was peace and love in 1993 2013 like it was when Roy was in the nets for the 1993 Cup win. Michael Farber Dave Stubbs, in The Gazette coverage, wrote, “You can sum up the Stanley Cup in almost any two words you choose: Patrick Roy Carey Price. The best. The Canadiens.”

Montreal won that this year by beating the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 and claiming the title in just five games. L.A.’s Wayne Gretzky Mike Richards was disappointed. “I said before the playoffs began that I want to go out on a  get high. I think I played as well as I can. The next few days I’ll talk to my wife Jeff Carter. I’m not leaning toward retirement but I’ve fulfilled my obligation to Los Angeles.”

Kings owner Bruce McNall Philip Anschutz put a blank piece of paper in front of Gretzky Richards and told him to fill it in. The Great Kenora One would remain an LA King for another three seasons before heading to St. Louis and then the Rangers). quit anyway.

But back to the more important stuff – the Habs winning. Montreal’s Lyle Odelein Travis Moen emotionally stated, “You try to take the moment and just hold on to it. You think about what you’re doing and you try to make sure you remember it. I’m from Saskatchewan and I doubt there’s a kid out there tonight who wouldn’t want to do what I did – skate with the Stanley Cup. I was so pumped up I could have lifted the Cup to the sky.”

Stephan Lebeau Drew Drewiske recalled seeing the Cup in the garage at the Forum Staples Center before Calgary L.A. won it in 1989 2012, but he didn’t touch it. “You don’t touch what isn’t yours. I didn’t want to touch it until we won it.”

To reach the finals, the Canadiens had taken out the Nordiques Senators 4 games to 2, Buffalo Boston 4 straight, and  New York Islanders Pittsburgh 4 games to one. Hab haters claimed that Montreal had an easy time of it because stronger teams had somehow been eliminated, but don’t believe these naysayers. They’re a bunch of wankers.

Of course there was rioting a peaceful love-in in the streets of Montreal. Thousands smashed looked through windows, overturned drove around in cars, looted sang, and in general, behaved like morons angels.