Tag Archives: Zdeno Chara

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.

Arrgg, Grrrrrrr

Maybe Sidney should be careful about the way he’s been talking to the big lug lately.

Thanks to Hobo for sending this pic along. Imagine how funny it would be if we actually saw this?

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It’s kind of like Andre the Giant throwing some poor mortal around. Andre lived in Montreal at one time, wrestled at the Forum, and I like to think he was a Habs fan. So no way am I comparing this gentle giant to the guy in Boston.

Anyway, Chara’s a mere 6’9″, 255 lbs. Andre the Giant was 7’4″, 424 lbs and would have crushed the wee lad.

Andre was 46 when he passed away due to heart failure in 1993.

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Those Bruins Bastards

You don’t hate the Boston Bruins more than I do. Looking at them hurts my eyes. Messes with my mind and mood. If they’re about to go all the way, I might walk on nails, get my chest hairs ripped out with duct tape, and visit the dentist, all around game time of the final night.

But I sure respect what they’re doing right now. At this writing, it’s 5-1 Bruins in the third period of game two. Boston also won the first, with both games on the road. They’re playing like they can win it all. They’re shutting the Pens down. They’re tough and disciplined and everyone seems to be on the same page.

It hurts me to write that.

This is what the Canadiens have to become. Tough, with scorers scoring. With a goaltender to be relied upon. With a strong defence. With a few more bigger bodies.

What a novelty act the Bruins have going. Everyone playing well at the same time. I’m not used to that as a Habs fan.

And as much as I despise the Bruins, Matt Cooke plays for Pittsburgh. So what’s a neutral fan to do?

Pittsburgh isn’t exactly on my wish list. And they’re in deep trouble, even though they finished head and shoulders above everyone else in the east during the regular season, with 72 points, nine more than the second-place Habs.

They were unstoppable. They grabbed Jerome Iginla and Brenden Morrow to join Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. They enjoyed a 15-game winning streak late in the season. They were a machine.

And the Bruins are killing them.

Boston was nothing to write home about during the regular season, ending up with one point less than Montreal and showing little of what we’ve become accustomed to in the past few years. Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, and Zdeno Chara were only heavy winds instead of gale force hurricanes. It was like the Bruins in general had seen better days.

But this team obviously knew what they’re doing, and even though the Habs finished ahead of them, they weren’t about to concede anything. The playoffs are a different animal, and the Bruins seem to have it figured out.

Most of them only made it to grade three, but they’ve got the playoffs figured out.

 

Bruins Dump Manhattanites

I haven’t been watching a lot of hockey lately. Am I bad?

I am, I guess. A lousy hockey fan.

When the Canadiens are gone, the enthusiasm for spending two and a half hours in front of the boob tube takes a major hit. Other teams don’t interest me a great deal. I hated them all during the regular season, and I’m not all that fussy about liking any of them now.

Don Cherry would probably say I’m a poor hockey fan. Don also says fans should cheer for the team nearest where they live.

I lived in Toronto once. And he expects……?

I did watch game five of the Bruins-Rangers series on Saturday night, when the Bruins eliminated New York four games to one. I would’ve liked to have seen Boston get walloped and the fans sent home sad, but now they’re happy in Beantown, and this makes me sad.

And prior to the game, TSN showed Tuukka Rask’s goal miscue from game four about twenty times. It was quite a moment. Rask has been involved in a couple of priceless video moments, including a temper tantrum after a Habs loss (below).

Wouldn’t it be funny if the overhead clock fell fifteen feet in front of Brad Marchand and it still clipped his nose?

I don’t really care about these enemy teams. I just kept thinking, while watching the Bruins, that they remind me of throwing up after eating too many orange and black jelly beans.

I also saw that Rangers’ coach John Tortorella has a decent tan, and I don’t know whether you caught it or not, but Boston’s Zdeno Chara is fairly tall. Did you notice that?

It’ll now be Pittsburgh against the Bruins in the eastern final. Go Pittsburgh, I suppose.

All I really want from here on in is to see a record-breaking overtime game. One that goes about seven or eight overtime periods. Then I’ll be interested.

Here’s Rask/Habs moment, when he wiped out after losing 6-5 in a shootout on March 27.

And here’s the goal TSN kept showing.

It’s Good To Be A Habs Fan

The Habs are gone, and for now………

No more P.K. Subban wheeling around and rushing like a man possessed, or blasting a missile from the point, or sailing across the ice, fired up, in the moment, to level an oncoming enemy.

No more Brendan Gallagher crashing the net, standing firm as bigger opponents try to figure out how to take his head off without getting penalized, with the young fellow holding his ground as he’s mugged and coming back for more. No more of the little bugger pushing hard against the gigantic Zdeno Chara and other behemoths, and when seeing this, how could it not touch our hearts.

No more Brandon Prust sticking up for his teammates, and sometimes finding himself on the scoresheet after giving the proverbial and impossible 110%. No more choirboy Lars Eller getting better each game, or witnessing 19-year old Alex Galchenyuk slowly make his way to a brilliant future.

No more of the players we cheer for on some nights when they’re on fire, and want to ship to Vladivostok when they’re struggling.

No more beautiful blue, white, and red uniform with the big CH on the front. The uniform the Rocket wore. How it must feel to put this sweater on. Fans of other teams don’t understand, and I guess we don’t expect them to.

No more Pierre Houde shouting “et le but,” or, from any of the English voices, “he shoots, he scores,” as one or another Montreal Canadien lights the lamp, and we celebrate and crave more.

No more anticipation of a big game, especially at the Bell, with a booming rendition of the national anthem beforehand, with the crowd ready and expectations high, with little kids carrying the flag or pretending to light up the ice. I applied for this flag job a few years ago, only to be told I’m about 50 years too old.

No more games, for a few months, for us who cheer for our Montreal Canadiens. We who feel the magic. Magic in the crest. Magic in a big night.

It’s over for now, until they come together once again, when, as we always have, we’ll hope and dream and yell at the referee.

Until then, until we see the blue, blanc, and rouge take to the ice, the games might as well be played in Oregon.

Boring, Oregon.

Boring

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They’ll Send Chills Up Your Spine

Are you strong enough to sit through these? Can your heart take it?

You’ve been warned.

Chernoble Diaries

A group of wholesome American students visit Chernoble twenty-five years after the deadly meltdown, and find themselves stuck in the god-forsaken place when their car battery somehow becomes dead. Horror ensues as a hideous half-man, half-monster, created from the radioactive air, hunts down the terrified students and begins to eat them one by one. Brad Marchand plays himself as the hideous monster.

Bride of Frankenstein

A retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic tale of a grotesque monster created in a lab, only in this later version, the monster takes a wife who is every bit as ugly and loathsome as he. Audiences shrieked in horror and some fainted the first time Zdeno Charo appeared on the screen as the wife.

Night of the Living Dead

They come alive in the cemetery and roam the streets eating innocent townfolks’ testicles as folks flee for their lives. Director Orson Snail does a masterful job in getting the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team to act as the testicle-eating zombies, although in interviews, Snail has admitted that he really didn’t have to do much. “They were naturals,” he said. “Like they’ve done it before. And we saved money by not needing makeup artists.” Kudos to newcomer Nazem Kadri for his realistic portrayal of the village idiot.

Dawn of the Dead

Audiences in Boston, Toronto, Ottawa, and elsewhere walked out of theatres horrified and disturbed after seeing how the Montreal Canadiens, given up for dead, suddenly emerge and willfully slaughter hockey teams in major cities throughout North America.  “We thought they were dead and buried,” cried shocked patrons everywhere. “I’m probably not going to be able to sleep tonight,” admitted a trembling and red-eyed Dion Phaneuf.

28 Days Later

A group of animal-loving activists free a bunch of chimps from their cages, only to discover soon after that the deadly germs of the primates have quickly killed millions. Unfortunately, by the time the chimps are rounded up and secured, the world has become partly deserted. “I’ll send them out again if you don’t let me be Habs stick boy,” warned the diabolical yet extremely handsome activist Dennis Kane.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Zombies and more zombies. Thousand of them. Smelly, disgusting, gruesome, pus-oozing zombies. Boston Bruins fans played their parts well. “It worked because all they had to do was grunt,” explained producer Alfred Spielberg.

Psycho

The story of a lonely man in a lonely motel, waiting patiently for a female victim to show up so he can introduce her to his mother who lives in the creepy mansion up on the hill. The shower scene is a bone-trembling classic, and director and sometimes hockey coach Sir Ken Hitchcock has theatre-goers shaking in their boots as the heroine, portrayed by troubled star P.J. Stock, is treated rather shabbily to say the least. Matt Cooke is brilliant as both the mother and son, and he still maintains that he didn’t try to actually hurt Stock and Hitchcock during the making, but it happened and he’s sorry.

Carey

Based on the Stephen King novel “Carrie,” it’s the story of a person who is unmercifully tormented and ridiculed, but eventually finds out he has telekinesis powers that become apparent when angry and upset. The final scene, when a tormented Carey wills the arena to explode, is riveting.

 

 

 

 

 

Habs Reign Supreme

Habs 2, Bruins 1. Now that’s hockey!

It wasn’t good when Lars Eller pulled Zdeno Chara off-balance and took a seat in the penalty box with just 57 seconds remaining and his team holding on. The goalie was pulled and it was tense. Even tenser than when Lucy drives in the city.

But they held on, they remain king of the castle, and unless these two teams meet in the playoffs, the Bruins and their fans will have to wait until next fall before they lose again to the bleu, blanc et rouge.

I’d like to thank Milan Lucic for helping out on the Canadien’s winning goal. Lucic gave Tomas Plekanec an extra stick to the head while Pleks was on the ice, and with the big lad cooling his heels in the penalty box, Michael Ryder scored his team’s second goal, which ultimately would decide things.

Unfortunately, Alexei Emelin suffered what looks to be a serious injury after he collided with this same Lucic, who was barreling down the wing. Emelin’s a strong dude but Lucic didn’t budge, and the Habs’s big thumper took the worst of it, maybe twisting his knee in the process, and once again we wait for an injury report on a player.

There’s not too many players in the league who will try to stop a rushing Lucic like Emelin did, and most players would have had their ribs rattled by our big Russian. And Lucic didn’t even go down. I wonder if fans at the Bell Centre could feel the building tremble when that collision occurred. Don’t forget, these guys are the same weight (220 or so), although Lucic has two inches on Emelin.

The Lars Eller, Brandon Prust, Alex Galchenyuk line enjoyed a fine night, and Galchenyuk scored again, his second in two nights. But many guys chipped in. I thought Max played great. Carey Price stood his ground and controlled his rebounds. Michael Ryder continued to light the lamp, and P.K. Subban chipped in two assists.

More and more there’s talk of Subban’s growing chances of capturing the coveted Norris Trophy, and all P.K. has to do is continue to do what’s he’s been doing for most of the remaining ten games and it should be his. You would think the professional hockey writers will get it right, and it’s a good thing P.J Stock can’t vote. What a mockery of the Norris that would be.

Stock needs to be fired from his CBC gig. He’s like a little kid. Even his cronies were snickering. Tonight, it was Stock babbling once again about Subban and this nutty embellishment stuff, and it was Elliotte Friedman stepping in and saying hold on, enough’s enough. This is a guy leading all d-men in  scoring, is in the running as the league’s best on the blueline, and it’s time to stop this innuendo horseshit.

He didn’t say it quite like that, but almost. It’s amazing about CBC. Sixty years doing Hockey Night in Canada, yet they’ve hired people such as Mike Milbury and Stock to talk hockey. The corporation took a true credibility hit when they let Stock open his mouth. How’d the guy get the job in the first place?

But aside from Emelin going down, and Stock opening his mouth, it was a fine and successful night. I’m just feeling bad for Bruins fans. I’ll probably think of them when I’m celebrating at the corner pub tonight.

Random Notes:

Habs outshot the enemy 29-27.

Each team enjoyed just one power play each, which is incredibly weird for a Habs-Bruins tilt. I need to get on Google and see if the planets are out of sync.

Michael Ryder has 18 points in 18 games with Montreal, and Subban 32 points in 32 games.

Next up – Tuesday, when the Caps come a callin’. We can deal with that later. Tonight is a night to savor sweet victory. And again, poor Bruins fans!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Habs Win Big With Budaj

It was a fine night in Boston, a spirited affair between two teams who like to have spirited affairs, and in the end, the Montreal Canadiens rally and beat the Boston Bruins 4-3, and back to the head of the class they go. And they did it with Peter Budaj between the pipes.

It was never-say-die for the Canadiens, who held their ground on the scoreboard and with the gloves dropped, and they clawed back in the third to win it. This team is for real, and with just two games to go before reaching halfway in the season, they just keep on proving it.

But it wasn’t easy, of course. It was the hot Bruins on home ice. It was Peter Budaj replacing Carey Price, which for me anyway, always causes slight anxiety. It was the night after losing a 7-6 crazy bummer to Pittsburgh. Last year there might have been less drive on a night like this and a scampering back home to regroup. But the Habs showed great character. They showed they can shake it off, re-focus and battle, and this was two huge points to make a genuine statement.

The boys are a force to be reckoned with. It’s like the sun has come up.

Boston tied it in the first after a Tomas Plekanec power play goal, but just sixteen seconds after the Bruins marker, David Desharnais put his team in front again. And when the Bruins went ahead 3-2 with the second period ending, the Canadiens again showed what they’re made of, what coach Therrien is instilling in them, and what they must certainly believe. Max tied it in the third, and finally, D.D., with his second, put his team ahead, they held on, and skated away feeling mighty good about themselves I’m sure.

Three points out of four this back-to-back weekend. It reminds me of a little story the bartender at the Shark Club told me yesterday. His brother had been in South America for a year, and when he came home he asked how things were going in hockey. His brother said, you’re not going to believe this but the Habs are in first place in the East. It made my heart soar like a Turquoise-throated Puffleg.

If I haven’t agreed with a couple of past decisions regarding starting Budaj this season, I sure did this time, even though it was such an important game. Carey Price needs to rest and regroup after some slightly shoddy play lately, and Budaj, in his last two starts, allowed just one goal against Philly and shut out Carolina two nights later. He’s performing yeoman’s service, has one three in a row, and although much of the night when pucks were around him it was time to hold our breath, he somehow got it done and lately he’s been the perfect backup, coming in when called upon and playing well.

Of course with this being a Montreal-Boston battle, fights broke out with Brandon Prust and Milan Lucic tangling and then Alexei Emelin and Zdeno Chara getting into it. Emelin had bone surgery performed on his face while playing in the KHL, and although he plays a hard-nosed game, he can’t be blamed for not fighting on a regular basis. Broken bones in the face must really suck, so imagine when he and the monstrous Chara dropped their gloves and started flailing away. If there’s one guy in the league Emelin shouldn’t be fighting, it would be Chara. But he held his own, he’s a strong bugger in his own right, and his gutsy display shows even more character for a team with tons already.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal – Boston 34, Montreal 26. But Budaj got it done and what a bonus it is.

The Bruins seemed upset with Lars Eller all evening. Eller’s got a choir boy face but I’m thinking he’s got some devil in him. I love that he has an edge, and he’s an active part of the above mentioned team character.

The team really misses Rene Bourque and Raphael Diaz, especially on the power play.

Next up – The Habs pay a visit to the Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday. The last time these two teams met, the Islanders skated away with a 4-3 OT win.

 

 

 

Max’s Weird Stuff

He’s been mugged by Zdeno Chara, has undergone an emergency appendectomy, and was bitten by Mikhail Grabovski. Hopefully for Max, the weirdness is now over. Things happen in threes, don’t they?

Chara got nothing, Grabovski got nothing, and the doctor got a shitload of money. Max got a broken neck, a big scar, and a tetanus shot.

Max and Chara

appendectomy

 

Max bitten

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Max A Finalist

Max Pacioretty is one of three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, presented to the one who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

Great for Max. Our guy rebounded from the infamous Chara assault and enjoyed his best season ever, leading his team with 33 goals and 32 assists for 65 points. Max has become a bonafide power forward, and will be a key guy, of course, in the Habs success next season.

The other two finalists are Joffrey Lupul of the Leafs and the Sens’ Daniel Alfredsson.

Bill Masterton played just one season in the NHL, 1968 with the Minnesota North Stars, and it was during this campaign that he was checked hard in a game against the Oakland Seal, fell back and cracked his head on the ice, suffering a brain hemorrage. He died two days after the event.

Masterton hadn’t been wearing a helmet, and his death got the ball rolling for players to finally put protection on their heads. But it still took years before everyone got on board.