The Devil Made Me Write It

It began just fine, except for the mention from the broadcasters that the Canadiens haven’t won a game in the west in almost six years. The team killed penalties, got chances, skated hard. Then Edmonton’s Mike Comrie scored late in the first period, and it was the beginning of the end.

Yes, Comrie broke in hard, but Montreal’s Jaroslav Spacek was beside him every step of the way. And instead of diving and letting his stick throw Comrie off, Spacek did nothing except skate alongside him, and Comrie rifled a nice shot past Carey Price. A great defenceman would’ve made that play. And once again, the Habs began to look flustered, and visions of Vancouver danced through my head.

And even when it was two-nothing for the Oilers it seemed possible the Canadiens could still make a game of it. But Andrei Kostitsyn then decided to pull a Mike Komisarek/Patrice Brisebois, a ‘Komibois’, and threw the puck through the middle, which of course was intercepted and voila, it became 3-0.

Lacklustre play by Spacek and a boneheaded play by Kostitsyn basically did them in.

And who decided to put teams in western Canada?

Blame it on John Ziegler. He was the NHL president when the Flames, Canucks and Oilers entered the league. He’s responsible. And maybe we should also blame the schedule makers. They were the ones who decided to send the Canadiens to western Canada. Blame it also on the weather, horoscopes, wives, pets, kids, mother-in-laws, beer, zamboni drivers, bloggers, western cuisine, the smell of the Pacific and the stench of oil.

Can’t be the team, can it?

You bet it can. Blame it on a slow defence and forwards who don’t score. Throw in Guillaume Latendresse, Tomas Plekanec and of course Kostitsyn for good measure. And don’t forget coach Jacques Martin and GM Bob Gainey. And the trainers who didn’t convince Andrei Markov to wrap tape around his skates to protect his ankles and feet.

You could say they played better in the second half of the game, even scoring two goals. But of course it wasn’t enough.

To recap the five games, the Habs were completely outshot in both Toronto and Buffalo and squeaked in wins. They played well in Calgary and lost, and Martin’s decision to go with Jaroslav Halak there is questionable. Forget about the Vancouver game, and Edmonton wasn’t a whole lot better, although it was much closer.

Pretty dismal stuff.

And not winning in Western Canada in six years? It’s ridiculous and inexcusable. Maybe if it wasn’t such a love-in for the boys when they travel west they might perform better. They’re treated like gods in these western cities. Habs jerseys wherever you look. “Go Habs Go” drowns out the home team chants.

Maybe they’re believing they’re rock stars. How would they play if there were no Habs jerseys, no “Go Habs Go”, no big cheers. Just another enemy coming  to town. Maybe they’d play better.

Can’t be any worse.

Thursday, Habs home opener against Colorado. Go east young men.

18 thoughts on “The Devil Made Me Write It”

  1. Hey Dennis;I wasns’t to impressed with all of the players,Carey Price didn’t have a good game after his tantrum in Vancouver.3 goals on 19 shots does not a star make.Where is rollie melanson when you need him?The whole game just didn’t have any spark at all,while you are on a rant ,bitch about the ice surface being so small that all of the play is against the boards,shit I hate the “new n.h.l”.No more Robinson passes up the middle to Cournyer for a breakaway goal.No more Lapointe like rushes through the centre ice area for a shot on goal,Gary Bettman says”our game is perfect”,what does he know?An american trying to be a Canadian without any success.Enuf said it’s to early to get started on that shit.

  2. I think you’re letting Spacek off the hook a little bit, I thought he might have gotten his stick in the way just enough to partially deflect the shot. Maybe not.
    If we had played the whole game the way we played the 3rd I think we could have won but right now I don’t see much of this system Martin is supposed to implement. At the same time it’s pretty tough to open the season with 5 games on the road. I’m prepared to let the team spend some time at home with quality practice time before getting too annoyed. Well mostly. Where the hell is Lapierre and who is that stiff wearing his number?

  3. Clone Markov. Or at least share his brainpower with the rest of the D. Holy lack of defensive zone coverage and finish, Batman. It’s still too easy to shoot from the point on us, still too easy to walk right up to the net with a world of options or ready to tip in something, and the guys are too pedestrian on plays (like they spend most of the time observing)… The shots totals are meaningless when it’s half spent on warming up Crabby Khabby lightly. By the time they decided to be menacing with it, he was set to shut the door.

  4. But yea, a homestand is nice. Also no more Western Canada for the rest of the season. And hopefully the Islanders play the same way they played their past few games (ie. crap) but knowing our luck, they’ll come in playing like they’re all suddenly the hockey gods themselves, Tavares will get a hat trick, and either Roloson or Biron will stand on their heads… We never get it easy…

  5. Meh, all is not lost, at least I still have the Ducks and the Pens, I really enjoyed the Pens/Leaf game. The Leafs are idiots, just gooning it up for the sake of it. Losers. So much for testosterone and truculence. I watched the first two periods of the Habs and then called it a day. They have four days off, hopefully they can regroup and put on a better display on Thursday. I’m not holding my breath.

  6. Dennis,

    I now know how much Andrei Markov means to your team. The habs are missing him badly on the power play and obviously in there own end to. Hopefully this is just there typical road trip through the west and they get back on track once they get back to there own conference.

  7. Keep the faith boys and gals.

    It could be much, much, much worse, we could be leaf fans, how funny/sad is that?!

  8. I agree with Derry that Carey Price did not have a good game. He should have stopped Comrie’s shot. His glove was about a foot below the puck as it fired into the top corner. Maybe his hand is sore from the drywall work he did in Vancouver…

  9. Danno, I feel he should have stopped it too. But Spacek should have stopped Comrie too. Those quick wrist shots nwere a problem for Ken Dryden too, but right now, I’m sure not comparing Price to Dryden. Maybe Bergeron will help things on defence, and maybe Price will regroup. Really though, the team is looking quite pathetic right now from top to bottom.

  10. There you go. Moeman put it in perspective. We could be Leafs fans. Would there be anything worse? Imagine being a Leafs fan? Nope, can’t.

  11. Markov is really underrated sometimes, Jordy. He’s one of the best in the league and is only starting to get his due now. And even O’Byrne was playing great, better than he ever has, and he went down too. Maybe Bergeron will help.

  12. Thanks, Derry. It’s true, no more Robinson-like passes. And the game was flat. I believe if Price would have had more shots, Edmonton would have had more goals. He didn’t look sharp. A few times when he slid post to post he almost kept on sliding. I think nthat’s why I mentioned that it felt like it ncould nbe Vancouver all over again.
    Time to regroup, get Bergeron going, and send both Kostitsyns to Bella Bella.

  13. Number 31. This western Canada losing streak is out of control. When they come west, they should be holed up in some secret place until its time to go to the rink, and then straight back there afterwards. Make it all business instead of a rock tour.

  14. Moey, the Leafs are incredible losers. I think Brian Burke is overrated as a hockey mind, and is an arrogant, self-centred prick. Toronto doesn’t have a goalie, and they think Mike Komisarek is Doug Harvey for some unknown and unfathomable reason.
    With Montreal, it’s only five games but I’m very pissed. I liked the Calgary effort, and I think Price would’ve began the western swing with confidence. But Martin blew it by putting Halak in. After only two games he rested Price. Hell, the guy could go about 15 games straight, no problem. Martin screwed with everyone’s heads with that move.
    It can only get better. I think.

  15. Dishonest John. Maybe you’re right. Maybe we should just let them regroup. They’ve been hit by important injuries right off the bat. They need to practice, get Bergeron going, and get the crowd behind them, And please Bell Centre crowd – don’t boo Price. He doesn’t need it.

  16. Putting things into perspective a bit — Habs only need to win one game to play 500 hockey while the Leafs need to win five games…
    God love the Leafs. May they all don their Halloween outfits at the Bell Centre (paper bags on heads)…

  17. Good one Danno. And if you look at the overall standings, we’re on the same playing field as almost everybody. Thanks.

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