Archive for the ‘Maxim Lapierre’ Tag

Welcome home

Like every hab fan with a blog today, I feel like I need to post something because it’s a special day. The Ducks are in town, and with them, many familiar faces are making their return to Montreal.

First, I want to mention the two that will likely be forgotten tonight: Chips and Paul Mara.

Paul Mara is kind of easy to forget. He was injured most of last season, and he didn’t get to show us his wonderful facial hair during the playoffs. But I wanted him to have success here, so I’m happy he’s playing more in Anaheim this season.

Chips. Oh Chips. I really liked you. I was really sad to see you go. But let’s be honest, that trade was probably better for you…

Now the two others.

Lapierre. Well honestly, I don’t really miss you at all. You were kind of good, sometimes downright hilarious with your crazy faces. But I can’t forget the bad penalties and the embarrassing moments either. I was never a huge fan of yours. I hope you’re doing well now, but honestly, I don’t really care.

And that leaves us with the real important one.

Le (vrai) Numéro 11.

 

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

There’s no need to say much here, everyone else will probably say much better than I ever could what this guy meant to Montreal. I’m not a Montrealer, but even for me he meant a lot, and yeah, I still miss him. Fans in the bell centre tonight better give him a freaking awesome ovation.

You’ll always look better in bleu-blanc-rouge, Saku.

Game over

tombstone

RIP

There it is. I officially give up on the 2008-09 habs. It’s the first time since I’ve started to follow hockey “seriously” that I give up on a season before it’s actually over. But I have no hope left. They won’t turn things around. And even if they do squeeze into the playoffs, it won’t make much of a difference.

5-2. At home. Against the freaking Leafs. On a supposedly must-win game. Are you kidding me?

The only thing worrying me, at this point, is wether Gainey will keep his job this summer. And if he does have to leave, will Trevor Timmins leave too? If that happens, … well let’s not even think about this…

The only bright spot of this terrible season is Max Lapierre. You rock, Maxim!

~~~

I’m torn, because watching the habs these days is kind of a masochistic experience. It’s painful, but at the same time, if I don’t watch the next ten games, I know I won’t have a chance to watch my favorite team play until… october.

I remember how last summer was terribly dull and slow, and how even the preseason games were exciting back in september. So I know that in a few months, I’ll be starving for hockey. Any kind of hockey. Even maybe this kind of hockey. And I’ll regret that I was not able to actually enjoy it while the season was still going on…

So, let this post be a reminder that sometimes, hockey sucks. Here is a note to myself, for when I reread this post on a hot and lazy day of August:

Hey Grrrreg, how’s it going? … What? … What do you mean, you’re bored to death because you miss hockey? Are you crazy man? Remember how, back in march, you were actually hoping for the season to end?! Come on, enjoy the offseason! Have a drink, and revel in your sucky-habs-free existence! Isn’t life beautiful when you don’t have to worry about the habs power play, Carey’s mental health, the results of the Carolina Hurricanes, and the french-speaking coach controversies? You actually miss this? I’m telling you, enjoy the summer my friend. It won’t last, you know… In only a few weeks from now, the habs will be back to torment you…

Habs dodge a bullet

dodge-a-bullet

Two good periods, a shitty third, an ugly OT, and a nice shootout. That’s another two points, so I guess I can’t complain too much. Well, I don’t really know what to think of this.

The two first periods were really good. Lang is on fire, and his work with the Tits brothers is unreal. This line is working like a charm. Lang got two great assists, Andrei scored another PP goal. The brothers seem to really enjoy playing together, and it’s a treat to watch.

The Lapierre-Kostopoulos-Latendresse line is also very impressive. Lapierre is having an incredible season. He’s full of confidence right now, and is probably the most improved player of the team. And his two linemates are benefiting a lot from Lapierre’s play. Kostopoulos brings a lot of energy, and Latendresse really clicks with Lapierre.

Finally, it was good to see Greg Stewart contributing, with a nice pass to set up D’agostini’s goal in the second period.

habs-vs-senators-19preview1Lapierre being awesome

But then the third period came, and things began to look bad.

A lack of grit and aggressiveness, some dubious defensive plays, and the momentum shifted right away. The Kostopoulos goal could have killed the game for Montreal. But the habs let the sens to come back quickly. Then it became more and more obvious that Ottawa would tie the game.

In spite of almost 2 minutes of PP, the habs were even worst during the OT. At this point, I was only hoping for the shootout.

The defense was shaky yesterday. Bouillon and Brisebois had a very rough night. I don’t want to be too harsh on Brisebois. He’s a veteran with a lot of experience, he has a great attitude, and is obviously thrilled to play for this team. But he was simply bad yesterday.

This game showed glaringly that what the habs need is first and foremost a defenseman, not a star forward. Obviously, any team could use a Lecavalier, but that’s not the primary need of this team. The difficultes of the habs this season pretty much coincided with the absence of Komisarek. Gorges is playing really great, and everyone who reads this blog knows how much I love this guy, but he’s not an elite defenseman. At least not yet. An injury to Markov or Komisarek would be a huge blow to the habs come playoff time.

Halak played another very good game. He really deserves this W, and can’t be blamed for the third period collapse. I think he deserves a lot of credit for the points the habs are piling up in the absence of a lot of key players. His strong play really allows Montreal to wait until Price is completely healthy. There is clearly no need to rush him back.

I said I did not really know what to do with this game, because there are two ways to see it. On the one hand, the habs found the resources to win a road game where the momentum had completely shifted away from them. And once again, it’s two points for a team missing a lot of key players. But on the other hand, it’s annoying to watch the habs once again play only two good periods of hockey, and barely escape with the two points.

However, given their current record over the last month (11-2-1), it’s hard not to give the habs the benefit of the doubt.

gorges-scores(I forgot to post it after the Nashville game. Gorges, 1A)

Coolest trip of the season

florida

We’re right in the middle of one of my favourite times of the hockey season: the annual habs Florida road trip between Christmas and New Year’s eve. It’s obviously a special period of the year, one associated with family, celebrations, and of course lots and lots of great food. So those games are associated with this in my mind. And because of the holidays, this little road trip always looks meaningless to me. I couldn’t care less if the Canadiens lose both of their games in Miami and Tampa. Watching those games is a bit like watching pre-season hockey. And it’s also fun, because of the way those two arenas are invariably filled with thousands of habs fans living in Florida, or just spending their holidays there. It gives both of those games a funny atmosphere. Those two away games feel like home games because of the crowd, but it’s definitely not the bell center either. And it’s something cool, because it’s kind of  how I feel too when I spend this time of year with my family, instead of being in Paris, where I usually work and live.

~~~

Anyway, back to some hockey talk. The habs played a nice little game yesterday, earning a 5-2 win in Miami. Of course, big props go to Max Lapierre, who got his first nhl hat trick. This is a good sign of how his has been improving for the last few weeks. #40 will probably never be a huge offensive threat, but he works hard. Just like Begin, who dropped the gloves yesterday, and Kostopoulos, one of the low profile hard-working type of players I love. Those three guys provide the habs with a lot of energy. They allow Carbo to use 4 lines, which he likes to do, and which was one of the reasons of last season’s good results.

Tonight, le Tricolore will face Tampa. The Lightning is having a nightmarish season, but they beat the habs in Montreal the last time they played each other. I hope the Canadiens keep their good streak alive. They’re playing good these days, and it would be pretty nice to see them continuing to do so until Saku returns. I also hope Tanguay can get back to his early season form soon.

Just beware of Thunderbug, the mean mascot of the Lightning!

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