GO HABS GO
GO HABS GO
GO HABS GO
GO HABS GO
Tonight, the habs will have to survive in hostile territory.
Well honestly, I think I’d be less stressed out if the game was in Washington. Habs are on a magnificent 6 game losing streak at home in the playoffs. They’ve played very well on the road but have been really crappy at home so far.
I know habs players keep on saying that the crowd is a huge boost in Montreal, but I think playing at the Bell Centre is really a double edged sword. It can provide a big spark, but I think it’s also a lot of pressure. In this series, Montreal fared very well when everyone expected them to lose, i.e. when the expectations and the pressure were more on Washington’s side. But when they were in a position to actually take the control of the series at home, they faltered a bit. Being the underdog road team can actually help, in a us-against-the-universe kind of way, and I think this is what the habs will be missing tonight.
Also, I think the caps were unfocused on friday, and I don’t see them having an off-night again tonight.
So realistically, I know I should prepare myself for the worse…
And yet…. that’s not completely how I feel. In spite of everything, I’m still hopeful the habs can somehow prove everyone wrong and surprise the caps again.
I think if the Habs score first, everything is possible. Otherwise… well let’s not think about “otherwise”.
GO HABS GO!
I don’t know if you remember, but on February 10, I posted this picture. It had been buried on my computer forever before that (It dates back to a game played around march 2009 I think).
Well guess who was back at the Verizon center on friday night?
Poor kid. He’s like “DAMN Dad, I TOLD you this was a bad idea and we’d never be able to remove those things…” I can’t imagine what life must be for a little kid with the head stuck in a giant foam 8.
But just imagine being in the train on your way home after a playoff loss, wearing this. Must feel great.
Go Habs Go.
Alright. That was a heartbreaking loss. The Habs played two great periods, collapsed in the third but hanged in there and regained the lead, only to allow Washington to come back again with less than 2 minutes to go. They really deserved better, and they were THIS close to leading the series 2-0. It’s really tough because now Washington has some momentum going into the Bell Centre, whereas the Habs have to get past the disappointment of that game.
This morning I saw a lot of habs fans complaining about the refs. For sure, the refs weren’t great last night, and they missed some key calls (the goalie interference on the 2nd caps goal, the highstick on Markov 15 seconds before the Caps tied the game for the last time). But there is no conspiracy. And the Habs shouldn’t have allowed the caps to come back twice when they had the game in hand.
Now it’s useless t think about what might have been if the habs had grabbed a 2-0 lead in the series. Things are what they are. No one expected Montreal to sweep the series anyway, and being tied after the two games in Washington is really not that bad. This is now a best of 5 series, and the habs have their chances. It’s time to regroup and win Game 3. This will be the biggest game of the season. If the habs lose, it’s going to be REALLY tough to come back in this series. If they win, they get the momentum back and everything is possible again, with a second home game to play. The Bell Centre is going to be insane tomorrow.
In other news, the Bulldogs are fantastic. Well that’s not news actually. Anyway, it’s great to have them on a day like this. As you probably know by now, they butchered some moose yesterday. 8-2. Awesome. I hope this somehow inspires the Habs.
I just hope that kid was able to take that 8 off his head after that game.
This is a screen cap of the TSN highlights of a game between the Caps and the Hurricanes, last season. I’ve had this pic on my computer for months now. I’ve missed the opportunity to post it when the Caps still only had an 8 games winning streak. But the Habs play the Caps tonight, so that’s enough of a reason to post it. After all, the only 8 that really matters will be there…
I’m sorry for the Caps, they have a really sweet streak going on, but I hope it’ll somehow be shattered tonight.
Go habs go!
Yesterday, America successfully claimed Canada’s national sport.
First, to send the message that the United States considered hockey theirs, the Washington Capitals defeated the Canadiens. Then, later in the night, a group of young imperialists sneakily won the World Junior Hockey Championship right in the heart of Saskatchewan, in front of thousands of stunned Canadians, thus bringing the entire country to its knees.
Resistance is futile, Canada.
But you still have curling, I guess.
Ok, after all, this is still a hockey bog, so let’s talk hockey again! It’s not going to be an easy weekend. I’m sorry for stating the obvious, but playing Washington and Detroit in back to back games isn’t exactly going to be a pleasure for the habs, given all their recent issues. But let’s start with tonight’s game:
Stewie is back to the Bulldogs for two weeks, and it’s lines juggling time in Montreal. It’s not exactly the sign of a confident team and coach. During the last game, Metro played on the first line. Now, according to Habs Inside/Out (yeah, I kinda have to rely on them, I can’t really go to see the practices myself…) Metro is back to the fourth line, with Pyatt and Laraque. The third line features Lats, Lapierre and White. Plekanec, Kostitsyn and Pacioretty are on the second line. So, that means it’s Travis Moen’s turn to play along Gomez and Cammalleri on the first line.
It’s really a bad sign when you have to use your 4th liners to play on the first line. No offense to Metro or Moen, who are playing well this year (especially Metro), but I don’t think it’s their role to play along guys like Cammie. Even worse, I think it sends the message that you’re really desperate to find solutions. I have a lot of confidence in Martin’s coaching abilities, but this kind of moves is disturbingly reminiscent of Carbonneau.
With Gionta out for an indefinite time, I think it could be time to send someone down and call up Desharnais or Sergei K. (I’m sorry for the Bulldogs, really, but I’m still a habs fan first… and that’s unfortunately the way things work for affiliate franchises: they’re bound to lose their best players during the season…)
The good news for the habs is the return of O’Byrne. Like the rest of habs fans, I’m really hoping his injury didn’t completely turned him back to 2008-09 O’Byrne. Otherwise, we’re screwed.
About the Caps, they’re also missing important players (Semin, Knuble), but Ovie is back. With him and Backstrom, they’re still pretty scary.
I’m sorry, that’s pretty much all I have to say about this game. I’m not very confident about the habs right now, but if they can somehow win this one, or at least get a point (this will probably necessitate another good game from Carey), it would definitely be a welcome confidence boost.
Just an update about the French soccer team: there were petitions in France to have the game played again. Now it’s getting really funny, because everyone is making fun of Henry. In the news, on tv, on the radio, in the streets, really everywhere. I have yet to see someone seriously defending him. It’s getting to the point where politicians are asked their opinion about it. Which causes them all sorts of embarrassment, because they can’t defend cheating, but they don’t want to look unpatriotic if they criticize les Bleus. So they’re really beating around the bush (I’ve just learnt this expression, I hope it makes sense)
Henry himself admitted that he thought the game should be replayed. But the FIFA confirmed the result, and it’s very unlikely there will be a rematch. If things stay that way, I think we should just have fun with this: let’s embrace our cheaters status, and let’s have the French fans come to South Africa with big foam hands. Humor is the only way out of this embarrassment!
Wow wow wow, so many things are happening, I can barely keep up with the news! Remember everybody, don’t come on this blog for earth-shattering news, here I only try to analyze things, with a delay (if posting photoshops qualifies as ‘analysis’, of course).
So, here is a summary of the drama unfolding in Montreal, in the last 36 hours…
- Schneider is traded for some picks. (It already seems it happened 3 months ago…)
- O’Byrne is sent down to Hamilton. Poor guy, I know he struggles this season, but he’s hardly the only one. In his case, he just pays for the fact he can be demoted without having to clear waivers.
- Some old pictures of the young habs partying last summer are used to illustrate the rumors that Price, Higgins and Sergei Kostitsyn are partying too much during the season. Jean Perron, a former coach, says he has good sources confirming this. Carbo rips him in his media meeting. (For the record, I think this is precisely the type of things that gives a bad reputation to Montreal and makes it harder for the habs to sign free agents. Price was understandably really upset about this ‘story’. Young players in every team go to bars sometimes. It just happens, deal with it.)
- Sergei Kostitsyn aka Little Tits also goes to Hamilton. His bad play, and his contract status (same as O’Byrne) are the reasons why he’s sent down. But it also gives a bit of momentum to the indiscipline rumors. Greg Stewart is called up.
- Gainey asks Kovalev to stay in Montreal during the upcoming two games road trip to Washington and Pittsburgh. Officially, Kovalex is supposed to “relax” and “stay away from the team” for a couple of days. Gainey says that given his current playing level, the team doesn’t need him right now. Ouch. Everyone thinks a trade is coming.
- HFboards almost explodes
- Right after his official declarations with the media, Gainey apparently goes off the record, and rips Tampa Bay about the Lecavalier trade rumors of late january. According to a radio, he said that it was Tampa that approached the Habs about a trade, and asked for the then rumored package of players. That’s the exact opposite of what the Lightning GM claimed at the time. Apparently, the trade talks eventually broke down, and Gainey is now quite unhappy with the Tampa Bay management. (my sources here? HFBoards. Yeah, that should give you a hint about the credibility of my blog!)
- And the biggest news of all: to the delight of many fans, Carey Price goes back to the white pads he was using before the slump, and gets rid of his apparently cursed new red pads.
This is way too much for my poor mind. I’m all confused.
I have no idea what to think about the Kovalev story. It really looks like he’s going to be traded now, but I’m not sure scratching him is the best way to increase his value… Also, is it a good move to get rid of your most talented player in the last part of the season (even if he’s underperforming)? I’m glad I’m not the habs GM today.
I don’t know what Carbonneau thinks of all this, but he looks frustrated as hell. At least, people don’t seem to be calling for his head anymore. But I liked his reaction in front of the media yesterday: after a series of questions about Kovalev, Kostitsyn, and the indiscipline rumours, there was a short silence. Then he smiled, and said: “Oh, by the way, we just got a new player!” I found it pretty funny. (you can watch the clip on the RDS website)
I know it probably won’t happen, but I’d like to see people in Montreal take a big breath and relax a little. Right now, I’m happy I’m not actually in Montreal, because I probably would be freaking out too. This is what I find really annoying with the habs: there are way too many journalists following the team, and way too many people ready to parade/riot/jump off buildings depending on the latest results of the habs. The dramatization of every little piece of habs related ‘news’ is really tiring.
So, I thought, let’s stop freaking out, and actually focus on, you know, the game! Because Montreal actually plays a game tonight, in Washington. And really, what better time to face the Capitals? I’m scared of this game, and I’m scared of the Capitals. And it looks like the players feel the same:
OMG! It’s a Cap! Right behind me!! I’m just gonna tiptoe away silently and hope he doesn’t see me…
AAAAAAAAHHH! He caught me! He caught me! Please don’t hurt me!!!
Tonight the Caps are in Montreal. It’s gonna be pretty interesting, because they’re just as hot as the Habs, except they’ve just been shutout by Mason and the Blue Jackets, which means they’ll be pretty fired up.
Of course, with the Caps come Coach Bruce Boudreau. You see, Bruce is all pissed up, because he finds it APPALING that Ovechkin won’t be in the starting lineup at the All Star Game because he was not voted in, and ABSOLUTELY REVOLTING that players like Semin and Green are left out because of the “one player per team” unwritten rule.
Hmmm, well, Bruce, you know what? SUCK IT!
It may be sad, but Semin won’t be an all star until the NHL decides to tweak its skills competition to include a Bongo challenge.
They say that I’m a clown, making too much dirty sound…
Speaking of the All Star Game, I know the NHL is trying to make all the money it can with the event, but the amount of corporate sponsorship is really baffling. Just for fun, here is an actual excerpt of a “news” item from the All Star Game section of the NHL website:
The game’s most dazzling shootout artists will attempt to wow the voting public in the NHL Mobile brought to you by Bell Breakaway Challenge and the classes of 2007-08 and 2008-09 will battle for youthful supremacy when NHL All-Star Weekend gets underway with the 2009 Honda/NHL All-Star Super Skills Competition Saturday night, Jan. 24, at Montreal’s Bell Centre.
The realigned NHL YoungStars Game presented by Upper Deck and the fan-judged NHL Mobile brought to you by Bell Breakaway Challenge will join SuperSkills mainstays such as the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, McDonald’s NHL Accuracy Shooting and Cisco NHL Hardest Shot competitions to determine the League’s best in various disciplines.
Wow… And they didn’t even mention the “XM NHL All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports”, the “Scotiabank NHL Fan Fav Breakaway Challenge”, and the “Gatorade NHL Elimination Shootout”.
That’s a bit overwhelming. Come on NHL, I’ll never be able to drink Gatorade, open a bank account, buy wathever Cisco sells, eat a BigMac, and buy some tires to go with my new honda on the same week end!
Allright. Now, I think I’ll enjoy my NHL Toyota brought to you by Gillette Super nap. Or maybe I’ll just have a Classic fan-judged Smoothest Reebok cup of NHL coffee, presented to you by Amazon.com.