I promised this blog would get back to hockey today, so here we are.
Sooo, let’s look at this mess. I leave for 3 days, after a nice win over the Flames, and this is what I find when I come back?? Two losses, Price and Koivu hurt, Higgins out for up to 5 weeks, Komisarek still out, Dandenault with a broken arm? Are you kidding me?
Allright, so I guess all my little optimism about the team slowly building back its confidence looks obsolete now. Well, it’s still a long season, so relax everyone, let’s not get too depressed. This is one of the things I like about following the habs from a country where virtually no one cares: it’s really easier no to get completely hysterical after a few bad (or good) results. The woes of my favourite team are not continually displayed on tv, on the radio, and in the newspapers. If I meet my friends, I’m sure hockey will not be a topic of conversation. It’s just easy to escape it when I want. Of course, sometimes it’s a bit frustrating, because I’d like to share the excitation, or the joy after a great win. But it’s also a great feeling to be the only one smiling in the metro early in the morning, because you’ve just read before leaving home that your team got a big win during the night. This little lonely euphoria, that you know nobody feels amongst the thousands of people you see in the metro and the streets is a great feeling. It’s like a little secret, it makes you feel pretty special.
Well, I really digressed here, but my point was, I just don’t feel too bad for the canadiens right now.
They’re facing the Hurricanes tonight. In Carolina. After seven games in a row at the bell centre, I think this litle trip is welcomed. It may give a chance to the team to regroup, and reinforce their cohesion. It’s also never bad to be away from Montreal, the media, and the passion, when the team is going through rough times.
What can we expect tonight? As you know, Montreal is having injuries problems. According to Mike Boone from HI/O, here are the lines:
Tanguay – Lang – Kovalev
Latendresse – Plekanec – S. Kostitsyn
A. Kostitsyn – Maxwell – D’Agostini
Begin – Lapierre – Kostopoulos
Bouillon – O’Byrne
Hamrlik – Brisebois
Markov – Gorges
Halak will be in the nets.
The D is okay I guess, since it’s basically the same we’ve seen for the last few weeks, except for Dandy. On offense, the Tanguay Lang Kovy line remains intact. It’s good to see Carbo not totally shuffling the lines again. The 4th line is pretty usual as well. The 2nd and 3rd lines are distrubed by the absences of Higgins and Koivu. Maxwell has pretty bg shoes to fill, playing in the spot of Koivu.
Carolina is not in a great shape either. They’ve already lost 8 games at home. Their PP is as pathetic as the one of Montreal: 13,2% for the Canes, and 13% for the Habs.
I think it’s a good occasion to say a word about the Whalers. They were already gone to Carolina when I really began to follow hockey, so I don’t feel any nostalgia about them. But I must say I love their HW logo, the touch of political incorrectness that comes with being named after something as controversial as whale hunting, the cute Pucky,and Brass Bonanza.
So here’s a little tribute:
It’s always sad to see a team leave its town, and that’s something I really have a hard time understanding, as a European fan. I know professional sports operate under a different business model in North America, but I’ve always been shocked by the coldness of the decision to move a team, especially as it’s almost always a move dictated by the greed of the owners.