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.
I just wanted to link to 2 amazing posts about the nhl draft. Daoust, at Pension Plan Puppets, and then the Falconer, from Birds Watchers Anonymous both developped very elaborate systems to assess the quality and the success of the different nhl franchises when it comes to drafting young players.
Daoust provided an unbelievable spreadsheet that you can play with for hours. It covers the last 15 years and it’s amazing.
Then the Falconer came up with his own system, and gave a grade for each single pick made by each single team since 1999. Wow.
If you’re a little nerdy and like stats, you’ll have a blast.
Please stay with us, Saku!
I feel like this bunny
What a depressing weekend… I’m not shocked by the sunday loss, and I can live with it. Even I can admit the Bruins are better than the habs right now, and Montreal is still trying to get out of its slump. So I think I could have been happy ok with an encouraging losing effort. And well, that’s pretty much what it was actually. Montreal certainly didn’t look completely dominated. The habs and the bruins played a very close game. Montreal got some scoring chances, and they never quit. Of course, the fact that Boston efficiently shut out the habs offense during most of the game was frustrating. But I really could have lived with this. Boston is the class of the East this season, and as much as it pains me, they deserve their first place.
But of course, this loss was really bad for two other reasons.
The most obvious one is the injuries suffered by Lang and Latendresse. Lats could miss a month. And Lang’s season is over. This is a huge blow. Nobody really expected this when Gainey signed him after he couldn’t land Sundin, but Lang had been one of the best habs this season, if not the best one. He was of course the scoring leader of the team, but his contribution was much more important than that. His perpetual communicative smile revealed a great enthusiasm. As a 38 years old soon to be UFA, this may very well have been his last game as a hab. And maybe even his last game in the nhl. Lang deserves a better exit. His absence leaves a big hole at center. I’m not really looking forward to see the habs going into the playoffs with only Koivu, Plekanec (who’s having a really ugly season), Lapierre and Chipchura. To make things even worse, it comes only one day after Gorges got injured after this now infamous Gauthier hit. Get well soon, Josh. The habs badly need you.
Oh nooo, Gorges is down!
The other reason why this game hurt is the Kovalev situation. Alex was benched for almost the entire third period. Today, half the journalists in Montreal (and that’s a lot…) want his head on a pike in front of the Bell Center. And worse of all, there are those persisting rumors about an unspoken rivalry between Kovy and Koivu in the dressing room. Kovy supposedly wants to be the leader of the team. Proponents of this theory point that the team is struggling again since Koivu is back from his injury. And of course, bipolar as they are, many habs fans are now proclaiming their disdain for Kovalev, and can’t wait to see him leave as a free agent in the summer. Now this really pisses me off. Those are the same fans who massively voted Kovy in the All Star Game starting lineup, and who cheered wildly when he was named MVP of the ASG, a freaking week ago. I have no idea about what’s going on in the dressing room, so I won’t speculate about this supposed rivalry. I just hope it’s another example of the montreal media sensationalism. But if there’s any truth to this, the habs are in deep trouble.
Well, sorry this sounded so serious, I just didn’t feel like making jokes today… It’s hard not to be a bit depressed, or at least frustrated about the situation. I don’t live in Montreal, so it was maybe easier for me not to get caught in the idea that the habs are bound to win the cup for their centennial. But still. The season was very promising. Not so much anymore. I’m still convinced Montreal will make the postseason. But an early exit now looks like a distinct possibility. I want to make clear that I’m not throwing in the towel. It would be completely stupid to give up on them now, because it’s only early february, and so many things can change until the playoffs. Every team gets through tough times at some point in the season. It looks like it’s now for Montreal. They have plenty of time to turn things around, and get healthy for the playoffs.
(one last word: the suicidal bunny picture comes from the great Book of Bunny Suicides, just in case you don’t know it yet. It’s really funny)