Wednesday, March 31, 2010

'Canes vs. Habs: Rock Them Like a Hurricane Edition

Notes on the third:

-Price is proving the "high glove" critics wrong, at any rate.

-I wonder if McBain is playing with the 'Canes so he can hide from Mendoza?

-Why was Price's foot not nailed to the post on that Staal goal? I hope that's not generating Easter metaphors too early.

-You know, Lapierre was better when he had that crazy-ass long biker hair. He needs it back.

-I hate Cam Ward with the burning, festering hatred one bears for one's greatest nemesis.

-If this is what we get in a "must make the playoffs" game, they might as well not bother. It'll just be embarrassing.

-Ah, Price, no wins for you!

Notes on the second:

-Watching the TSN panel during the intermission makes me think a wise GM would be waiting for the Flames to panic on Bouwmeester and try to dump him. I think if he doesn't start tearing it up next year, he'll get dumped for much less than it would have cost to get him a couple of years ago, and I think his kind of skill doesn't just go away. It just needs the right team to let it shine.

-Is it wrong of me to laugh every time TSN shows Pierre McGuire in the "1 Down" box?"

-Price honestly has no luck at all. Four shots against, and a goal off his defenceman's ass. Who else does that kind of crap ever happen to?

-Announcers are boo-hooing about Carolina missing Staal and Ward for a lot of the year. Not a word about the Habs missing Markov, Gionta, Gomez, Cammalleri, Pouliot, Kostitsyn, Hamrlik, Spacek, Metropolit, O'Byrne, Spacek and Bergeron for good portions of the season.

-Cammy still looks just that liiittttlllle bit off.

-What's not working is asking the fourth line to dig out the puck. They're just not doing it.

-I really, really didn't want a defensive battle tonight. I wanted a blowout. How come we NEVER get a blowout when it matters?

-Shots are 25-10 in favour of Montreal, but the game is tied. This does NOT bode well for a positive finish.

Notes on the first:

-Price looked like he was already sweating during the anthems. I hope he's on tonight, and actually gets some support for once.

-The crowd WANTED to cheer for Kerry Fraser's milestone, but decades of hatred made it pretty lukewarm.

-I hate these three and four-day layoffs. The team always looks like it completely forgot everything it ever knew about hockey after them.

-Note to Jacques the Knife: Never, if you have last change, have Gill and Lapierre on the ice at the same time. That's just irresponsible. You might as well be coaching drunk.

-Oh my, Price gave up a rebound. Alert the goalie police. Or, at least the ones who keep a running tab on how many times the puck comes off Halak.

-When Bergeron isn't firing bombs, he's useless. But when he is, oh, baby!

-Reasons to hate Carolina: the 2006 playoffs, Cam Ward, Brind'Amour, Cole and Samsonov. Reasons to like them: Kostopoulos and destroying the Devils and Bruins last playoffs.

-I think Gorges must be made out of the stuff they use to make black boxes for airplanes. The whole thing will go up in cinders, but the black box survives.

-I'd like to see one of those "History Will Be Made" playoff commercials with "What if Williams hadn't tried to remove Saku Koivu's eye with his stick?" as the tag line.

-This feels scarily like the Buffalo game. Habs were in control, but the other goalie robbed them enough to keep his team close. Wardo the Weirdo is all over them.

-The Habs need to pop another one quickly in the second. It might be fun to be the spoiler for a while, but spoilers tend to get demoralized easily.


Pete said...

This reeks of tragedy.......

We need a few bounces.

Peter said...


Anonymous said...

Habs defense is too old to play 60 hard minutes and the forwards aren't tough enough to go to the net like that Sutter kid did. All Price had to do was lock himself to the post and the net comes off before the puck goes in. Ward wouldn't have given up that goal. Looks like the leafs will get a chance to knock the Habs off the ice and onto the golf course where they seem to want to be and deserve to be.

Anonymous said...

I feel sick.

Anonymous said...

Can somebody tell the stupid fans at the Bell Center to shut the frak-up!? I think Price's got enough problems like that. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Price's problem right now is like that of a baseball pitcher with run-support issues. Whenever his team scores a goal, he will give up two; if they score 2, he will allow 3; if they score 4, he will give up 5, etc. (I remember Ray Burris having an entire season like that for the Expos once. Bad times all around)

Situations like that - which we could call winless effectiveness - have the worst possible effect on a goalie's confidence (or a pitcher's) and the fans' appreciation of his work. Unfortunately for Price, victory is all that matters at this stage of the season, but for the future, it should not obscure the fact that Price has played well when called upon in recent weeks. I just hope he can get a couple of wins before the end of the year: he's earned them.

Have to disagree with JT (sorry!) about the impact of injuries on Carolina vs Montreal. The Canes are a team built around a top-5 goalie (Ward), a top-10 forward (Staal), a couple of useful players (Jokinen, Sutter, Whitney), and a bunch of spear carriers. If Staal and Ward play well, they're a playoff team without question. Without #12 and 30, the Canes are a wreck (as evidenced by the team's sub-leaf performance when they were out).

Ever since Staal came back, the Canes have been on a tear, and Ward's return makes them that much tougher.

Comparatively, the Habs do not have many franchise players (Markov is the closest thing), but they have A LOT more depth than the Canes. Their lack of true franchise players (and Gainey getting a lot of depth in the offseason) makes it easier for the Habs to deal with injuries.

In closing, we had the chance last night to see what a true #1 goalie looked like. Ward is one of the top 3 goalies in the league when he's on, and his pad save against Gionta in the last minute was a thing of beauty. Neither Halak nor Price have played up to that level thus far, so I hope JM keeps playing them both, especially if Price manages to win one this weekend.