The Diachronic Barber Pole Observations of a Recovering Hockey Exile

Montreal Canadiens vs Philadelphia Flyers

October 14, 2014, by Homme De Sept-Iles

Saddened Musings and In-Game Scribbles

My English is as good as yours, I just write these in a stream-of-consciousness mode that I insist excuses me from small things like rules of grammar or general etiquette. Let’s call it conversational English, hopped up on beans. You know what kind of beans (no, Carl Mellesmoen, not the magic ones).

Montreal Canadiens (2-0-0) visit Philadelphia Flyers (0-2-0)
Saturday, October 11th, 2014 (Delayed Musing)

Game Three (score posted following scribbles)

Missed it? Musings capture the game in writing. This untoward transcript is typed during the game, edited then posted about forty minutes later.  Based on the RDS French telecast of the Montreal Canadiens game, Musings take about 24 minutes to read. More detailed than an article, fresher than a looping highlight and good with a morning coffee.  Or late-night suds.  A unique way to re-experience the game.  Or just plain enjoy it.

Click here to expand post.  It looks prettier.


English again.  Or will the feed change?  The Hockey Night in Canada panel is what greets me.  A round table featuring George Stromboulopoulos, Nick Kypreos, Mark Messier, Elliotte Friedman and Star columnist Damien Cox.  How did Mark Messier get on a panel?  Yeah.  YOU know.

Oui.  I’m stuck with English.  But as the season moves along, I’ll find my French means.
The telecast opens with a photo album and a voice-over … is that … yes.  Dick Irvin.

He sounds exactly the same.  But he’s gotta be in his eighties by now.  Right?

It’s hockey schmaltz.  “But one thread endures.”

It sounds less schmaltzy when Irvin reads it.  He understands emphasis.  And de-emphasis.  Some words are evocative enough and don’t need magnification.

Oh.  Right.  This is a Saturday game.  The ol Hockey Night in Canada.

I have a heart’s pause.  Did the right game get taped?

I push forward.  Yeah.  It’s all gonna be ok.  Emelin was injured in the Capital game and Jarred Tinordi takes his place.

What am I gonna translate?

I skip the jingo song(s).

First Period

Craig Berube is still employed as a head coach?  Ha!

Flyers enter this game oh and two.  Pacioretty is slow but steady, he fires from the high carpet; the centre entry over the blue.  Wide.

Lines change.  Plekanec, Galchenyuk and Sekac (the new kid; he’s 22 and was signed as a free agent.  He was coveted, we’ve been told).  So national games are non-RDS.  And a handful of others, I’m guessing.  How many Saturdays are there in a season?  About 36, I’d guess.  Give or take.  Plus the all-star break.  Or minus, rather.

Parenteau is on the right side, Bourque and Eller with him.  He’s also slow.  But he has height.  Not sure about his strength or weight, just yet.

The Flyers aren’t the Flyers anymore.  Nobody can be that roughshod in today’s NHL.  Those days are done.

Subban misses a hip check, no contact at all and the resulting high shot is stopped.  Prices makes stops on two other sequences, holding on to the puck for a faceoff.

Some brasse-camarade, as Pierre might say but all we see is steam.

Sounds like Dave Randorf is doing the play-by-lay.

Flyers score.  Forehand to backhand, Michael Raffi.  Beaulieu carelessly fired it into a Flyer on the hash.

Philadelphia scores down the left.  Wayne Simmonds. Offwing entry.  Circle shot.  Over Price’s glove.  What.  How?  Fuck.

I’m in acetaminophen mode.  Grunkly and all fabrics are itchy.

Flyers 2, Canadiens 0

I take some time to explain the changes to the TV situation and how broadcast rights are governed by the NHL.  It means that RDS will be less involved.

Bourque takes a penalty.

Philly’s power-play was under twenty last season but they still ranked eighth, overall.

Lecavalier takes a seat. Yeah.  I forgot, too.

Eleven oh three and we’re back at fives.

Desharnais, Pacioretty and Gallagher.  This should be the team’s top line this season.  Gallagher brings pluck and moxie while the other two have been paired since their AHL days in Hamilton.  Pacioretty logged 39 goals last season, the best Montreal individual goals total in almost twenty years. Cole and Kovalev each notched 35 in recent seasons.  Erik Cole.

Alex Kovalev.


Nine and twelve.

Deep right.  Galchenyuk digs.  Plekanec sends it back.  Flyers, sticks only, are able to fork the thing out.

Bourque.  Right side, flying.  Brakes, the shush of snow and a pass to Eller.  Perfect.  Emery’s toe is also perfect.  Great save.  The Flyers have a potential Conn Smythe winner.  Forgiveness brings much.

Flyers called.

Great overhead camera angle.

Coaches film?  Coach’s film?  Rogers’ GameSomething package, the online one, provides unique angles.  So I’ve read.  I’ll get a chance to check this.  But it’s something I’ve wondered about for years.  It was inevitable.

First segment sees a point shot blocked and then the Flyers push in.  Price stays sharp as orange judders across his view.  Habs skate back.  And enter offside.

Now the Flyers are charged with too many men on the ice.  Two man advantage for about thirty seconds.

This top-camera angle is excellent.

Faceoff to emery’s right.  Won by Montreal and cleared to the blue.  Markov and Subban.  One pass.  A return to the blue and it’s beyond Subban.  Bad pass by Parenteau.  They reset, back to five on four.  Subban, a wrister.  Handled.  They scurry in the corner, deep left.  And it’s cleared.

Habs set up again with a minute in the penalty.

Gilbert replaces Subban.

Markov loses a puck.  Raffl gets a step.  Backhander wide from the muzzle.

One last segment.  Gilbert.  Perched.  Now he advances.  Beaulieu on the left point.  Gilbert found low, right.  Shot.  Blocked.

Penalty ends.  Five in the period.

Beaulieu wears number twenty-eight, abandoning number forty.
Learning the new remote buttons.  Reflexes.

Giroux bends to the task against Plekanec.  Won by Montréal, Subban held as he rounds the net.  It will be called.

Price races to the bench.

Controlled by Desharnais on the left hash.

Habs retain.  Re=-entry.  Desharnais on the right hash.

Subban a one-timer.  Off the back boards.  Touched by a Flyer.  Voracek held Subban, and the replay confirms it.

Crowd sees embellishment and we hear boos.

Four on three advantage.

Subban is the lone defender.  He’s got it.  Desharnais. CBC elects to go with the behind-the-goalie view.

Flyers clear and the side-view returns.  Desharnais caries on the left.  Gallagher floats through the slot.  Touches a puck to keep possession.  NOw Pacioretty lumbers toward the blue with it.  Shot follows.  And it’s a tangle.

Cleared.  Twenty.

Another penalty.  Subban.  Crowd likes it.  Still some jeers and boos.

Bellemare was held and raised his arms, hey-hey-look-here!

Three on three.

What the heck, why not opines Randorf.

Is he working for both networks?

Four on four.  Simmonds another close-in off-wing effort.  The team is giving up too much space.

This comes as a surprise; Wayne Simmonds was the third-ranked point-getter for the Flyers last season with sixty point and twenty-nine goals.

Flyers power.

They earn a compliment from the colour guy.  Good puck movement.  Canadiens clear.

Now Plekanec.  Eyes the net.  Fires a left-side wrister.  No.

Penalty ends.  Thirty seconds in the period.

The period ends, Galchenyuk shovelling a hash-side backhander into nothing.

First Intermission
Philadelphia 2, Montreal 0

Oh god.  Don Cherry.

He’s got a Leaf toy in front of him.  A rodent mascot of some kind.  Moving parts.  And a smile.  He’s complaining about some team not drafting any Canadians.  Leafs.  Oh yeah.  I see.

Cherry is having a bad voice night.  Fighting a cold, perhaps?  That’s a lovely tie.  And his jacket is marvellous.  Blue with Canadian flags all over it.  A Swin and a Fede.  Is he ok?

Connie McDavid?  Connie.

I guess I have a lot in common with Don, eh.  Great.


Wayne Simmonds is interviewed.  He’s from Scarborough.

Second Period
Philadelphia 2, Montreal 0

We’re told that Montreal plays its best hockey when they’re defending.  Brayden Schenn is sticked.  Subban gets over to apologize.  Accidental.  But called.  As it should be.

Philadelphia power.

They spell it “HI-STICKING” on the graphic overlay.

Early clear.

Giroux, Simmonds and Lecavalier.  Lecavalier will no longer pot fifty; he ranked ninth on the team in points but did miss thirteen games.

Simmonds scores.  This crowd seems reserved.  Could it be a weak audio feed?  Microphone placement is a key.

Muzzle shot.  Rebound.  Simmonds slaps it home, no Habs nearby.

Flyers 3, Canadiens 0

I wonder if the more unusual higher numbers influence jersey-buyers.  Do those numbers, regardless of player, sell slightly worse?  Hard to tell.

We’re reminded that the last time the team was captain-less was in oh nine-ten.  The season Montreal eliminated both Washington and Pittsburgh en route to a conference final loss to Philly in five games.

They’ve named four alternates though others will wear the A this season.  The four mainstays? Plekanec, Markov, Pacioretty and Subban.

A look at the Hextall family tree.  Three generations have played in the NHL.  Some Hextall footage.  His overhand punch of Chelios is framed “feisty”.  How about goonish?  Or thuggish.

That codified term.  Why apply it too precisely?


Montreal doesn’t seem to be badly affected by the score.  And that’s typical of this team.  They’re used to winning.  And they reflect their coaching staff’s philosophies.  This will be Therrien’s third season with the team.  And his second go-round.  He coached Montreal in 01-02, as well. A bit beyond.  Remember?  Fiery.

Board work.  No room down the middle.  And I begin craving bhindi. Jabalpur-style.  Spicy.

Weise.  Mid-ice.  Lofts it down.

One disadvantage of tape-delay; can’t use the NHL ice-tracker to track game goings-on.

They discuss starting goalie Steve Mason’s night off.  He started 61 games last year to Emery’s 28.  Well, he started sixty.  Played in sixty-one.  Emery started 21.  Played in 28.  And then there’s unknown (to me) one-gamer Calvin Heeter.  He gave up five goals in sixty-four minutes.  One in OT.

The action slows a touch and Emery clams down on a disc.

Garry Galley is the colour man.  Purple leopard print tie.  On white.  Could be violets.  And Pharrell’s big hit tonking along in the background.

Emery stops action again on a fairly harmless close-in opp shot.  Just send it in quick.

Plekanec confers with Galchenyuk and Giroux leaves the ice.  Couturier will take the draw for Filly.

Subban on the left point, close to the circle.  Sekac on the left hash.  Couturier is asked to leave the dot.

Plekanec wins it easily.  Markov shoots, right point.  Emery stops it.  Rebound can’t be had.

Long Flyer shot on the other end.  Small crowd follows the whistle.  Umberger is back with Philly.  Gad.

Galley says we haven’t seen the usual pushing and shoving we do in Montreal-Philadelphia games.  It’s lessened, overall, of course.  But give the season some time.  There are still enough ruffians on the Flyers that we’ll see worse.

Gilbert.  Leads a contracted rush.  They cross and Gilbert fires.  Whistle.  Prust is called.  He calls it bullshit, complaining as he takes his seat in the box.  Now he takes a couple of sips and spits.

Flyer power.

Eight and fourteen.  Team is one of three tonight.

I’m translating from English, yo.

Early clear.

Voracek carries, lifts an arm to keep coverage off.  Backhand pass but Lecavalier can’t nab it.

They retain and pass.  Streit is on the blue.  This unit could finish first in the league on the man-advantage.  They’ll have much better cohesion this season.  The names on the roster impress.  But somehow the team missed.  I don’t think Berube is head coach material.

Second segment.

Low velocity shot from the right circle, Couturier.  Easily gloved.

Can’t miss as much with such a large rectangle, eh.

Deep right and a last segment.

Back of the net pass is intercepted and Montreal is free.

Subban and Markov close a squeezer in the slot and the puck squirts side-wise. Flyers reset.

But a puck goes long and Bourque touches it behind his end line.

Habs emerge. Eller is stripped.  But Parenteau regains immediately.

Eller slows across the crease and then almost inexplicably tries a behind-the-back pass.  Should have shot. The puck is mungled.

Pacioretty isn’t able to gather a light pass that tics off his skate in the neutral zone.

Flyers are able to control.  Long shot is blocked.

Sekac tries a slow move and loses the disc.

Now Sekac is able to retrieve in his own zone.

Galchenyuk on the left hash.  Now Sekac.  Slot pass.  No.

Faceoff in Flyer ice.

Two and eleven.

Galley says the Flyer caution is partly attributed to Montreal’s good transition game.  And that three-goal lead, eh.

Subban a shot from the right hash.  The testing wrister is absorbed at the crest.

Montreal controls again.  Gallagher falls but finds a receiver in the slot.  Perfect.  But the shot is wide.  Now Gallagher is trying a wrap-backhander.  Handled.

Then Raffl carries it tout, two on two, with Giroux.  Giroux has it against two.  And can’t fight through.

The seconds tick down.  Galchenyuk tries a late shot and the period horn goes.

Some scuffling.

Second Intermission
Philadelphia 3, Montreal 0

Damien Cox and Elliotte Freidman share a desk and we hear about Joffrey Lupul and Sam Bennett.  The former may be on the trade block while the latter is healing.

Cox and Friedman respect each other greatly.  Bon chimie.

Where’s my network.

Now George, Nick and Mark are on a simulated ice surface, the ex-players with sticks.  They discuss faceoffs in suits.  Messier demonstrates a leg over technique that he cites as a dominance gesture.  It’s the old way.  Now, that’s regulated.  That faux ice is marked.  It’s about thirty by thirty feet.  And backed by faux boards and glass.  Thos look like a post-over image.

Neither stick has a brand name.

Now to Christine Simpson, alone in London.  There are four or five fans behind her.  Young fans.  Stow-N-Go Dodge challenge.  T-shirt giveaways.  Blah, blah.

I sigh.

Lotta hockey left to learn for your third-line literary goon.

Lotta hockey.

Mark, talk about … David Amber doesn’t ask a question.  And Streit shares an opaque insight.

Dave plugs Geno’s Steaks.  A must when you’re in Philadelphia.  Insert cheesy air-quotes.

Philadelphia Cream.

Third Period
Philadelphia 3, Montreal 0

So.  Can this version score three in the third?  Last season’s edition wasn’t up to that.  But the 2013 classic was.  What a team and what a run.  There were certainly good things about last season, too.  Sure.  But it wasn’t a comeback team.

We’re underway.  I watch for risks and pressure.  Boards, so far.  Ninety seconds gone.  Galchenyuk drives the middle.  Bonk into the net.  Stays standing.  Emery falls.  No infraction.  Grossman also got the forward in a near-grip.  Just a shove into the crossbar.  Though Galchenyuk skates high, he’s proved difficult to knock down this year.  I wonder if he’s done some specific conditioning.  Or if it’s simply a change in technique.

Some booing.  I look for Subban.  Yup.

Now a Let’s Go Flyer chant begins.

I’m games behind but with PVR, it feels different.  The picture quality makes it easier to stomach the delay.

It’s a work in progress.

As am I.  Or maybe I’m just a work in regress.

Um.  Yeah.

Gallagher.  Covered by Grossmann.  Shot.  Blobbed.  And held.

Grossmann is a first-pairing defender (Streit) from Stockholm.  He logged one goal and fourteen points in 78 games last season.  He wears number eight and evinces a capable demeanour.

Four and a half gone.

Subban floats rearward.  No long pas this time.  Finds a man crossing under the red.  A pass.  A move.  A turnover.

Sekac starts them at high speed.  Bourque pauses and fires from the hash.  Back of the rink.

More boards.  The Flyers are content to rush one man in and alternate.

Let the Canadiens find the spaces.  Let them work.  It’s like a soft zone underneath in football.

And it works.  The Habs keep throwing interceptions.

Puck floops up and out of play.

Galchenyuk is just 20 but has played 115 NHL games.  All with Montreal, yes.  He can beat people one-on-one, has growing velocity on his shot and should he fill in, will be a power-forward candidate.  But size doesn’t always mean grit.

Thirteen and a half.

Are we going to go to OT, or not.

The Flyers play a precise brand, some of their best work coming against the Rangers last season.  Despite losing the series, they played some of the best keep-away hockey of the playoffs.

Markov scores.  Booing.

Desharnais found Subban who fired wide.  The puck was in the crease and then squirted tot he left point.  Markov fired into traffic and Emery lost sight of it.


Flyers 3, Canadiens 1

Tinordi, a shot.  Suddenly everything feels live.

Long wrister. Wrap.  Near thing.  Then a post.  Still in control.  Bourque. Winds and fires from the high slot.  Stopped.  Still kept in.  Here’s how you play.  Some great verve from Tinordi.  Bourque is held, his stick.  No call.  Kept in.  Still.


Bourque behind their net.  Hassled.  Retains.  Left point.  Long shot.  Eller falls and turns a backhander into the pad.  Icing.  Flyers must stay on the ice.

Berube will all a time-out.

What pressure.  Best of the season.

Emery returns to the net, adjusting a mask strap.

Berube chews gum, hands in pockets and jacket unbuttoned.  Habs win the draw.  They lead on shots this period 10-0.

Montreal continues to control.  Flyers try to lob it.  Markov raises an arm and knocks it down.  More pressure.  Shot.  Another.  Side of the net.  Plekanec.  He’s gonna… yup.  Roofs it into net’s sky.

Flyers 3, Canadiens 2

Montreal resumes pressure.  Desharnais, Pacioretty and Gallagher.

Beaulieu risks a deeper foray down the left and his judgment, again, is weak.  Has he done ANY off-season film study?

I shake my head.

Voracek is an orange needle through the fabric.  He’s redirected.  Plekanec has four goals on his first nine shots this season.


Eight and a half.

Montreal is skating with better purpose.  Beaulieu has advanced again.  Nearly to the left hash.  This time it works, the puck spinning up into the air.  Montreal is able to retain.  Plekanec on the right has.  They make it look like a power-play.  And my own speed increases to its highest of the season.

Thinking.  Typing.

Seven oh nine.

There is such a thing as thinking too quickly.  Isn’t there?

Subban.  Left side.  Carries past the hash.  The puck rolls behind the net.  But no position is given up.

Subban is felled in the corner to Price’s left, moments later.

Subban shakes his head. Accidental.  Lecavalier’s stick.  Reaching for a puck.

Subban rises and is ok.  His head-shake means two things; no revenge needed.  And, he’s not hurt.

He’s a bit shaken up, however and takes a slow seat his team’s bench.

Under six.

Plekanec scores.


One-timer from the right circle.  The cross-ice pass was from the left point. Markov.  Kovy style.  But Plekanec never does that.


Montreal 3, Philadelphia 3

He does that now.

Another Montréal entry.  Puck is lost.  Voracek.  Right side.  Keeps. Looks middle.  Has a man.  Keeps.  Shoots.  Price turns it away.  So little to do for so long.  Yet the goalie was ready.

Thoughts of Dryden haunt my feeble mind.

Three-goal lead.  Today, it’s the equivalent of the two-goal lead.  What it used to be.

Three and thirty-three.

Was the team lucky to win its first two?  Too simple an analysis.

Faceoff deep right, Flyers.  Won by the home team.  Shot.  Off a body.

Plekanec is on the forecheck.  Loses a step.  Whangs his stick in light-wood manner.

Around the boards it goes.  Finally Subban jams up and stops it inside their blue.  Then he sends a bouncer to Emery.  Shortstop scoop.  Retains.

Faceoff to his left.

Desharnais line.  Gallagher can’t win the board battle behind their net.  He’s not what he used to be.  I wonder if it’s an “I’ve arrived” let-off or something else.

Under a minute.  Montreal continues to press.

The sugars of fear run through the Flyers.

But the Canadiens are unable to set up.

Simmonds looks for trouble with Parenteau but Parenteau raises his stick, in both arms and smiles it all away.

Montreal 3, Philadelphia 3

Randorf informs us of two new rule changes for OT this season.  One, the ice gets a dry scrape, which improves the surface.  And the goalies change ides which sets up long changes (players must go further to get to their respective benches).

Galchenyuk.  Sent into the clear.  Dipsy.  Doodle.  Emery.  A fine save.  And the crowd roars.

Flyers take it the other way.

And I must thank my buddy Sheeba for the tape tip.  I get the OT.

Penalty.  Montreal.  Tripping.

I blink once.

Eller’s breathing slows in the box.  Therrien looks on nearly non-plussed.  But we know him better than that.

Simmonds hits the post.  Flyers keep it in, Giroux falling but watching the puck round the boards to a Flyer.  Then it’s lost and cleared.

Flyers are fenced.  Simmonds must turn.  Then Streit is blocked.  At last they set up.  Lecavalier is on the right point.  Giroux on the left hash.  Often, teams will use three forwards and one defender in a four on three situation.  Rather than two defenders and two forwards.

The Flyers work the perimeter and then Plekanec busts out.  Chop chop chop.  A man at his elbow.  And a shot wide.

Forty seconds in the period.  And the penalty ends.

Malhotra, slow but intercepts.  Anticipation.

Eller deep right.  To the right point.  Emery fell.  A man pulls the puck to the crease.  Can’t swing.  I think it was Eller.  No.  Galchenyuk.  No.  Pacioretty.  Lord.

Wow, indeed, Dave.

Philadelphia 3, Montreal 3

Lecavalier is first.  The home team has the choice if they want to start or designate the visiting team to start the proceedings.

Lecavalier goes forehand to backhand.  But it’s much too slow.

Galchenyuk.  Head feints.  Forehand to backhand.  The pad extends.

Giroux.  Left to right, and fires from the low slot.  No.

Desharnais.  A slick shoulder drop and wide angle.  Tonk.  Off the post.

Flat angle.

Couturier.  Fires high.  Nothing fancy.

Skated a small C shape.

Gallagher.  Click-click, clack.  The dribble and then the low shot.  Can’t find the five.

Read.  Matt.

Price gets a glove on it.

Parenteau.  Hesitates.  Scores.

Montreal wins.

The net bulged.  And it’s the winger’s first goal as a Hab.

Three comebacks.  Three road wins.  So says Galley.

Parenteau beat Emery on the glove side.

Final Score
Montreal 4
Philadelphia 3 (SO)

HDS Stars: Tomas Plekanec, Wayne Simmonds, Ray Emery
CBC Stars: PA Parenteau, Andrei Markov, Wayne Simmonds
RDS Stars: ???

<insert sad emoticon>

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