The Diachronic Barber Pole Observations of a Recovering Hockey Exile

Montreal Canadiens vs New York Rangers

October 25, 2014, by Homme De Sept-Iles

Frozen Jingo 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 (6-1-0) host New York Rangers (4-3-0)
Saturday, October 25th, 2014
Dedicated to Dennis Kane

Game Eight (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.

Excuses.  Excuses to justify war. To justify fear.  To justify fear-mongering.

A native woman is murdered on a reserve … no mention.  No parade.  No interviews.  No extended anthems nor messages from false ministers.


This game is held hostage as are so many of our institutions suspended or deployed in the name of an othering process that sees the same fat tyrants grow colder even as minions grow meal-time warm; nodding at the gloating.

Imbecilic.  Unwarranted.  Unending.

The tragedy.  Pft.  Have a laugh.

Prime the pumps, a puck glistens across the frozen malt lake that is Canadian denial.  The machinery clicks in place with too little criticism and the whisper of what we’ve lost again.

Why aren’t activists marched out on the carpet?  Why must the military monkeys be chosen again and again?  Answer that and you get a free pass out of the zoo.

I consider muting this orgiastic numb-bullet picnic of sound and pageant.

Stupid caps. Stupid self-serious sell-out expressions and zero diversity.

The footage is from Ottawa and Devils and Sens are in a circle around a spotlight.  Oh so grave.  Oh so tragic.

So out of proportion.

We’re shown silent viewers in three rinks; Toronto, Ottawa and the Bell Centre.

And somehow, people manage to stay silent.

Sadness is designated.  Some victims are more valuable than others.

Some are more equal than others, eh?  Hey, in sports, the standings distinguish pigs from donkeys … separate chickens from hawks.

So why not in life?  That is the clear message here for this irritated scribe.

In Ottawa, one verse is sung in French by half the crowd and in English by the other half.

Many of the oafs in military outfits are holding back tears in saddened salutes.  They fully believe.  They’re all in.

It doesn’t take much.  Minds of mush.

First Period
Montreal 0, New York Rangers 0

And thanks to the nonsense, we’ve missed twelve seconds of the game.  And because it’s a national game, we’re stuck with an English broadcast.

Desharnais, Pacioretty and Gallagher leave the ice.

Whistle as the puck rounds the boards, the faceoff to take place in Montreal ice.

This is the first game for the two since the Rangers removed Montreal to advance to the Stanley Cup final, a loss to the dynastic Los Angeles Kings.

Yes, the Kings are monarchs again.

I’m three games behind, needing the third period against Tampa plus Boston and the Avs.  Not sure what I’m up to but I think there’s a reasoning somewhere.  And I’ll catch up.  I’m still wearing the mask.

I wonder how much of the tear-letting is “now we have a tragedy of our own”?  A bizarre jealousy of the 911 occurrences, so popularized by the American media over the years.

A segment of the Canadian population wish we could be “more like them”.  “Why can’t we be proud” they say, even as they skip the CFL to watch an NFL telecast.

The dots don’t connect in this so-called country.

Separation of church and state.  Yep.  Now what about separation of state and sport.


Rangers power-play.

This penalty is dead, the Canadiens playing well, Markov showing flashes of his best self.

Subban and Emelin are in pain on the bench, Subban gritting his teeth and being spoken to by a trainer, Emelin, head bent low and arms over the bench sill.  They collided.

Under ten.

Who is this announcer?  “Subbanian spinorama,” he utters.  At best, a tribute to announcer Danny Gallivan’s “Savardian Spinorama”, at worst, the munge of bland imagination.

Blink.  The crowd lowers to a dragon’s groan.  It’s a two on none.  Pacioretty.  Plekanec. Nobody near.  The goalie is the retreating, shrinking cave.  They slow.  There’s that much time.  A pass.  Another.  A third.  A fourth.  Plekanec finishes.

From the goalie’s left.

Montreal 1, New York 0

Was Price-less Montreal better than NY last spring?  No.  The Rangers were tight-knit, refusing Montreal shots and space.  The Rangers showed speed that this scribe didn’t know they had.  Price or Tokarski, the Rangers would have won.

Tonight the teams are altered, Parenteau and Malhotra the most significant additions for Montreal.

Montreal has better control of the space and are playing a more compressed game.

The Rangers quash all this for now.  Low shot and a save, rebound potted, the puck over price’s left pad.

Tinordi lost a stick in the maw and stooped to gather it.  It made no difference.  Gallagher is caught on the play and whacks his stick off the crossbar.

I wonder how seriously he takes film study?

Rangers 1, Canadiens 1

Sather is still a hockey dolt.

Price the pad left.  A seventies sticker save.

The period drains out.

First Intermission
Montreal 1, New York 1

Don Cherry.  The killed soldier is featured.  Cherry talks over a montage of photos.

“Isn’t that a guy you’d like to sit and have a pop with?”  Wouldntcha.  I try and imagine Don Cherry having bannok with Ovide Mercredi.  I fail.

“Canada’s Son”

That was a Sun headline with a grieving mother in the background.  Ron is grim and grief-stricken.  Such is the demeanour.

Such grave concern.  Yet the deaths of Canada’s true daughters and sons are ignored daily.  On the reserves of this so-called nation.  And so forth.

And fuck the red poppy.  [Ed note: And promote the white poppy?]

Cherry’s political diatribes have no place in the intermission of the local broadcaster’s pro hockey game.  None.

Sympathy for soldiers.  And nobody else.  Police-escorted car lines.  I wonder how many Canadians aren’t fooled.

Second Period
New York 1, Montreal 1

I can’t do this anymore.  Or.


I’ve taken too many blocks of time into my stream.  And subtracted too many others.

The Lego will find a way.  Insert copyright symbole.  Symbol, sure.

Bourque appears more inspired tonight.  I wonder how the previous three went for him.

This recording is blurred somehow.

Four minutes gone.

Markov and Gilbert low.  Markov gulls left and sends a long pass.  Canadiens are able to keep it under control, Pacioretty trying a pass from under the end line to Desharnais.  Defenced.  Yes, that’s a verb.  Sports verb.

A fight.  Prust and Klein, both wearing number eight.  Ho.  Hum.

A Montreal power-play.  This team is having Centennial type moments.  The best of the Centennial moments.

The pressure pays.  Quebecois fans smile and celebrate.  At least our province has some skeptics.

It was a puck-find job.  Weise jammed.  Eller stayed in balance and banged it through.

Montreal 2, New York 1

Canadiens continue the pressure, Galchenyuk’s tall form dominating the play.  He keeps, backhanded through the high slot, passes and then the puck is lost.  The goal credits echo through the building and the Canadiens seem to gain size.

Under seven.

Sent down.  Gallagher.  Pirouettes and loses it, the announcer noting he’s at the end of shift.  Sure enough, he raises an arm near the bench and makes his way to the seat even as the Canadiens retain possession.  A whistle is heard.

Faceoff outside the Ranger zone won by Malhotra.

Malhotra traps one on the right hash, leans on his man and finds room and space to keep it in play on the opposite hash.  He continues to remind me of Bobby Smith and I decide to figure out why.

And who’s our new assistant?

Eller is asked to leave the dot.  Bourque bends and nearly comes up with it forehanded but the puck bounces off a boot and the Rangers corral it.  Not for long.  The puck is out and then slowed on the boards in the neutral zone.

Weise is on with Eller.  Bourque wheels and the action flows into the corner where Lundqvist steps to it and sends it around backhanded.

Subban accelerates with jiminy quickness and looks for spaces.  The Rangers are bent out of shape.

The puck appears to leave the low slot but it’s batted down and Lundqvist is at his best in clamping down.

An Alain Vigneault montage is shown.  The announcers share that Therrien and Vigneault are long-time friends.  They coached against one another in the QMJHL and the rivalry continued into the playoffs last season.

Four and twenty-seven.

Left hash.  Parenteau works it.  Galchenyuk wheel-cycles.  Vulture pass.  Parenteau is to it like Stockton.  It’s a give-and-go marking the team’s increased creativity.  Tired of table-hockey, I feel sugary offensive pin-pringles again.  It’s been years since this team was regularly creative.
Plekanec gets a lot of wood on a shot from the high circle and Lundqvist, uncharacteristically finds it difficult.  Retains.  Faceoff.

Montreal pressures with two and then three.  And the Rangers are lucky to pop out down the left, Zuccarello, ginger in his puck care.  Lost on the boards.  Rangers fence it at mid-ice.  They return to the net but the coverage is flush, Moen playing very low and impressing.

He continues to hang low in the slot while the puck is worked along the boards and I wonder if he hasn’t recommitted in some fashion this season.  Bolted down more securely.

If that’s so, Montreal could advance to the final.  He’s well-liked, respected and infectious.  He’s a classic blue-denim player but able to play with a nearly creative verve on the penalty-kill.  Like Courtnall, he isn’t going to finish a lot of plays but he’ll generate two-on-ones when he’s in full gusto.  [Ed note: Russ Courtnall, the fleet but ham-handed Montreal forward of the eighties]

Weise, Eller and Bourque.

Rangers manage to gain control.  Glass is “bounced off the puck forcefully” in the corner to Price’s right.

The great Tanner Glass.  He’s all name.

Montreal turns up the pressure.  As the Lightning wanted to make post-season statement against Montréal, so the Canadiens wish to erase last season’s elimination at the hands of the Rangers.  It’s an artificial fuel but a telling segment of this 14-15 journey.  What will mean more is the third meeting between the two; once the scores have been settled.  And the same applies to the Tampa-Montreal matchup.

Second Intermission
Montreal 2, New York 1

Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman discuss some KHL-NHL player moves but I have no interest.  I need to get acquainted with my team.  My lord.

Some out of town scores.  Kypreos wants to discuss a Toronto goal.  Do you think we fucking care?  Hrudey evokes Jack Tripper, skinny in his suit, standing in the net as Kypreos holds a stick on the faux-ice to explain technical aspects of a goal.

Hrudey discusses a Price save, now.  One Montreal mention.  It’s a national game.

Rogers has failed.  Give us RDS.

The CBC format allows for a too-casual conversational approach and the down-home schmaltz sensation is more tedious than ever.  Be academic.  A dumbed-down Canada is not red and white.

Blue comes to mind.


F-F-F-F  WD.

The Musing Station is in transition.  And in pause mode.  I’m, uh, strungle umbling.

Third Period
Montreal 2, New York 1

The colour guy says when he comes to Montreal “it doesn’t seem forced”.  Why must we have foreign impressions of our team and culture on a Saturday night?  On Saturday, the game purveyors should be local.  Should be steeped.

Ooooo.  It doesn’t seem forced.  Fuck Toronto.

Subban a step, a push and a pass at centre ice.  And then he fades back into the bricks.  The puck is sent his way and he plays it up smartly, again, this time finding a lane to pass to.

Some have predicted a Ranger implosion this season, a return to rollicking rigour.  The circus motif which peels above the team, is a constant ice-cloned Coney Island caricature.  The beach is cold and the foam rolls cold in the stench of abandoned seaweed.

Who bathes here?

The Rangers have about two Cups in seventy years.

Sure, that’s better than Vancouver’s zero in forty-two.  But the Rangers are also forty-five years older than that kind of team.

We’re continually shown Anthony Duclair’s father in the crowd.  They’re both black.  Anthony wears number sixty-three and is a Ranger winger.

Three minutes gone.

I’ve been a functional sick man for about a week.  Cold.  Again.  But I predict better days for my health.  Imminent.

As for this site, the logo is repatriated.  In a notebook somewhere.  But.  Je serais la.

Maybe we don’t have to wait til game three to see what’s real.  The Rangers finally gain long-term control in the Montréal zone. Zuccarello is the prime agent.  Montreal is forced to ice.  Desperate. And tired.  Or so the theory goes.

Price is as quick as ever, however.  Periods don’t matter.

He won’t be in his twenties forever.

We need two more stars.

Yeah, yeah.

Canadiens call a time-out to counter the fatigue.  Typical tactic.  Rest the guys so they don’t cost a goal and get folks off the ice quickly.

A woman is kissing a large faux face in the crowd.  A plastic rendition of Prust’s mug.  The lipstick marks leave gloss on gloss.

Canadiens push in.  Eller Fans.  Fires.  Off the post.  He’s jungle kicking.  The knees high.

Canadiens score.

Mid-ice tap pass.  Shot blocked in the slot, Pacioretty.  He remained.  Weise found it under the end line.  Pass.  Shot.  Finish.  And the stick spins.

Montreal 3, New York 1

Wow.  We can donate to military families.  What about the homeless?  Can you name one homeless person who’s died in the past year?  How about in the past five.

Thought not.

Test your tenets.

And stop using our games for yours.

Desharnais low left.  Rangers bat at it.  Is that, yep.  Zuccarello again.  He works so well.  All the dirty work.  He’s a little like Dionne.  No not Gilbert.  And not her, either.

Mats Zuccarello is one of the Rangers’ three most valuable players.  I’m sure his teammates know.  And likely most Rangers fans.  Ranger fans are a hardy bunch, their loyalty a purer alloy.  They’re not fans because they have to (as in Montreal) or because they are coerced to (as in Toronto) but because they want to.  They choose to against a current that says all hockey is a farce.  It’s a football town.  A baseball town.  A basketball town.  And it’s the Big Apple; a town of so many more gritty or glamorous pursuits.  A Ranger fan shares more with Argo fans than with most other hockey cities’ fans.  They’re always asked “why?”.

Ask a Ranger sometime and listen close.

Price gloves one high.

This colour man is weak.  Gets his thoughts from the moans and gusts of the willing wind.  That wind blows blue.

Faceoff outside their blue.

Bourque wins it in Eller’s stead.  Nine and fifty-five.

Rangers are graceful, a puck caroming off the side boards and carried down the left.  Price has been magnificent; many of his saves cloaked by coverage and harrowed sight lines.  Viewer sight-lines, eh.

Hyphens?  Random tandem.

Two on one.  St. Louis.  Keeps. Shoots.  A man was skating to make it two on two but it wasn’t enough.  Sudden.

Carey-Carey chants begin.  In the corner to Price’s left.

Such weak analysis.

Habs.  Pacioretty down the left.  Two steps.  Pass across.  High whack.  Over the net.  Another shot.  No.

Too much yes.  The spreadsheet grows pink.

Seven oh eight.

Nearing close-out time.  And the team says it’s already begun, Moen standing watch up top.  He’s so committed tonight.  And I wonder if we’ll get one last chapter from the Saskatchewan native.  He’s coasted in noticeable stints, not in the pallid manner of some but in the sneaky way some veterans, especially Ontario-trained vets, can engage.

But he may have read the doubts.  I daresay he is aware.  Reading or not.

Brief Ole Ole chant.

Moen is an ol boys club kinda player.  A Cherry type.

One of the favoured sons of hockey.  They’re avoidable but handy.  Montreal has had a few over the years.

When they have integrity and understand, no, respect the Montreal culture, they are immense in value.  Bob Gainey and Larry Robinson come to mind.  Of the American variety, and more recent examples of such include Brian Gionta.  Prust is a modern Canadian example.

Three and sixteen.

Offside on a failed Ranger exit and the Canadiens glare and glower in calm finishing manner.

That two on oh was short-handed, by the way.

Three oh eight.

Around the net.  Stopped by Subban, the pinball bumper.

Ole Ole is deep.  Rich.

So is this team’s history.  The vellum of victory.  Montreal Canadiens own more Stanley Cups than any other team in NHL or hockey history.  Twenty-four.  The next closest is Toronto Maple Leafs.  With eleven.

The two teams entered the NHL the same year.

Draw to Price’s right.

Two minutes.  Rangers net is empty, an extra attacker on the ice.

The Rangers control.  Behind the Montreal net.  Contested.  To the hash.  Rangers retain.  Price stretches left again for a short side save.  That’s the third time I’ve noticed that.  Maybe been more.  Is he playing out of position on those plays?

He gloves one high to silence my inner mumbling.

The puck rounded the net behind him to emerge on Girardi’s stick on that last toe save.  Ok.  And he was on it, centred and moving with the play.

Fine.  Hey, I’m no goalie coach.

The laughable Rick Nash is shown, the mouthguard sticking out.

Rangers win it but lose the puck inside the Montréal blue. They’re back in quickly.

Forty seconds.

Staal can’t keep it in on the left point.  He’s hooked and it’s uncalled. Pacioretty.  That should have been a penalty.

With two refs on the ice, that kind of thing shouldn’t happen. Especially to a puck carrier.

Malhotra takes it.  Loses his stick.  And the puck.  Puck stays in the Montreal zone.  On the boards.  Bodies bump.  But time runs out.

Montréal wins.

Final Score
Montreal 3
New York 1

HDS Stars: Max Pacioretty, Carey Price, Lars Eller
RDS Stars: I want my network back
CBC Stars: Carey Price, Pacioretty, Weise

They go to the big table with George, Nick, Elliotte and Kelly.  Some Montreal talk.  This isn’t enough.  Give us Antechambre.  I shake my head.

Who gives a hoot about the Ottawa Senators.  We just watched a Montreal game.  We don’t need the alcoholic pantomimes of capital collapse.

And then, nothing.  The Bachelor.  Canada version.  No analysis.  No replays.  Nice network.

I’ll remedy this, of course.

Dennis, thanks.

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