Buffalo Musings, In-Game Scribbles
March 4, 2009, by Homme De Sept-Iles
Montreal 1 at Buffalo 5
Price is back. Halak is sick.
Montreal’s energy looks good. They have had a few days rest as opposed to their two in two nights on Saturday. It’s a noticeable difference.
Kovalev takes a vicious-looking hit but he also fell awkwardly. Gaustad gets the penalty for interference.
Some decent chances and great work in keeping the puck cycled and in the
Buffalo zone but no goal.
Kovalev gets the best chance. A Buffalo defender blocks it.
Montreal is more of a playoff team than a regular season team. Young players need context to bring consistency. Context can be things like a top opponent or hated rival or the threat of a trade, demotion or loss of spot on the team. For such a young team, the playoffs guarantee that the effort will be there nightly. To apply this to the regular season is greatly a function of maturation.
Laraque is in the lineup, too.
D’Agostini’s hop-over backhand nearly crosses the line but is swept away by (a) Buffalo Defender.
Montreal is winning the faceoffs in the first period.
Montreal goes on the power-play again. Result of energy from Lapierre.
I’ve had enough of Benoit Brunet. From Pierre Houde’s expressions, it would seem he has been feeling the same for weeks or maybe even months. Brunet is not a quarter the outstanding colour-man that Pednault was. Brunet may improve, of course. We shall see.
Patrice is really struggling as he did in his last tenure with the club. Stewart shows that he has acceleration to go with his additional gear. He creates an awkward moment for Sabre goalie Patrick Lalime.
Kovalev intercepts and shoots. Dramatic, like a coast-to-coast interception by Harry Skipper. Then
he gets in alone on a pass from AK46 and draws a tripping penalty. Third power-play.
Brisebois has been on twice with Markov now. Where is Schneider? He is there but not on that line. Spreading the strength?
Now Schneider is back on with Markov.
Great control in the first segment of the PP. Koivu. Higgins works hard, too. Now for the AK segment. Kovalev sets up a great chance. No finish from his two linemates. Both posted in front of the net. Zero of three but the vigor is entrenched.
Now Price is run over. It’s an accident. Derek Roy. Generally a class player.
They show Marc Denis and again I’m reminded of the older school Brylcream commercials. Denis observes, maskless. Price returns to the crease.
Montreal Buffalo in 2009 is like Ali-Frazier or Gainey-MacDonald. Hard, clean, robust. Schneider takes a delay of game. First PK for Montreal. Kosto and Lapierre to start. And Buffalo scores quickly.
1-0, Sabres. Bit lucky but a good goal.
Montreal’s irritation is obvious and manifests itself in a more physical and intense brand. Great effort from the Lapierre line results in another penalty against Buffalo. Less than a minute left in the first period.
No goal but Montreal will be on the power-play for 1:45 to begin the second.
Great first period from Montreal in terms of intensity, puck-control, faceoffs, hitting and turnovers.
Joel Bouchard thinks Montreal should be up 2-0.
Schneider and Markov exchange positions while Schneider is in possession of the puck. Markov moves to the right side. Clever little spot-trade.
Still time. One last vague.
Ugly goal against. What happened. Replay shows a good pass and ping.
And now we can’t get out of the zone. D’Agostini is on the ice. Still learning.
Later the Kovalev line creates some more good opportunities.
Price stops it and falls forward like a kneeling mummy, just shot while praying. He does it again about two minutes later.
Metropolit chooses not to hit a player when he could have. Seconds later, Buffalo scores. Brisebois pyloned by Jaroslav Spacek.
Fight back or die.
Komisarek uses a Sabre’s late goal-mouth swipe at Price’s glove as an excuse to vent some hurly-burly frustration. No penalties. Just some rude glares.
Andrei Kostitsyn. Deferring too much too Kovalev? Too conscious or respectful of the older Russian?
Consider AK46 on a Kid Line where he can take charge.
Moments after I type that, AK46 appears on a line with Metropolit. And he skates a lot larger immediately. But Metropolit is no kid. And the idea is short-lived.
It’s a four-on-four, after all.
And Kostitsyn makes a play. Ak46′s set-up is a a beauty. A semi-drop-pass for Gorges. Montreal has more quality chances than Buffalo so far.
Great, great diving play by Komisarek to neutralize a two-on-one. Brilliant. Is he back? Coming back?
The team is skating with great purpose and intensity. Nobody is going away. Buffalo’s shot on the post clears my sinuses. Get it out. And finally it goes out.
Brunet has no analysis. What a ghost. He says “no effort”. In the meantime, Montreal is playing like a gold-medal team. It’s a matter of time before they score [ed note: took a long time, bud].
Nothing like losing by three to bring a team’s purpose into focus.
D’Agostini misses a chance set up by a Koivu end-around. No idea.
And we go into the intermission where Brisebois gets a surprising free pass from the normally critical and objective Bouchard. Brutal analysis. “They have to do the job.” Tell us what the problems are. They don’t know. Bouchard should know. What about the telestrator?
Even Pierre House is frustrated. Un bien mauvais facon de commencer le periode. Montreal’s dump-in resulted in accidental icing. Too much Centennaire, je pense.
Now here we go.
Lapierre is consistently one of the top three players on the ice.
Price is sometimes so amusingly casual with his glove. Like a father capturing a two-year old with one hand and opening a door with the other.
Who’s paying the price? Pacioretty.
Who is paying the price? Lapierre.
Now Pacioretty is skating helmetless like a thin, Italian Jean Beliveau.
Saku gets on the ice. The team is paying the price. All of them, it seems.
What price. That cliche is too grocery-store. Bryan Murray is pretty grocery store. Well more general store.
Back to Buffalo. Higgins is trying to do too much alone and turns it over again in traffic. Now Komisarek ends up in the box at a very inopportune time. It was something of an accident. Good call, regardless.
Now we have to score short-handed.
Come on Thomas. Or Alex.
Where and when is the other Alex?
God. (will not help us)
And is definitely not Catholic as Buffalo’s fourth goal proves seconds later.
We can still win. About fourteen minutes left.
Brunet is too prone to generalizing off one period or even one play. Apparently, Komisarek is having a “season of misery”.
I’m translating. And paraphrasing. And inferring. But I’m definitely not exaggerating.
Another abominable car commercial.
Now Brunet is telling us how well the Canadiens performed last week. I guess he is basing this on final scores and not on actual on-ice activity. He is about as bright as Leif Pettersen.
They have played far better tonight than in the last three games. More improvement.
But the cactus can’t see that.
Eleven minutes and we are back at even strength.
Still a chance to come back. But we have to control the puck better on our risk-taking fourth-man in
ventures. This one results in a two-on-one against. Price stops it in Huet-like fashion. Smothers.
On the replay, it looks more like a save a duck might make. Urgent. Quick. (Quack!)
Now Montreal will go on a power-playthanks to Captain K’s vigor. Good juice, Saku.
Here we come. Again.
Brunet is now talking obviosities. Again. No need to paraphrase the cactus this time. We give up a breakaway goal. And we could have been called on a trip on it, too. If this was football, it would be tacked on the kick-off. The faceoff should be in Price’s crease. Brunet says something polarized again.
And then we miss an open, I mean open, net.
I’m out of ice, too.
Powerplay is ongoing. Just standing there like table-hockey players. Move. Move!
The team is still playing with pride. But they are going to get pounded in the press. I hope they don’t read anything. Listen to anything. Watch anything. They should have a media cleanse. A
detox. Just no media for five weeks.
Hockey needs more naturopaths.
Kosto line is on. Same energy. Now Kovalev line. AK46 is back on with them. Awake.
How will he manage the spacing this time? By passing, it seems.
Lapierre is very intense. And talkative. Something irrepeatable about going. Getting going.
Intensifiers galore. (And no, irrepeatable is not a word. But it does sound good).
Intelligent cacti also sounds like a good concept, too.
Three twenty-five. Now they’re talking about Tanguay. Pinning the hopes there. Nothing to see here according to the council of the wise. Scoreboards really are a liability in measuring greatness. In measuring performance. And I’m not suggesting a panel of judges, either.
Imagine Larry Holmes doing ballet in front of a panel of drunk Nevada judges. And then Michael Spinks following him. And winning gold. Again. Or Mary-Lou Retton. Holmes would be deeply angered. With either loss.
They kindly warn me about Anti-Chamber coming up after the game. Maybe I should go on a media de-tox, too.
This loss will help the team close the ranks and go completely, fully and finally us-against-them.
Watch and see.
Brunet is right about one thing. AK46 and AK27 can’t continue to work together.
Plekanec scores. The unflagging effort pays off. Not a lot of time left, though. Just over a minute.
Just over a minuit, really. Yes, typos can be poetry,too.
Metropolit is really a great vacationing gaze-gardener, isn’t he?
Lazy, long circles.
The game ends.