The Diachronic Barber Pole Observations of a Recovering Hockey Exile

Atlanta Musings, In-Game Scribbles

March 6, 2009, by Homme De Sept-Iles

Montreal 0 at Atlanta, 2

First Period

The team is far stronger with the removal of D’Agostini and addition of Tanguay.

Kostopolous line has the best debut of the four lines.

But all four are looking sharp.

First power-play for Montreal.

Tanguay takes a penalty. Result is a four-on-three for Atlanta.

Tanguay has an elegant sequence. Atlanta gets lucky. A lot of teams are getting lucky this week against Canadien sticks.

Metropolit’s two-armed, deliberate, quick and sure stick-handling style is probably what Sergei’s stick-handling will look like in the future. It’s the chop-chop sprint efficiency of a Tony Dorsett as opposed to the fluidity of a Marcus Allen. Blades on turf.

Atlanta gets another power-play. After the Stewart fight.   Both O’Byrne and Stewart are not being smart players.   O’Byrne likes to punch Thrashers by the boards while Stewart is just out of position too often.

Price is looking solid. Muller is wearing a pink dress-shirt.

O’Byrne takes a poor interference penalty. Brunet does a Pednault; “Tres mauvaise penalite de O’Byrne.”

Price’s deplacement est mauvaise et le resultat est un but.

1-0, Atlanta.

What is Price doing. Solid gets striped.

And now another penalty against.

Kovalev does some beautiful moving. And draws a tripping penalty. Where are the stats for drawing penalties kept? Kovalev draws many.

We go to four-on-four.

Markov took the initial penalty for a cross-check.

Schneider seems to make his mistakes in small, neat packets. Fans and nearly turns over, recovers and then passes into Metropolit’s skates on a potential three-on-two entering the zone. Result: turnover.

Now, Koivu draws a tripping call. So Montreal goes to a power-play.

Tanguay’s time?

Thirty seconds to sew the hat’s bill.

Koivu loses a faceoff and eight seconds later, Kovalev turns the puck over. We get one more ten-second segment to close the period. It’s a five-on-three.

Koivu loses another faceoff. No shot on goal. End of period.

The poor lighting in this arena seems to contribute to the generally moribund action when these teams meet in Georgia. Seriously.

Second Period.

Koivu loses a third faceoff to start the power-play and the period.

Kovalev takes a bad penalty to end the power-play with a minute left.

Price makes a Huet-like save in terms of drama and unexpectedness.

Pacioretty has generally a high fear threshold. Hard to intimidate. A mini-scrum resulting from a Max-Pac hit draws a small crowd of Canadiens.

Carbonneau’s comments after the morning skate come to mind.

Price was getting some mercy-props but is heating up to match them. The lone goal against remains primarily his fault.

O’Byrne beats the hell out of Slater as a favour to Hamrlik. Slater is representative of the new breed of weasel that can’t take an honest check.

Michael Caine looks on placidly from behind the Atlanta bench.

O’Byrne really got some good shots in. He has that part of the game down.

Brunet comments that Hamrlik is a strong player who delivers a hard check.

Raising the stick to identify himself, Kovalev takes another penalty. Tripping. Really, it’s border-line. But we’d rather see refs err to the side of making the call rather than overlooking.

Atlanta power-play.

What would Wayne Gretzky do. (He’d exit the penalty box and score a goal)

Why should Ilya Kovalchuk continue to stay with such an indifferent team as Atlanta? Why not come to Montreal?

Kovalev-Plekanec-Kovalchuk

Kovalev line shows more life than other lines so far this period and draws a penalty.

Michael Caine is saying something important to the guys on the bench.

Lehtonen is fooled but corpses the puck.

Higgins bungles again. The puck goes the other way at full vitesse. Price is beaten. But the post saves us all.

Higgins is all chocolate-bar commercial. “Yah, that kind of practice woke up a few guys.”

You’re one of the guys that should have gotten the message.

Highly unimaginative interview from Ryan O’Byrne to start the third. Straight from the Don Cherry PDF for young, hectoring Ontario hockey boys. Lots of vapid credit for others and some smug, self-promoting facial expressions for his own participation in a fight.

Third Period

More Tanguay magic with some custom bungling from Higgins. No goal.

Montreal goes on a power-play.

More Tanguay magic. Deft puck-handler.

Tanguay has more creative plays than all other players on the ice tonight. No goal.

Montreal’s power-play looks its most threatening. Lots of confidence. And authority. Still, no goal.

Tanguay also gets a second trip to the box. Accidental high-stick.

Koivu line will get the best chance before this is all over. And tie the game.

Montreal’s penalty-kill stats are getting quite good in recent times.

Price is getting better as the game goes on.

Penalty killed.

Montreal will dominate for the remainder. They want it. Atlanta doesn’t really care. Most of them, anyway.

Montreal controls the play. Koivu is fierce. Controls the play.

Plekanec is stopped by Lehtonen. Off a shot and rebound from Hamrlik. Atlanta gets off lucky here.

Time is running out.

Montreal should have had a big lead coming into the third.

But no.

Once again, procrastination leads to last-minute cramming and coffee-gulping hockey.

Montreal gets another quality chance but with Price on the bench, Atlanta finds a way to get a second default goal.

And hey, you kids out there, it’s time to fire Cherry.

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