The Diachronic Barber Pole Observations of a Recovering Hockey Exile

Nashville Musings and In-Game Scribbles

November 14, 2009, by Homme De Sept-Iles

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 (9-10) visit Nashville Predators (8-8-1)
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Game Twenty (score posted following scribbles)
Musings and In-Game Scribbles are a “live blogging” of the game that are compiled (typed, actually) during the game and edited and posted shortly after the game.

First Period

Gomez, Lapierre and Cammalleri are on the first line to start. Cammalleri tries to split the defence early but is stopped and the puck dribbles to the corner.

Plekanec and Kostitsyn are on next with Tom Pyatt. Brief control and a pass back to the blue line. Nashville gets the puck back easily.

Third line is on with only a minute and twenty seconds gone and Metropolit centres it.

Francis Bouillon is playing for Nashville, his first game against the Canadiens since leaving the team as an unsigned free agent. Price stops and freezes a second time in the early going.

Puck bounces quickly from behind the net and a quick shot is stopped by Price. Net went off its connector and it looked as if Montreal’s Marc-Andre Bergeron pushed it off on purpose. No penalty is forthcoming. Gaylord Entertainment Center arena staff members are on the ice to do some repair work to the net or its connector. They leave within thirty seconds. That’s the name of the complex. Meet your Predators.

First line is on for the faceoff and they are trapped briefly before Cammalleri gets it around the net for a Montreal exit. He takes a sharp-angle shot on the other end.

Nashville takes it back the other way but they are offside.

Bouillon is shown as being on the first defensive pairing.

It was thought that Spacek was questionable for this game but he is playing. Likely hurting.

Second line benefits from a Roman Hamrlik keep-in at the blue line but can’t control a second time on the segment. Hamrlik is logging the tenth-most minutes in the NHL we were told earlier this week. Markov’s minute-man replacement.

Montreal forecheck is carried well by Latendresse who is centred by Kyle Chipchura tonight with Ryan White.

Maxim Lapierre nearly cashes in on a slot pass from Cammalleri. Houde says that it’s a bizarre match so far and that both teams are searching for their respective rhythms.

Montreal wins the next faceoff, outside the Nashville zone, and clears it in. Nobody can pick it up and we are back in the Montreal zone.

Kostitsyn gets an early hit on a Predator behind the Nashville net. Forecheck fails and Nashville takes it down for a high shot which Price gloves over head-level. He holds it for a faceoff.

The rhythm has been brisk and the line changes more frequent than normal.

Pekka Rinne, the Nashville goaltender, is six-foot five and 209 pounds, we are informed. (Remember Pekka Rautakallio?)

Price golfs the puck from his crease but Nashville forwards keep it in and get it behind the net before Pacioretty and Moen take it out with Glen Metropolit trailing. Metropolit gets it in the corner to the left of Rinne but his subsequent pass is negated.

Twelve minutes left in the first period.

Nashville keep stacking the blue line and waiting for Montreal. They are daring the Canadiens to be better on the dump and retrieve game.

Kostitsyn turns high at the blue line and fires a wrister just wide of the net to the right of Rinne. Nashville has it back briefly before the Canadiens journey back. Rinne captures the puck to his left and holds it for a faceoff.

This is what table hockey looks like. Just a bigger surface (back and forth, no imagination, no one-on-one moves, it’s all slots and sameness).

White takes the faceoff. First one of the season, Houde guesses. It’s a neutral result with Nashville carrying it out and taking another harmless distance shot on Price. Another faceoff.

Creativity is missing from each offensive line and Cammalleri has to be the guy to step and create more. Just a feeling.

Matinee Lapierre streaks in on the right side and nearly sneaks it in. Dribbles through and curling-stones wide.

Predators take it back down and Steve Sullivan gets in alone on Price and goes from forehand to backhand awkwardly but he is able to poke it in. Took an initial shot and came in to handle his own rebound.

Nashville 1, Montreal 0.

Predators win the faceoff and this entry results in a quality shot from the left circle. Price’s quick pad extension turns the puck away.

Nashville creates about three problems on their next presence and for a moment four players including Price are standing straight while the puck caroms dangerously in the short slot. Nobody can get good control of it and the disc skitters away.

Another faceoff.

First line is missing in action.

And now an icing forces a faceoff to Price’s right (ok, ok).

Net goes off the moorings again shortly after the puck drop.

Jean-Pierre Dumont is showcased briefly on the screen. Some career game and points totals. Who cares. Constant Franco updates. Try and be a bit unbiased, would ya.

Nashville captain Jason Arnott gets around the net for a shot. Second time the Canadiens give up an easy shot from Gretzky’s office.

Predators are creating the most quality chances. Maybe five to one right now.

Five and a half minutes left in the first period.

Canadiens have lost all the battles on the end boards. And about eighty percent of them in their own zone.

Price now stops his 20th shot against. Give the kid some help. Holds it for a faceoff.

The Predators are demonstrating what an every-shift team with speed can do to Montreal. And it looks easy.

Houde tells us that Spacek is visibly playing in some difficulty tonight.

Light shot from the side-boards is stopped easily by Price and gloved for yet another faceoff. Houde continues, telling us that Spacek adores playing in Montreal.

Get rid of Latendresse and Lapierre. No value added. Shift after shift of nothing from both players. Tom Kostopoulos and Bryan Smolinski would have been far better to retain over those two.

Drop pass to Hamrlik as he crosses the blue line and his high wrister goes out of play.

Hamrlik’s 570 career points ranks him seventh amongst active NHL defencemen.

Plekanec drives in, brakes. Waits. Passes to Hamrlik coming over the blue line. Hamrlik’s shot is a harmless hard disc.

Kostitsyn’s shot one segment later causes a faceoff. The harmless kind of faceoff.

Puck is jammed on the boards to the left of Price. They whistle it dead.

Just over two minutes.

Brunet says some nice things about Lapierre.

Price makes a save on Michael Santorelli; medium-range shot.

Return shot on the other end is stopped and on Nashville’s response rush we see an offside.

Minute and a half left in the first.

Spacek dinks it in and Moen follows it and backhands a pass to the slot. Negated completely. Again, one of those Moen passes that skims along the end line. Just a little more in front. Or is he looking for the fluke of flukes? Just a little more in front, please.

Now Nashville keeps it in for a five-second period. Montreal moves it out and they get the line-change they were hoping for.

Backhand shot is stopped by Price. Sharp-angle shot.

Ward shoots from the other side on the next possession.

Period ends. Price has faced 24 shots. Perhaps twenty-five if they count the last one.

Montreal is outshot 24 to four. About seven quality scoring chances for Nashville included, as a guess.

First Intermission
Nashville 1, Montreal 0

Demers says that the Canadiens are much disorganized. Bouchard adds that the team has been behind the puck for most of the period. Demers emphasizes that the 24 shots (it’s 24) are not 24 quality scoring chances and states that number as eight. Chris Chelios wore 24 for the Canadiens. And he wore seven with Chicago. And then back to 24 with your buddies, the Red Wings. The Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups.

Francois Gagnon is asked about the recent NHL general managers’ meeting. Gagnon agrees that the good intentions are there in seeing the formation of a committee to investigate the problem with head shots.

We get some convention centre footage. Interesting to see a shot of Bob Gainey walking away from Brian Burke with an unimpressed look on his face. Burke sauntered over to an area where Gainey was conversing with Flames GM Darryl Sutter (who is a native of Viking, Alberta for those of you who are intrigued with small Alberta towns).

The rest of the report is boring. Discussions of defencemen who were picked in one particular draft season.

Nashville Predator and full-time Francophone Jean-Pierre Dumont is interviewed prior to the second period by full-time Francophone Luc Gelinas.

Part-time Francophone and full-time writer Homme de Sept-Iles prepares for the opening faceoff of the middle period.

Second Period
Nashville 1, Montreal 0

Houde tells us that Ryan White is a good scorer and asks; hey; why not give him a chance with offensive talents Mike Cammalleri and Scott Gomez? They start the second period for the Canadiens.

Canadiens are out with more verve.

Line-change.

We are back on Montreal ice and Sullivan continues to create. Brief problem for the Canadiens in the slot and Price has to make a workmanlike save. Seconds later, Pyatt is called for taking down a forward on that sequence.

Plekanec and Moen are the first pair.

And oooooohhh, sharp hoot, diamondback save by Price! Left to right. Slipsnake and Sullivan tastes poison.

Now Gomez takes it down alone, and one-on-one, and manages to get a one-handed shot on net. Plekanec continues the good work and shadows the puck-carrier like Carbonneau once did, leaning, forcing the Predator into lanes he doesn’t want to go. Great speed and balance from number fourteen.

Just under one minute in the power-play.

Excellent save by Price. Pad down and nearly full splits. Quickness of an all-star. I’m still thinking about the last save.

Pyatt is back on the ice and the Canadiens get an emotional lift.

Pacioretty is on and Price leaves the net to fire a high shot off the side glass, looking for Pacioretty.

Marcel Goc (Houde pronouces it “gosh”) is at the side of the net and gets a pass and backhands it directly on Price. Puck bounces around and Price handles it like Worsley. Big gump on the puck. I mean glove. Nicely handled.

Predators blow a nice two-on-one entry and the Canadiens are a bit fortunate but the backcheck helped.

Martin’s adjustments from the first to the second period are much better than Carbonneau’s. The team consistently corrects their first period issues this season.

Now David Legwand is called for a penalty deep in Montreal territory.

Cammalleri is on with Plekanec and Metropolit. Paul Mara and Bergeron are the defenders. They win the faceoff and create immediate problems for Rinne.

They maintain control after Metropolit misses a certain goal. Plekanec is playing marvelously, says Houde. Predators get it out for the first time in the penalty-kill after one minute of Montreal control.

Then Nashville comes up with a two-on-one which Price handles.

Moen is on with Kostitsyn and Gomez.

Gomez controls. Back and forth. Looking, looking. Passes. Into a snarl of sticks in front. Puck scoots to the blue line where a long shot is fired and stopped by Rinne. And he holds it for a faceoff.

Crowd is in swashbuckling mood after some musical, commercial interlude. What did they play? Country-rock?

Twelve minutes left in the second period.

Canadiens are no longer giving up multiple shooting chances and limiting Nashville’s entries into Montreal’s defensive zone. It’s nearly opposite to the last period. I am in admiration of both the team and the coaching staff’s cohesion in making this happen. In recent seasons, those problems would dissolve for a few shifts or not end for one or two or three games.

Jacques Martin is getting this team into his mould. It’s a feeling of inevitability and it makes me realise that Jacques Martin is my favourite off-season addition to the team.

Latendresse takes a penalty.

Nashville moves it around the high perimeter. Distance shot, finally. Held.

We resume. White takes it out and holds it too long and loses the puck and his footing, both.

Next, Metropolit takes it out of the Montreal zone and produces a shot. Rinne had to glove it but kept it in play.

Bouillon is on the second wave for Nashville.

Penalty ends.

Nashville and Montreal jam at it on the boards near the Montreal blue line. Finally the puck goes down the ice and Nashville carries it out after both teams change lines.

Legwand gets a shot on Price and he holds it for the faceoff.

Do we really need cheerleaders in sports? We get a quick shot of a Predator fun-maker wearing royal blue and looking as if she has put a lot of work into her pacing and demeanour. I’ll answer for you; no we don’t need cheerleaders in sports. We never did. We never will.

Let the women play or let them watch. Or just go to male cheerleaders. Sexy has nothing to do with icy. Give me pucks or give me masks. Don’t give me patriarchal roles for women.

Nashville pressure increases. They’re not going away. They, too, have a strong-willed coach who knows how to influence his guys.

Off another faceoff, Nashville shoots it very high and very wide.

Soon afterward, Price makes another save, his 34th of the evening. Houde says it was a very good save.

And another stoppage in play.

Moen is in front like a sudden Sasquatch. Fires. Two feet in front of Rinne. Stopped. Contained.

Leach around the net for Latendresse. They can’t get it out. Franzen takes a shot.

Nashville continues to control.

Another shot and Price holds it for a faceoff.

Price skates to the bench during this commercial break.

Hamrlik is handling the puck off the faceoff as White bangs Ward to the ice. It causes the first animosity of the evening. Unfriendly group hug. White is going to the box. Boarding.

Dangerous-looking hit. RDS calls it roughing and it’s a four minute penalty. White looks appropriately disappointed with himself. Much better reaction than what Gregory Stewart would have shown us.

White seems contrite.

Early whistle on the powerplay. Faceoff deep in Nashville territory results. Metropolit is on with Pyatt. That says something about Pyatt. RDS is now showing that there is only one minute left in the penalty. So it’s not a four-minute penalty. Or is it?

Nashville is not doing what they need to do.

Bouillon’s number fifty-one looks like a fifty-seven from certain angles. Predator font is italicized.

Four minutes left in the period. Shots on goal are thirty-eight to nine for Nashville. It’s not as bad as it sounds, really. Really.

Price looks very confident throughout. And he has not sagged in confidence since his return to regular action. I am impressed.

He is handling the puck more and more but picking his spots wisely. Growth of a goalie.

Distance shot. Price loses his stick. He’s given another stick. Moen’s stick. Price makes a toe save now. Nashville makes it look like a power-play as Moen is stickless.

Canadiens need a faceoff. In this game of many dot-stops, a faceoff is hard to come by, all of the sudden. Finally, after fifteen seconds of fear, they get the puck out and they get the line change they are looking for.

Now Rinne makes a mistake with the puck and nearly gives one to Montreal. He gets his glove on it.

Price goes to the bench to get another stick. With just over two minutes left, he has stopped forty-one shots.

Kostitsyn line is on now and the Canadiens are stuck in their zone. Kostitsyn does nothing to help when he’s in our zone. Puck’s in our zone (and, yes, it goes from Montreal’s zone to OUR zone when he’s backchecking, because at no other time do I feel so strongly about getting on the ice myself – weak skillz and all).

Puck starts to move around a little too quickly and it suddenly pinballs into the net. Dave Jackson waves it off and calls goaltender interference. He says it in a don’t disagree with me voice. Trotz’ expression is businesslike. He’s not one to lose his composure easily.

We see the replay and the call is merited. Montreal goes to the power-play.

Plekanec and Cammalleri are on the ice. Quick chance but no shot. Now the Canadiens get it down again. Just under forty seconds in the period.

Bergeron leads the rush and dumps it high and to the left of Rinne.

Nashville stops this one. Kostitsyn comes back to help but then blows the assignment completely and uses his stick in an ungainly way to arrest a Nashville forward’s penalty-kill efforts. He’s lucky he doesn’t get called for it.

Shots on goal are 42-10 for Nashville. Very PS3. Very ungainly. Almost ungodly.

Second Intermission
Nashville 1, Montreal 0.

Bouchard says that tonight is good for Price’s confidence and that the young goalie is demonstrating good form and presence.

Demers tells us that turnovers are important. He’s one of my favourites but he doesn’t give us much beyond the usual build-em up positives and many obviosities (yeah, that’s not a word, so what). Maybe it’s time for a change? I must be hungry or in an otherwise irritated mood to suggest a good-bye to Jacques. And where’s Pednault? They should have paid him to stay. What a loss to the broadcast.

Third Period
Nashville 1, Montreal 0

It’s Sullivan versus Price. That’s tonight’s Roxxon Oil theme. If you must reduce it to a cult of personality.

Still thirty seconds left in the penalty against Nashville. Bergeron shoots from the point. Rinne has trouble with it.

Two-on-one results for Nashville and Price is in position as the pass crosses the slot. No shot results.

Gomez now makes a bad pass exiting the zone. Penalty has ended.

Sullivan to Dumont and they create something that results in a medium shot

Dumont now tries to enter himself. Is he aware of all the Francophones watching in this game? Hot-dog entry costs him the puck.

Cody Franson gets a distance shot in on Price.

Pacioretty is banged by Jordin Tootoo on the boards as the Canadiens exit the zone. Now Bergeron and Mara make something happen for Latendresse; pass and shoot results in a chance at the side of the net for Guillaume.

Nashville returns, slicing, and Tootoo gets another shot in on Price. Puck is held for a faceoff.

Brunet gives Bergeron a hard time for a gaffe on the earlier Nashville chance and we see a replay to accompany the chastisement. Good job by Brunet. Fair.

Stoppage in play after some heady back and forth by both teams. Long shots and hard skating.

Martin looks pleased with his team’s current spirit. Flying Frenchmen.

Sullivan and Arnott come in alone and against four Habs and still creates a shot. It goes far too high.

Lapierre is at the other end and on the doorstep and he fires it. Stopped. Jams. Stopped.

Nashville’s one-nothing lead can’t last the way the game is going. Another series of movements by Montreal results in a missed backhander by Latendresse. He shakes his head following the next stoppage in play.

Brunet says a few good things about Latendresse. Suggests that he is working on things that are going to benefit him in the coming years.

Cammalleri line is getting their longest control of the night.

But no shots. Circling action and some short passes to Rinne’s right. It ends after about six seconds.

Lapierre is stopped by Sullivan on the boards and it’s close to interference. Houde (or maybe Brunet) admits that it’s at the limit. But they compliment the refs for a good job tonight.

It’s been steady going in this period and since the second. It helps that our buddy Paul Kariya is no longer a Predator (this season marks his third as a St. Louis Blue).

High shot from Kostitsyn is gloved by Rinne. But then it scoots out with uncanny velocity to his right. What was it doing in his glove? Revolving? Speeding up? Odd. Play stops soon afterward.

Latendresse and Kostitsyn exit. Kostitsyn follows and aggressive Latendresse abut loses the puck.
Ten and a half minutes left in the period.

Gomez and Cammalleri are all behind the Nashville net (Third Hab, too.  You remember, right?)

Price is very calm with the puck as he handles it to the right of his net. Didn’t see Ward and almost loses it. But doesn’t lose his composure. An instant later, he makes his third great save of the night. It’s his 48th, total.

Franson exits. Circles back. Chased by Lapierre. Dumps it in. Tootoo gathers it. Passes to Kevin Klein on the blue line. Shot is wide. Action stays in Montreal’s zone. Preds are pinching.

And Pyatt finally ends the fifteen second segment of control from Nashville. Latendresse is back again. Martin must believe he is working hard. Nashville skates back and Kostitsyn is called for holding. Martin shakes his head.

Over two-thousand respondents to the Dodge question of the night. Lots of buttons.

Kostitsyn is keeping his head down sitting in the punishment cube. Another third period penalty.

It’s a close call. And he made the right play in getting back. He prevented a pass to the slot from becoming lethal.

Montreal clears the first Nashville attempt.

Sullivan is taken down on the next Nashville entry. Hooking is the call and it’s against White. Bad play by White as there were two other defenders there to handle Sullivan.

Martin mouths something un-Disney and looks at his shoes and along the floor behind the Montreal bench. Arms crossed but not too tightly.

Sullivan. After a long-shot rebound. Brunet says that Price couldn’t do anything about it. Puck went to Webber in the high slot and his shot banked out to Sullivan. It’s his fourth of the season.

House says that Sullivan is surely motivated by the presence of his brother here tonight. Why is there always a reason for teams to be up for games against Montreal? I’m just ill from players doing nothing all season but for games against Montreal. (Holes in cheese for Matthew Barnaby, whose mother was in the Buffalo stands one night. On Mother’s Day, of course. Why isn’t Andrei Kostisyn’s mother ever in the stands?)

Nashville 2, Montreal 0.

Still time left in the second penalty.

About thirty seconds.

We get a shot of Bouillon who is checking how much time is left.

Five and a half minutes.

And thirty seconds in the power-play.

Plekanec trips Bouillon and they are going to call it. Delayed call and the Preds pull their goalie. Doesn’t last long and the whistle goes when a Canadien touches the puck.

They call it holding. Exactly five minutes left. Good call. (Unfortunate play.)

Dumont to Sullivan cross-ice. Golf-shot. Fails.

Price is the same as he has been all game and all week. Confident.

Cammalleri and Gomez are looking to create deep. They make two segments happen. But no shots. Now Bergeron helps on the second incursion. Just over thirty seconds left in Plekanec’ mauvais punition.

Price is 0.929 on this road-trip so far. Two wins and one loss. Or maybe they meant on his last three road-trip games totaled.

Penalty ends without a quality Nashville chance other than the Sullivan shot.

Two minutes and forty-five seconds to make soap from stone.

White turns it over.

Martin Erat gets down for a tight breakaway and Price makes his fourth high-quality save of the night. Going left to right. What a great save. Deke brought him down but he got across for the puck anyway. He was going to leave the net and had taken five strides but then went back to make the great save.

Fifty-plus saves. For pride.

Remember when Brett Williams got the defensive star in a losing cause? He had three sacks.

Game ends with the Canadiens unable to get the puck out of the zone.

Nashville 2
Montreal 0

HDS Stars: Carey Price, Steve Sullivan, JP Dumont
RDS Stars: Carey Price, Steve Sullivan, Jason Arnott

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2 comments

1 Yves { 11.15.09 at 12:17 PM }

Not sure what the game plan was last night other then try and boost Price’s save percentage…. man….

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2 Homme de Sept-Iles { 11.16.09 at 4:30 AM }

LOL … team is undermanned and struggling. That was a lot of shots, though.

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