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The Diachronic Barber Pole Observations of a Recovering Hockey Exile

Montreal Canadiens vs Philadelphia Flyers

February 13, 2010, by Homme De Sept-Iles

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 (29-26-6) host Philadelphia Flyers (31-25-3)

Saturday, February 13, 2010
Game Sixty-Three (score posted following scribbles)

Missed the game? Musings and In-Game Scribbles are typed during the game then edited and posted. Usually the RDS telecast of the game. Musings take about 20 minutes to read. More detailed than an article, less waiting than for a looping highlight and good with morning coffee.

Jaroslav Halak gets the start tonight. Different goalie, same opponent. Tonight’s game is a rematch with Philadelphia who defeated the Canadiens last night, 3-2.

Alain Crete and Benoit Brunet are the play-by-play team again tonight and I still haven’t figured out where regular play-by-play announcer Pierre Houde has gone. Oh. The Industrial Games.

Tonight’s game is the last until March 2nd, when the Canadiens return to action in Boston.

The team is welcomed to the ice; flags wave and lights look blue. Jaroslav Spacek is the last to hit the ice and he touches a glove with each of the two children standing at the entrance.

The crowd gives a particularly loud cheer for Jaroslav Halak. Philadelphia goalie Michael Leighton gets the start again.

First Period

Brian Pochmara and Marc Joannette are the refs tonight.

David Desharnais takes and wins the faceoff.

Gloves drop and O’Byrne will fight. They’re at the left circle near Halak.

Ian Laperriere gets the knockdown.

Brunet believes they discussed it prior. Laperriere seems amused as he sits in the box and contemplates the business completed.

Canadiens win the next faceoff. Metropolit and Lapierre are on. Moen joins them.

Philly sends it down and it bounces in front of the net. Unexpected. Mike Richards misses it. Open net. Strange bounce off the end boards.

Briere is booed as he handles the puck.

Puck is moved along the boards by both teams.

Sergei Kostitsyn is on with Pyatt and Gomez.

Gomez leads a near two-on-one but the coverage is sound and his long shot is from a bad angle. Canadiens maintain control. Grill shot. Smothered. Gionta had the opportunity. They struggle with one another after the whistle.

Kostitsyn’s pass is a bit long on a three-on-two (pushed up by Subban) and the Flyers head the other way for a shotless incursion of their own.

Whistle goes soon afterward.

Faceoff is to Leighton’s right. Flyers ice soon afterward.

Gill plays the puck behind his net and he is unchallenged by a Flyer who simply watches the tall defenceman flip the puck over a stick and to his defensive partner.

The Canadiens are committed to this game and the Flyers are just waiting for the lights to go on.

But they score first.

Canadiens miss coverage in the slot and Daniel Briere scores.

Philadelphia 1, Montreal 0

Briere has a “my business here is done” look on his face as he settles onto the bench. It was done here a long time ago, bud. Now you’re just wasting everyone’s time. Must be nice. Four-gamer.

Flyers have some hope and heart now. They initiate hits and close to the puck with a belief that they can win a few puck battles.

Canadiens shrink for about ninety seconds. Lapierre and Moen end that attitude when they re-enter the game. Metropolit is with them as well. Canadiens resume puck control on this shift and Pyatt continues the control as he hops on and heads deep. Pass to Gionta in the slot.

Longest Montreal possession results. Two more shots. Saves and good positioning by Philadelphia prevent any damage.

Newcomer Dominic Moore is on now. Spacek and Gorges are the defensive pairing.

Gorges has it near the red line and shoots it into Philadelphia ice.

Puck goes out of play near Halak about eight seconds later.

Lapierre lobs it in. Metropolit can’t come up with it. But Lapierre supports in the opposite corner and he does.

They battle along the boards. Whistle. Metropolit goes for high-sticking. Accidental.

Twelve of Philadelphia’s listed 14 forwards are Canadian. Two are from Quebec.

Early shot is stopped and held for a faceoff.

Second wave is on for Philadelphia as Carter and Briere return to the bench.

Gionta clears a puck.

Just over a minute left in the penalty.

Flyers enter offside.

Claude Giroux is on the ice with Mike Richards and Simon Gagne.

They enter after some dithering and a puck slides through the high slot. No sticks reply.

Seconds later, Halak has to slide from right to left. Full split. Glove up. Too slow. O’Byrne was bungling with the puck in the slot and it bounced the wrong way.

Philadelphia 2, Montreal 0

D’Agostini is on with Darche and Desharnais.

They get one shot and give up one.

Lines change. Subban gets some crowd recognition as he carries the puck up through the neutral zone and dumps it in. He goes to the bench for a line change.

Faceoff.

Canadiens win it to Leighton’s right and send a puck back to the point.

Puck leaves. Asham and Giroux work the boards. Giroux is knocked down. Punched down. Could have been called. Crowd reacts. No whistle.

Action speeds up somewhat. Pronger retrieves behind his net.

Moen turns it over. No-look drop pass on the boards to Leighton’s right and inside the blue line.

Flyers’ passes are errant.

Dominic Moore enters and is visibly annoyed as offside is called. He appears to think one of his teammates is at fault. Moore will learn that externalizing your annoyance is not part of the player culture in Montreal. As a former Florida player, Moore is possibly a known quantity for head coach Jacques Martin whose last gig was as the Florida Panthers’ GM.  But Moore was a Panther after Martin left.  It’s approximate.

Pyatt’s know-it-all smirk-smile keeps coming up on the screen. Alain and Benoit are discussing lineup details and we have to see the team photos again and again.

Plekanec loses the faceoff outside the Philly zone.

Puck is sent down and behind Halak who plays it on his backhand.

Plekanec is down by the end line and starts a rush. Kostitsyn loses it inside the Philadelphia blue line. Lines change; both teams. Just over five minutes left in the first period.

Gionta skates hard to create a chance. Nope.

Action moves the opposite way and ends in Montreal ice with a faceoff.

In, on, near. Along, above, beside.

We are informed that this is Hal Gill’s 900th NHL game. He’s done well in Montreal. He’s adjusted and played an economic game with much less of his previous ire. He has been one of the gentlemen on the team. Strange days.

Flyers score.

Orange Team 3, Montreal 0

No coverage.

What.

You want me to talk about it?

Long shot. Small rebound. Two Habs. One Flyer. No coverage. Side of the net shot in. Just over four minutes.

Metropolit line follows. Early entry. High shot. They keep it in.

Subban is handling it up top. He moves awkwardly. He keeps it. He makes a full circle. Keeps the puck. Draws a penalty. Looking like a caped vampire avoiding flammable items (like candles) all the while. Now he hits someone behind the Montreal net.

Action continues for almost a minute before play is stopped.

Aaron Asham is the penalized player.

Brunet says that Subban is continuing to show enthusiasm. He adds that he’s ok with Subban going back down to Hamilton for further development.

I think we should keep him up here. He’s just too good. He does so much so well. Yeah, I know it’s been four periods.

Subban is not afraid to get down low. Canadiens have a long possession with two shots.

Gomez sends a pass that is intercepted.

Canadiens have to regroup.

Metropolit and Desharnais are on with Darche.

Metropolit dipsy-doodles into the Flyer zone.

After some decent control, Leighton freezes it and there is some jostling and verbal hostility after the whistle.

Darche sticks someone while he’s down. Twice. He’s sitting, knocked down, in the Flyer crease.

He gets away with it.

Darche is a hothead.

Play resumes with just forty-three seconds left in the period. Penalty has ended.

Moore handles the puck before considering the man and loses both in the process.

Play stops in the neutral zone.

Lapierre and Moen leave the ice and Plekanec’ line is on.

Plekanec wins the faceoff. He gets help from Gill to keep control. Siren goes.

Philadelphia has the shot advantage, 9-6.

First Intermission
Orange 3, Montreal 0

We see a previously taped interview (seems to take place about 90 minutes before the puck drop). Renaud Lavoie asks Pierre Gauthier a few questions. Gauthier is the new GM. Gauthier says “flag” instead of “drapeau” and there is not much to report about this cue and eh.

Gauthier is careful and the questions are not very loaded. We hear yet again that both parties, the Canadiens and Tomas Plekanec, have conversed and are interested in his continued stay with the team.

They are seated in the upper bowl of the Bell Centre where Pierre Houde normally greets viewers prior to a game.

We see some highlights from the Industrial Games. Creepy. Pied piper of Hamlin comes to mind. And the Emperor’s New Clothes.

And then Renaud Lavoie is staring out at me.

Just one moment. Just hold still. This won’t hurt a bit.

Lavoie uses pens and inanimate objects in the same way Bush Junior does; as ways to signal that your talking time is at an end and a new era of conversational profundity is to begin. Point-point-point. Shake, shake.

Quiet, I’m a genius.

Education is wasted on the privileged and the willfully in denial. Profits ahead of people. That is the motto, unconscious, conscious or otherwise. Wasted humanoid shells. Bang-bang. Pop-pop.

Thanks for comin’ out.

Joel Bouchard and Bob Hartley sit next to Lavoie and it is clear who the hockey guys are. Two different cultures.

Ian Laperriere discusses his fight with O’Byrne. He has a laid-back demeanour. He frames the fight as a duty to tonight’s game expectations.

Second Period
Orange 3, Montreal 0


Metropolit is on with Lapierre and Moen. They enter early but Lapierre turns it over on the boards. Flyers turn it over themselves and a shot on Leighton brings on a scrum. It lasts about five seconds and feelings cool quickly.

Lapierre and Flyer defenceman Lukas Krajicek go to the box.

Four-on-four. Plekanec and Kostitsyn are the first pairing.

Halak has to make the first save. Simon Gagne is the shooter. Faceoff to Halak’s left is the result.

Plekanec wins this one, as well.

Gorges works it to Plekanec. Left side entry.

Cross-ice. Down the boards. Behind the net. Kostitsyn passes it to Plekanec, also behind Leighton. Flyers come up with it.

Flyers have the puck. Carter skates down the right side and lobs an easy wrister at Halak. Faceoff. That’s what Philly does with the four-on-four greater space situations. They gear up to neutral. Oh wait.

The new guy, Dominic Moore wears #42. Perezhogin’s old number. Remember when he jumped up and down like a kid? Remember that goal? Alexander Perezhogin is still in the KHL. Dommage. He had 28 goals in 55 games last season with Ufa Salavat Yulayev.

Good intent from Kostitsyn and Plekanec. But they can’t keep it under control deep.

Philly is such a thugopoly. Multi-level menace. We see a shot of a Flyer assistant coach. None of those guys would be allowed to date my daughter. Except maybe Briere. The happy, harmless Danny Briere. It becomes “Danny” when you join a team like Bombastic Orange.

History won’t be kind. Apologists eventually die.

Canadiens need a break.

Gionta works underneath. Asham fells Gionta. Asham leaves the ice with a few tart words for Gionta. He accuses Gionta of diving. Gionta fell. Asham seems correct in his assessment. At least so far as being called. He shouldn’t have been called. But Gionta didn’t dive. Asham gets some sympathy from the Bell Centre official in the penalty box.

Asham is growing on me. Yeah, yeah, I know.

Habs go to a power-play.

Gorges on the tip of the diamond. Subban is way up.

Subban knows what he’s doing. He can protect the puck when he gets it in that area. It’s a high-traffic area. Subban gets it from Plekanec. Keeps it. Keeps his balance and is able to send a pass into the slot. It’s repelled but we have an even better idea what this kid can do. One arm up to keep people away, one hand on the stick and balanced all the while. Good strength.

Faceoff.

Goal.

Gionta.

Montreal 1, Orange 3

We resume.

Gomez is in. Right in. Puck doesn’t bounce and find its way in. Felt like it might. Flurry and a flutter; orange and red. Grim tide; they can’t lose to their inferiors.

Richards and Gagne respond with a five-second possession behind Halak.

But Gomez and Gionta are flying down the other way and Gionta’s long shot is a crest trap for Leighton.

Moore shows a good move behind the net. Spin and curl.

He hacks at an opponent when he can’t hang onto a puck in the slot. Unimpressive gesture. He was whapping the linen in a windy backyard. Strength and purpose of a nine-year old.

Camera rests on Pronger for about four seconds.

Puck goes out of play on a neutral zone pass deflection.

Gill leaves the ice so Subban and Hamrlik can go on.

Metropolit line is on.

Lapierre is the turnover king. Why does he even bother touching the puck. He’s worse news with the puck than Russ Courtnall.

Flyers are called for holding. Crowd cheers their approval. And RDS shows us a cold, grimstone shot of Rocket Richard’s statue outside the Bell Centre. Dark grained ore with glinting copper strains. I’ve never seen those statues at night. Striking.

Braydon Coburn takes the call. That’s what happens when you’re too slow to play this game. Too slow to play this game.

Too. Slow. To …

Hamrlik loses the puck at the blue line.

Blair Betts flies off. Philadelphia Flyer. Scores.

Breakaway shot. Beautiful accuracy.

Philadelphia 4, Montreal 1

Too much laughing in the booth. Comments about the crowd being coldened. Made cold. Whatever.

Encolded?

Another breakaway. This time Halak moves right up and takes the chance away about twenty feet outside his net. It was Simon Gagne. Pokes the puck up and away from him.

Canadiens respond. Gionta fans on a puck. Heading from left to right. Net was open. Tilted trees, wolves howling and the Flyers at his mercy. Not this time.

Just over eight minutes left in the second period.

And another near-breakaway. Believe it or not, the power-play is still on. But the Flyers have had more good chances.

Penalty ends.

Plekanec enters offside. And he leaves the ice for the ensuing faceoff.

Gomez loses it.

Pyatt enters with good speed. Shoots wide.

Canadiens retain control.

Gionta’s shot from the mid-slot goes wide.

Gorges heads back to retrieve the puck. He’s run over mildly.

Giroux now misses an open net on a near solo break. This one happened because a puck skipped over Gill’s stick on the left side outside the Montreal zone.

We resume.

Moen fakes a shot and goes around his coverage. But the puck doesn’t follow him.

Darche line is on. Moore is with him. They work behind the Flyer net. Three of them. Flyers come up with it. But they need two sequences to move it out.

They do enough for a line change.

Subban has it coming out of the Montreal zone. Puck deflects high and out of play.

Play is a bit choppy and intercepty. Gorges moves the puck away from Briere. On the other end Plekanec shoves a Flyer into Leighton and is called for it. Brunet remarks that this kind of play is dangerous for goalies. He adds that this may be a reflection of frustration on Plekanec’ part.

Flyer power-play can’t do much and the Canadiens even the TOP (time of possession). Faceoff is called for.

Habs win it and clear it.

Just over a minute left in the power-play.

A Carter shot goes high and out of play.

Carter finds Hartnell on a cross-ice Markov-Kovalev style pass but Hartnell isn’t Kovalev. Now is he. Puck can’t be retained and controlled and the Flyers’ man-advantage withers away.

Flyers get another man-advantage and they score on this one.

Philadelphia 5, Montreal 1

Monstrous.

Second Intermission
Philadelphia 5, Montreal 1

We see some Industrial Games action. Speed-skating.

Third Period
Philadelphia 5, Montreal 1


Carey Price is installed in front of the cage for this period.

Four goals in one period. Who and him. Let’s see.

Plekanec wins the faceoff and sends it back to Subban. Puck is dumped in. Flyers retrieve and are stopped at the Montreal blue line.

Dominic Moore is on with Kostitsyn and Plekanec.

They leave the ice with no shots registered. None given up.

Price plays the puck behind his net. Canadiens are controlling deep. Flyers are called. Price stays in his net.

Canadiens keep the disc. Delayed call continues to be delayed. Pronger handles the puck in the corner to Leighton’s left and hooking is called.

Pronger is the guilty party.

Laviolette shakes his head and snaps his gum.

Subban keeps a puck in. Passes to Hamrlik. Interception. Clear.

Hamrlik goes deep to help keep it in but a clear follows seconds later.

Subban’s long pass misses several players and is cleared out.

Just under a minute in the penalty. Gomez shoots long and Leighton traps it. Faceoff to his right.

Flyers clear it off the faceoff.

Spacek moves it out and loses it as he crosses the Flyer blue line.

Gionta is in next. Drops it to the blue line for Spacek. Down to the hash and across for Kostitsyn. Too lively.

Penalty ends.

Subban and Pronger have a disagreement. Pronger looks irritated and amused simultaneously. They are now at a distance from one another. Replay: Pronger tried to nail Subban after a puck-handle that ended on the knees but the rookie avoided the hit. Escalation was not shown.

Another stoppage in play.

Faceoff is to Leighton’s left. Pass goes to Gorges on the point. Shot is contained by Leighton for another faceoff.

Lapierre’s faceoff. Whistle goes immediately. They try it again. Flyers clear it out. Canadiens move it back in.

Gill is up and helping. Two-on-one is given up. Price scrambles right. Briere gets it to Carter. Carter can’t loose a shot.

Just over five minutes elapsed. Price makes a good save on a sharp-angle shot. Well, he looked athletic, anyway.

Subban moves it up. He is logging decent ice time in both games.

Kostitsyn snakes in. Puck is lifted from him.

Play stops and they gather around a fallen Plekanec on the side boards. He was boarded. No call.

Oh. It is called. That Darroll Powe guy again. Two minutes. Powe was a non-gentleman last night as well. Brunet says there’s no room for that kind of play in a 5-1 game.

Hamrlik shoots. Bloop rebound. In the crease. Gomez pops it in. It’s Gomez’ tenth goal of the season.

Philadelphia 5, Montreal 2

Just under fourteen minutes left in the game.

We resume action with a centre ice faceoff.

Flyers speed out of the moment.

And play stops again.

Briere is having a short conversation with Sergei Kostitsyn. Casual topic of some kind.

We resume.

Price plays the puck behind his net and it floops up into the crowd.

Faceoff will be to Price’s left. Good.

Flyers win. To the point. Across. Shot. Stopped. Whistle.

Puck is dropped. Barker side.

Gomez comes up with it behind the net and gives it up. Pronger gets a shot out of the deal. Long slapper. Gloved by Price. He stands like Boba Fett for a moment.

We get a shot of Montreal equipment manager Pierre Gervais.

Canadiens win the faceoff. Brunet says that Gervais does exceptional, quiet work for the team. Net goes off its moorings.

Gagne and a game official share a word and a smile.

Moen forechecks following the faceoff. Puck goes out of play again.

Flyers win the faceoff.

Habs have to backcheck. One turnover. A Flyer falls. Puck slips out of the zone. Spacek retrieves it from Price. Starts a rush.

Another whistle. Offside. Montreal.

Richards takes the faceoff against Plekanec. Flyers win it.

Canadiens resume control of the puck.

Flyers turn it over on their breakout and a drop-pass leads to a brief Montreal entry.

Subban shows good speed and hustle starting a rush and catching up to it. He goes a bit ahead but no significant control is established. Whistle soon afterward.

Plekanec took a hard hit after dumping a puck in. We are shown the replay. No call.

Gomez works it to Hal Gill. His shot is blocked and the Canadiens have to retrieve it.

Lines change for both teams.

Briere comes in. One-on-two, on none, taken down. Penalty shot to be awarded. Price stops the shot. Stops the rebound. Rebound was basically Briere and the puck crashing into the goalie. All are ok.

Penalty shot.

Briere does a few nice stick moves and sends a backhander up and over Price. And it drops where it was intended to drop.

Philadelphia 6, Montreal 2

Four-gamer. It’s his twenty-second or so goal.

Canadiens are forechecking and Flyer defenceman Oskars Bartulis is called for holding. He is immediately defensive about the call and has a few words for the officials. If they’re listening.

He’s from a place called Ogre in Latvia.

Zero goals, twenty-four penalty minutes and a minus eleven rating in forty-five games. Those are his numbers. Clarkie’s boys.

Flyers clear twice.

Plekanec gets things under control enough for two passes, two receptions and a good set-up. Kostitsyn can’t do much with it on the other side. One-timer failed.

Plekanec is still on. Still creating. Another missed play by Kostitsyn.

Flyers exit. Looks dangerous. Intercepted. Canadiens can’t respond with an odd-man rush. Flyers re-enter and force Price to immobilize the puck to the right of his net.

Five and a half minutes left in the game.

Action resumes for about twenty seconds. Less. Another of the harmless type of whistles. Faceoff will be outside the Montreal zone.

Pyatt is on. Gomez with him. They miss a puck between them and a Flyer intercepts.

Price makes a low-wattage save and sends it to his right.

Desharnais line is on.

Gagne hides in front of Spacek on a rush, tricky wrister and a great-looking save from Price. Stuck out his pad at the last second. Twenty-foot shot.

Rink gets quiet. Teams are playing pour la forme as Pierre Houde might say.

Brunet says that he’s liked what he’s seen from Price tonight. He adds some positive words for Halak and forgives the goaltender for being on the losing end of this score.

Metropolit sends it along the right side boards.

Moen follows it and can’t capture it. He registers a hit instead.

Price stops a slowly rolling puck on the other end and we get a faceoff.

Desharnais wins it.

Gionta is in.

Drops it for Gomez. Distance shot. Gloved by Leighton. Gomez was shooting from the high slot moving right to left.

Flyers get an odd shot following the faceoff. Price stops it.

Crowd is whistling and jeering in that pre-fight way. Whatever it was, was off-camera.

Just over a minute in the game.

D’Agostini retrieves it. Pass goes long for Darche.

Mister minus eleven carries it out. Canadiens have it again. Moen nearly creates a goal off a three-on-two.

Thirty seconds. Canadiens have to retrieve.

Lapierre is in on a rush. Nothin’.

Same with the Flyers’ rush. Briere is on the ice as time expires. Metropolit takes a long shot from centre ice that goes into the corner.

Siren goes and the puck is forgotten.

Philadelphia 6
Montreal 2

HDS Stars: PK Subban, Danny Briere, Brian Gionta
RDS Stars: Daniel Briere, Scott Hartnell, Blair Betts

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