Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
March 17, 2011, by Homme de Sept-Îles
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 (38-25-7) host Tampa Bay Lightning (39-22-9)
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Game Seventy-One (score posted following scribbles)
Missed it? Musings capture the game in writing. A written transcript typed during the game, posted and edited about thirty minutes afterward. Based on the RDS French telecast of the Montreal Canadiens game, Musings take about 20 minutes to read. More detailed than an article, fresher than a looping highlight and good with morning coffee. Or late-night chocolate. A unique way to re-experience the game.
click here to expand post (it looks prettier)
Reseau play-by-play maestro Pierre Houde interviews Montreal defenceman Roman Hamrlik in a pre-taped segment. Or is it moments before this game? I wonder.
Two new players in the Montreal lineup for their respective first times. Aaron Palushaj and Nigel Dawes, the latter the second man in the deal that brought defenceman Brent Sopel (who I believe remains out of the lineup). Dawes is 26 and has something of a scoring touch. Palushaj is also an offensive player. He’s a regular with Montreal’s farm club, the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Distinguished Alain Crete and hockey intellect Joel Bouchard flank the middle dude. He’s so non-descript to me. Short hair, ordinary face, almost an X-Box facial standard. You know, one of the bot images used when to “create your own player”. When I’m mayor of the world, we’ll be able to adjust the faces of the guys we watch on TV.
I’m tired of the Mise O Jeu feature. A pre-game gamblers’ feature, it offers no insight nor colour.
Vezina might-be Carey Price and Tampa’s canny and old (41) Dwayne Roloson, old man goalie, are the starters.
Tampa is ready for revenge. Steve Kozari and Chris Rooney are the refs.
Dignified David Desharnais, scrappy Ryan White and erstwhile Benoit Pouliot are the starters. Some guy named Vinny is on the other side.
I have a sense that this will be Montreal’s first-round matchup of the playoffs. Montreal will finish third overall in the East for this to happen.
Hard-working Tomas Plekanec, sturdy Jeff Halpern and the imposing Hal Gill are the absentees tonight. Gill has a virus.
Stoppage after an early entry. Faceoff to Roloson’s right. Lost by Gomez to Dominic Moore, the former Canadien. Moore wears nineteen now as opposed to forty-two with Montreal last spring. He’s got a streak of copper running through him. Aluminum now, one might think. Tampa colours are blue and silver. And white.
Lines change and the teams play a cautious brand. Eller is the standout, early. His strong skating stride stands out as he chases a forward into the Montreal zone. Puck stays on the perimeter, no shots and a long Montreal puck allows Tom Pyatt, Palushaj and Dawes make their first appearance.
Montreal’s Alexandre Picard and Swiss Yanick Weber are underneath. Picard has lost his stick. Pyatt gives him his own. Price makes a save off a routine shot from the high circles. To the corner it goes. Montreal exits. Dawes down the right side. Palushaj with him. Or is it the other way around?
One shot. Save. Puck stays in. Canadiens pass it around the perimeter. Pouliot, just on, takes a shot. Stoppage soon afterward.
Faceoff to Roloson’s left. He places the stick blade at a forty-five degree angle to the ice, a sabrous extension.
People-savvy Lightning coach Guy Boucher is shown instructing his next line. No hair gel for the unpretentious young phenom.
Small buzz around the Tampa net. White jerseys. The puck looks eager in the crease but no red jerseys flow near.
Price gets low on the other end but isn’t able to control the disc as well as Roloson on the previous sequence. Habs cover for him.
Action speeds up with just under fifteen minutes remaining in the first period.
The blooming Andrei Kostitsyn skates down the right side to a rising roar, as they once did for Lafleur. The offwing entry is neutralized and the sizable Belarusian leaves the ice soon after a negligible possession.
Another Montreal entry and Simon Gagne, the former Flyer is called.
Philia means brotherhood or something. So I learned earlier this week. It’s a Greek word and I assume it founds the name Philadelphia.
Ok, brotherly love. I was close.
Gagne hooked Palushaj, we are to assume from the replay. I saw nothing in that short segment. Could have occurred before or after.
Roloson wears thirty-five but might consider thirty-one or thirty-seven. Either suits him better. I dunno. Just a thought.
Thirteen and Montreal is forced to reset.
Gomez is on the left hash and passes to Hamrlik. Back to Gomez. Shot. Seen and stopped.
No rebound. Roloson is going to be a problem for someone in the playoffs. His legs are further apart in his faceoff stance than most goalies and his shoulders are very low.
Another stoppage. Montreal wins the draw outside their blue.
Entry pass is bungled. Second entry is also intercepted. Third try. And they set up.
Desharnais and Michael Cammalleri. Kostitsyn in the slot and defenceman Hamrlik in the crease. Puck finds Kostitsyn. Shot. Rebound can’t be had.
Montreal wins the faceoff. Subban and Picard low. Moore clears a puck. Subban retrieves. Tries an entry. Left side. Shoots from the circle dot. Rebound is searched for but a good shot can’t be had.
Gomez line leaves and Stamkos starts the team with a medium pass. He has it again on the right side. Around the net. Looks to the slot. Sends it to the blue. Long shot is tangled.
Montreal exits. Tampa is man on man and quick to the blue. A fence of visitors. Now all five players retreat as one glove to their net. The glove opens and fingers spill to the boards to jam Habs, to clean pucks from harm.
Canadiens match the intensity. Mara with a long shot. This one bounces out briefly. Cammalleri is there. But Roloson falls on it before the at-times intrepid winger can fire the disc. Faceoff to follow at Roloson’s left.
Jerseyed folks are at background blue clothed tables taking calls for the Radio-Telethon tonight. Answering phones. The climber is the only one who isn’t wearing a jersey. Bouchard is there. Pierre Bouchard. Number 26. He’s a bit older now.
Long Lightning puck allows the Canadiens to make a change.
Brunet says that Montreal is showing good speed from the neutral zone. A Moen chase is shown.
Eller takes the draw deep left.
Cammalleri flanks him. And Kostitsyn. Very interesting combo. A new one. Necessitated by Plekanec’ absence.
Mild puck to Price and he sweeps it to a man.
Kostitsyn. Right side. To Eller down the right column. Eller hesitates and turns, backhanding a pass to the slot. He didn’t look long enough and the pass finds Tampa sticks.
Habs retrieve. Subban. The flow is stanched at the Montreal blue. Subban retrieves yet again in his agile, calm manner. Another failed exit.
A mild shot from the circle is a nearly awkward trap for Price who slides forward to tortoise-shell the puck. He stands and hefts the small, black prize.
Faceoff to his right. Price stands nearly erect, glove up. Puck is won by the visitors. To the end boards. Price gets low. Gets tight. Leaning, searching, his body torqued and angled. Now the Canadiens move it out.
The Lightning retrieve after a failed Montreal possession.
Under the Montreal endline. Canadiens are now watching the opponent. Standing around. Lightning sense the change but don’t panic. One pass leads to a high shot off the glass the Canadiens survive their lapse.
Tampa ice. And Houde loses his cool. Calls a Roloson save miraculous. I missed it somehow. Roloson was reaching high. We’ll see this one again all night, says Houde.
Lines change. Subban is back on.
Pouliot, White and Desharnais.
Three on two. A shot. Roloson falls, diving, turning and back up. But he was beaten for a moment and only a Lightning penalty saves a certain shot on goal. Whistle. Houde says there will be a penalty.
Another waste of time commercial.
Where’s all the ads for vegetables? Only local companies should be allowed to advertise. So if you’re watching in Edson, you see Edson merchants. And so forth. Edson is in Alberta.
The Roloson save is shown. A puck turning end over end, heading for certain netting was stopped as Roloson turned, dove and stretched his stick across to make contact with the mid-air puck.
First thirty seconds are a wash. Yes, I am using clichés tonight. How about utilizing, then?
Roloson gloves a disc in his crease. A skittering mouse.
Cammalleri leaves the ice. Benoit tells us that Cammalleri doesn’t seem as fast, as explosive a skater tonight. He wonders aloud if it might be a virus or small, nagging injury. Playing hurt, it’s called. In all sports.
They don’t play hurt in golf, though. But, of course, that’s not a sport.
Canadiens’ power-play is held shotless.
One more try. Eller. Through the middle. Shot. Rebound. Cammalleri from the right, advances and shoots. Handled.
Brewer from under his end-line for Pavel Kubina. Lightning can’t beat their men to the puck. I might add that Tampa is not their usual fleet selves, either.
Price closes to his left post. Close the gap between the pads and gets low. Mild shot bounces off the white leg-padding and the Canadiens carry it out again. Lightning seem preoccupied, somehow.
Gomez. Gionta. They combine for a pass to Gomez at the low circles. He falls. Somewhere along the way, he held an opponent. Oh. As he fell. Held Bergeron. The great Marc-Andre Bergeron. Replay shows it’s legit. The penalty. Not the greatness.
Bergeron is a turnover machine and I’m glad to see him on another team. He wasn’t re-signed by Montreal last summer after a memorable season with his provincial club. Scored goals. Helped give up far more.
Not a Stanley Cup-winning rate of exchange.
Lightning are able to set up.
Refs overlook a Lightning cross-check. Crowd notices. They boo. Houde notices. States it. Stays calm.
Subban is down. Lecavalier whacked him. Crowd is booing. Lecavalier is unapologetic.
The replay shows Lecavalier take a wood-chopper’s strike at Subban’s upper thigh as they rounded the net.
Brunet says it’s unacceptable to take revenge this way.
Subban limps to the dressing room.
Brunet expresses strong disagreement with Lecavalier’s gesture.
Five minute penalty. And did I hear that he’s expelled from the game? Brunet and Houde earlier wondered about this possibility.
Four on three for Lightning to end the period.
Houde finds the outcome fascinating in terms of on-ice results.
Lecavalier showed no class on that play. Montreal led on shots 11-9.
The great, anointed Vincent Lecavalier. Anointed in Quebec as the must-have. He’s been wanted for some time and is two, three seasons past his peak. A still-dangerous offensive player, he will never again notch fifty goals as he did in 06-07 to lead all goal-scorers (52-56-108).
Normally, Lecavalier is an elegant player with a touch of gentlemanliness to go with his earned tough streak. Very talented forward and captain of the Lightning. He won the Stanly Cup with the club in 2003-04 and notably fought widely-respected Calgary captain Jarome Iginla to a stand-still in one of the more memorable and haunting fights in hockey history. Haunting because Lecavalier is not a fighter and Iginla, a tenacious, at times dirty player, is. Iginla, like Lecavalier, is also a fifty-goal man. Twice. Cavvy did it once.
Montreal 0, Tampa Bay 0
Today is the anniversary of the Richard Riot. Politics and hockey caught fire that night. And stayed in Quebeckers and Canadians memories well beyond.
Not sure if this entry is tilted by Ontario hockey bias but I imagine it is fair. Yes, the bias against Francophone players still exists but not in the overt way it once did. And many fewer hold such beliefs. And even fewer express it. Even suggesting that the bias exists could incite a mild verbal riot. But, it does. It should die a quiet death in the coming decades.
Middle guy is Denis. Gauthier? I keep thinking of Arcand. Denys Arcand. The great Quebec film-maker.
More telethon talk. Lafleur is at one of the tables. They keep him busy. He’s one of the team’s official ambassadors. Along with Yvan Cournoyer and the venerable Jean Beliveau, perhaps the most-respected player in league history.
In fact, Lecavalier admires Beliveau who retired in 1971, well before Lecavalier was born. The Tampa captain wears the number four in Beliveau’s honour and even had the chance to portray Beliveau on ice as an “actor” in the film The Rocket.
Even Leaf fans tell me they love that film. In fact, a Leaf fan insisted for many months that I watch it. She was right to do so.
Rocket was the first NHL player to score fifty goals in fifty games. Maurice Rocket Richard. Younger brother, Henri. Henri maintains a role as a Canadiens ambassador, as well.
Tampa Bay 0, Montreal 0
Subban is ok. He’s seated in the box, smiling and talking to Gomez. Vinny got a game misconduct. Is PK Subban really that irritating? Really? Really? What a vicious hit by Lecavalier.
Brunet continues scolding Lecavalier and I wonder if he is compensating for the knowledge that some in the blogosphere believe he’s a Franco player homer. He may be but if so, it’s hard to tell.
Tampa controls. On the perimeter. Still four on three. Shot from the blue. Glove save, rebound. Goal.
Tampa 1, Montreal 0
Teddy Purcell, his seventeenth of the season. He’s from Newfoundland, Pierre tells us.
We go to fours.
Desharnais and Gionta. Gomez has been split from his buddy again.
No quality action from the two. Gomez is on the ice now. Gionta stays. They combine to raise Pierre’s voice.
Five on four, now. About two and forty.
Canadiens struggle just to set up. Again. This time a dump-in seems to be the answer but a backhanded scoop pass goes up and out of play even as Wisniewski advanced to take the puck at the Tampa blue.
Habs set up. Gomez to Pouliot. No.
Now Pouliot has it under the end line and emerges. To Gomez, open at the end line. He gets the time. Two Habs advance. Puck misses them both and coasts through the crease untouched. Well thought. Pouliot gets the nod.
More offensive action but this time it stays on the perimeter.
Montreal resets. Subban decides to take it in. Deep. Bumps a man hard and makes a decent deep possession of it.
But following one good Nigel Dawes shot from the circle, wide, the penalty ends with the Canadiens earning one Houde compliment and one Brunet admonishment. Brunet says the team’s confidence is in question.
Houde said there were some good flashes.
Dawes is shown on the bench grinding his mouthguard. He looks a bit like Herb Tarlek. Dawes isn’t quite white, though.
Montreal scores. The horn. The crowd, the sound. And Brunet blunders in yapping.
Ruins the moment.
Desharnais. Pass to Kostitsyn. Eighteenth.
Montreal 1, Tampa 1
Linesman (number sixty-seven) helps Roloson secure the green bottle to the top of his net. Re-secure.
Moore wins the draw. Two and two under the end line. Habs push it to the blue. Sent back behind the Montreal net.
Subban retrieves. Montreal rush. Roloson is forced to his knees, loses sight, regains it, puck is bounding. A chance and the bodies fly by as ice and slush spray up to obscure view. And the puck stays out.
Skating increases. High shot sees Price jerk a high right shoulder. Sound of puck on glass.
To the neutral zone. Crowd is lulling and chiding. Water sloshing in a bowl. And then a whistle as Tampa crosses the blue offside.
Cute children in car ads is also offside. Product association with good feelings is not my idea of integrity.
I hate muffins. They absorb all the moisture in your mouth and then try to kill you on the way down. And the texture. Gad. And the flavours. How much water must one drink to consume one?
Price exits to play a puck. Here come your Canadiens. Pouliot is over the line and a leg on leg fells the lanky forward. Accidental and it goes uncalled. As it should.
Stoppage and Adam Hall is shown suffering from some facial contact. He’s on the bench now as a coach leans over him.
Tampa possession. Canadiens are not in their box. And where is the extra forward?
Price, paddle down, traps the disc with his glove following a save. Faceoff to his right.
Brunet extends plaudits for Bergeron now. Says he saved the Habs power-play last spring. True enough.
Houde adds a Gainey comment on the player.
Stoppage. Faceoff to Roloson’s left.
Moore versus Gomez. Moore must leave. Gomez beats Stamkos. To the point. Shot. Hits something.
Tampa swoops out. Stamkos. Right to Price. Looks beaten as the whistle goes and Stamkos is right to the crease lip. Stamkos drove, covered, retained and then curved to the crease as ice sparks bloomed. What balance and control. Puck disappeared. It’s in. But they can’t call it a goal unless the replay evidence proves it.
Montreal will be fortunate.
They go to Toronto. Split screen. Refs have their headsets on. They wait for the decision from the old men in Toronto. Or is it young videographers? Or even younger gamers?
There was no on-ice signal, neither from the antiquated goal-judge nor either referee.
Refs receive the decree. Call on the ice stands. No goal.
Faceoff to Price’s left.
Saint Patrick’s Day says Houde. Happy and so forth. And I’m reminded that Patrick Roy’s nickname was Saint Patrick. The imagination of the hockey world.
Ten and a half.
Long Tampa puck. Picard touches it first. Icing is called.
Bouchard is touching his fingers and making his points. Now he cups one hand in another after waving both around for a few moments. He’s standing in the corner of the bowl, right at the glass, his usual in-game spot.
Two blown shots by Montreal. Kostitsyn. Weber. The lane was there. In both cases.
Subban gives one away to save the zone. And it works. Tampa has to enter from the other side. Puck goes off glass and the Canadiens fail to make a response entry.
And again the Canadiens are standing around.
Gill’s leadership is missing. Players don’t stand around as easily when he’s around.
Hal Gill is six foot seven, thirty-five, from Ontario and somewhat imposing in personality and charisma. A defenceman.
Price traps a puck.
Some shoving. Eller. He doesn’t back down and the Lightning player chooses to skate away. Unexpected. Eller is new, Swedish and a skill player, as is said. He’s got moxie. Also, as they say.
I finally realise that Plekanec’ energy is also missing. And Halpern’s sense of responsibility to the defensive game.
Under the end line. Tampa takes it away. And they are out.
So basically, unwordy Brian Gionta, the captain, must lead alone. Gomez? Hm.
Palushaj is trying something behind the Tampa net. Here. Then there. Very quick, slippery movements. But he can’t find a receiver.
White is in on the left, now. Across for Pouliot. Bend-blast. Huge. Ah. High.
Habs are controlling the disc again. Now a dump-in for a line-change.
Gomez, Gionta and Moen.
Pass and a shot. Easily closed off by Roloson. Crowd, looking for something, anything, rise too high and fall too far. They return to light mulch.
Dana Tyrell tries a left-side entry with a Hab draped over him. He bends but is forced into the deep oval and around behind the net. Puck goes to the Habs.
Dawes intercepts a pass. To Palushaj. One against one. Leans right. Tries the shot. Not much angle. And Roloson scoop-gloves it to close the sequence.
Bouchard suggests to Pearn that there’s less room in the second. Pearn agrees and waits for the camera to leave before returning to the bench.
Tighter. With that accent I am so fond of.
Faceoff to Roloson’s left.
Very low. Watches his team exit. Thompson. A pass. Goes to the net. Awaits. Finds the puck again. Stays alert. Gets back to cover.
Canadiens possession is met by Tampa coverage.
And again. Teddy Purcell. Solid work. Whistle.
Gionta is down on the ice. Holding his head. Accidental. Moore shoved Gionta into Gagne. Gionta is wincing.
The shove may have come after the whistle.
I never liked Moore.
Tampa rush. Three and two back. Now it’s three back. Habs exit. White on the left. Tries to find Pouliot. Pouliot is game and looking, sifting and bumping his way to the crease. Puck doesn’t follow.
Purcell exits. One move. Keeps. Blasts as he crosses the blue. His stick goes up several feet. Broken. Puck is gone somewhere else. Price relaxes and stands straighter as his team pushes out.
The teams exchange entry threats but can’t penetrate. Now a Montreal offside ends action with about ten seconds left. Eller is shown wincing in his usual grimace.
Martin utters a short oath and looks up and then down. Back up again. The time and score.
Seconds drain. Siren goes. Crowd is unresponsive.
Price and Roloson skate away from their respective forts. Tampa led 11-8 and shots are tied at 20, overall.
Montreal 1, Tampa Bay 1
Bouchard shows how the Tampa goal came about because neither up-top Canadien moved into the lane to block the shot. Gionta was one of the two. He then adds that Boucher is very creative and the movement shown by Tampa on the four-on-three sequence reflects the creativity he regularly engages him.
Chapeau, closes Bouchard. Hat. Hats off, he means.
Kostitsyn’s goal. Bouchard shows us that Tampa defenceman Eric Brewer should have engaged Kostitsyn on the low slot goal with a stick under the Montreal forward’s. Instead Brewer placed it above and Bouchard says that nobody has the strength needed to prevent a shot in that situation. Stick under could have allowed Brewer to lift the stick. Instead it was child’s play for Kostitsyn, finishes Bouchard.
Tampa Bay 1, Montreal 1
Pierre tells us that Pierre Shampoo is one of the best linesmen in the NHL. Certainly.
I’ve never figured out how Pierre Shampoo actually spells his name.
It’s Pierre Champoux.
I prefer mine.
Craving meat products can’t be good.
Puck leaves the zone by just a few centimeters and play is stopped. Tampa was on the attack.
Travis Moen has nearly the classic Canadian hockey face. Except for the deadman shadow. Something.
Cammalleri. Chasing. Poking a stick into traffic.
The number to make a donation is shown. It’s 1-888-925-2133. Then the number disappears and Pouliot is advancing down the left. Back to the point. Picard hears his slapshot rattle on a shot wide. Now it’s in front. Palushaj has a chance. Side of the net. Good balance to hunker a shoulder down and lean as he whisked by the puck and post nearly out of the play.
Brunet says that Palushaj is a scorer, not robust but a scorer, taken in the second round. Houde adds a few exacto words to round out the history.
Subban is called. Hooking.
Martin shakes his head, appears to disagree with the call.
Gomez takes and loses the faceoff.
Gomez and Gionta are up top. Weber and Hamrlik underneath.
First clear. Tampa makes one pretty move to exit. St. Louis is low. Now back to the hash.
Purcell has it on the hash now.
St. Louis loses the disc on the point. Someone’s free. Alone. It’s Gionta. He accelerates. He’s going to get the chance. Loses it a bit. Regains. Backhand. He must. He has to. The slump. He does.
Montreal 2, Tampa 1
I exult mildly. I should be wearing a large, puffy suit.
Tampa has about forty seconds left in the power-play as they cross the Montreal blue. Yes, that was a shorthanded goal.
Pyatt and Cammalleri force a turnover and an entry. Someone in the crowd blows a whistle of some kind. Play continues. Shot can’t be had. When’s the last time Montreal scored two quick short-handed goals?
Penalty ends. Subban is back. Brakes and then hops over the boards to his bench.
Price makes a very sharp save. Right pad at his right post. Thank goodness the nets aren’t as big as they are in soccer.
We’d need two. Goaltenders.
Price makes another stop and a Montreal fan, in his fifties, expresses admiration and a boss’ pleasure in the sequence. Claps and gazes upward for the replay.
Faceoff to Price’s left.
To the Tampa zone. Eller touches it briefly and has it whacked away from him under the end line.
Kostitsyn is following. Puck is sent through the neutral zone.
Pouliot’s stick is held. No call.
And immediately a penalty against Montreal. What? What.
Moore tangles with Pouliot after the whistle.
Gionta’s crowd-greeting fist-pump following his goal is shown.
We go to monkeys and overpriced soup. So much plastic is wasted when we eat out. And those foam containers. It should be illegal to use that stuff. Customers must be required to bring in re-usable containers.
Mayor of the world. Vote for me.
Pouliot got roughing and hooking. Four minutes.
Pouliot hit Moore after the whistle. That’s a bit of payback for the Moore shove of Gionta. Was it after the whistle, wonders one of our booth buddies.
Tampa Bay power. Lightning power, if you prefer. But they haven’t been effervescent tonight.
Montreal clears the puck. Intercepts. Clears.
Now Pyatt in the neutral zone takes one away. Crowd overreacts somewhat. Hey, a short-handed goal will do that.
Price is across to stop one. Here’s a chance for him to close out a win.
Another cleared puck. Roloson is out to field.
Interception. Gomez. To Gionta at the blue. He retreats to kill more time. Ninety seconds.
St. Louis. Shoots. Off something. In the net.
Brunet says it’s really too bad because the Canadiens were playing nearly perfectly. St. Louis’ slapshot went chest high and was slapped down in the low slot by Gagne.
Some happy young Tampa fans are shown. Gleeful, one might say. Teeth and figgly wiggly wig. And black Tampa jerseys. Maybe eleven.
Tampa Bay 2, Montreal 2
I like Tampa Bay. Good team. Fearsome goalie. Phenom coach.
Corporations are too much in charge. And we have no clue. It’s worse in North America than in most of the rest of the so-called western world.
And now Subway. Who banned homeschoolers from a competition.
Nine minutes and the Canadiens must assert themselves. The Lightning can go home.
High glove stops a Moen, Gionta entry. Again, Gionta’s stick is lifted and held high.
Faceoff to Roloson’s right. Gagne is out. Bergenheim carries. They speed down the right but the Canadiens are with them. Price is at the post. The shot is nearly meaningless.
And on the other end Roloson traps a disc on the ice.
Mara punched Bergenheim uncalled at Price’s left. Brunet likes it. Likes Mara’s robustness.
I don’t. Mara punched Bergenheim in the face. Glove on. Brunet says that Mara has been playing a much tougher brand than his last stint with Montreal (last season) in order to stick around. Mara’s a bit older and when Gorges and Markov return, his spot will be in doubt.
Markov is a maybe, true.
Faceoff to Price’s right. Puck hits something and arcs over the net.
Moen is in on the left. He gets all the way through, veering (slowly) and Roloson has some trouble keeping it out. But does.
Eller line. Intact.
White digs under the end line. But Tampa is out.
Hall. Under the end line. Price tightens. Paddle down. Hall emerges and jams. Jams more. It ends.
Wry smile on an officials’ face. A Canadian face.
What a league. It’s a Canadian game.
Keep trying. Insular only gets you incest.
Five and a half.
Bouchard calls Pouliot’s penalty a stupid one. Maybe. Yeah, probably. I guess he could have “gotten” Moore in some other more legal context. The penalties did cost Montreal their lead.
Gomez. Under the end line. Long puck from under the end line. Goes long. Where is everyone? Way long. And Wisniewski is waiting at the point for it. But nothing can be created.
Tampa chance. Long shot. Off Price’s pad.
Stoppage. Gionta takes to the bench.
Four minutes and Price makes a save on a Brett Clark shot. Split the defence and hit Price in the crest with an ill-chosen shot. Didn’t have much time, though.
Eller line. Eller is bumping and searching. Now he carries through the middle. Roloson makes a mild save as Eller was flanked by defenders. Eller nods as he listens to Muller. Muller whaps him fraternally on the shoulder pad as he ends the advice session. Most players don’t nod as their coach talks but Eller nods throughout and it reflects well on both.
Most players just gaze out to the ice and pretend not to listen. They’re listening. Most.
Two minutes. Action remains on the perimeters. I ask myself if I’m able to handle an OT four-on-four. An easy yes tonight.
Or so I foresee.
More board nonsense. Both teams are going to be riskless, nearly faceless to close out.
But there are always one or two guys with ideas. Cammalleri is one of those guys.
Palushaj chases. New guys often have ideas, too.
Gomez line. Gionta and Moen. Forty-five as the Lightning start from behind their net.
Gionta bumps a man in the Tampa corner to Roloson’s right.
Puck is out anyway.
Price gets low and hears a puck whoosh by his mask. Over the net. And another missed shot. It’s all mild and the puck stays on the boards.
Tampa led 14-7 on shots for a total of 34-27, overall. Also for the visitors.
Montreal 2, Tampa Bay 2
Four on four for five minutes.
Eller. Big spaces. Subban is doing his new thing. Which is his old thing. And this is where he will be a difference-maker in the playoffs.
Roloson takes a shot on the mask. Gomez. Slot. Off something. Low part of his mask, says Brunet.
Trainer is out to check on Roloson. No blood. He’s standing. I wonder if a goalie can be concussed from that sort of impact. Front-side. He’s ok. Takes some water. Shakes his head from side to side.
A concussion can’t be shaken off.
Anyhow. He stays.
Gomez and Gionta.
Deep. To the point. Wisniewski. His big shot bounces wide.
Tampa entry. Wisniewksi nearly takes one puck away. Loses it. Tampa isn’t able to effect much.
Subban carries. Over the blue. Slows. Cammalleri is on the right. Pass and one-timer. Big thunk. The sound a missed shot can make.
Two and a half.
Bouchard compared the two coaches during the timeout. Young and dynamic, the white board. Old, the guru, calm. Letting his players rest.
St. Louis. The usual calm bomb demeanour. Sudden superstar. He won the Hart for a reason. He’s ignored for a variety of others. Down the right. A backhander. Price is on the post. St. Louis rounds the net, his hockey awareness and speed making him the most dangerous player on either roster. But this time the puck doesn’t join him.
Lines change. Play continues.
Forty seconds. Brewer for Moore. Down the right column. Price is low. A pass. A shot. Another pass. Another more dangerous shot. Price is on it. But it’s halcyon and the siren stops the itching.
I met Roloson once in Edmonton at some luncheon thing and he doesn’t look at all like his crazed team photo might indicate. He looks a bit, uh, caffeinated in this photo. Reseau makes a goalie comparison.
Roloson is still in some discomfort, twisting his neck around.
St. Louis reminds me of Eric Desjardins. Both face and demeanour. Neither are fawners.
Tampa Bay 2, Montreal 2
Shootout. Dawes first.
And he does score. Impressive. Good call. Five hole. Roloson’s experience with shooters didn’t count.
Price pokes a puck away falling on his back like a pizza-maker. How did it stay out. Stamkos.
Crowd expresses its love.
Nice moves. Double brake and skate and then a quick lion strike. But Roloson blunted it.
Booing. St. Louis.
Turns fully and… backhands. Price stayed in place. Stayed calm. One leg across. The left.
Very close. High shot. Too close. Roloson. Very good reflexes. Even at forty-one. Brunet chuckles.
One and ones.
Gagne. More booing. Right and left and a goal. Flopped Price out of his net. And hit netting high.
They boo partially because a French player is perceived to not have chosen Montreal.
Fakes. Lifts the foot. And then keeping the stick and form. He floops it in.
Purcell. Keeps. Keeps. Price. Flinches. Waits. Flinches. The shot is from too sharp an angle now. Too much waiting.
Soft lofter. Weird shot.
The low fives.
Tampa Bay 3 (SO)
HDS Stars: Brian Gionta, Carey Price, Andrei Kostitsyn
RDS Stars: Michael Cammalleri, Carey Price, Brian Gionta
God, these guys love Michael Cammalleri. One play and he’s in. Fans choose the stars nowadays.
The guys in Ante-Chambre are chuckling and saying that Guy Boucher needs to have a talk with Teddy Purcell. Because the guys here are saying great win for the Canadiens. The laughing continues.
Lecavalier refused to speak to the press after the game. Nice captain. This is the guy some of you wanted so badly?
Ante-Chambre has it right; placed correctly, a leg could have been broken. And again, this goes right up to the governors of the league. Failed league. Yet again. Keep up the good work. Cronies.