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The Diachronic Barber Pole Observations of a Recovering Hockey Exile

Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers

November 5, 2011, 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 (5-5-2) visit New York Rangers (5-3-3)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Game Thirteen (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 begins with a montage of Brad Richards, newly signed by the team for nine years.  Brad Richards is discussed in awe-struck terms amongst most casual fans I hear from.  I’ve never closely watched his game.  He’s a Tampa Bay Lightning alum and Stanley Cup winner and has been a high-priced free agent on two occasions; recently with Dallas.  And now New York.

We’re at Madison Square Garden and another classic Original Six matchup.  Time lapse photography shows the re-do of the arena.  Phase one is done and it’s a three year program.

Marc (Denis) is standing a bit closer to the screen and looks like a giant.  Tonight he reminds me of Serge Savard.

Some Andrei Kostitsyn talk and his two game-winners in over the last six games.  He never seems to be living up to his billing but when the cabbage is counted, he often has one of the biggest piles.  I wonder if I’m underestimating him.

Brad Richards is described as a competitor and someone who can do it all on the ice.

Whose idea was it to place Denis in such a prominent position relative to the camera?  Are they trying to downplay the impresario?  Or big up the new colour man?

Like a goalie who straightens his back when the puck leaves the zone, I rest my arms at my sides when the commercials are on.  Just trying a new technique.  The literal laptop continues.

No desk.  Beanbag behind me and bricks behind that.  I’m sitting like a splayed hobbit.  Mild splay.

The big desk with Alain and Mario.  And a cactus.

Alain’s suit jacket looks almost velour.  Black.  Dust-free.

Mario says that now we can see why the Canadiens sought Erik Cole and signed him for four years.

Every time he’s on the ice, something happens, says Tremblay.

Cole wears number 72.  He shoots left.  And he has a leather egg for a face.  Smiles a lot.  Lately.

Mario taps Alain’s arm as Alain looks down during Tremblay’s summary.

Benoit’s Movember is like Gaston Therrien’s, nearly transparent.

Brunet says that Yannick Weber’s confidence has returned.

Alain’s hair looks a bit silkier, thinner than normal.  Waves of an angst-ridden concerto genius.  Very white, very bright.

Why do they call it a hutch?  It seems more like a blagon.  Long a.  Rhymes with Donald Fagen.

That Journale de Montreal commercial is back.  Yvon Pedneault is one of the featured writers.

And what about solid wood versus compressed?  Can we really tell?  And are diamond appraisers in league?  In cahoots?

Was reading Gretzky’s biography, the one by Rick Reilly, again.  Peter Pocklington, the team owner at the time, gave the Oilers diamond rings after one Stanley Cup win.  Turns out the diamond sizes varied based on what Pocklington thought of your contribution to the team.  And some were fake.

When Gretzky found out, he had some changes made.

Carey Price in net.  And Lundqvist on the other end.  One of the greats.  Of the division.

First Period

Dean Morton and Tim Peel are the refs.

Eller, Kostitsyn and Moen.

Diaz keeps a puck in on the right and the Canadiens have brief control on the end boards.  Very brief.  One second, say.

Now we’re behind Price’s net.  Curls up along the boards.

Kostitsyn and Brad Richards collide.  Richards is knocked down by Pacioretty, next.  Pacioretty will go for this one.

Lundqvist leaves the net.  Delayed call against Montreal.  Rangers pass to the rear.  And it nearly rolls into their own vacated net. Whoops.

New York power.

Boarding the call.

Moen and Plekanec are the first kill pair.  Subban clears.

Richards carries.  Over the red.  Sets his shoulders and passes like a hockey robot to his left.

It’s into Montreal ice and cleared immediately.

Nokelainen.

Richards stays on with one minute in the penalty.

Dubinsky shoots on Price thru traffic, a light shot.  Turned away.

Rangers can’t do much and Houde says that the Canadiens have undone the team’s best efforts.

Thirty seconds.

Rangers are disorganized entering.  Puck bounces to the centre line.  Shot in.  Moen digs it out.  Clears.  And the Rangers looked poor there.  Visitors also looked good; often three men to the puck.  Hard to imagine on a PK but there it was.

Penalty ends.

Sauer shoots from the Montreal blue.  Puck flipples out.

Long pass to Sauer.  Blunden ambushes him and causes a five on five melee.  Blunden is going to fight Callahan.

Callahan hits him several times and then Blunden falls.  Callahan is the captain?  Wow.  How?  Hilarious.

Dubinsky and Gill.  Dubinsky decides not to go and calls Gill an asshole.

Nokelainen is in a fight now.  A few blows.  Houde says that we’ve never seen the dignified Finn in a situation like this before.

It started when Blunden just decked Dubinsky on entry.

Legal hit.  But nasty.  Shoulder to eh face.

Rangers head coach John Tortorella, the most honest man in hockey, watches as he gazes up at the scoreboard.  Ok, the most honest coach in the East conference, then.

Souray comes to mind.  Avery. And Burke.  But he’s more blunt than honest.  Too much of a politician to place on that list.

I mean guys in the game.

Nokelainen is escorted from the box now.  And asked to leave the game.  Second fight? What rule is that.  Martin allows a brief old-man porcelain tea kettle trembling of his head and then submerges the rest.  The new haircut makes his boyish ears stand out more.
Tortorella has an arm on his hip and is smiling to himself.

Gionta and number nineteen listen to the officials. Richards.  Richards doesn’t like it.  Shrugs and asks about it.  Now Gionta is tersely speaking with number thirty-six.  Gionta always seems to get his point across, agreed to or not.  I like him as captain for this reason.

Cammalleri?  Come on.

Gomez?  It’s too bad about the points total.

Gill is in the box.  Sauer is out of the game.

Tortorella wants the extra four minutes against Montreal up on the scoreboard.

Shot of Avery.  He’s back in the lineup.  Blunden and Kostitsyn are also in the box.  Kostitsyn is probably just serving Nokelainen’s minutes.

Avery looks like a pouting PJ Stock sitting there.

So, a five on three for Rangers to start.

Darche joins them in the box now.  Confusion totale says Houde.  They chuckle.

Plekanec, Gorges and Subban.  Five on three.  Plekanec wins it.  Subban fires it down.

More entry misery.  They all stop at the blue and wait.

Gaborik leads this one, and loops in to the boards after crossing the blue.  Leaves it.  They move it.  Down the left.  To the hydrant.  And in.  Erik Christianson. The one fist.  Mutters something.  It’s done. And the red light flashes like a policeman’s warning.

His first of the season.

New York 1, Montreal 0

Fifteen left in the first.

Five on four now.

To the left hash.  Shot out.  Rangers and I watch for more entry clouds.

Not this time.

Richards is on the left point.  Keeps one in.  Shovels one left to Gaborik.  Shovel tip.

Gaborik advances and then just shoots.

Gaborik’s pass from the other side of the rink is direct interception.

And then more entry keeble.

Or is it Weeble.

Or keystone.

Rangers waste the rest of it.

Fives.

Cammalleri.

Kostitsyn.  Eller.  Gorges.  Intercepts another.  Up for Kostitsyn

Rangers all out of sorts.

Canadiens passed like the Red Army and Kostitsyn finished with a hesitation and then a shot just wide, very sharp angle.

Canadiens feel good and the play shows it.

They skate as a troika plus two.

Cammalleri falls chasing a puck behind the Ranger net.  Desharnais tracks it coming out the other way.  Cole a bit closer to the Montreal zone.  But it’s out of play through the neutral zone.

Each time I see the end boards and the nearly dingy yellow of the lowest stripe in this arena, I think of the bad ice and of Alex Kovalev.  It’s where he started his career and being the showman he is, it’s where he saved and served some of his best efforts as a visiting player.

He was captain one of those nights.

Captain of the Canadiens.  Saku was out of the lineup at the time.

Drop pass.  Shot.  Glove high to bring another down.  The CSKA sequence.

Diaz jumps one and crosses, passes, shot from a pipe.  Lundqvist.  Just the tip of the glove.

Cammalleri’s shot.  And Desharnais is called on the play.  Sits down by Blunden.  Hooking.

Martin, arms folded shakes his head.  One sleeve is quite visible.  Shirt-sleeve.  His hair looks matted.  New York alley matted.

Rangers power-play.

Richards carries over the blue.  He plays as if he thinks he’s a saviour.  And the pass to him in the same vein.  That’s a weakness.  And I’m happy to see it.  One always wonders if this will be the year for the Rangers.  They always have some frightening signing to worry about.  But theirs is a culture of disparate souls and it keeps them from uniting.

What an awful history this team has.  And due respect to their truest fans.

Being a Ranger fan in New York is like being an Argonaut fan in Toronto.

Rangers are unable to solve the Canadiens blackboards system.  Penalty drains.

Rangers control again.  Under the end line.  Crowd to the boards.  Sudden emergence.  Missed coverage.  Pas to eh low circle.  And it’s in.  Dan Girardi.  Very nice.

Opportunistic.

Rangers 2, Montreal 0

Nine and a half.

Rangers have some hope.  Boyle. Over the left side.  Huge man.  Six seven and 244, in fact.  Shoots dead on with no skill.  And falls.  Over Desharnais.  Desharnais leaves without complaint but is annoyed with himself.  He reminds me of Dionne a lot.

Another Ranger power-play.

Dionne’s face.  And sometimes the demeanour.  Both very self-contained players.

On the ice.

Expansion makes one appreciate the old rivalries a bit more.  Matchups, then.

Tripping.

More of a collision than a trip.  That number 36 is quick on the whistle, eh?

Plekanec and Moen up front.  Gill and Gorges low.  The number one kill unit.

One clear.

Middle entry all individual and the puck is lost.

Richards retrieves.  Carries past the red and an awkward side pass.  Dumped in.

Three Habs.  Three Rangers.  Habs don’t fear the Ranger passing quickness.  Which, uh, isn’t quick.

Del Zotto.  Shot-pass.  Intercepted.  Rangers mung around at the blue. And keep it in.

Del Zotto on the blue, right in the middle.  Winds up.  Passes.  To Gaborik.  Rangers keep playing hot potato.   One guy isn’t going to get it done.

Penalty ends with the Rangers chasing yet another cleared puck.

Penalty ends and the Rangers get their best chance at the end of the sequence.  Yet again.  Price loses a sick but is intrepid.  And the fastest man on the ice.  Across, caped.  And the other way, the mask.

Stoppage.

Faceoff outside the Montreal zone.

Shot in.  Price redirects the hard shot.  Stays deep.

Stepan.  Anisimov.  Keeping.  Around the hash.  Passes o the blue.  Long one.  Bounces but Price controls it.  Trapped down with the glove.

Price is in his battler mode.  Physically cat-clawing the spaces in front of him.  He’s sending his message.  The team will respond with theirs.  And of this, I’m sure.

The four-game streak is something they want to keep going.

Momentum is so fragile in hockey.   Such an emotions-dependent game.  More than most.

Five and twenty.  Cole through the neutral.  Knocked down.  Wants a penalty.  Won’t get it.

They chase the Rangers.  The Rangers chase the puck.  Nobody can adjust to the increase in pace.

Finally Callahan does.  Backhands.  Cycling facsimile.  Two cycles.  Canadiens take it away.

Cole up high.  Desharnais and Pacioretty can’t come up with it for their sniper.  Pacioretty can snipe, yes.

Four minutes.

Pacioretty and Plekanec drop a stick and kick a puck   McDonagh loses the puck to Gionta.  Rangers are out of position.  Canadiens are stopped by Lundqvist and may be a hurried shot selection by Plekanec. Gloved high.

Waiting to ring that elephant bell.  This circus building.  Keep it.

Ryan McDonagh was Mr. Hockey Minnesota in 2007.

Houde repeats it.  Denis says it’s a funny title.  Not quite the Pedneault response.  Stating the obvious.  Houde needs better.

But maybe Denis has it in him.

Mr. Hockey Minnesota.

Mr. Universe.

Mr. Beefcake.

And so forth.  A shot of some MSG grub might have helped.

But it’s a hockey show.

Blunden can’t keep from going offside.

Cole line.

Neutral ice.  Cole shoots it down.  Cammalleri is beaten to it.  Then Subban does the same on the other end.

Two and a half.

Anisimov.  One pass.  A second.  And the goal.  Good deke.

Not Price’s fault.

Just about had it.  Forehand to backhand in the low slot.

Rangers 3, Montreal 0

Ranger fans chant.  It’s unrecognizable.

Now they mock the Ole, ole.

I smirk.

Ranger fans are allowed.  They’re embattled, shrewd and, hey, they’re New Yorkers.

Ninety seconds.

Pacioretty.  Around the net.  Can’t lift the stick.  Eller follows.  Rangers look for receivers but none to be found.  Long pass is intercepted

Yes, it’s been nice, opportunistic goals and all but now let’s see the systems team get rewarded.  They’ve been much better than New York.  But their breakdowns have resulted in goals against.  New York’s, not even a tough save for Lundqvist.

Why aren’t there depanneurs in Toronto?

Gad.

Period ends with the Ranger fans expressing their joy and adulation.

Shots on goal in favour of Rangers 16-3.

Martin utters an oath as he leaves the bench area.

First Intermission
Rangers 3, Montreal 0

I have no idea.  No idea.  No idea.

So, Alain asks, is he a good coach, a good talker or both?  Tremblay says, for him, it’s both. He loves Tortorella. Crete adds that he’s won everywhere.  Calder trophy.  Stanley Cup.  Some Atlantic league I never heard of.

Low on the screen is the question; John Tortorella est-il…. blah, blah ou blah, blah or both?  It stays on the screen throughout the discussion.  Next question; will Ken Hitchcock be the next coach of the Jackets?  Brunet doesn’t answer the question but suggests the team might be better in Quebec City.  He gets a chuckle from Alain.

Now Ovechkin is discussed.  His recent perceived misbehaviour.  Brunet says Ovie will stay.  Boudreau?  What’s he done?  Tremblay assures Brunet that Boudreau will win the Stanley Cup this season.

Second Period
Rangers 3, Montreal 0

We’re shown the goals.  Cammalleri’s weak effort on the third is clear on this replay.

Time for Expressly Canadian I would say.

Houde says that Price is back.  And that Martin’s message might be that the game is still possible, still within reach.

Quick whistle on the faceoff.

Price bends some more.  Low and on his knees, pads spread on the tracks.
Plekanec.  Hustle pass.  Rebound.  Shot.  What.  Goal.  Shot.  What.  Huh?

V rebound. Ok?  Pacioretty.  Boof.

I was watching Plekanec.

Gionta’s shot from the boards created the sharp angle rebound.

Rangers 3, Montreal 1

Subban retrieves.  Plekanec line stays on.

Another retrieval.  Whistle.  Hooking.  Plekanec complains.  Ranger held his stick under the arm.

Martin with the brief shake of the head.

Faceoff to Price’s right.  Eller and Cammalleri up top.  Gill and Gorges low.

Cammalleri with his wave the flag at the bull approach.  Still on the ice.  More of the minimum.  Pretending to penalty-kill.

He’s no Jari Kurri.

Moen and Gionta.  Gaborik with a shot from the blue.

Out of play.

Richards carried well on the last sequence.

Faceoff.

Bouncer.  Price handles a very tough puck.  Stays in.  Spacek dig backhands a puck out.

Gaborik with a middle entry and then a shovel left.  Then to the net.  This one looks much smarter.  Rangers want the fourth goal.

They flow to the puck and look for openings.  Making themselves targets.  Canadiens match and clear.

Penalty ends.

Diaz and Gill.  Fedotenko behind the net.  Picks up where Prust’s fall left the puck.

Prust is on his knees behind the net again.  He’s game.  Digging.   Rowing.  Suffering.  But it’s out.

Cammalleri.  With two.  Kostitsyn down the slot.  Shifts and cuts inside, wrists almost in the same moment.  Doesn’t get to the goalie.

Rangers are out with four.    On two. But the shot is up and out of play.

Deep right faceoff.

Lost.  And two Rangers go to the net.  And Price is at the crease lip and nobody screams.

What a chance.  Houde’s voice was unchanged.

Gionta to the net.  Hands up, he misses the puck and keeps himself from being kranged by the crossbar.

Fifteen left.

Lundqvist maids a puck low.

Leaves it.

To the neutral.  Rangers can’t prong.

And Lundqvist gets low on a Subban entry past the left hash.  Weak, rising backhand.

Held for the draw.

Rangers get careless with the puck.  Canadiens keep fighting for it.  When Cole misses, another Hab is there to recover.  This kind of work.

Subban and Gorges low.  Moen traps Prust to the end boards.  Canadiens outwork the Rangers on the boards and in the gaps.

Rangers are losing their focus.

The crowd seems not to notice.  They remain their here-and-there selves.

Smatterings and murmurs and a general crackle.

Habs possession.  Gionta at the crease.  Knocked down.  Back up.

Puck is out.  New lines.

One man in on the right, Dubinsky.  Delayed call against Montreal.

I look skyward.  Ceilingward.

Tuck my lips into my mouth.

Another Ranger advantage.

The way that woman pulls out those Coors Light bottles is insipid.  With this I’ve just been electrocuted happy expression.  Nobody does any task like that.   Blonde bartender.

And what’s with this raspy French truck commercial voice?  Nobody talks like that.  That one’s a man.  Have a salt-water gargle, buddy.  And … ferme your geule.

High stick.

Gionta.

Accidental.  Had to be called.  Callahan took it to the chin.

Stickless hockey?

Plekanec versus Dubinsky.  Plekanec wins the draw.  And it’s out.

But not before a sliding Gorges whacks at it.

More of the Ranger tomfoolery.

Moored.  But Plekanec intercepts a Richards handling at the blue.  And Moen is in before him.

Plekanec is such a canny player.

What.  Plekanny?  I dunno.

No.

Eller loses the draw at centre ice.  Just under a minute.

Rangers exit.  Long pass, left side. Gaborik.  Cross-ice pass for Stepan.  Too long.

Eller finishes this job and dumps it in after taking it away.

Ten minutes.

Price meets Anisimov behind the net.  Decides the best thing is to shove the forward down and make sure he stays down.

No call.  Goalie collisions are like that.  Nod to eh keeper.

Gionta down the right.  All effort.  And is pulled down by McDonagh.

Some in the crowd don’t like it.  McDonagh questions.  Expression only.  Then settles in.  Montreal power.

Plekanec and Weber on the blue.  They exchange passes.

Rangers are sixth on the PK.

Eighty-four percent.

One of the most penalized teams in the NHL, Houde says.

Lundqvist is a problem.

Especially with a two-goal lead.  And a legion of buffoons in front of him.  I always wonder how he keeps playing hockey.   How can any good player survive in New York.

Girardi is called.

Five on three.  Lundqvist is not happy.

Dubinsky.  Le porte s’ouvre, says Houde.

Immediate Ranger clear.

Forty seconds of two man advantage.

Cammalleri on the right point.

Gionta at the end line.

Plekanec at the point.

Kostitsyn in the low slot.

They move it around the pentagon.  Low.  Across.  Andrei.

Untouched.  Girardi.

Rangers 3, Montreal 2

Seven and a half.

Five on four.  About seventy seconds.
Pacioretty in the middle.  Subban and Diaz.

Subban with a scream producer.

Wide.

Gets it again. Fakes. To Diaz.

Gets a second.  And a third.  Into a body and wide.

Diaz into a leg.  Anisimov.  Limping.  More shots.  Cole over his stick.

Lundqvist covers it.  Backhands, risers, nothing.

Cole to the net.  Desharnais.  No animosity.  No sticks.  And no goal

Denis discusses shots.  I discuss epithets.

Surly expletives.

Six.

Montreal is up to fifteen shots on goal.  Twenty for Rangers.

Plekanec to Gionta flying to the net.  Just a bit far.

Good ole THN ranked Cammalleri as the number 9 left wing.  Or was it eight.  In the league.  Based on what.  Such a collection of biased writers.  Pro, pro, pro.  Cammalleri had 18 goals last year.

In 65 games, sure.  But.

So overrated.  Or underachieving.  Whichever you prefer.

And with a nation of excuse-makers at the ready.

Faceoff deep right.

Five minutes.

Weber.  High stick.

Weber chatting with the official.

Callahan’s face was the target.  Accidental.

Ranger power-play.

I shake my head.

Eller escapes.  Coverage.  One on one.  Dribbling, working, moving and somehow he scoots into some space.  Shot is stopped.

Darche likes Eller.  No surprise.

Rangers are better, spaced right they face a PK designed to negate the best power-plays in the league.  And they’re in sync.  There’s no chance against Montreal’s number one PK unit.  And this penalty ends despite improved Ranger organization.

Two and a half.

Cole.  With some speed.  Chooses and cruises and has speed when one least expects it.  Thirteen minutes last night.  But an older guy is better used this way.  Can do more with less minutes.    It’s deceptive.

Cole’s work takes him across the slot and he hits the post dead on.

Canadiens are outskating Rangers again.  Finally Richards is free up high.  Shoots unexpectedly.  And it’s in.

So much bad play but punctuated by three puck bursts.  It’s enough to discourage a better team.

Rangers 4, Montreal 2

That’s one of the nice things about tonight.  Finding out the Ranger are worse than last season.  One less team to worry about.

But it’s hockey.  And the leads are deceptive.  And so are the outcomes.

A good goalie can make up for a lot, too.

Thirty seconds.

Price has it at the end line.

Fires long for Cammalleri.  Speeds.  Fires.  Crossbar.  Price taking the game into his own hands.

One goal.  One finish.  The shooters are failing the team.  And it’s not just tonight.

Period ends with a rusty Ranger incursion.

Subban is the rod again.  Lasts a few seconds.

Montreal outshot Rangers 13-6.  Rangers lead 22-16.

Second Intermission
Rangers 4, Montreal 2

Amazing footage of Buffalo Sabres Patrick Kaleta using his head.  To wham opponents.  Various games.  Same gesture.  Didn’t know that about Kaleta.  Very impressive find by RDS.  Tremblay says that four games is not enough for a repeat offender like Kaleta and sizzles; eight!!

He gets close, in the scrum, aims and then butt-ends people with his helmet.  Under the chin.  It’s ugly.

Third Period
Rangers 4, Montreal 2

Marc Denis suggests that Pacioretty might still be aggravated by his recent injury.

Cole is often on the verge of the spectacular.  This time a puck goes beyond his stride and he falls to the ice.  Like n uncle.

Anisimov follows with a post.

He rues his fortune on the bench.

I’m too far from this screen.

And fighting a cold.  Again.  Or is it just fatigue?

Two on two.  Moen is slightly offside.

Same thing.

Eller looks over at him.  They’ll solve it.

Faceoff outside the blue.   Eller loses it.

Seventeen left.

Weber misses a Price behind the net.  Eller has it regardless.  Turns and finds a receiver down the right.  Moen.  Tangled in blueshirts and the puck is cleared.

Icing, New York.  The comma does make a difference.

Deep right.

Cole takes it for Desharnais.

Christensen wins it easily says Houde.

What’s learned in the first two is being applied.  But to what effect.

Cammalleri does very little.  Fiat player.  Showroom type.

Always the last Canadiens back on the backchek.  Always lurking at the top of the ice on the attack.  Rarely to the net.

Anyone else sick of it yet?

That cost us game seven.

Yeah, us.

Fifteen.

Weber one-timer.  Henrik has it.

Another Weber blast.  Pacioretty is spilled and the puck is off Anisimov’s stick and into the darkness.

MSG.  Love it.

Ok.  Like it.

Ok, familiar with it.

Fedotenko.  Sneaks a puck past the elephant legs.  No Rangers are quick enough.
And a stoppage.  Moen takes a seat.  Kostitsyn, too.  Gionta with a plastic cigar sticking out of his mouth.  The mouthguard.

Fourteen and a half.

Gionta’s a guy I could never imagine smoking.  You know?  Sure, maybe he does.  But I just can’t imagine it.  I’d bet my Saku jersey he doesn’t, though.

Price is in the mode.

Team is, too.

But there are only thirteen and a half minutes left.

And that angry guy at the other end.

Not the goal judge.

Price’s left.  Habs out.  Three Rangers back.  Kostitsyn’s pass is a bounding board miss.

Rangers press.

Stepan.  Working.  Anisimov with him.  Very responsible line for the team tonight.

Prust.  Again behind the end line.  Spacek can’t take him.  Just uses the stick.  Finally Spacek takes Fedotenko behind the end line.  And again.

Spacek picks his targets.

Montreal possession.

Subban. Shot.  Big rebound.  And the pass sails across.  No sticks reply.  Two fall.  Pacioretty.  No.  Accidental.  Only one or two discernible boos.

Eleven.

Ranger zone.  Forced pass.  Good forecheck.  Callahan and Diaz.  Diaz’ face to the glass.

Some good hockey from both.  Choppy, interrupted but burly and earnest.

Ten and twenty.

Cole.  Eminger falls in front of him as he crosses the blue.

Lundqvist holds onto the resulting off-balance. Shot.

Deep left faceoff.  Lundqvist removes his mask to reveal remarkably dry hair.  Products?  Calm?

Ten minutes.

Long Hab pass.  Turnover.

Eller at centre ice.  Retreats.  Pass to Weber.  Intercepted by Avery.  Entry is annulled.

But Avery is soon in again on the left, this time.  Move and a shot.

Held high against the chest.  Price stands and waits for the whistle.

I wonder what it would be like to be the fan that falls asleep to the game every night.

Relaxing, I suppose.  Predictable.

Prone to generalizing about the team.

Just under nine.

Pacioretty, weaving, an S here an S there, the shot.  And I don’t see it.

Gaborik.  One man lone.  Shot.  Glove high. Price looking to keep it going.  Does.  Bowls it forward.  And here’s Cole.  Again with that unexpected acceleration.  To the net.  Stopped.  Cammalleri turns and lasers one from the end line.  Well thought.  Also closed off.

Seven and a half.

Only great passing can beat Lundqvist tonight.  As usual.

Seven.
Gorges.  From Price.  To Andrei.  Dumped in.

Turnover.  Subban and Gorges fix it.  Subban is at the net and knocked down.

Gloves to the face.  Subban is “what, what, what did I do?”

Snowed Lundqvist.  Skate-snow rude.  Got shoved for it.  The gloves to the face.

And he is called for it.  Unsportsmanlike.  Subban.

Ugly.  And disappointing.

Houde says called for a snowstorm.  Denis stays serious.  I chuckle.  Houde’s sense of irony is exquisite.

Rangers’ man-advantage.

First incursion is Montreal’s.  No threat.

Rangers are happy to kill time.  Never smart, the Rangers.

Very short-sighted team.

Turnover.  Gionta.  Turns.  Shoots.  Muzzle.  Lundqvist.

Under thirty.  Five in the period.

Desharnais finds one.  Clears.

I’m just waiting for goals now.

Cole.  Cuts to the slot.  That’s the quality I like the most.  Unafraid.  I find it hard to believe his listed numbers. He’s bulky.  Like a hitman.

What’s under the suit, Harv?

Cole is listed at 205.  He’s bigger than Spacek.  Who’s listed at 210.  So.  What’s the deal?

Cole’s Movember gives him an Eastern Bloc look.

Faceoff to Price’s right.  Four minutes.

Pacioretty sees it.  And it disappears.  Flubbed assignment and a puck in the crease.  Sudden mouse.  No elephants.

Three.

Cammalleri.  One handing.  Watching.  Chasing.  Mishandling.  Not going to the net.

Where IS SAKU.

Two and fifteen.

Another Montreal rush.

And they score just as I’m thinking of how we need a veteran blue liner.  To keep it in.   Gionta.  From the blue.

Rangers 4, Montreal 3

The captain.

Maybe off someone. Just under two minutes.

The posts. The crossbar.  And so forth.  Denis illustrates.

Let’s go Rangers chant begins.

Ninety seconds.  Buried deep under the end line.  Well, four feet under the Montreal end line.

Gorges.  Out with it.  Shovels it past Subban.  Finds a Hab at the high hash.  Gorges doesn’t trust Subban in this situation.

Flows to the other end.  And a stoppage.  Timeout.  Cunneyworth draws it up.  Gets approval.  Talks to his guys.

Just score.

Shots are tied at 28.

Plekanec wins it against Boyle.  Diaz’ shot is into a leg.  Stays in play.  They swipe at it.  Bounces to the blue.  And over the stick.  Subban saves it.  Across.  But a whistle.

Centre ice faceoff.  Gionta on the left flank.  Cole on the right.

Plekanec at centre ice.

Boyle.

Boyle wins it.  Cole can’t get to it.  Puck bounces, is shot, and hits Subban’s stick.  And into the net.

The empty net.

Callahan.

Rangers 5, Montreal 3

I close my eyes.  Wait.  I open them.  I stop typing instead.

For a few seconds.

It ends.

Lundqvist is congratulated.  The Habs leave this circus rink.

Final Score
New York Rangers 5
Montreal Canadiens 3

HDS Stars: Josh Gorges, Erik Cole, Artem Anisimov
RDS Stars: Brad Richards, Erik Christensen, Andrei Kostitsyn

 

Reseau begins with a montage of Brad Richards, newly signed by the team for nine years. Brad Richards is discussed in awe-struck terms amongst most casual fans I hear from. I’ve never closely watched his game. He’s a Tampa Bay Lightning alum and Stanley Cup winner and has been a high-priced free agent on two occasions; recently with Dallas. And now New York.

We’re at Madison Square Garden and another classic Original Six matchup. Time lapse photography shows the re-do of the arena. Phase one is done and it’s a three year program.

Marc (Denis) is standing a bit closer to the screen and looks like a giant. Tonight he reminds me of Serge Savard.

Some Andrei Kostitsyn talk and his two game-winners in over the last six games. He never seems to be living up to his billing but when the cabbage is counted, he often has one of the biggest piles. I wonder if I’m underestimating him.

Brad Richards is described as a competitor and someone who can do it all on the ice.

Whose idea was it to place Denis in such a prominent position relative to the camera? Are they trying to downplay the impresario? Or big up the new colour man?

Like a goalie who straightens his back when the puck leaves the zone, I rest my arms at my sides when the commercials are on. Just trying a new technique. The literal laptop continues.

No desk. Beanbag behind me and bricks behind that. I’m sitting like a splayed hobbit. Mild splay.

The big desk with Alain and Mario. And a cactus.

Alain’s suit jacket looks almost velour. Black. Dust-free.

Mario says that now we can see why the Canadiens sought Erik Cole and signed him for four years.

Every time he’s on the ice, something happens, says Tremblay.

Cole wears number 72. He shoots left. And he has a leather egg for a face. Smiles a lot. Lately.

Mario taps Alain’s arm as Alain looks down during Tremblay’s summary.

Benoit’s Movember is like Gaston Therrien’s, nearly transparent.

Brunet says that Yannick Weber’s confidence has returned.

Alain’s hair looks a bit silkier, thinner than normal. Waves of an angst-ridden concerto genius. Very white, very bright.

Why do they call it a hutch? It seems more like a blagon. Long a. Rhymes with Donald Fagen.

That Journale de Montreal commercial is back. Yvon Pedneault is one of the featured writers.

And what about solid wood versus compressed? Can we really tell? And are diamond appraisers in league? In cahoots?

Was reading Gretzky’s biography, the one by Rick Reilly, again. Peter Pocklington, the team owner at the time, gave the Oilers diamond rings after one Stanley Cup win. Turns out the diamond sizes varied based on what Pocklington thought of your contribution to the team. And some were fake.

When Gretzky found out, he had some changes made.

Carey Price in net. And Lundqvist on the other end. One of the greats. Of the division.

First Period

Dean Morton and Tim Peel are the refs.

Eller, Kostitsyn and Moen.

Diaz keeps a puck in on the right and the Canadiens have brief control on the end boards. Very brief. One second, say.

Now we’re behind Price’s net. Curls up along the boards.

Kostitsyn and Brad Richards collide. Richards is knocked down by Pacioretty, next. Pacioretty will go for this one.

Lundqvist leaves the net. Delayed call against Montreal. Rangers pass to the rear. And it nearly rolls into their own vacated net. Whoops.

New York power.

Boarding the call.

Moen and Plekanec are the first kill pair. Subban clears.

Richards carries. Over the red. Sets his shoulders and passes like a hockey robot to his left.

It’s into Montreal ice and cleared immediately.

Nokelainen.

Richards stays on with one minute in the penalty.

Dubinsky shoots on Price thru traffic, a light shot. Turned away.

Rangers can’t do much and Houde says that the Canadiens have undone the team’s best efforts.

Thirty seconds.

Rangers are disorganized entering. Puck bounces to the centre line. Shot in. Moen digs it out. Clears. And the Rangers looked poor there. Visitors also looked good; often three men to the puck. Hard to imagine on a PK but there it was.

Penalty ends.

Sauer shoots from the Montreal blue. Puck flipples out.

Long pass to Sauer. Blunden ambushes him and causes a five on five melee. Blunden is going to fight Callahan.

Callahan hits him several times and then Blunden falls. Callahan is the captain? Wow. How? Hilarious.

Dubinsky and Gill. Dubinsky decides not to go and calls Gill an asshole.

Nokelainen is in a fight now. A few blows. Houde says that we’ve never seen the dignified Finn in a situation like this before.

It started when Blunden just decked Dubinsky on entry.

Legal hit. But nasty. Shoulder to eh face.

Rangers head coach John Tortorella, the most honest man in hockey, watches as he gazes up at the scoreboard. Ok, the most honest coach in the East conference, then.

Souray comes to mind. Avery. And Burke. But he’s more blunt than honest. Too much of a politician to place on that list.

I mean guys in the game.

Nokelainen is escorted from the box now. And asked to leave the game. Second fight? What rule is that. Martin allows a brief old-man porcelain tea kettle trembling of his head and then submerges the rest. The new haircut makes his boyish ears stand out more.

Tortorella has an arm on his hip and is smiling to himself.

Gionta and number nineteen listen to the officials. Richards. Richards doesn’t like it. Shrugs and asks about it. Now Gionta is tersely speaking with number thirty-six. Gionta always seems to get his point across, agreed to or not. I like him as captain for this reason.

Cammalleri? Come on.

Gomez? It’s too bad about the points total.

Gill is in the box. Sauer is out of the game.

Tortorella wants the extra four minutes against Montreal up on the scoreboard.

Shot of Avery. He’s back in the lineup. Blunden and Kostitsyn are also in the box. Kostitsyn is probably just serving Nokelainen’s minutes.

Avery looks like a pouting PJ Stock sitting there.

So, a five on three for Rangers to start.

Darche joins them in the box now. Confusion totale says Houde. They chuckle.

Plekanec, Gorges and Subban. Five on three. Plekanec wins it. Subban fires it down.

More entry misery. They all stop at the blue and wait.

Gaborik leads this one, and loops in to the boards after crossing the blue. Leaves it. They move it. Down the left. To the hydrant. And in. Erik Christianson. The one fist. Mutters something. It’s done. And the red light flashes like a policeman’s warning.

His first of the season.

New York 1, Montreal 0

Fifteen left in the first.

Five on four now.

To the left hash. Shot out. Rangers and I watch for more entry clouds.

Not this time.

Richards is on the left point. Keeps one in. Shovels one left to Gaborik. Shovel tip.

Gaborik advances and then just shoots.

Gaborik’s pass from the other side of the rink is direct interception.

And then more entry keeble.

Or is it Weeble.

Or keystone.

Rangers waste the rest of it.

Fives.

Cammalleri.

Kostitsyn. Eller. Gorges. Intercepts another. Up for Kostitsyn

Rangers all out of sorts.

Canadiens passed like the Red Army and Kostitsyn finished with a hesitation and then a shot just wide, very sharp angle.

Canadiens feel good and the play shows it.

They skate as a troika plus two.

Cammalleri falls chasing a puck behind the Ranger net. Desharnais tracks it coming out the other way. Cole a bit closer to the Montreal zone. But it’s out of play through the neutral zone.

Each time I see the end boards and the nearly dingy yellow of the lowest stripe in this arena, I think of the bad ice and of Alex Kovalev. It’s where he started his career and being the showman he is, it’s where he saved and served some of his best efforts as a visiting player.

He was captain one of those nights.

Captain of the Canadiens. Saku was out of the lineup at the time.

Drop pass. Shot. Glove high to bring another down. The CSKA sequence.

Diaz jumps one and crosses, passes, shot from a pipe. Lundqvist. Just the tip of the glove.

Cammalleri’s shot. And Desharnais is called on the play. Sits down by Blunden. Hooking.

Martin, arms folded shakes his head. One sleeve is quite visible. Shirt-sleeve. His hair looks matted. New York alley matted.

Rangers power-play.

Richards carries over the blue. He plays as if he thinks he’s a saviour. And the pass to him in the same vein. That’s a weakness. And I’m happy to see it. One always wonders if this will be the year for the Rangers. They always have some frightening signing to worry about. But theirs is a culture of disparate souls and it keeps them from uniting.

What an awful history this team has. And due respect to their truest fans.

Being a Ranger fan in New York is like being an Argonaut fan in Toronto.

Rangers are unable to solve the Canadiens blackboards system. Penalty drains.

Rangers control again. Under the end line. Crowd to the boards. Sudden emergence. Missed coverage. Pas to eh low circle. And it’s in. Dan Girardi. Very nice.

Opportunistic.

Rangers 2, Montreal 0

Nine and a half.

Rangers have some hope. Boyle. Over the left side. Huge man. Six seven and 244, in fact. Shoots dead on with no skill. And falls. Over Desharnais. Desharnais leaves without complaint but is annoyed with himself. He reminds me of Dionne a lot.

Another Ranger power-play.

Dionne’s face. And sometimes the demeanour. Both very self-contained players.

On the ice.

Expansion makes one appreciate the old rivalries a bit more. Matchups, then.

Tripping.

More of a collision than a trip. That number 36 is quick on the whistle, eh?

Plekanec and Moen up front. Gill and Gorges low. The number one kill unit.

One clear.

Middle entry all individual and the puck is lost.

Richards retrieves. Carries past the red and an awkward side pass. Dumped in.

Three Habs. Three Rangers. Habs don’t fear the Ranger passing quickness. Which, uh, isn’t quick.

Del Zotto. Shot-pass. Intercepted. Rangers mung around at the blue. And keep it in.

Del Zotto on the blue, right in the middle. Winds up. Passes. To Gaborik. Rangers keep playing hot potato. One guy isn’t going to get it done.

Penalty ends with the Rangers chasing yet another cleared puck.

Penalty ends and the Rangers get their best chance at the end of the sequence. Yet again. Price loses a sick but is intrepid. And the fastest man on the ice. Across, caped. And the other way, the mask.

Stoppage.

Faceoff outside the Montreal zone.

Shot in. Price redirects the hard shot. Stays deep.

Stepan. Anisimov. Keeping. Around the hash. Passes o the blue. Long one. Bounces but Price controls it. Trapped down with the glove.

Price is in his battler mode. Physically cat-clawing the spaces in front of him. He’s sending his message. The team will respond with theirs. And of this, I’m sure.

The four-game streak is something they want to keep going.

Momentum is so fragile in hockey. Such an emotions-dependent game. More than most.

Five and twenty. Cole through the neutral. Knocked down. Wants a penalty. Won’t get it.

They chase the Rangers. The Rangers chase the puck. Nobody can adjust to the increase in pace.

Finally Callahan does. Backhands. Cycling facsimile. Two cycles. Canadiens take it away.

Cole up high. Desharnais and Pacioretty can’t come up with it for their sniper. Pacioretty can snipe, yes.

Four minutes.

Pacioretty and Plekanec drop a stick and kick a puck McDonagh loses the puck to Gionta. Rangers are out of position. Canadiens are stopped by Lundqvist and may be a hurried shot selection by Plekanec. Gloved high.

Waiting to ring that elephant bell. This circus building. Keep it.

Ryan McDonagh was Mr. Hockey Minnesota in 2007.

Houde repeats it. Denis says it’s a funny title. Not quite the Pedneault response. Stating the obvious. Houde needs better.

But maybe Denis has it in him.

Mr. Hockey Minnesota.

Mr. Universe.

Mr. Beefcake.

And so forth. A shot of some MSG grub might have helped.

But it’s a hockey show.

Blunden can’t keep from going offside.

Cole line.

Neutral ice. Cole shoots it down. Cammalleri is beaten to it. Then Subban does the same on the other end.

Two and a half.

Anisimov. One pass. A second. And the goal. Good deke.

Not Price’s fault.

Just about had it. Forehand to backhand in the low slot.

Rangers 3, Montreal 0

Ranger fans chant. It’s unrecognizable.

Now they mock the Ole, ole.

I smirk.

Ranger fans are allowed. They’re embattled, shrewd and, hey, they’re New Yorkers.

Ninety seconds.

Pacioretty. Around the net. Can’t lift the stick. Eller follows. Rangers look for receivers but none to be found. Long pass is intercepted

Yes, it’s been nice, opportunistic goals and all but now let’s see the systems team get rewarded. They’ve been much better than New York. But their breakdowns have resulted in goals against. New York’s, not even a tough save for Lundqvist.

Why aren’t there depanneurs in Toronto?

Gad.

Period ends with the Ranger fans expressing their joy and adulation.

Shots on goal in favour of Rangers 16-3.

Martin utters an oath as he leaves the bench area.

First Intermission

Rangers 3, Montreal 0

I have no idea. No idea. No idea.

So, Alain asks, is he a good coach, a good talker or both? Tremblay says, for him, it’s both. He loves Tortorella. Crete adds that he’s won everywhere. Calder trophy. Stanley Cup. Some Atlantic league I never heard of.

Low on the screen is the question; John Tortorella est-il…. blah, blah ou blah, blah or both? It stays on the screen throughout the discussion. Next question; will Ken Hitchcock be the next coach of the Jackets? Brunet doesn’t answer the question but suggests the team might be better in Quebec City. He gets a chuckle from Alain.

Now Ovechkin is discussed. His recent perceived misbehaviour. Brunet says Ovie will stay. Boudreau? What’s he done? Tremblay assures Brunet that Boudreau will win the Stanley Cup this season.

Second Period

Rangers 3, Motnreal0

We’re shown the goals. Cammalleri’s weak effort on the third is clear on this replay.

Time for Expressly Canadian I would say.

Houde says that Price is back. And that Martin’s message might be that the game is still possible, still within reach.

Quick whistle on the faceoff.

Price bends some more. Low and on his knees, pads spread on the tracks.

Plekanec. Hustle pass. Rebound. Shot. What. Goal. Shot. What. Huh?

V rebound. Ok? Pacioretty. Boof.

I was watching Plekanec.

Gionta’s shot from the boards created the sharp angle rebound.

Rangers 3, Montreal 1

Subban retrieves. Plekanec line stays on.

Another retrieval. Whistle. Hooking. Plekanec complains. Ranger held his stick under the arm.

Martin with the brief shake of the head.

Faceoff to Price’s right. Eller and Cammalleri up top. Gill and Gorges low.

Cammalleri with his wave the flag at the bull approach. Still on the ice. More of the minimum. Pretending to penalty-kill.

He’s no Jari Kurri.

Moen and Gionta. Gaborik with a shot from the blue.

Out of play.

Richards carried well on the last sequence.

Faceoff.

Bouncer. Price handles a very tough puck. Stays in. Spacek dig backhands a puck out.

Gaborik with a middle entry and then a shovel left. Then to the net. This one looks much smarter. Rangers want the fourth goal.

They flow to the puck and look for openings. Making themselves targets. Canadiens match and clear.

Penalty ends.

Diaz and Gill. Fedotenko behind the net. Picks up where Prust’s fall left the puck.

Prust is on his knees behind the net again. He’s game. Digging. Rowing. Suffering. But it’s out.

Cammalleri. With two. Kostitsyn down the slot. Shifts and cuts inside, wrists almost in the same moment. Doesn’t get to the goalie.

Rangers are out with four. On two. But the shot is up and out of play.

Deep right faceoff.

Lost. And two Rangers go to the net. And Price is at the crease lip and nobody screams.

What a chance. Houde’s voice was unchanged.

Gionta to the net. Hands up, he misses the puck and keeps himself from being kranged by the crossbar.

Fifteen left.

Lundqvist maids a puck low.

Leaves it.

To the neutral. Rangers can’t prong.

And Lundqvist gets low on a Subban entry past the left hash. Weak, rising backhand.

Held for the draw.

Rangers get careless with the puck. Canadiens keep fighting for it. When Cole misses, another Hab is there to recover. This kind of work.

Subban and Gorges low. Moen traps Prust to the end boards. Canadiens outwork the Rangers on the boards and in the gaps.

Rangers are losing their focus.

The crowd seems not to notice. They remain their here-and-there selves.

Smatterings and murmurs and a general crackle.

Habs possession. Gionta at the crease. Knocked down. Back up.

Puck is out. New lines.

One man in on the right, Dubinsky. Delayed call against Montreal.

I look skyward. Ceilingward.

Tuck my lips into my mouth.

Another Ranger advantage.

The way that woman pulls out those Coors Light bottles is insipid. With this I’ve just been electrocuted happy expression. Nobody does any task like that. Blonde bartender.

And what’s with this raspy French truck commercial voice? Nobody talks like that. That one’s a man. Have a salt-water gargle, buddy. And … ferme your geule.

High stick.

Gionta.

Accidental. Had to be called. Callahan took it to the chin.

Stickless hockey?

Plekanec versus Dubinsky. Plekanec wins the draw. And it’s out.

But not before a sliding Gorges whacks at it.

More of the Ranger tomfoolery.

Moored. But Plekanec intercepts a Richards handling at the blue. And Moen is in before him.

Plekanec is such a canny player.

What. Plekanny? I dunno.

No.

Eller loses the draw at centre ice. Just under a minute.

Rangers exit. Long pass, left side. Gaborik. Cross-ice pass for Stepan. Too long.

Eller finishes this job and dumps it in after taking it away.

Ten minutes.

Price meets Anisimov behind the net. Decides the best thing is to shove the forward down and make sure he stays down.

No call. Goalie collisions are like that. Nod to eh keeper.

Gionta down the right. All effort. And is pulled down by McDonagh.

Some in the crowd don’t like it. McDonagh questions. Expression only. Then settles in. Montreal power.

Plekanec and Weber on the blue. They exchange passes.

Rangers are sixth on the PK.

Eighty-four percent.

One of the most penalized teams in the NHL, Houde says.

Lundqvist is a problem.

Especially with a two-goal lead. And a legion of buffoons in front of him. I always wonder how he keeps playing hockey. How can any good player survive in New York.

Girardi is called.

Five on three. Lundqvist is not happy.

Dubinsky. Le porte s’ouvre, says Houde.

Immediate Ranger clear.

Forty seconds of two man advantage.

Cammalleri on the right point.

Gionta at the end line.

Plekanec at the point.

Kostitsyn in the low slot.

They move it around the pentagon. Low. Across. Andrei.

Untouched. Girardi.

Rangers 3, Montreal 2

Seven and a half.

Five on four. About seventy seconds.

Pacioretty in the middle. Subban and Diaz.

Subban with a scream producer.

Wide.

Gets it again. Fakes. To Diaz.

Gets a second. And a third. Into a body and wide.

Diaz into a leg. Anisimov. Limping. More shots. Cole over his stick.

Lundqvist covers it. Backhands, risers, nothing.

Cole to the net. Desharnais. No animosity. No sticks. And no goal

Denis discusses shots. I discuss epithets.

Surly expletives.

Six.

Montreal is up to fifteen shots on goal. Twenty for Rangers.

Plekanec to Gionta flying to the net. Just a bit far.

Good ole THN ranked Cammalleri as the number 9 left wing. Or was it eight. In the league. Based on what. Such a collection of biased writers. Pro, pro, pro. Cammalleri had 18 goals last year.

In 65 games, sure. But.

So overrated. Or underachieving. Whichever you prefer.

And with a nation of excuse-makers at the ready.

Faceoff deep right.

Five minutes.

Weber. High stick.

Weber chatting with the official.

Callahan’s face was the target. Accidental.

Ranger power-play.

I shake my head.

Eller escapes. Coverage. One on one. Dribbling, working, moving and somehow he scoots into some space. Shot is stopped.

Darche likes Eller. No surprise.

Rangers are better, spaced right they face a PK designed to negate the best power-plays in the league. And they’re in sync. There’s no chance against Montreal’s number one PK unit. And this penalty ends despite improved Ranger organization.

Two and a half.

Cole. With some speed. Chooses and cruises and has speed when one least expects it. Thirteen minutes last night. But an older guy is better used this way. Can do more with less minutes. It’s deceptive.

Cole’s work takes him across the slot and he hits the post dead on.

Canadiens are outskating Rangers again. Finally Richards is free up high. Shoots unexpectedly. And it’s in.

So much bad play but punctuated by three puck bursts. It’s enough to discourage a better team.

Rangers 4, Montreal 2

That’s one of the nice things about tonight. Finding out the Ranger are worse than last season. One less team to worry about.

But it’s hockey. And the leads are deceptive. And so are the outcomes.

A good goalie can make up for a lot, too.

Thirty seconds.

Price has it at the end line.

Fires long for Cammalleri. Speeds. Fires. Crossbar. Price taking the game into his own hands.

One goal. One finish. The shooters are failing the team. And it’s not just tonight.

Period ends with a rusty Ranger incursion.

Subban is the rod again. Lasts a few seconds.

Montreal outshot Rangers 13-6. Rangers lead 22-16.

Second Intermission

Rangers 4, Montreal 2

Amazing footage of Buffalo Sabres Patrick Kaleta using his head. To wham opponents. Various games. Same gesture. Didn’t know that about Kaleta. Very impressive find by RDS. Tremblay says that four games is not enough for a repeat offender like Kaleta and sizzles; eight!!

He gets close, in the scrum, aims and then butt-ends people with his helmet. Under the chin. It’s ugly.

Third Period

Rangers 4, Montreal 2

Marc Denis suggests that Pacioretty might still be aggravated by his recent injury.

Cole is often on the verge of the spectacular. This time a puck goes beyond his stride and he falls to the ice. Like n uncle.

Anisimov follows with a post.

He rues his fortune on the bench.

I’m too far from this screen.

And fighting a cold. Again. Or is it just fatigue?

Two on two. Moen is slightly offside.

Same thing.

Eller looks over at him. They’ll solve it.

Faceoff outside the blue. Eller loses it.

Seventeen left.

Weber misses a Price behind the net. Eller has it regardless. Turns and finds a receiver down the right. Moen. Tangled in blueshirts and the puck is cleared.

Icing, New York. The comma does make a difference.

Deep right.

Cole takes it for Desharnais.

Christensen wins it easily says Houde.

What’s learned in the first two is being applied. But to what effect.

Cammalleri does very little. Fiat player. Showroom type.

Always the last Canadiens back on the backchek. Always lurking at the top of the ice on the attack. Rarely to the net.

Anyone else sick of it yet?

That cost us game seven.

Yeah, us.

Fifteen.

Weber one-timer. Henrik has it.

Another Weber blast. Pacioretty is spilled and the puck is off Anisimov’s stick and into the darkness.

MSG. Love it.

Ok. Like it.

Ok, familiar with it.

Fedotenko. Sneaks a puck past the elephant legs. No Rangers are quick enough.

And a stoppage. Moen takes a seat. Kostitsyn, too. Gionta with a plastic cigar sticking out of his mouth. The mouthguard.

Fourteen and a half.

Gionta’s a guy I could never imagine smoking. You know? Sure, maybe he does. But I just can’t imagine it. I’d bet my Saku jersey he doesn’t, though.

Price is in the mode.

Team is, too.

But there are only thirteen and a half minutes left.

And that angry guy at the other end.

Not the goal judge.

Price’s left. Habs out. Three Rangers back. Kostitsyn’s pass is a bounding board miss.

Rangers press.

Stepan. Working. Anisimov with him. Very responsible line for the team tonight.

Prust. Again behind the end line. Spacek can’t take him. Just uses the stick. Finally Spacek takes Fedotenko behind the end line. And again.

Spacek picks his targets.

Montreal possession.

Subban. Shot. Big rebound. And the pass sails across. No sticks reply. Two fall. Pacioretty. No. Accidental. Only one or two discernible boos.

Eleven.

Ranger zone. Forced pass. Good forecheck. Callahan and Diaz. Diaz’ face to the glass.

Some good hockey from both. Choppy, interrupted but burly and earnest.

Ten and twenty.

Cole. Eminger falls in front of him as he crosses the blue.

Lundqvist holds onto the resulting off-balance. Shot.

Deep left faceoff. Lundqvist removes his mask to reveal remarkably dry hair. Products? Calm?

Ten minutes.

Long Hab pass. Turnover.

Eller at centre ice. Retreats. Pass to Weber. Intercepted by Avery. Entry is annulled.

But Avery is soon in again on the left, this time. Move and a shot.

Held high against the chest. Price stands and waits for the whistle.

I wonder what it would be like to be the fan that falls asleep to the game every night.

Relaxing, I suppose. Predictable.

Prone to generalizing about the team.

Just under nine.

Pacioretty, weaving, an S here an S there, the shot. And I don’t see it.


Gaborik. One man lone. Shot. Glove high. Price looking to keep it going. Does. Bowls it forward. And here’s Cole. Again with that unexpected acceleration. To the net. Stopped. Cammalleri turns and lasers one from the end line. Well thought. Also closed off.

Seven and a half.

Only great passing can beat Lundqvist tonight. As usual.

Seven.

Gorges. From Price. To Andrei. Dumped in.

Turnover. Subban and Gorges fix it. Subban is at the net and knocked down.

Gloves to the face. Subban is “what, what, what did I do?”

Snowed Lundqvist. Skate-snow rude. Got shoved for it. The gloves to the face.

And he is called for it. Unsportsmanlike. Subban.

Ugly. And disappointing.

Houde says called for a snowstorm. Denis stays serious. I chuckle. Houde’s sense of irony is exquisite.

Rangers’ man-advantage.

First incursion is Montreal’s. No threat.

Rangers are happy to kill time. Never smart, the Rangers.

Very short-sighted team.

Turnover. Gionta. Turns. Shoots. Muzzle. Lundqvist.

Under thirty. Five in the period.

Desharnais finds one. Clears.

I’m just waiting for goals now.

Cole. Cuts to the slot. That’s the quality I like the most. Unafraid. I find it hard to believe his listed numbers. He’s bulky. Like a hitman.

What’s under the suit, Harv?

Cole is listed at 205. He’s bigger than Spacek. Who’s listed at 210. So. What’s the deal?

Cole’s Movember gives him an Eastern Bloc look.

Faceoff to Price’s right. Four minutes.

Pacioretty sees it. And it disappears. Flubbed assignment and a puck in the crease. Sudden mouse. No elephants.

Three.

Cammalleri. One handing. Watching. Chasing. Mishandling. Not going to the net.

Where IS SAKU.

Two and fifteen.

Another Montreal rush.

And they score just as I’m thinking of how we need a veteran blue liner. To keep it in. Gionta. From the blue.

Rangers 4, Montreal 3

The captain.

Maybe off someone. Just under two minutes.

The posts. The crossbar. And so forth. Denis illustrates.

Let’s go Rangers chant begins.

Ninety seconds. Buried deep under the end line. Well, four feet under the Montreal end line.

Gorges. Out with it. Shovels it past Subban. Finds a Hab at the high hash. Gorges doesn’t trust Subban in this situation.

Flows to the other end. And a stoppage. Timeout. Cunneyworth draws it up. Gets approval. Talks to his guys.

Just score.

Shots are tied at 28.

Plekanec wins it against Boyle. Diaz’ shot is into a leg. Stays in play. They swipe at it. Bounces to the blue. And over the stick. Subban saves it. Across. But a whistle.

Centre ice faceoff. Gionta on the left flank. Cole on the right.

Plekanec at centre ice.

Boyle.

Boyle wins it. Cole can’t get to it. Puck bounces, is shot, and hits Subban’s stick. And into the net.

The empty net.

Callahan.

Rangers 5, Montreal 3

I close my eyes. Wait. I open them. I stop typing instead.

For a few seconds.

It ends.

Lundqvist is congratulated. The Habs leave this circus rink.

Final Score

New York Rangers 5

Montreal Canadiens 3

HDS Stars: Josh Gorges, Erik Cole, Artem Anisimov

RDS Stars: Brad Richards, Erik Christensen, Andrei Kostitsyn

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1 comment

1 Sherline { 02.14.14 at 9:35 PM }

, most Habs fans are too quick to judge the team. Pre season is hdalry ever an indication of how a team will do once the regular season begins. Most teams rarely play the big guns for fear of them getting injured. The only thing we learned from pre season is the players on the Hamilton Bulldogs can’t come together and beat an NHL team (who woulda thunk it). We got to see young players come up and test out the big leagues and go back home to continue being super stars there until they’re ready to actually play with the big boys.The first game against the Leafs I cannot comment on since I did not watch. I was impressed by le tricolore in game two against Winnipeg though. Cammalleri got the first goal and then went down injured, yet the offense still pulled through and scored another four goals without him. Plekanec scored short handed’ to spark the rest of the team and I except him to continue scoring goals like that all season long. There were A LOT of good things in the game against Winnipeg and the team will continue to grow and learn all season long.The boys at TSN even commented that they could see Les Canadiens finishing first in their division and near the top of the conference this season. I can’t wait to read more of your blogs this season to read in writing what I’m already thinking. Curious to see if there is really anything we’ll butt heads about this year.Go Habs Go!

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