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The Diachronic Barber Pole Observations of a Recovering Hockey Exile

Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

December 28, 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 (13-16-7) visit Ottawa Senators (17-14-5)

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Game Thirty-Seven (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 23 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)

 

 

At least RDS is still great.

Montreal has lost five in a row.  Four since Martin was fired.

First Period

Moen, Plekanec and Kostitsyn.  They lose the draw.  Sens start from their blue.  One medium pass and it’s intercepted.  Canadiens can’t take it away.

Subban and Eller are back in the lineup tonight.  Dave Stubbs’ said that PK might be in the right frame of mind.  Contrition comes to mind.  Subban was a healthy scratch along with Eller. Both for one game.

Sens show brief perimeter movement deep in Montreal ice.

Young Montreal defenceman Alexei Emelin is also back in the lineup while Chris Campoli is out.  Probably a big improvement.  Campoli is experienced, sure but makes too many errors and is impetuous in his play at times.  It’s a telling move as this game is against Campoli’s old team and often players are employed in such situations.  It speaks as much of Emelin’s value, perhaps.

As for Campoli’s play, he’ll adjust.  Turnovers are a kind of sin on the island.

Giveaway in the low slot and Price is as sudden as the mistake.  More jostling.  Gill is out of sorts.  A shot.  Another.  And it’s in.  And the higher-pitched train horn of this building goes to electronic work.  Price was splayed low and Colin Greening charged the net.  That failed but the rebound went to the low slot and a pass to number fifteen Zack Smith resulted in a low shot, a snapper and one-timer and the gal through Price’s pads and on his left.

Ottawa 1, Montréal 0

Yes, Cammalleri is next up.  Will he get his due?  The benching, I mean.

Cole was also on the ice for the goal against.

He’s on now, too.  It’s thought he won’t be re-signed by the club next season.  Hard to say.  He’s a great value for the team in terms of leadership.

Some mild action and then a stoppage.  Karlsson leans forward and watches the puck dropped outside the Montreal blue.  Spezza on the right hash.  Pauses.  Sends it to the net.  Off a skate?  No.  Plekanec crossed and the puck halted at Price’s pads.

Kostitsyn leaps to a puck after a lightning surge and prevents icing off the following faceoff (to Price’s right).

Ottawa bottles it and then as Plekanec follows Alfredsson in to t the zone, the captain falls.  Plekanec is called.  He protests.  But he takes his seat and fiddles with the tape on his stick.

Replay shows that it could have been a non-call but the angle is from the top and not conclusive for this literary goon.

Price gives one away.  Hash shot.  Houde loses his cool.  And the puck stays out.

Memories of Roy.  And we’re being made to think more of Roy these past several hours than we’ve had to in a long time.

I can move on.  People evolve.  But he’s not my number one choice.

Eller is over the left side.  A move, another.  A shot.  And a goal.  What a way to get back in the lineup, yells Houde.

Karlsson couldn’t take the puck off the young centre and hooked, off-balance and once might guess beleaguered after his recent unfair benching, he wrists it over Anderson’s left glove.

Half the arena erupts.  We are a short drive from Montréal, after all.  And an even shorter one to Gatineau, home of my nephew’s grandparents.  What’s the term for that?

Fourteen minutes left in the first.

Both teams are skating with more vigour.

A long shot from the right point and Chris Neil watches Price glove it and hold it for the faceoff.

I know he’s not done with building his incident list but I’d say Chris Neil has mellowed over the past two and a half seasons.

I wonder if the numbers bear it out.

Not at all, mon homme.  Neil had 146 penalty minutes in 2008-09 and then finished with 175 and then 210, last season.

He’s already at 64 in 27 games in 11-12.

Well, he seems more relaxed in games against Montreal.

Fight.

Pacioretty against Brian Lee.

It’s mostly a draw but Lee maintains his composure.  Pacioretty is a bit flushed and unable to prove his point.

Neither is a fighter says Denis.  I missed the replay of what caused it.  AI was watching behind the net but the altercation took place at the right side entry of the Montréal zone.

Brian Lee is defenceman and your buddy Max is a forward, of course.  You don’t want to know who I was hoping for in that fight.  Besides the abolition of fight, of course.  Is there a patron saint for the abolition of fighting?  What would Santa Claus do?

Gill and Nokelainen meet in the corner.  Spezza loses the puck and then watches.  And then waits.  What a limousine player.  He floats over to t aboard battle and just waits for the puck to pop out instead of digging in himself.  It doesn’t pop out and the Habs move it out.  A stoppage seconds later.

Spezza has monstrous talent but has the heart of a Grinch.

Alfredsson leaves the ice and players clump under the end line to Price’s left.

It’s around the net and Cole finds the right man, two, really and digs the puck to them behind the Montreal net from the hash.  It’s out with that kind of math and hear come the Habs, Subban after a brief reset.

Again they are turned away on the blue.

Long pass.  Subban is beaten to it at the end of a shift and exaggerates his dog-tongue as he heaves his body to e bench.  You’ve just been benched, buddy.

Great coaches have the patience to work with these lapses.  But patience isn’t limitless.  We’re actually waiting for something, eh.  In this case, it’s an every-shift, compete shift attitude.

I washed a lot of dishes this week.  I’ve learned I’m a completionist in some ways.

Under nine.

Eller to the net.  Not a lot of support and the Sens are prepared.

Cole is in off a pass from Kaberle (on with Emelin.  Offwing.  Accelerates.  The jog-shot, knees pumping.  And it’s wide.

Ottawa possession.

Kaberle at the cage.  Moen at the left point.  And the puck is out.  Cole again.  Gets around his man.  And keeps it.

Stick over his man and it drops down to clear the puck to the left point.  Very Kovalev move.  Kovalev when he’s decided or it’s that kind of night.  Or was it imposed on him?  Ordained.  Bestowed.  How does it work?

The magic.

L’Artiste.  I sympathize.

Diaz from the right point.  And somehow it goes in.  Cowen watches Plekanec redirect it into the net fro the low column to Anderson’s right.  Nothing anyone could have done.  Even on a weak long shot like that one.  Tick and it’s in.

Montreal 2, Ottawa 1

Both Diaz and Darche have two assists tonight.  Kostitsyn gets marks for his effort in keeping that last one alive.

Under seven.

Plekanec dips into the Montréal zone and carries it out

Ottawa negates.  Zack Smith has it deep left.

Puck is poked out and then in and Greening’s chance at the net is post-whistle.  Offside.  That Lafayette guy is still there.  The right-hand man. Gauthier’s eyes and ears.

Laforge?

Lebrec?

I’m sure he’s decisive and all that.

He was born in 1952.

Cunneyworth confers with Ladouceur briefly and the latter nods.

Carbonneau wondered, this week, where a guy (say, a unilingual coach of the Montreal Canadiens) could get the time to learn French.  Carbonneau thinks Cunneyworth needs to eat and sleep but that the interim coach must learn French.  It will certainly help his case.  But it’s not easy.  It can be done.

Cammalleri scores.

Houde’s voice makes icicles tremble.  Leblanc over the left side blue. Offwing shot.  Off a pad then a skate. And banged in by Cammalleri.  Whatever it takes.  Cammalleri nods to the staff on the bench.

That’s his role says Denis.  It’s his thing he says in not so many words.

Hey, you can learn French, too.  Then you find out how liberal I am in translating.  Or not.

Montreal 3, Ottawa 1

I’d forgotten what it’s like to see Montréal lead by two goals.

One shift at a time.

Play your way out.  In my case, it’s write my way out.

I could be writing more.  And better.  There’s been a series of domestic, ah, challenges.

Mickey paid a visit last night, for example.   God lord.

Four and fourteen.  We’re shown Diaz close up.  He has three assists tonight. The long pass to Leblanc started things for the last goal.

I endure a muddle of Markov thoughts.  I know it’s one game.  But Markov still isn’t’ skating.  What fantasy-land statement.  As if he’ll ever play in the NHL again.  I mean, really.  What’s the deal.

The team panicked.

And now we’re missing a coach.  And we’re doomed.

What direction will this team take next?

I think Jack Todd was right.  Gainey panicked when he fired Carbonneau.  It’s taken me months, years to admit this.  But I don’t think I realised it til recently.

Admitted isn’t the right word.  Faceoff to Price’s right.  Long puck is called for icing.

Three oh two.

Cole nods to a teammate.  Easily the best addition since Alex Kovalev, the big Carolina forward brings more than moxie and menace.  He’s a great team guy.  He brings people along and builds bridges.

Now he has it with a man to pass to in the slot.  A Sen is between.  Shot.  Sweeper.  Stopped.

Cole leaves.

Foligno rounds the net in chase.  Subban.  And the net goes off the moorings.  Subban is looking back for further comments.

No.

It’s Cole with Eller tonight, by the way. Normally Cole is with Desharnais, whom he likes playing with very much.  As Michel Bergeron is wont to remind us.

Under two.  Canadiens lead on shots 13-6.

Just win, baby.

All due respect to Al Davis.

Ninety seconds.

I’ve not processed the passing of the late great legend of the silver scabbard and black hat.  I thought he’d live forever.  If anyone could have beaten death, it was Al Davis.

One oh two.

Finally some Ottawa cycling.

Daugavins with the great name is chiefly involved in keeping the disc alive.  Lasts about six seconds.

And the walrus mustache  and irritated demeanour of Ottawa head coach Bean McBorley is focused on.

I forget his name at the moment.

Moen loses a puck to Spezza on the hash.

Spezza is back to his more recent incarnation (the one we saw under Clouston); he’s lazy, oafish and unwilling to put more than 60%.  Is the new coach also making unrealistic demands?  Like backchecking and working for the puck on offence?

Ottawa led on shots 13-6.

I don’t like it when refs have little coordinated (pre-rehearsed or formulated) arm pats to start the game.  Reminds me of Doc McGee’s pre-Kiss war whoop.  During the reunion.  It’s contrived.  And worse, with referees, it smacks of self-importance.

It’s always amusing and telling when the dominant locals co-opt coolness.  Isn’t it.

Right off!

Uh. That’s right on, dad.

But it’s a bit more harmful than that in the case of NHL refs.  Pungent.

Hey.  You’re not the show.

Ottawa’s head coach is Paul MacLean, an assistant to Detroit’s Mike Babcock over the past six seasons.  Babcock is probably the best coach in the NHL.

First Intermission
Montreal 3, Ottawa 1

Brunet says the team was one goal from eliminating the Bruins in the playoffs (a game seven first round overtime loss) and that he heard about how great this was all summer.  And now, with Martin’s firing, he asks, rightly, why is it that eighty percent of fans he talks to now are happy with Martin’s firing.  He lists off all the coaches who didn’t survive crises in recent years and lost jobs yet the Canadiens didn’t improve, didn’t get over the final hump.  He mentions Gainey, as well.  Gainey wasn’t fired but went behind the bench after both the Julien and Carbonneau firings and didn’t get any better results than the other fired men.

That list includes Alain Vigneault who appeared opposite Julien in last season’s (spring 2011) Stanley Cup finals.  And Guy Carbonneau.  And Michel Therrien, who took the Penguins to the 07-08 finals following his firing in 2003.

Brunet is right.  Some coaches shouldn’t have been fired.

Have a laugh.  Imagine an impossible bench with Julien, Therrien, Carbonneau and Martin.

This is a good group.  Some feel Carbonneau should be re-hired.  Others, many more, it seems, favour Patrick Roy.  There may be someone even better-suited, perhaps someone in the Q, perhaps someone in the A.  Or even abroad.  Russia’s national team coach is known for his hockey acumen and actually speaks French.

He reportedly declined interest in the job the summer it was offered to Martin.

There are others, too, those who fit the bilingual criteria which I have decided is a must have.   This isn’t Barcelona or Rome or whatever.  It’s Montreal.  And the sweeping comparisons aren’t working for me.  It’s case by case.  And a great French-speaking coach can be had.  It’s not as if there aren’t many good candidates.

I do like Coach Ayotte’s suggestion, however.  Make the guy learn French.  Make it a requirement.  Why not.  If I was expecting to be hired in a Chinese bank, I’d learn Cantonese.

And who wouldn’t want to steer the greatest franchise in the history of the game?  Someone who’s afraid to fail.

And other types, perhaps.

Not a great period says Brunet but you’ve gotten the opportunistic goals.  He urges the team to come out and … do something obvious.

Second Period
Montreal 3, Ottawa 1

Plekanec.   Loses the draw to Spezza.

Spezza is into the offensive zone and splats Plekanec against the boards.  Puck gets out.

Kuba keeps it in on the left point.

On the boards.  Kostitsyn.  Reaching.  Plekanec is there, too.  Moen on the other side.

Good for Plekanec to have gotten rid of Cammalleri’s bad habits on one wing.

Moen has been spotty but will deliver much more than the idling Cammalleri.  Yes, he scored a goal in the first period but let’s see where his attitude is in terms of all the other things expected of a player.

Emelin retrieves.

Leblanc scores.

Anderson is chased.  Auld is in.  Eight games.  Fat 3.62 GAA and a poor 0.878 save percentage.  It’s hard to believe someone so athletic has such poor results.  But he does.

And the now-career backup takes his place in the Ottawa net.  Ottawa should have an accent of some kind, too, shouldn’t it?

I’ve decided to go with the accent aigue on Montreal for the rest of the season.  It’s an interim punctuation.

Price is playing with a three-goal lead with just under seventeen in the period.

Montréal can just relax and play hockey.

What a feeling.

Ottawa rush and all three forwards are back very tightly and in formation.   Wow.  Playoff work.  Price traps it.  And holds it for the faceoff. Did Price finally say something to his team?

I wonder.  And we may never know.  OR perhaps when the memoirs are out.

In this Twitter age, maybe it will come out sooner.

But players are even more careful because of this intercomputer thing.  Many.  They get expl9icit instructions from their teams on how to handle communications.

Habs continue to pressure.  A shot goes up and out of play.

Its’ the sixth three-point game for a Habs player this season.  Diaz.

Cammalleri has it in the circle and turns on those tight circlets of his.  Finds the room and shoots.

Leblanc to the net.   Karlsson took the crosscheck to the chest from Gonchar.

Leblanc got called for roughing.

Gonchar cost his team a power-play, states Houde. We go to fours.

Reseau clock wrongfully informs us that Ottawa has a power-play but they wipe it off after about twelve seconds.

Turris comes up with one in the ferris-wheel in the slot and launches a shot while being ushered out.

Price gloves the mild riser.

Faceoff to Price’s left.  Eller beats Spezza.

Spezza is a huge player, that rare blend of size and finesse.  But he’s never put it together for a sustained period.  He did start his career nicely but has since succumbed to his own hubris, resulting in bad habits and other detritus.  He’s a garbage bag.

Subban scores.

I feel ventricles widen.

Cole on the left.  Wound up, faked, and dropped a pass for Subban.  He shot from the low slot.  Wrister.  And was very pleased.  Didn’t jump into the glass (unlike Leblanc in junior).

Another burst in.  Moen.  Nearly shoots from point-blank range.

Just under fourteen.

Montreal 5, Ottawa 1

Well.

And whoah.

And it’s all quite ordinary.  Montreal isn’t particularly dominating.  Some shots should have stayed out. Others were opportunistic.

That’s hockey.

Bob McCown wrote in his fine book Hockey’s 100 Greatest Arguments that you could watch a taped game, remove the goals and nobody could tell you which team won.  He said this was true for the vast majority of NHL games.  And I agree.  There isn’t much separating two teams anymore.

Not too long ago, say about ten years ago, certainly pre-lockout (2005) you could tell some difference  I remember first getting NHL Centre Ice and watching a game between Washington and Pittsburgh, both struggling teams at the time and being highly amused at the low quality of hockey.

Ottawa scores.

Spezza parked and someone missed a coverage.  Subban?  He was stumblebumbling into the play after it ended.

Puck appeared on Price’s left after a puck scrum to his left.   Just flooped over.

Montreal 5, Ottawa 2

A losing team will panic in this situation and Montreal seems to do the same.  They flubber around in their own zone for a few moments and with some desperate and mostly individual labour work it out.

It’s back in but the team is more organized and Ottawa has to earn their entries again.

Emelin upends Nick Foligno. Earns him an Ooooh from Houde.

Auld nearly gives one up.  A man falls. Delayed call.

Montreal gets the Price out.  Sixth man.

They control.  They work it around.  A blast from Cammalleri.

Emelin keeps it alive himself.  They continue to pressure.

What a long delayed sixth-attacker advantage.  Great control, purpose and team play.

The team is playing as a team.

Nothing like a crisis to bring us (them) all together.

Butler goes to the box after an Eller pass to Plekanec sees it hop over the Czech’s stick in the muzzle.

Montreal man-advantage.

Kaberle.  Doesn’t see a man behind him.

But his unknown third eye does.  Nice.  Lifts his stick and moves the puck out of the way and the rush his on after a reset.

Cammalleri. Shot Auld.  V-save.  Looking awkward.  More action.  Long blast.  Wide.
Finally the Sens push it out, Michalek and Alfredsson.

It’s cleared up, Alfredsson knocked down at Price’s feet.

Thirty seconds.  Cole around the net.

Leaves it for Eller.

Sens clear it long.

One last entry.

Eller to Blunden. Right side low wrister.  Just wide. Auld appeared to snake the pad.

Penalty ends.  Greening enters.  Shoots.  Stick breaks.

Kostitsyn bumps a man off the puck.

Lee has words with Kostitsyn.  Kostitsyn responds “what?”  Never seen Andrei do that. And the older brother has been on his game for about five games now.

Hope is a careful but sweet elixir.  And I see it sparkle somewhere near me.  In a blue flask, say.  With red and white ice cubes.

Seven and a half.

Karlsson.  Finishes a rush.

Foligno is trying to start something.  Keeps punching Moen in the face with his glove.  Gill keeps Foligno from his friend.

And the network goes to a commercial.

Such expert liars these publicity and marketing people.  Your country is currently being run by small-town publicists.   In expensive-looking shoes.

Third-class people.

A Neil hit on Plekanec is shown.  Plekanec left the ice in some pain.

We return to see Gill and Moen in the box.  One Sen.  Ottawa power-[play.

Good control off the won draw.  Finally a shot.  And it’s wide and cleared.

Spezza on re-entry.  Left hash.  To Gonchar on the blue.  Spezza waits.  A lot of surly talent there.

And the man with character is shown.  Puck is shot out of play.  One-timer, useless by Spezza.  Off the netting.  Spezza was celebrated, much ballyhooed, during his Team Canada junior days and that’s where the trouble was first magnified. I’m sure it started earlier.  So it is with the anointed.

Jared Cowen with a one-timer finishes.  Price is across.

Price’s twentieth shot against, Denis says.

Faceoff.  Cleared.  Gonchar starts them out.

Fifty seconds in the penalty.

Eller.  Pup for Darche.  A bit far.  Gonchar smoothly sends it left side.

They set up.

Spezza with a much tougher shot.  Price looked behind him.  The puck stayed out.
Price with great movement.  Karlsson with a long shot that Price finds with his left pad.

Now he dives like a man after a mouse and the puck is shot wide.  I think they’re chanting his name.

Houde chuckles and confirms.

The penalty ends.

And that’s the first penalty-kill I’ve fully felt a part of this season.

Fear.  Hope and wonder.

And now a long shot is snuffed by Price.

Neil is annoyed with Subban.  Rounds the net to find an angle.  Slowly.  But it’s over, the camera pointed at Price all the while.

Houde tells us that it’s come to an end.

The break must have been good for your scribe, as well.

Price has his mildly irritated game face on.  He may still be annoyed with the second goal against.  He wanted to send a different message.  To himself.  And to his team.  Especially if he delivered a blistering missive during the break.  Or possibly right after the last loss.  Though nobody reported any noises from the dressing room.  Everything has to be done in secret with this team. And it’s been that way for a long time.  It’s one of the tings that galvanizes a Montréal team.  Or can.  It’s us against them.

A particular player was being booed all night and then he scored.  A teammate felt like turning around and giving the crowd the finger.  This was a Montréal story.  I think it’s in the Dick Irvin Habs book.  A story from the sixties, perhaps

The city is hard on hits team.  It expects a lot.  I’m part of that, uh, problem.  It’s got its virtues, too.

Stanley Cups come to mind.

Price traps one in the crease.

Two ten.  Price reached back with his stick but still standing in the crease, back to the crossbar, lacked the leverage and nearly saw it cleared into scoring range.  It slipped slowly, however and the puck was trapped.

Nokelainen.  Crosses the blue and veers left.  Looks back and backhands a pass across.  Shot can’t be had.

Blunden tries to lead the puck for Nokelainen.  Nearly works but it’s lost on the end boards.

Gill with a long shot from neutral ice and the whistle fleeks its birdlike sound.  I guess there are worse sounds.

Ring tones come to mind.

Custom whistles?  And daps before the game.

Long Montreal puck.  Leblanc can’t get to it first.

Cunneyworth looks dapper tonight.  He reminds me of someone.   A Cunneyworth goal against Flyers is shown.  Carbonneau called him a “fair” player.  And perhaps a great coach.  Was he being polite?

Pacioretty over the blue.  Gets past his man enough for some room.  The black hole shoots.  And of course, it’s wid.

He’s stopped scoring.

Another O Pee Chee mirror man.

Ottawa and Montreal tied on shots at 16.  Ottawa leads 29-21 overall.

A 29-28 win by Ottawa over Montreal in Olympic Stadium occurs, suddenly.  The 1986 season.  I was in India at the time and could only read about it when I got back.  And I was able to tape some highlights in French.  Newcomer and USFL castoff Walter Lewis started that game for Montreal. He had a few spectacular plays in the loss.  But his tunnel vision killed the team in the end.  Incumbent Brian Ransom couldn’t scramble.  Lewis couldn’t throw.  (Montreal also won a game against Ottawa that season, by the same 29-28 score.  I saw that one.  Many times.)

Ach.

Second Intermission
Montreal 5, Ottawa 2

First road goal for your friend this season.  PK.  No, not Pierre-Karl.  Just Pernell Karl.

Third Period
Montreal 5, Ottawa 2

This is Darche’s tenth two-point game.  Denis guessed four.

Early entry.  Karlsson.  Circle.  Across.  One-0timer.  And what a save by Rice.  Ten feet.  And a beauty, the right pad across.  Price is capable of All-Star calibre hockey.  The kind before the fans voted.

Subban is called for taking down Michalek on an entry.

Eller wins the draw. Cleared.

Eller and Darche were the first kill pair and they end a second sequence with a carry and clear, Eller doing most of the work.

Right side deep.  Moen and Gorges trap a man on the e hash, Alfredsson.

You want intrepid?  Daniel Alfredsson is intrepid.  On my list of most admired players in the NHL, the late-thirties Swede has it all.  Moves, grace and élan.  He’s 39.  Every dag shift.

From Gothenburg.

Habs kill the dirty thing off.

Sends last effort results in a clear and a Plekanec backhander from the offwing.

Gill scoops one out as Subban hits the ice.

Gonchar carries, slowing, searching.  Pass.  And he leaves the ice.

Price is at a consistent and high sense of urgency.  I think it’s permanent.

He’s really impressed me in the past few weeks and in recent months.  Being benched for Halak is something he has said he learned from.  The team rode the success of their Slovak goalie in the 09-10 playoffs while their anointed goaltender watched from the bench.  Price, drafted in 2005, fifth overall, was kept that off-season while the city burned in response to the trade of their recent spring playoff hero.  Halak was sent to the Saint Louis Blues for Eller and a throw-in and since Price has kept improving.  And he shows no signs of peaking nor of weaknesses.

He could be the most important player on the team for years to come.

Ottawa is called.  You like that?  Saint Louis.

First thirty seconds sees Eller knocked down at net-side and the second wave joins.

Gomez has been gone for some time now.  Neither he nor Gionta are skating yet.

Emelin on the blue line, alone.  Diaz has advanced.  A shot.  Rebound.  Cammalleri and Kostitsyn meet in the high slot and a Kostitsyn shot goes into the corner.

Lines change.

Pacioretty launches it along the boards.  Cruises leisurely to the slot. Long blue line shot from the middle o tee ice.

Hits legs.

Penalty is over.

Eller.  Left side.  Shot.  Rebound and Auld is across for Ottawa’s best save of the night.  Pads closed and knees down, he slides into the spot. Almost a certain goal stopped.

Thirteen.

The teams struggle in the neutral zone.  Bumping.  Banging.  A turnover.  A second.  Leblanc is in on the left.   Can’t take the shot.

Now Neil brakes as Blunden’s stick stops progress.

More neutral zone fencing by Montreal.  Nokelainen.  Blunden.  The latter hitting, the former tracing and tracking.

Now they leave and Desharnais presses against a man to continue the good work.  Takes a stick on entry.  To the face.  From Brian Lee.  No all.  He plomps his helmet down and awaits the puck drop.

The confidence is very, very low for the Canadiens, says Denis; ranked twelfth, coming off five straight losses and they must work to finish the game as they’ve played it thus far. Fair enough.  They’re not just playing for a win. They’re playing for this season’s hockey lives.

Eleven.

Eller eliminates Turris on the end boards behind Price.

The team is intense and has no intention of losing.

They’re playing like a team, each for the other.  Something was said.  And this time it was heard.

Under ten.

Five under the hash and each advances as needed.  NO watching.

It’s Darche on, now.  Emelin wipes out Smith and Houde chuckles.  We hear a bowling alley echo and Denis says Emelin is like a train.  Smith didn’t see Emelin coming.  Legal hit.

Emelin has become as interesting as advertised.

Eight and a half.

Puck bounces around the neutral zone.  Gorge s and Subban low.  Spezza across. Dropped for Alfredsson.  Shot.  And it’s gloved high by Price.

Ottawa is no pleasure centre and the network surmised about the captain’s future at one of the breaks.  If he wants to win a Cup, we were told, he needs to decide this offseason if Ottawa is where he will stay.

His salary went from 7M to 4.5M this season and drops to 1M in 12-13 after which he is an unrestricted free agent and anyone can sign him without penalty.

He’s better than Sundin was at the same stage in his career.  Just saying.  What an interesting addition he might be.

Seven.

Six and a half.  Smith is called for what Houde calls a very stupid play an elbow.  Emelin.

Montreal power.

Close-out became easier. And Gomez isn’t here to stretch it out.  And make me suffer.

Yes, Gomez has good Corsi numbers and some other interesting contributions.  But.

Subban is hit down by Foligno.  Called.

Five on three for about a minute and ten seconds.

Sens manage to whack it around the boards but it dies at the right point.
They work it to the hydrant. Across.  Cole misses it.  Just off the mark.

Another set of passes.

Subban with the fake shot, passes to the end line.  To Cole.  Stationed.  And shoved in.  One-timer shovel.

Montreal 6, Ottawa 2

Ninety seconds in the second penalty.

Kostitsyn.  Across to the opposite circle.  And it’s complete.  Impressive.  Diaz at the left point.  Emelin at the right point.

They work very well to get off men and got the puck, this time Kostitsyn whipping off coverage and to eh puck against a man under the end line.

But it’s cleared and the Habs re-enter with thirty seconds and Cole and Plekanec lead-dogging.  Subban and Emelin on the right blue.

They get it to the right point.  A second such pass. To Subban.  Back for Emelin.  One-timer.  No.

Now he stumbles forward and sees the puck escape.  Manages to turn awkwardly and get back.

Under three.

Gorges.  Brakes.  Turns.  Brakes again.  Loses his forechecker and passes across under his end line.

Rush.  Doesn’t last.  But I feel some tentative warmth in the offensive sensibilities for this team.

They’ll be allowed more freedom.  But they’ve decided to earn it as well.

Two minutes.

Two rink chants compete with one another.

Under two.

Half the rink.

I have to chuckle.  What an infuriating feeling that must be.

Imagine if half the fans in your building suddenly turned into Flame or Leaf fans.  And were chanting ribald or useless things.
Oy.

One oh five.

Ottawa has put their thugs on the ice.

Houde informs us that the, ah, grittier Carkner, Winchester and others are on the ice.

Do bush league tactics really work that effectively?

How many Cups has Ottawa won?

Hmm.

I’ll have to look that up.

Won’t I.

Won’t you.

The Silver Seven stuff doesn’t count.

That may as well have been a thousand years ago.

Faceoff to Price’s left.

The Tampa game (this Thursday gets some play.

Butler has a brief chance near the Price post

Horn goes.

No animosity appears ready to start.

They congratulate their goalie.

It’s Randy Cunneyworth’s first win.

After four straight losses.

Long season.  And French isn’t that hard if you’ve had some grade school training.  And I’m sure Cunneyworth has.

Final Score
Montreal 6
Ottawa 2

HDS Stars: Carey Price, Lars Eller, Erik Cole
RDS Stars: Louis Leblanc, Raphael Diaz, Carey Price

Leblanc?  Ba-ha-ha.  Homers.

Honourables:  Emelin, Diaz and Plekanec

It was zero.  Zero.  Jeero.  Zero Cups.

And put the red line back and start replacing the old rinks with international sized ones.  One by forking one.

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1 comment

1 Lorena { 02.16.14 at 8:28 PM }

You co’dnlut pay me to ignore these posts!

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