Montreal Canadiens vs. Winnipeg Jets
February 5, 2012, 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 (19-24-9) host Winnipeg Jets (24-23-6)
Sunday, February 5th, 2012 (Matinee)
Game Fifty-Two (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)
Sunday afternoon. A kid yells “Acceuillons Nos Canadiens”.
A change in PA format. Player introductions under the silly, swinging spot and pot lights.
Michel Lacroix does the positions and the kid does the starters’ numbers and names.
He loses volume on “Gorges” and I smile.
Price keeps his mask on under his mask. It’s a charged moment for those who play with conscience.
Lovely Andalay, fourteen years old, sings the anthems again today.
That’s her name. I’m not in the habit of finding the lovelies. I’m better at finding the uglies. And the weak back-checkers.
The kid is Lewis Alderman.
Ondrej Pavelec and Carey Price are the goalies. Pav is 0.912. Price is at 0.913.
Tomas Plekanec line starts. Rene Bourque and Mathieu Darche are with him. Josh Gorges and PK Subban underneath.
Bryan Little is on for Winnipeg. An early shot on Price is held for the draw to his right.
Same lines, only thirty seconds gone.
Under the end line. Jets apply two hits, one successful, one a miss, both on the end boards.
They maintain control.
Winnipeg’s Tanner Glass and Jim Slater do their version of the cycle. Weak backhand from the circle follows. Price has it. Backhander.
Louis Leblanc loses the draw. Lars Eller is on left wing. Robust Erik Cole on the right. Hal Gill and the committed Yannick Weber low.
So. New formations.
Jets cap the puck for eight seconds. Then it escapes on the right. Jets are to it first and Zach Bogosian launches from the blue. Wide. Another shot. Also wide.
Out and then in. Price with the biscuit on yet another weak shot. Jets haven’t changed. They’re coach Claude Noel’s team after all. He’s not an innovator. He’s not a technician.
Three minutes gone.
Cole, Kostitsyn and Scott Gomez. Hash arrow. Wide.
Alexander Burmistrov to the slot on the other end. Price splays and lunges. Puck misses.
More pressure. Price is knocked off balance. Interference. Byfuglien. He’s back.
Replay shows Byfuglien knocked over a defenceman and then bumped Price. A bit of acting from the BC native? The hit on the d-man was certainly a callable offence.
Montreal power-play. Deep right faceoff.
Cole loses the draw but is whistled immediately.
Cole listens to instruction from the linesman.
Cole wins it. To the right point. Kaberle. Across for Subban. Fails. Has it again. They work the perimeter.
Jets are in a diamond, tight.
Puck dribbles into the formation and is cleared.
Tomas Kaberle retrieves.
David Desharnais line. Forty seconds gone. Puck is tunneled on the right and cleared again.
Kaberle carries it out.
Mix of positive and negative yells and an overall sense of impatience in the building. It’s more than a white rush.
Canadiens mung about.
Chris Campoli and Weber on the blue. They exchange the puck. Shot. Stopped.
Gorges. To Subban. Goes through three. Loses. Regains. To the corner. Gets help. Penalty expires. Canadiens continue. And Desharnais is stopped in the crease. Whistle.
Mark Stuart is there. PK Subban is annoyed, mouth open and complaining. Took a stick to the back.
Faceoff to Pavelec’ left. Desharnais readies. Looks around. Checks his point man on the right.
Linesman advances. Drops it. Jets win. And they’re out, Thorburn to the puck first in the right corner, beating Gill. Now he intercepts an Emelin outlet pass. High slot shot. Blocked.
Long puck. Byfuglien touches it. Icing, Montréal.
Cunneyworth’s suit and shirt combo are tailored Terminator. Tank in black threads.
Habs win it. Gill carries around the net. Small pass to the low slot. Another. Turnover. Pacioretty watches it all escape him and leaves the ice.
Plekanec line. Darche and Bourque.
Coverage is poor up top, Bourque failing to get to the shooter quickly enough.
But they work it out.
A Darche pass bips and misses the left point. Habs re-enter. Palushaj loses it in the right corner.
Jets are game. And they chase with intent. Stuart with a blue-line drive. Gorges blocks it.
Leblanc is deep right. Eller supports. Leblanc is knocked down.
Now he watches from a distance. His commitment on the forecheck is a waste and a mirage. Get it done or go home.
Eight and a half gone.
Gomez. Right corner. Hears jeers. It’s his one-year anniversary. No goals since February 5th 2011. He’s an assist man. But no goals is beyond disturbing.
Penalty. Kostitsyn. Some boos.
Draw to Price’s right. They swing and lunge. Gill gets to it in the circle. Plekanec is out. Has a man and space, turns and tries the backhander. Wide.
Jets struggle to set up and the turnovers allow the first minute to drain, shotless.
Antropov hops on. Wellwood with him. Right side. Byfuglien advances and misses the puck entirely. Cleared. Forty seconds.
Darche and Plekanec up top. Subban and Emelin down low. Subban intercepts. Clears.
Now a Winnipeg offside with twenty-one seconds in the penalty.
Faceoff outside the Montréal blue.
Desharnais wins it. Blocks of Wellwood. It’s clicked out. Another clear-out on the other side and penalty ends.
Slot pass is intercepted. Jets turn it over. Kostitsyn fires. That glide, that heavy shot of his.
Gomez. To Campoli. Back to Gomez. Across. Cole. Oduya holds him on the circle-top. Gomez went to the net but the puck was lost.
Campoli. For Kostitsyn. Goes long. Cole chases. Kostitsyn follows.
Good board work from Kostitsyn. Very aggressive. Stays legal. And four seconds later, hits absorbed, the puck is cleared.
Habs regain control.
Leblanc. He delivers a standing tall hit.
Leaves the ice with a skate problem. Plekanec circling in wait. Surveying, Byfuglien waits a second and passes to Little. Goes long. Little can’t chase it down. Gets back very well. And Bourque’s pass is intercepted in the Winnipeg zone.
Six and a half. Jets ice.
Long shift. And an opportunity for Montréal. Tired visitors.
Desharnais line. Subban low. Little wins the important faceoff. Byfuglien sends it along. Jets are gone. High shot. Price gloves it over his shoulder, like raising a lost cell phone.
Wheeler and Ladd leave the ice. Ladd is still the captain.
Yep. Strip the C. Fire the coach. Get rid of the dolts up and down the building. Can’t be done. Jets fans aren’t as forgiving as Leaf fans, however.
Faceoff deep right.
Wellwood loses it to Plekanec. Kaberle scoops it. Sends it around. Bourque chase the long puck and Bogosian is off. Pass across. Shot. Tinked. Stayed out. Bourque again with the failed defensive assignment.
Darche in the slot. Crowd and fallen Jets. Shot. No. Gill advances. Awkward high shot. Pavelec shrugs the dead bullet off.
Another chance. Crowd in forth. Jets survive.
And then it’s out of play.
Larry Carriere responds to Denis’ questions in French, as usual and stresses today’s game over yesterday’s numbing loss (3-0 to Capitals).
Leblanc falls to his knees but forces the puck on the centre ice faceoff and the Canadiens chase.
Pass to the slot. Open net. Leblanc fires. And it hits a skate or leg. Another chance, says Houde. The open net.
Four and fifteen.
Little. Ladd on the left. Byfuglien on the right point. They work it. Lost on the right side, Plekanec.
Darche dives to block. Up again. Bourque and Darche. Two on one. Another Jet joins. It loosens and dissolves. Habs keep it in.
Falling prong. Some rough stuff. Darche rushes the situation and is rag-dolled by Byfuglien. Good on Darche for going after Byfuglien. The burly defenceman had shoved Plekanec after he stood up for himself following the play.
Thorburn. Right side. Gets space with speed and the shot is a good one. Price stops it.
Thorburn is whammed into the Montréal bench boards. Lolls over for a second.
Hitting increase. Emelin casually destroys a man in the corner.
More space for Montreal. Jets give too much of that. What kind of system do these guys play? (Ed note: It’s a primitive Canadian hockey system predicated on shooting more, hustling more and glaring at smaller opponents)
They look short-handed.
Another poor sequence
Puck trickles in. Somehow. Point shot. Desharnais got it in. Unintentional skate on the disc. They’ll check. Should be legal.
Pacioretty’s open mouth after the play. Joy from the goal. And the crowd shares it.
Replay shows it went off Pavelec’ stick and not off Deshrnais’ skate. Goal stands.
Montreal 1, Winnipeg 0
Pacioretty gets the credit.
More Montreal pressure. But the slot pass is a bit far for Desharnais and the Jets escape. Forty seconds to go.
Gorges brakes and pauses. Subban starts out slowly. Allows the Eller line to get on.
Great skating from Palushaj. Eller directs it backhanded to the low slot. Leblanc doesn’t see it in time.
Houde says it’s a contrast from (Ed note: with) yesterday.
Shots on goal favoured Montréal 11-7.
Nothing like the Jets to make us look capable.
Montreal 1, Winnipeg 0
Studying Louis Leblanc video.
Montreal 1, Winnipeg 0
Scattered hooting, hollering and catcalls. Light booing follows. Very quiet rink, relatively. Delayed call. Darche shakes his after the whistle and makes his way slowly to the box. Checks his skate blade. Shakes his head some more and watches the replay. Broke a Jet’s stick. Antropov, I believe.
Bogosian is slowed by Desharnais and resets.
Small dump-in. Antropov chases and then gives up on it. Kept in. Miettinen shoots from the right point. Price drops, crosses arms one under the other and has it. Jets win the draw but carelessness leads to Bourque flaring out with a teammate. Two back to defend. Shot doesn’t come.
Boards. Gorges. Digs. Bourque, swing-sticks backhanded. And it’s out.
Eighty seconds gone.
Ladd and Wheeler deep. Byfuglien shoots from the right point. Price has it. Rebound is secured. Cleared. Lines change.
One last segment. Lead pass is off the mark and the Jets are retrieving again.
Campoli is parked, Darche is back and the puck is lost to Winnipeg on the hash. Kept in on the left point by Flood.
They exchange interceptions.
Campoli fires it in and around the boards.
Gill finds a puck ad fires it wide from the left point. Now he finds another and clears it in.
Eller and Palushaj combine to retain. Weber’s right point shot is wide. Leblanc finds it in the circle. Shoots. Stopped.
This line is improving. Denis says they’re combative and convincing.
Leblanc with a good play to get the puck out.
Fifteen left in the period.
Miettinen shoots. Price gloves it.
A lot of one on one play from the Jets. Not looking for teammates.
Faceoff deep left for Winnipeg. Burmistrov jams Gomez stick and Miettinen curls into the corner with it.
Desharnais line. Emelin underneath. Kaberle with him.
Stuart is down on the ice. Slow to rise. Does. Kostitsyn called for tripping. Leaves the ice quietly.
Stuart was upended at the net and fell behind the mesh.
Winnipeg’s third power-play. This call is a bit easier to live with.
Little and Ladd combine through trunks and sticks and the quick shot hits Price. Houde notes Price’s calm today.
Eller nearly gets to a puck before Little but the lateness of the shift affects him and he can’t make a break of it.
Another break. Two on one. Emelin and Plekanec. Plekanec slows on the right, saucers it left and Emelin finishes for his second of the year.
Thirty-seven seconds in the penalty.
Montreal 2, Winnipeg 0
Plekanec stays. Jets set up.
Burmistrov on the left hash. Bogosian. Return pass is knocked out.
Burmistrov has it, turning and Price is compromised. Shot can’t be had and Burmistrov keeps turning, tilting and finally losing the disc.
Jets collect themselves. Flow to the net. A shot. Price traps it. Holds on.
Goal replay shows Darche’s role; broke the puck out, trailed after leading Plekanec, braked to create a trailer target that the d-man needed to respect thus creating space for the pass to Emelin.
Ten and forty.
Gomez, Cole and Kostitsyn.
They can’t get it past the red line.
Finally a missed pass sees Cole get to it and push and chase both. But it’s lost on the deep boards on the left and the Jets
Wheeler doesn’t like Weber’s gesture.
Gorges steps in. Wheeler backs off. Says “alright” as if there’ll be more to come.
More sticking up for one another. Good.
Montreal goes to the power-play.
Better work. More space thanks to Winnipeg.
Subban and Kaberle on the blue.
A stick scrapes off Subban and flies into the corner.
Out and then in.
It’s in. Gomez.
Got a stick on it. In the slot.
Gomez can’t keep the smile off his face on the bench. He kept it off til he left the ice.
I’m not going to prevent my own smile. Plekanec stays on the ice.
Replay is inconclusive. It definitely changed direction.
Montreal 3, Winnipeg 0
Eight oh eight.
Goals. Chills. And some hope.
Either guy needs one for his confidence. Gomez more, certainly.
Jets are buzzing. Burmistrov nearly pus one in but Palushaj whacks his stick down and the shot dies in the muzzle.
Seven oh six.
The work is much better. Eller found. Fired. Pavelec.
Leblanc is chased down by Bogosian. Didn’t like Leblanc’s legal bump as the play closed.
Gomez doesn’t know if it was him. Campoli asks.
No penalties on the Leblanc scuffle. Two and two but the third man didn’t join.
Weber and Desharnais are digging in the corner to Price’s right.
Long point shot misses and then comes out dangerously. Price doesn’t see it.
Found. Clearing pass.
Subban. Winds up. Fakes. Short pass. Jets in disarray. It’s in the slot. A crowd of five. Backhand. Pavelec, fallen. Pacioretty knocked down following the backhand. It’s under the keeper. And whistled.
Six minutes. Jets win the draw.
Behind the net they wait. And start.
Plekanec nearly takes it away. Darche does. Long pass from Gorges is missed by Plekanec. Down the middle it skitters. No icing.
Jets move out.
Ladd open in the slot. Can’t shoot. Lucky Montreal.
Five oh two.
Dump in by the Jets. Allows Wellwood and his mats on the surface.
Kostitsyn. Falling backward and shooting. Pavelec has trouble. It’s in the slot. Untended. A Jet moves it.
Re-entry. Gomez to the crease. Snow sprays. And Pavelec gloves down.
Wheeler and Subban are in a fight. Wheeler. Loses convincingly. Falls backward and takes an additional punch. Not many connected. Not many thrown.
Subban dropped suddenly and went for it.
Subban is off to the trainer’s room. Winnipeg is minus Wheeler. Montreal is minus Subban. Jets win that exchange.
Fighting in hockey exists because there are a high percentage of morons amongst league brass and amongst hockey media. Less so amongst fans.
Believe it. Or not.
Three and eighteen.
Antropov wheels slowly in the Montreal zone. Tries a backhand pass. And it’s out of play. A shot up and off the protective netting
Giants, Patriots and Colts. Some of the more consistent teams of the past decade. All blue. I wonder if we’re aware of all the colours in the universe.
Pacioretty tries a shot.
Desharnais finds Campoli. Left side. Blast. Stopped.
Darche and Byfuglien eye one another.
Faceoff to Pavelec’ right.
Stuart curls to it and whips it around. Stays in.
Weber. Shot. Trajectory change. Just wide.
Shot. Price is low and peering through the trees. Finds it.
Habs regain control. Cole. Around for Gill.
And Pacioretty gets through. Around. Free. Made his own space. Falls, can’t get his stick around to bang it home. Had Pavelec beaten.
Pacioretty contemplates his missed chance.
Straddled the mask in falling.
Habs led 11-8 on shots. And 22-15, overall.
Montreal 3, Winnipeg 0
It’s the Jets.
But it’s better than losing to the Jets. I suppose. That’s a low bar, yes.
Montreal 3, Winnipeg 0
Contemplating boat lawsuits and the reasons Big Sports, American style are just not worth it.
Montreal 3, Winnipeg 0
Price makes a great save to open things.
Houde references the first star.
Hits are shown, 13-12 in favour of Montréal. One of the worst-kept NHL stats.
Montreal’s 7-3 win over Winnipeg earlier this season was a four-goal win. They were all four-goal wins. By either team.
Price makes a ridiculous save. And then like a cat, another. Miettinen is pawed off. And the stick-less Price is flat on his stomach, puck in his possession.
Carey-Carey chant lasts four seconds to start the next shift.
Lines change. Kaberle waits. Starts. Passes under his blue. Right side. Lead pass. Cole and Pacioretty follow. Pushed out. Not for long. Desharnais to the net. Pacioretty loses it in the right corner. Pacioretty chases back parallel to Desharnais. His work is consistent, committed and two-way. Pacioretty’s maturity came sooner than I expected. It isn’t complete but the basics are there.
A Jet emerges. Whack-whack-whacks at it from the crease. Price hoes a low position and stays in place, a door-jamb. And the puck stays out.
Price is pure.
Montreal is called for too many players on the ice. Price has made more good saves since. A pop-over the net puck saw him splay and stay, a possible new wrinkle from Pierre Groulx.
First good chance is Montréal’s two on two, Plekaenc and Darche. Darche carries. Can’t get the pass across.
They’ve been good together today. Birds of a feather. Serious. Responsible.
Koivu’s friendship with Rivet comes to mind. Not that Darche and Plekanec are close friends. But they could be.
Penalty drains out. Now the Jets are called.
But the Jets create the first good chance and a two on one sees Little stopped by an aggressive Carey Price on the one-timer. About four feet out of the crease.
Habs struggle to set up.
Plekanec with his string-and-bring shot, shows it and then brings it in tight. Fires just wide.
He needs to make two, maybe three small adjustments to his shooting game.
Two oh six. Penalty drains out.
Bourque tripped Enstrom. Enstrom slides for a nice long time. And doesn’t bother getting up. Hey. How about just staying down there. The ice could use a sweep. Hook him up, Vern. That rope there.
Time-out is called.
Darche, Plekanec, Gorges and Gill discuss the situation.
Noel says some vapid things and hopes players can’t tell. They can tell, boy.
Two oh two. The Canadiens prepare to protect the shutout. These five are business.
Gill misses it. Then swipes again and clears.
And the puck just touches the post.
Jets have pulled their best player.
Now the puck is trapped in the corner to Price’s right. Gill had sack-wheated the puck. He gets away with it. Faceoff to Price’s right.
On a fractious team, the hard workers tend to find one another. Darche whooms a man into the end boards. Now he rushes the left point.
Jets settle it down. But there’s nobody helping. Plekanec is out. Tripped. No call. Shoots anyway. Hits the post.
Remember that goal by Saku?
Great effort by Plekanec.
And it is called. Byfuglien.
Curses the situation. Looks up at the scoreclock.
Faceoff deep left.
Pavelec is back. Well, maybe Byfuglien is the team’s best player.
It doesn’t matter. They’re the Thrashers after all. Pig and lipstick. All that sort of talk.
Thirty-two seconds. Four on four.
Plekanec lobs one from centre ice. High.
Jets enter offside.
And their sell-out right wing logo.
Price handles it.
Eight seconds. From the hash. Untouched. Bank off the boards.
They got him the shutout. They owed him one.
Gomez goes and gets the puck and gives it to Price. One by one they congratulate their goalie.
The Monday Nigh music blares. What a joke. The NFL is such an Emperor’s New Clothes proposition.
Who really likes the running game?
More football music blares as Price passes pucks out. An NFL fan couldn’t identify which five players was a CFL player and which five was an NFL player if ten players in orange jerseys did quick-outs.
That applies to all positions.
HDS Stars: Tomas Plekanec, Carey Price, Mathieu Darche
RDS Stars: Carey Price, Tomas Plekanec, Alexei Emelin
Goddess Bless Al Davis. You pick the goddess.
Honourable mentions: Josh Gorges, Bryan Little, Alexander Burmistrov, Antti Miettinen, Alexei Emelin
Goal credit went to Plekanec. Not Gomez.