The Diachronic Barber Pole Observations of a Recovering Hockey Exile

Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

March 23, 2012, 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 (28-33-13) host Ottawa Senators (37-27-10)

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Game Seventy-Five (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 pho.  A unique way to re-experience the game.

click here to expand post (it looks prettier)


Spoiler.  What.  Like a pestilence of some kind?

Fungoid?  Bad fish.  Pungent coppers.

My head is green.  My body is a church.

The chalice, the real one, is still ours.  Fa’fo.  On retournera.


Still hate it when people end sentences with “ok”?

Moi aussi.

I decide not to capture this one.  I’m running out of hard drive space.  I always regret when I don’t capture.  It’s rare.

That crazy kid.  Last game.  The one with all the energy.  I get a good look.  He’d be better off a Leaf.


I’m not really sorry.  I just find that word convenient.


Sens have since passed Washington.  Since our last encounter.  They’re in seventh with 84.  Caps are eighth with 81.

Can’t Pierre and Marc sit together?  Is that regressive of me?  Marc Denis does colour from the arena floor while Houde does the play-by-play in the booth.  On air, it sounds the same.

Pierre’s Bombay paramecium tie is a welcome change.  Marc’s light jacket is a change as well.  Not welcome.  Not unwelcome.

It’s spring.  We feel it.  And we’re out of it.  We should be in the playoffs.

At 69 points, Montreal can make the playoffs if they win the rest and the rest of the East, uh, loses the rest.  It’s called cosmic math.

Vincent’s charcoal suit seems almost velour.  Is it?  Let’s hope so.  Velour needs a break.

The former Montreal captain sits between Benoit Brunet and Alain Crete.  All three have recent haircuts.  Or are more slicked.  Perhaps.

Turris is discussed.  No points in six games with Phoenix.  Twenty in 41 with Ottawa.  Brunet stresses that the long view is best with Turris.  Alrighty, then.  Kyle Turris?  Hey, les detailes sont importantes.

We can’t lead off with Guy Lafleur each telecast.

Each musecast?

Koodo’s mascot, that little wrestler is quite cute.  Effective technique.  Though formulaic.  I ponder the mascots lining my frontal lobe.  This is all figurative, of course.


The St. Hubert Chicken.  Foghorn Leghorn. Someone should be suing someone.  Colonel Sanders.  My rule is; if cartoonized, you’re a mascot.

I run out of mascots.  Charles is singing.

Can we ask Charles to sing something else?  Just on Friday nights, say.  What about something from The Iceberg?  Lethal Weapon.  Freedom of Speech?

Carey Price and Alex Auld are the goalies.

What is Auld going to be inspired by playing against his so-called old team?

Ian Walsh and Brad Meier are the refs.

They pound their chests.  Nonsensical.  You’re not the show.  And don’t worry about public shows of unit unity.  Nitwits.

First Period

Spezza.  Desharnais.

Montreal retrieves.  Rush.  Cole.  Left side.  Gets past Turris.  Fires.  Over the shoulder.  And it’s in the net.  Anderson.

Anderson was beaten.  Not Auld.  I dunno.  He was bald.  How many bald goalies can Ottawa have?

Montreal 1, Ottawa 0

Immediate response

Price makes what Houde calls a superbe arret.

It feels like spring.  The air pressure.  Or something.  I’m down here in the near-dark so it’s gotta be atmospheric.

And we’re not in the playoffs.

This is so bogus.

Well, that’s what I would lifin’ say, isn’t it?

Isn’t it.


Richer firing on the Flyers.  Nineteen eighty-nine.  Patrick Roy.  And clean green and bright blue through the glass.  That’s spring.

We resume.

Neil mini lobs.

Campoli is crumpled into the boards.

Staubitz goes after Konopka after the “dangerous” hit, says Houde.

I dunno.

Many in the crowd love it.


I dunno.

It’s a long fight.

And it ends a decision in Staubitz’ favour.    Both are standing.  And the refs, such a part of the schmaltz shag tapestry (your Canadian hockey league, not mine) have kind words for Staubitz as they usher him to his seat in the box.

I can’t even think of an analogy for the stupidity, cupidity and complicit traditionalism of fighting.

Suddenly, six thousand years of examples come to mind.

Pooooor Copernicus.  Pooooor Galileo.  Pooooor Socrates.

Oh, wait.

Hey, isn’t BC a province?

Were any concepts in the bible original?  I wonder.  They’re like the Motown of religions.  All formula.

Who’s the Defjam of religions?  Hmm.

Ottawa penalty follows.  Three and a half gone.

Markov and Subban low.  Desharnais line on the front wave.

Cole bumps Philips to the ice as he dodges to and fro along the hash.

Cole is strong, and better, he knows how to use leverage and balance to advantage.  Would have been a good wrestler.  And possibly a good offensive lineman.

Markov gives it away in the slot.

Too much Hollywood.  Too much Moscow.  Two standing ovations prior to penalty-shots and two years of knee cooing has affected the defenceman.  The “I’ll show you Canucks” is gone.  Melted.  In the long run, this should be good as Markov realizes that he, a sickled foreigner is loved locally.  But in the short run, it means needlessly frequent rushes, strange relations with Subban and general swashbuckling that we don’t need.

Markov’s great strength (one of a few great and several medium) was his economical play.

Let’s have that again.


Cole does it again.




While I ramble on, Cole rounded Karlsson, lost it in the corner and then went to the net.  A puck and shot.  A backhand and pot.  Slightly off-balance but mostly alone.

Anderson looks up.  He wonders.


He’s right.

Bishop is out.

Anderson leaves.

Bishop’s plain white mask continues to evoke visions of Liut.  Of Garrett.  And the others who walked paintless.  In the crease.

Ben Bishop.

He’s 0.925 and 1.96.  Sens have used several this season.  Auld is the other.

And they traded their best one.  He was struggling.

Montreal 2, Ottawa 0

Only five and twenty gone.

Eller.  From Bourque. To the net.  Flat stick shortie.  And another.  Bishop is splayed and low.  Small melee follows.

Bourque’s pass is shown. Plekanec followed and took some arms and elbow to the back and shoulders.

And these gestures were called.  Two Sens in the box.


It’s loud.

Cole again.

What in the horsehoe.

Hats fall to the ice.  Three goals in the first period.

He goes to the bench.  Slaps gloves.

Subban’s blue line shot.  And Cole on the offwing at the muzzle and the beater at the side.  Floop off the twine.  And Bishop could only reach.

Who’s’ the third goalie?

A man with a plastic shovel pushes hats, about seven, along the ice.

Folks stand.

Montreal 3, Ottawa 0

Some Chinese fella is very pleased.  Clapping.  Maybe he’s Philippino.  I dunno.  What would I know?  I’m from Sept-Iles.  I can identify iron ore types.

Some couples.  A guy with no Habs gear.  A happy, husky woman.
Just over fourteen left.

More Cole.  Pacioretty over the left.  Drops for Cole.  Shoots.  Off an arm.

No change in tempo.  Montréal presses.  And the energy move, keeping Cole and company on the ice is one approve.

Price is beaten.

Subban somehow gets there.  He’s limping and in pain, he so rarely blocks.  But he’s been inspired.  And Price’s stick is picked up, the puck is out of the zone and we can only wonder if PK’s new job description has had game-ending results.

Bourque.  From Leblanc. Bourque is still infected with verve.  That’s three games in a row.

Interception at mid-ice.  Plekanec.  Board pass.  Lost.  Markov cleans up.

A Hab misses delivering a big hit.

Another Plekanec takeaway.  Looks for Palushaj at the low slot.  Can’t velcro the thing.

Nokelainen.  With another. Two on one.  Curls.  Keeps.  Shoots.


I laugh like a father.

Beat Bishop on the blocker side.  Tricky.

Blunden went to the net.

Nokelainen stays on.

Montreal 4, Ottawa 0

Eleven and thirty.

If you’re just joining us, chuckles, Houde ….

Subban is ok and on the bench.

The Subban play is shown.  That’s a game-saver.  Blocked Spezza at the side.  Gave his ribs.  And possibly saved the game.  That’s a two-goal turnaround in my diary.


Subban finishes the play.

Greening doesn’t like it.  Too bad.  Want more Greening?  Subban doesn’t like Greening and takes every chance to let him know.

Fine by us.

I said it would be “we” and “us” the rest of the way.

Oh.  I’m not capturing this.  Am I.  God.  Who knew.

<Insert gurgling anguish.>

Three goals.  Eleven oh six to go in the first.

Brian Savage occurs.  Then Wayne.  Then Darryl.

I know, I know.  But hey.  This is the time to wonder such things.

Fine.  Defence.

A Senator falls.  Pacioretty lumbers and feathers past in his pelican way.

Everyone’s ok.  No shot.  No pass.  No long-term injury.

Ladouceur corrects loudly as Subban takes the bench  Subban doesn’t talk back.

Houde and Denis agree that Ladouceur is naturally intense and that body language can be misconstrued.

Fair enough.

Nine and a half.

Lines change and Phillips yoyos to send them off.  But it ends in the deep corner and the Habs are out and energizing.    White.  Blunden.  And now a fight.  Neil and White.  No.  They stop it all.  They don’t even get close.

Neil is kept away from White.

And a penalty.

Neil is irritated.  So much of it is put on at this stage in his career.  It’s a habit more than a force of testosterone.

And it’s a job that a skilled guy should have.

Hey.  There are other jobs in this country.  In this world.

I’m sure CBC Sports would love him.  Or one of the AM rubber-lung shows.

White missed Foligno and Neil didn’t like the board run.

White was wise in declining the fight, says Denis.  White is learning quickly.

He’s a witch’s brew brat but irresistibly likeable.  Something Bobby Clarke in his brawn is tempered with a Michael J. Fox chocolate bar in briefcase.

Montreal power.  To hell, it’s power.  Markov is back.  But you can’t have two rushing defencemen.  One of the concerns with this pairing.

First segment is nervy but no jangles.

Bourque in the crease.  Won’t leave.  Cowen can’t convince him. Plekanec from the low circle.  Sudden. Off the mark.  Net is off, Eller pushed into it.


Bishop wears thirty.  A traditional number.  A traditional mask.  And a good name.

And.  And!

He’s six foot seven.  Ya gotta like the photo.

Let’s see as the months go on.

Tall goalies.  Nothing finer.

You know what I mean.

A shot of the lawyer opening his glove to show a candy bar.  He refused that one.

Under six.

White from about 88 degrees.  Bishop stumble-stalls but holds one.  White explains something to an official.

Fast-beat freepy French songs in commercials.  Ah, the old memories.  Five channels.  Three of them French. I mute it after an extra two seconds.

I think Cunneyworth should get a full year.

Or at least September to December.  Let him learn French.  And then go.

Or at least give him a good job in the organization. He’s been a fine solider.  And he’s taught some lessons we needed to see happen.

Bishop barely closed it.  The puck actually was on the line at the post.  It has to completely cross the lie.

And the replay show a puck three-quarters high in snow bip-bip an inch deeper.  In.

What will the call be.  Can snow be considered negligible?

It crossed fully.

But the snow obscured it.  So. Let’s see what NHL physics says.

I smirk.

Call is no goal.

The national hockey league.  Nice league.

School-boy, dining-table, Coleco set.  And a microwave to time the outcomes.  Brendan!  Dinner!

Fix yer league.  Learn from the NBA.  Learn from the NFL.  Hey.  Maybe listen to your commissioner.  He’s smarter than most of you.

Most is upper nineties in this case.  Not lower fifties.

Montreal penalty.

Four and fifty.

Sens win it deep right. Spezza is on the hash.  Moves one along the assembly line.  Sends another across.  Now he has a third and fires wide.

Wide.  Wide Spezza.  I think I’ve seen enough Ottawa games to coin it.

Kuba from the blue.  Deflected high.

Subban is hit in the face.  Greening.  Subban falls to his knees.  Helmet falls off. He rises.  Helmet remains off.

Subban is in some pain.  Leaves the ice rubbing the back of his head.  It’s as much a sympathy-seeking gesture as it is pain.

But he’s our PK Subban.  And few others care.

Bourque leaps to knock one out.  Follows it.  Drops for Plekanec.  Shot wide.  Penalty ends.

Subban’s helmet stays on the ice under the end line to Price’s right.  Long Montréal puck.  Called.

Subban returns. Turns to talk to an official.  And continues to his helmet.

Greening wrapped his arm around Subban’s neck and guided him low-speed into the glass.  It’s an ongoing feud, the starter long-forgotten.

Unlike the Sedin hit.  Duncan Keith.  The great Duncan Keith.

Pacioretty.  Cole.  Slot.  Turning shot.  Wide.  And again.  Konopka blocks it.

Puck dust and cyclone yells.  But it’s cleared.

Markov retrieves.

Ninety seconds.

Markov at the net.  Puck is on the boards.

Alfredsson can’t retain.  White pushes.  Mid-ice.  Lost.  Sens play it at their blue.  Pair and no ace.  Medium pass.
Another turnover.

Houde remarks on the energy from all four lines, both teams.

Plekanec touches it and it’s called for pass with the hand.

Eller is on the surface.

A Bishop failed glove-down is shown.  The Cole slot shot.  And the post shot.  Konopka blocked the certain goal.

Cole shakes his head on the bench.

Spezza.  Goal?

They’ll have to review.

Side-view is convincing.  Top of the twine

He lifts a nostril, unsmiling on the bench.

Montreal 4, Ottawa 1

Siren and a fight.

Neil pushed Pierre Champoux out of the way to start the fight.  And then he hit White when he was down.  Once.  Twice.  More.

And he’s not done.

But he should be.  And years ago.

Pierre Champoux is French.  Neil’s lack of respect continues.  He continues to yell at Champoux after it’s all settled. He knows.  He knew.  He’s done.

If I were commissioner.  Just give me one month.

Just one.

S’all I need.

(Gimme eighteen inches of daylight)

Montreal 13, Ottawa 11

Fork Chris Neil and any (other) Ontario goon who dares.

White got one maybe two in and then took a few. And one last haymaker.

First Intermission
Montreal 4, Ottawa 1

That sounds better, doesn’t it.

Keith just got five games.  The check that caused it was shown.  But I’ll bet there was more before.

Keith was lucky he only got five says Damphousse.  He adds that it was purposeful and dangerous.

Brunet says with a laugh that Keith’s lucky his name isn’t Duncan Staubitz.  Otherwise it would have been eight.

Five.  Eight.  Have a laugh.

Not in the NFL.

Not in any other league worth its sugar.  Here we work with sweet n low.  Aspartame league.

Five.  Eight.

Homme de Commissionaire:  Y’est gone!  A year.  A career.

Some Canuck talk.  The door will close; Sedins are ageing.  And so forth.  Or was it a window.  The window of opportunity.  Is it swinging or sliding?  What if you can’t see through it?

They’re a good team.  A great team, often.  And they’re steady.  Luongo has recovered his aplomb.  And they have last season’s experience. Don’t underestimate them.

Ovie has two against the Jets tonight.


“No longer a superstar”.  Keep wishing, jingos.

Hitler had a lot to say about white athletic superiority, too.  Til Jesse Owens won five.  Hitler refused to shake Owens’ hand.  Can’t even lose right.

Certainly couldn’t win right, eh.

Hitler, Hitler, Hitler!  He was real.  He was human.  We are permitted to discuss him.  We are permitted to use him in comparisons.  Look up analogies, sometime.  Look up logical fallacies.

This guy explains it to an acceptable degree.

Second Period
Montreal 4, Ottawa 1

Three bullies in the box.  White jerseys.

It’s always a certain kind that loses composure when losing.  And thugs out.  It’s called lack of character.

Cole.  Right side.  Backhand pass.  Pacioretty, falling, nearly completes the tac-toe.  But he’s into the boards, ass sliding, puck clicking off the yellow stripe a moment before him.

Sens poke, flick and chuck.  The seconds dwindle.

Condra completes a turnover and exodus for Montreal.

Faceoff to Bishop’s left following an offside entry.

Sens are out.  Penalty is over.

Spezza brakes and sends a perfect diagonal.  Michalek, spray and suit to the net is nearly perfect.  But it trickles wide off his backhand stick.

Bishop is out behind, misses with his blade, kicks it with his skate.  Dangerous.  Nobody is hurt.  Bishop is back in net.

He doesn’t look 6-7.  Slouching.

Sens are hanging around.  Get them out.  Oh.




No goal, says Houde.

Price is still annoyed after the reversal.  Alfredsson knocked it from the air in the low slot.  Great hand-eyes.  But not legal.  Turris was right there, bumping Nokelainen in stride.

Price swears and his head moves forward with the words.

Word, rather.

He wanted that one.  Thought he had it.

Wait.  Hasn’t been officially reversed.

Officials wait for the decision.

Alfredsson turns in small circles, his teeth showing, his grimace one of current playoff concerns.  Unlike, uh, some other teams.


Spezza was hanging about talking with the officials.  And of course, they heard him out.

Always have time for one of our own, eh?

Greening is ridden into the back boards.  Another board rider up at the point.  Now Michalek pushes Desharnais over.

No matter, the short centre is out and playing the puck after braking inside their blue.

Only four and ten gone.

What a long game.

Lots of stops.

But who’s the hare?  And who’s the turtle?

Bryan Murray and a turtleneck suit comes to mind. Then some rabbit ears.  Then a TV with a commercial-muter.

Long Montreal puck.  Icing.  Touched by Cowen with nobody else around.

He leaves the ice.

That sharpened Ottawa numeric.  Halloween cauldron font.

Draw to Price’s left.  Won by Desharnais.  Eller waits on the hash.  Eller on the wing?

Kuba shoots. Left point.  Desharnais sticks up for Eller as Turris goes after him

Lots of faux toughness from Turris.  Easy to pick on Eller, eh?  Why not try Blunden?  Or Staubitz?  Kyle Turris.  Another tough Canadian.  I’m taking notes.  I’m so proud.  I’m learning so much about this game.  From my Canadian namesakes.

The Spezza line continues to pressure.  Under the end-line, all three forwards gather and then spread onto the net, one to the circle and Price traps low.  Good save.

More Ottawa grit.

Five seconds.  No shots. Cleared.

And back in.  Gilroy keeps it alive on the right point. Slot pass misses all and the Staubitz group are chasing, hitting and missing the puck all the while.  Blunden, Staubitz and White. A true stub line.

Gimme Lang, Tanguay and Sergei.  Despite all.

And Lang was great in all ways.  Just had to throw him in.

Imagine Bonk, Lang and Kovalev.

Yes, bring back the Sax Man.  Cheaper.  And just as effective.  It’s the best city for him.

One magic man is all you need.

Three are nice, though.

Weber fell to the ice on a check attempt on Alfredsson.  T’s a recurring injury says Denis.

More Greening and Spezza.  This time a long turnover ends it and the long pass for Pacioretty following is offside.

Desharnais line leaves.

Price stop.  More Arms and struggling.

Now Konopka wants a piece.

White is too small.

Blunden steps in.  Konopka, a coward, wants none of that.

He complains as he leaves the ice.  Face of a fallen popsicle.  Mud and frustration.

These skill-less thugs are wasting my time.  And yours.

Three losers in the box.  White jerseys.

Konopka is shaking his head, still complaining.  White is also called.  He takes the bench, smiling.  I roll my eyes.  Agitation.  Why bother?  How many Stanley Cups has agitation won?  (intimidation is another thing; and meaningless when validated and endorsed by league-backed refs).

Lemaire’s heavy shot.  That wins Stanley Cups.  Dryden’s invincibility.  That wins Stanley Cups.

Forget the rest.

Smile for commercials.

Montreal controls.  Anderson is back, by the way. Closes one off.  Low glove air-pick.  Holds it for the draw to his right.

Desharnais.  Loses the draw.  They meet on the boards.  Ottawa is first.  Leaning and booming, the puck sent down.

One minute.

Stopped at the blue.  Passed back.  Markov.  Keeps.  Brakes.  Retreats.  Right side for Desharnais.  Shot.  Rebound.  Perfect.



Ten minutes gone.

And we haven’t scored in too long.

Anderson around the net to play one and he’s stood up lightly by a forward.  Pas de matiere.

Penalty ends.

Plekanec fails to play the puck properly and Condra takes it.  Shoots.  Stopped.  Condra punches Plekanec a few times.  Plekanec half-heartedly punches back.  It ends.  Condra leaves it.

But he knew he could get the few shots in.  And gladly did.

Ottawa does things their own way.  Or does coach Walrus like it that way?  I wonder.

Imagine that boor voice of Spezza’s.  That’s the foghorn heard loud and long all off-season, in the dressing room. the parking lot, the bar and who knows where else.  His words aren’t Gordie words.  More Pronger.  More Tice.

President’s club.  Creepy racquetball memberships.  And still using the word “secretary”.

Won draw deep right.

Nine and fifteen.  Subban winds up.  Big blast.  Off something and wide.

Turris on the other end Turns form the boards.  Harangued by Subban.  Falls.

Price makes a good save in the mess.  Emelin is down.  Another.

Puck stays out.

Cole and Pacioretty respond.  Traffic.  And the puck just wide.

Officials are losing control of the game.

Zack Smith looking for some now.  He settles down; one official dong well.

No calls on that one.  Maybe some strong words for the dolts?

The modern NHL.  Does Bryan Murray still belong?

Of course, the modern NHL is slowly regressing to the immodern NHL.  The league office seems to have decided that enough is enough with speed and finesse.  One league member stated last week that we can expect less penalties called as the playoffs approach.  They’ll say that.  For media and public consumption.

Can you imagine.

Imagine if Pete Rozelle assured us that NFL refs would be calling pass interference a bit less, a lot less, as the playoffs approach.  Imagine that.  We’ll be penalizing late hits, offside and contacting the kicker a bit less, too.  Yep.

Then nod.  Look self-satisfied and then complain if any writers, say Paul Zimmerman, make fun of it in Sports Illustrated.  And then expect gangs of morons from Arizona, Alabama and Texas to back you up.  They’re our fans.  We’ll go with what they’re saying.

Feel justified.

Yup, uh-huh.

Now.  Back to your NHL.

Six oh four.

Another stoppage.  Less bumping.  And Houde, noting this says with a man on the mountain gusto; that lets us go to a commercial!

If there are humans around in about a thousand years (should be, I’d guess), they’re going to have a hell of a horror ride watching old, grainy files of our truck commercials.

Bourque, Eller and Plekanec are on.  They’re turning and mirroring, puckless.

Turris keeps looking for action.  Is he being provoked?

Four surround him as his limbs lose their respective tempers.  He leaves the scrum, blood lining his nose.

And he takes a seat in the box.

White shares a joke with Price.  Does an open mouth body language grimace as he crosses the Senator bench area, head up.  Yep.  All innocent.

White really annoys me, as well.

I don’t care what jersey he wears.  I always say loyalty is for hockey teams but I really don’t mean it.  Live up to the jersey. Or leave.

Loyalty is for principles.

Fork familiarity.

Senators’ power-play.  Somehow.

A happy family, two little boys plus parents, smile as Plekanec crosses the glass in front of them The dad (I’m assuming, yes) raises a small camera and snaps.  I smile.  Tomas Plekanec.  And they got a small memory.

Who better to snap?

Spezza?  What?  Uh.  No.

Price stops another.

He’s been mopping them all up today.  All manner of save.  None great but many very good.

Great was Subban.  On Spezza.

Game ain’t over.  Still time for Price to be great and not just very good.

Another Ottawa turnover.  Bourque.  Left side.  His pass is into skates but he doesn’t give up, reaching and swinging at it.  Then flows with the backcheck.

Ottawa pours in.  One.  Two.  Two trailing.  Dropped.  Dribbled.  Shot.  Rebound.  Price.  Reaches.  Traps.  And hands, arms and elbows abound.

Spezza’s surly shoulders are joined by a peace-seeking Pacioretty.  Somehow it works.  Or maybe Spezza wasn’t as irked as his lemon expression.

Never lime.  Always yellow.

Penalty is over.

Pacioretty is slowed by Phillips in the low slot and the Sens carry.

But they’re stopped.

Eighty.  Habs resemble a man-advantage.  Six seconds.  Shot.  Into the corner.  Chased.  Sens win the board battles.

And they’re out.  Three across.  Four as Staubitz gets back, bumping a man out of the play.


Staubitz is to be feared but he doesn’t play dirty.  Nor is he a smiling antagonizer.

He leaves the ice and here’s a long pass for Pacioretty.  Karlsson is back.  Foils the back to the goalie turning attempt.

Puck rounds the boards.  One wild shot by Cole.  Glass.

And the siren.

Ottawa led on shots 16-10.

Disappointing period.  No goals from either.  And dignity restored to the visitors.

Put these guys away.  Put every team away at the Bell.  What is up with this.

Second Intermission
Montreal 4, Ottawa 1

I’m already at 4115.  Blame the refs.  Blame Ontario.  Blame the league.

Radulov talk.  Other boredom.

Third Period
Montreal 4, Ottawa 1

Radulov is back in the NHL.  What’s all the fuss about this guy.

Cole, Desharnais and Pacioretty.  Gorges and Subban low.

They’re alternating pairing Subban with Gorges and then Markov.  Gorges and Subban were teamed after Gill left.  The Gorges-Subban pairing has worked well, Gorges, the dull, efficient, shot-blocking stay-at-home with Subban as the carrying, driving and offensive-minded pivot.  Both are robust, both can shut down and they get along.

Markov-Gorges is a recent permutation and needs a few more games to determine if the two can find a rhythm.  With Emelin and Gorges, the four are a very good unit.  Yannick Weber, the Swiss serious-man with a good shot and journeyman Chris Campoli round out the regular six.

Depth defenceman include Frederic St. Denis, currently in the minors; a young untapped, unknown quantity for the most part.

Three minutes gone.  Emotion is gone.  Both teams are waiting for a sparkplug.  They’ve molded their feelings to the score.  Good for Montreal.  Not as good for your visitors.

Cole.  Fore.  And aft.  Ba-bumped on the hash journey.  Puck is kept in.

Now he turns.  Fires.  Anderson is down.  Stays down.  Cole has him now.  Shoots.  And it’s absorbed somehow.  Anderson remains flat on his seat, legs out.  Shaken up.

Foligno is called.  Interference.  He shakes his head watching the replay from the bin.  But it’s not indignant.

Montreal man-advantage.

Second minute arrives.  Subban.  Left point.  Keeps, dangles, keeps.  Passes.

Down low.  And then the post.  No.  The goal.

Eller from the end line.  One shot.  Bounceback.  Second shot.  And in.  Into and out of the net and the top-down replay confirms it.

Official leans into the hole in the glass, headset on.  I look for Spezza.

Commissioner Spezza.  Can we go ahead with this?

Ole, ole chant begins.  Walrus keeps his expression neutral.  A slight adjustment from disgust to avuncular acceptance occurs.

His team is in the playoffs.  Ours isn’t.

Is Cory Clouston watching this?

Montreal 5, Ottawa 1

Emails are like homework.  Do I need any more homework at this point?

More Ole, Ole.

Deeper this time.  Basso.

What use is the goal-judge anyway>  Nobody ever consults with him.  They always call Toronto.  That useless goal-judge just sitting there with a switch.

Now that’s gravy train.

Nokelainen.  Gets it four feet ahead of the rest.

Chugs.  Settles.  Aims.  Shots.  Save from eleven feet.

The shapes swirl.  And a publicity-seeking screech fills the rink.  And the puck is out moments later.

It’s hard to believe there was a time when I let commercials play through.

The French got too, uh, intact.

Watching them is another story.

Intact.  It’s a company.

Sabres beat Rangers 4-1 tonight.  Not much separates first from fifteenth.  And the constriction continues.

Legal check.  Senators can’t handle it.  They start a fight.

Imagine if Chris Neil played football.  He’d be crying, sobbing, tears and dirt across his face after every play.  Ejecto.  Buddy.  It’s a hitting game.

Blunden checked Karlsson.  Neil grabbed Blunden to fight.  And Neil sits with an I’ve done my job elbow on his hip in the box.  Yes, you have saved Senator integrity.  My, what a hockey countenance you have.

Parking lot paycheque.  Pogey starts with P.  So does piggy.

Now Neil is yelling at a ref at the open door.

Neil is being ejected.

It took that long?

Yes.  Eject him when the outcome is beyond change.  Chuckle stripes.

Eleven and a half.

Montreal power-play.  One blunder but three Habs in the slot.  Here we go.  Deep corner right.  Golf out fails.  Markov ladles it back down the let.  Around.  Right point Subban.

Across.  Markov feeds.  A shot.  And the save.  Cleared.

Subban.  Veers.  Swerve and verve. To the net and across he sends it.  Nobody was expecting it.  More pressure.

Then it’s out.

Fifty seconds.

Anderson plays it from the low hash.  Nearly turns it over.  Sens send it out.

Lines change.  Dumped in.  Bourque chases. Thirty seconds.  Plekanec misses one.

Looking a bit out of gas.

Out of hope?

Out of wingers.

The power-play ends.

Confusion totale, says Denis.

Couldn’t get it in the zone again.

More hitting

Staubitz.  People don’t mess with him.  Finally he’s knocked over.  Gets up and resumes his shift.

Markov is pitchforking.  Loses the puck.  And Price is left and then right, jello in his waist.  Pad stops puck.

Pace improves.  Skating, too.  And then Spezza is preceded.  Offside.

White earns a compliment from left-hand man Larry Carriere, behind the bench as an assistant since Martin’s dismissal in late December.  Carriere is a front –office guy, GM Pierre Gauthier’s eyes and ears.  A lifetime scout, Carriere is Anglophone (bilingual) affable and conventional.

Sylvie Seguin, a viewer, asks what Karlsson’s best qualities are.  Explosive.  Good shot.  Offensively determined; jets into the offensive play to be a fourth attacker.  So responds Marc Denis.

He’s also a bit of a simpering dillweed.  So says your literary goon.  Starts things.  But doesn’t finish.  Goes after guys he can handle.  Brave when kicking the dog type.

Small dogs, though.

Only small dogs.

Anderson is in prayer mode.

Now some punches after the play.  Who’s the yellow body this time?

Cowen?  Eller took a few punches after giving a light punch to Cowen for being a dick.

Cowen and these types start and then apply full force if anyone takes exception.  Correction.  When their chosen targets; slight, skilled and usually foreigners; take exception.  The old blue-print.  And this league does little.


Cowen.  And another of the yellows.

Ottawa moved several yellows but have fully replaced the cadre.  And Spezza awoke alongside.

I guess Murray tried.  But he should have backed his coach.  Not his surly so-called star player.  The anointed Jason Spezza.  Sad.  Too bad for the honourable amongst Ottawa’s fans.  Clouston demanded own-zone accountability.  Spezza has been on the Team Canada free pass since Junior and won’t be changing any time soon.

Unless he’s traded.  And maybe not even then.

Under six.

Spezza. Crosses.  Reaches.  Deft pass.  Slot shot.  Wrister is gloved.

Alfredsson, a hockey nobleman of automatic Hall of Fame stature (the non-crony automatic) has no effect on Spezza.  Spezza roars in his green bubble.  And invites select friends.

Not my kind.

And doom for your daughter.

Five and a half.  The hot tempers have cooled.  Three Ottawa ejections, total.  A bit more work for the undermanned.


Markov leaves the ice.  Takes the bench.  Looks up.  Stubbled.  Still looking out of place.

Price stops one from twelve, a mild wrister.

Blunden and Karlsson met on the Ottawa circle, an arm on the jersey from Blunden, not much else.

The refs could have had at this level in the second when this started.  But no.  Let’s wait til late in the third.

These guys are paid.  With your money.  Oh sure, it goes through advertising budgets, first.  But they’re advertising to you.  And without you, the cash flow changes.

Fans don’t pay players or leagues.  But they’re essential for high revenue.

Ah, fans.

Two and a half.

The Ontario player’s sense of entitlement hasn’t changed.  I was hanging out at a few rinks over the past few weeks and was reminded about the particular flavour of Ontario hockey hubris.  It starts young.  And it’s isolated from much of the rest of the culture.  The incubation process is somewhat closed-door.

Ask your kids.  Particularly your sons.  Maybe they’ll tell you.

Or read Meeker’s Stop It There Back It Up.

More recently, Dowbiggen’s work will hint at it.

Pacioretty through two.  Taken down.  Mostly legal.

Time drains as the Canadiens try for a sixty goal.

The Goodbye song.  Sens don’t deserve it.

Period ends.

Guess who gets first star.

Final Score
Montreal 5
Ottawa 1

HDS Stars: Erik Cole, PK Subban, Carey Price
RDS Stars: Erik Cole, Carey Price, PK Subban

I know there’s no such thing as a turtleneck suit.  I just want you to think about it.  For a moment.

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