Montreal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers
March 24, 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 (29-33-13) visit Philadelphia Flyers (43-23-8)
Friday, March 24th, 2012
Game Seventy-Six (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 chips. A unique way to re-experience the game.
click here to expand post (it looks prettier)
First two periods are trapped on a comatose Dell. Maybe tomorrow it will humour me and awaken. Here’s what we do have:
Flyers 3, Canadiens 1
Laptop fails. I hook up another one. And I assume that the failed one (a blue screen of death) will boot up after the game. I shake my head. This season.
Gomez. Cammalleri. Gionta. Moen.
Pearn’s firing. Martin’s.
The interim tag.
Learn to grow.
And will Gauthier be here? Gainey?
Patrick Roy has paid some dues. He was offered the GM position in Colorado but refused citing a need to grow and learn more before taking on such a role.
He’s mostly been behind the bench with Quebec Remparts. But he’s had some experience in overseeing a process, as well.
Patrick Roy, general manager. It’s intriguing. But this is no place for experiments.
Philadelphia 3, Montreal 1
Giroux also sports the A for alternate.
St. Denis and Campoli share the puck and it’s out.
Habs are out with little effort and weak results.
Now an offside entry ends the shift. Cole and Desharnais take a seat.
Leblanc shows some zest. Gets support from Blunden. New combo for the period.
Jagr is preceded. Whistle.
Some words. Hartnell shakes his head.
Kubina and Gorges are fighting. Strange.
Gorges is out of his element. Big size difference, too, says Houde.
Gorges dropped the gloves first. Frustration. It’s an 11-12 thing. Gorges’ first fight of the year. His first as a Hab?
Eller surveys the icy surface, a malevolent puppy’s glint.
We stay at even strength as les boxeurs take a seat. Houde’s humour.
Wellwood circling and leaving it in the corner. Turnover.
Two on one.
Plekanec. Bourque down the slot carpet. Plekanec keeps. Mini-slap.
Plekanec shakes his head and says a word to Bourque on his left at the bench, now
Desharnais takes one from Cole. Back to Cole. Wrap-around pass. Misses all.
Houde reminds us the Canadiens played last night.
It has its effect, sure.
Could explain St. Denis’ call-up.
Behind the Montréal net Markov tests the belly. Complete to Palushaj. Markov shoots off the side of the net on the possession. Flyers clear. Iced.
Markov is looking more himself tonight than ever.
A Rinaldo hit on Palushaj is shown. Good hit. Solid. Mid-ice. Nobody else around. Palushaj was flattened. Legal. Classic Patrick Division finish.
The Flyers have had their great eras. And less so. This edition is respectable and a reflection of culture-change, headed up by Paul Holmgren and one would assume anointed by Bobby Clarke, still in an organizational patriarch, albeit in a stripped-down role.
He’s grown easy, somewhat. Something has been lifted. And we can see more clearly the dignity of the man. His poise and sense of humour, so evident in younger days, lost in the Lindros era has returned.
He reminds me somehow of Bill Shatner.
The bodies collide. The Flyers don’t notice or don’t care. They’ve come to win. All the other stuff is secondary.
Laviolette’s stamp is apparent. And the ink deepens, month by month. He’s one of today’s great coaches.
Two goals. But it may as well be eight.
There isn’t enough pride. And other things, besides.
The coach must be bigger than the players. And the GM must back the coach. It’s a must in Montréal. Or forget success.
Simmonds shares his discontent with those near enough. Slowly cruises to the bench. He’s scoring, he’s simple but he’s effective. He’s become what he used to be in LA. A cog but valiant. He went through a fierce stage in which he adapted the Flyer persona. But all that is gone now.
Even Hartnell is different. Where is he getting these penalty minutes, then? He’s a different man against Montréal. Nothing to prove. Just good hockey.
I credit Laviolette. And the Jagr addition is likely a factor. Jagr has been cited as having fun again. And a strong presence, positive, in the dressing room. What about in the parking lot?
Crowd rises. Subban retaliated. Houde notes that Rinaldo has done his work.
Subban is annoyed. Doesn’t argue.
Takes a sip. Drops the bottle on the box floor in disdain. Doesn’t even look at it.
Eleven and twenty-two.
Bourque’s shoot-out is out of play. No delay.
Bourque likes playing on the penalty-kill. And he likes taking penalty-shots. (Ed note: You meant shootout attempts)
I wonder how he’d do on the first line? Would he respond?
The game almost bores him.
Budaj stops one. Simmonds extricates himself from the crease lip, arms up. Not looking for trouble, boys.
They leave him be.
Eighty seconds. Draw deep right.
Briere against Desharnais. Briere is asked to leave. Coburn takes it and it’s won but out.
My rosters are down.
The great Dell computer. What a joke.
Montréal challenges. Flyers don’t have urgency. But they have precision Jagr calmly finds Briere at the post. And somehow the puck stays out.
Three years ago Montreal could have returned from two down against Philly.
One piece of legislation at a time. That’s how it was lost. That’s how it will be won back.
The same thing applies to the Montreal situation. And the points total is deceiving. Mired in fifteenth, the team is much better than its macro outcomes. Emotional ailments. Injuries. Bad luck.
This offseason will see Carey Price signed, one or three malcontents dealt with and maybe one or two big signings.
Will we see a new coach? I hope not. Unless it’s an old veteran that can succeed. Learning on the job is not needed.
Schenn is free. Budaj makes the save. A sharp right pad.
Simmonds in there. Ryan White, too. (Ed note: I wonder why you added “Ryan”. Huh? Why. Why.)
Simmonds maintains aplomb.
White’s hair is a mess. Simmonds reaches over and whaps White, open-handed.
Flyers fans love it. I smile.
White is annoyed. The shoe’s on the other foot.
Simmonds is disqualified.
Simmonds handled most of it himself, chuckles Houde, as we watch the replay.
White looks up, gap-toothed and pale. Now back down at his helmet strap; in his lap.
Simmonds issued a stick. A punch. And a maul-brawl arms-up shove that took out a teammate and leaned a Hab back.
All without losing his cool.
Montreal gets the man advantage.
Pierre doesn’t say “alors le porte s’ouvre”. Because this season is over.
Markov is knocked over at the Flyer end line. Right by the post. And it’s called.
That oaf, Richards, isn’t around to make more of the moment, either. Coburn accepts the decision. Markov returns to the bench to wipe off his face and visor.
Giroux says something to Markov as they pass one another. Markov says what. What?
Replay. Bryzgalov’s stick. Not Coburn’s. Tripped Markov after the muzzle chance.
Five on three. Eight oh one.
They work it.
Desharnais at the hash. Markov alone on the blue. One shot. Wide. Now Subban after a puck-saving reach by Markov. More Subban and Markov on the blue. Subban the shot. Up and out of play.
Thirty-five in the penalty.
Flyers call a timeout with 7:29.
Houde says it’s fully justified. Rests his peeps
Cunneyworth talks to Subban specifically. Subban nods. Listens. Nods some more.
They set up. Pacioretty smiles at Subban.
Subban picks one up. At the inside hash. What a chance. And he shoots it high.
We resume. Montreal controls. They slow it down, patient and waiting. Markov raises a glove and keeps it in. Drops it to his stick. Markov. Great work. And his presence was missed. And is welcome. So often the Russian stalwart has kept play alive.
Five on four.
Puck is cleared. Montreal sets up. New men. Plekanec. Across. Eller golfs it from the end line. Wild. And missed.
Back to fives.
Flyers are sloppy. But Giroux advances. Hartnell, too. They hook it back.
Montreal exits. Here’s a chance. Nokelainen. Across. Shot. Bryzgalov.
Great right pad.
Slot shot on the other end. Budaj fumbles it. Turns like a worm. Clutches it to his stomach. And it stays.
I put down my Habs book and its Doug Harvey anecdotes. And concentrate on this bleak offering.
That dratted cap.
And our development woes.
We draft many good ones. But they rarely work out.
The pressure. The lads on ice, under confetti the rest of the time. And other things.
Two goals needed.
Flyers haven’t been as cogent. This third period has been an embarrassment for both teams.
Now a Flyer two on one
Budaj flails across.
Flyers keep it on.
At the under-circle. Across. And in. Budaj. Beaten. On his knees. Unmoving. Like a maid watching a mouse.
Two. Three. Three-hundred seventy-eight.
Here it’s Simmonds.
Flyers 4, Montreal 1
I contemplate my first hockey gift. A Flyers toque from my father. I waited a year (felt like two) before I got a Habs one.
That Flyer logo. And that Bobby Clarke book. The near-picture book. Banting and Best. And Clarke’s gap-tooth advance.
Hate em, sure. But they’ve always been cool.
Pat Quinn’s undefeated string; Pete Peeters on the smooth, clean ice, Mel Bridgman, Poulin and the black and Halloween orange.
They’re the greatest expansion team in NHL history.
And maybe this edition can win me over.
Hate em. Hated em.
But there’s nothing but good hockey and the tattered pirate frocks are stuffed back in a trunk. They’re a hockey team now.
Time drains out.
No animosity. Bryzgalov is congratulated. Ilya. Togliatti native.
Emelin is, as well.
HDS Stars: Scott Hartnell, Tomas Plekanec, Ilya Bryzgalov
RDS Stars: Daniel Briere, Ilya Bryzgalov, Tomas Plekanec
Canadiens loss coupled with Buffalo’s win tonight means the team was eliminated. Montreal. Not Buffalo.
And my Dell won’t let me in. First two periods must wait til the machine sees fit.