The mind of Guy Carbonneau......

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As I do just about every morning, I make a bee line for the sports section of the paper and read about the Habbies (because we really can't talk about anything else in this city). Anyway, I was quite struck by Carbonneau's comments about last night's game being "the best game" he's ever coached. Did someone tell him that the game was against Tampa Bay? And that they went to shootouts against them?! Maybe the uncreative third jerseys worn by the Lightning confused him and he thought that they were playing San Jose or something. Okay so "Bolts" and "Sharks" almost look the same. There's a S at the end of the word.

Oh well... I think it's kind of silly to say stuff like that for a game like that but then again, I have no idea what's going on behind the bench or in Carbo's mind - if I did then maybe I could understand the deal behind the musical line up thing. Anyway... I think these games though have to be some of the ones that the Habbies can be happy about:
  • 4-1 win over Calgary. I liked that game very much. Of course, I'm sure the fact that Tanguay really wanted that win over his former coach probably helped a bit...
  • 5-2 win over the Flyers. I really liked that one. Well, obviously I would. But yeah... Crushing the Flyers is always nice.
  • The 4-0 blanking of the Senators. Higgins got a hat trick in that!
  • Winning 3-1 over the Red Wings.
  • Winning 4-3 in OT over the Sabres. I liked how the Habs didn't give up on that one and just kept fighting for that win.
Now you want the real list of Carbo's most embarassing games of the 2008 part of the season? Here you go:
  • Losing 6-3 to the Leafs
  • Losing 6-1 to the Bruins. Funny how these two games sandwiched that lovely blanking of the Sens.
  • Getting blanked by the Capitals. You beat the Stanley Cup champions and then come up with this? Give me a break.
  • Losing 3-1 to Tampa Bay. I won't even start on this one...
  • That 11 penalty game against the Hurricanes. The score was only close because the Hurricanes stink. And yes, the Habs deserved about 8 or 9 of those penalties.
I'm sure I"m missing some stuff from both lists but my memory can't stretch back that far and my mind has blocked out most of the really embarrassing games so... there you go!

Why it is imperative for the Habs to win against the Devils.
  1. Winning is good for the Habs
  2. The Habs need to keep gaining points and try to catch the Bruins
  3. Because they lost in OT to them last time which wasn't very fun at all
  4. The Devils are sitting on a two point lead over the Penguins and that's no fun for the Pens side of me.
  5. I would much prefer if the Pens were at least second in their division but that will take some creative losing by the Flyers for that to happen
Maxwell and O'Byrne get sent back to the Hammies

This was interesting to hear, especially considering that Tanguay is most likely going to be gone for a bit. While it was interesting, I guess I'm not that surprised that O'Byrne got sent back. He's been in the pressbox for a while now. I hope that he can solve his problems while he gets some ice time with the Hammies. As for Maxwell... well, I didn't see that much of him. He wasn't awful while he was here. But then again, he wasn't fanastically wonderful either. I hope to see him making an impact with the Hammies and hopefully one day he'll be back.

I'm guessing that Chipchura will be recalled again but for real this time. I'm asuming as well that if Koivu still can't play we'll also be seeing Pacioretty.

Let's hope that whoever gets on that ice, they'll play well enough to beat the Devils.

Habs zap Bolts in SO

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pre-game rant:

Now. I know what happened last time I compared the teams on paper so I'm not going to do it this time. Let's just say this:
  • despite stinking big time, the Lightning are looking for their FOURTH win in a row. That's still two more than the Habs can say for themselves (thanks stupid game against Carolina) and considering the losers are in 28th place....they shouldn't be stringing that many wins in a row. You can thank a pathetic display of hockey from Pittsburgh and Florida for those.
  • The Lightning completely embarrassed the Habs in Habsville last time these two met. I personally would like to see revenge taken. And I'm hoping the rest of the team wants that too.
  • If the Habs win, it would go some ways to trying to consolidate their place (4th) in the conference. Let's not forget that the Bruins still have over ten points on us.
  • While the Habs just played last night, the good news is Tampa Bay is a lot closer to Sunrise than say... Newark is. Less travel time is good. I'm still hoping that they'll be motivated to win tonight.

Habs sweep Florida. Kinda.

Well... that wasn't quite what I had in mind but I guess a win is a win. Then again, the fact that the Habs had to go to shootouts against a team ranked 28th in the league is not very nice. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

It was clear that the nice warm Florida weather had done something to the Habs brains from the moment that they stepped on to the nice. They were severely outworked by the Bolts for most of the game. The first period was an absolute mess with both teams taking four penalties. Oh and the plexiglass or whatever it's made of wall things around the arena are clearly not made to stand up to people being slammed into them - I believe it was Tanguay who got rammed into the boards and then promptly didn't show up for the rest of the game - and one fell out 'causing a loooong delay which had me screaming. Actually, what really got me screaming was how awful the Bolts goalie was in the first period. He must have provided the Habs with at least a gazillion chances to score which included losing the puck on a clearly attempt and leaving a WIDE OPEN NET for the Habs to promptly not score in. He gave up a lot of rebounds which no one picked up on either. Of course who lets in the first goal? Why not the terrible goalie but Price! And how does Price let in said goal? You tell me. Malone - aka the guy that Pittsburgh should have kept - takes a shot or whatever... or a pass... which ends up on the stick of Prospal who is standing ALONE in front of Price and a half open net. Score.

Well, no matter. the Habs wonderful offense will get another goal or five and flatten them, right? Wrong. The offensive was sleepy and the Bolts defense was actually good. This resulted in the Habs seemingly being unable to keep the puck in the other zone. I had to sit through forty minutes and forty six agonizing minutes before the Habs finally punished Smith for not so good plays and put the puck over him and into the net. Oh and yes, that was Latendresse who got the goal whith the assists going to Lapierre and Kostopoulos. That was it from the scoring department however. I will say this though, the third period was a lot better for the Habs. A lot better. They had every opportunity to win the dumb game in regulation and OT. They only took one penalty and seemed more focused. Could have had something to do with that goal... See what no penalties and scoring goals does for your moral? You should do that more often!!!!!!!!

Anyway, over time solved nothing and it was shoot out time. Now, given how Smith had been for most of the night - okay, okay, so in the third period he came up with some big saves. Yeah, yeah. - and given the Bolts track record in shootouts (2-6 before tonight), I wasn't completely worried but shootouts give me a heart attack anyway. Memo to self: write up a rant on why shootouts should be gone forever. Jokinen went first and put it past Price in what I have to admit was nice enough goal. Thankfully Kovalev put the cheers from the poor Floridians to rest with a nice goal past Smith. Why couldn't you have done that earlier in the game?! And from there on it was all over for the Bolts. Price stopped Prospal who kind of shot the puck right at him while Lapierre sank Smith and effectively ended the game. Well, okay, so Lacavalier could have been the hero and extended the Bolts chance at winning but Price stopped him too so it was byebye Bolts.

And Carbo and I could finally breath a sigh of relief and be happy that the Habs escaped with this win. Now. Get some rest. And come back and put up a much better effort against the Devils. You're going to need it.

The good:
  • Um... the shootouts? And I guess the effort was better in the third period.
  • I like the effort put worth by the Lapierre/Latendresse/Kostopoulos line. I've heard people talk about how Lapierre makes up for his lack of skill by the incredibly effort he just puts in almost every game. Now, can you imagine what type of team the Habs would be if the "more talented" guys put in the same type of effort?
  • I liked how Markov single handedly stopped a three on one attempt at a goal by the Bolts. Why it was three on one, I'm not sure... but yeah. Yay for Markov.
The bad:
  • I'm too tired to list them all. The whole effort from the Habs for most of the game could have been better.
  • the power play is non existent again. Carbo, please do something about this. I lost count on how many times the Bolts nearly got a shorthanded goal.
  • the penalties hurt the Habbies too.
  • Brisebois. 'nuff said.
  • Tanguay leaving the nice with a possible injury. NO MORE INJURED PLAYERS PLEASE!
The interesting:
  • Someone thought that it would be a good idea to hit Smith. I seriously can't remember who it was. Latendresse maybe? I don't think so. Well, he promptly got beaten to an almost pulp for that. Though I suspect that if the roles had been reversed and someone had done that to Price then they would be in the hospital right now. C'mon... If Plekanec can go insane over the mere fact that someone tried too hard to get the puck off of Price can you imagine what he would do if someone hit him? Yeah. Lights out.
  • I didn't notice this last time but tonight the Bolts seemed to play a very physical game almost Flyers-like. Well okay... not quite.. but yeah....
The very strange:
  • Did anyone see Prospal's reaction when he got that goal past Price? He looked like a guy who had been playing for twenty years and had just scored his first NHL goal. For the records, that was his seventh this season. He must have been so devastated when his shootout attempt failed miserably.
  • Speaking of reactions.... Price pulls a Roger-Federer-at-the-US-Open and displays some emotion after winning! Isn't that awesome?

  • Wings blank Blackhawks. Not good news for that whole outdoor thing but maybe the Blackhawks will put up a better effort, yes? I would hope so.
  • Leafs actually win one against... the Thrashers. Wow. I'm so impressed. Yeah, I get (more) sarcastic at 12:00 at night.
  • Poor Dustin Tokarski - you know, the guy who's one of Team Canada's goalies - just got signed to a 3 year entry level thing by the... Bolts.... well, they could use a good goalie I guess. I haven't seen Tokarski fall on the ice while he was just standing there doing nothing.
  • Bruins skate over Pens. Not very cool but not exactly unexpected. Can someone though, please tell me where Crosby and Malkin have gone lately? The only Pens to score were Sykora and Dupuis (who's goal I saw. It was really nice). I've said this before but for the sake of being uncreative I'll say it again: I'm no fan of Crosby but he needs to step it up if the Pens have hope in hell of not finishing fourth in their division.
  • Team USA routs Team Kazakhstan 12-0. Canada did better.
  • The Hammies aka the Mini Habbies blanked the Baby Leafs the other day. Nyah!

3000th win + a hat trick = YAY!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Apparently it's the week of the hat trick. Just three days after Andrei Kostitsyn got his first hat trick against the Pens, it would seem that he had the rest of the team wanting to get one too.

I actually liked how the Habs started out the first period. They seemed like a team who wasn't about to slack off like we all feared. They seemed like a team who had enjoyed a little bit of the overly nice Floridian weather. Well, they had me screaming when a stupid pass in the Panther's zone lead to a goal by.... wait... his name is coming to me... give me a sec.... Frolik who got the pass from Mclean who was the one who took the puck in the first place. In all fairness - not that I like to be fair or anything - it was a nice goal. Mclean looked as though he was going to rip the puck when instead he passed it to Frolik who was pretty much alone in front of Price and bingo. Goal. Was this a sign of things to come, I couldn't help but wonder. Don't forget, I'm the eternal pessimist. Anyway, my mood wasn't exactly improved when the Habs got a lucky goal off the skate of one of the Panther's guys. Oh and it was 5-3 for the Habs so of course that wouldn't have been very cool if they hadn't got a goal. Right? Right. So it was a weird goal that had everyone wondering just who had scored it. Was it Tanguay who seemed to get the pass from Kovalev? Was it Lang who looked perky as ever when the puck goes into the net? Turned out later it went to Kovalev. Whatever. A goal is a goal. Yahoo! But still.. the Panthers were playing like a team who desperately wanted a win while the Habs were playing more and more like a team who would like a win but wasn't quite ready to battle it out for it.

With a break after the first period, I was hoping that the Habs would realize that the Panthers wanted this win badly and that they would wake up and get working. Well.. Within 37 seconds Komisarek was set off for holding and the Panthers were enjoying a power play. Guess they didn't get my brain signal. Actually I won't have anyone saying that the Habs are no good on the power play. They were excellent on the powerplay this time around. It's just almost too bad that it wasn't their own powerplay. But this was better. Plakanec chased down the puck as it sailed into the Panhers' zone and promptly whipped it over Anderson's head. 2-1 for the Habs. Now, the Habs decided to make their lives incredibly hard as Sergei Kostitsyn made the stupidest passing attempt in the world in front of Price which gave the puck to Booth who scored. If I was screaming before, I was murdering the desk now by pounding it. This was stupid. Two completely preventable goals given away because of stupid passing. YUCK! Another stupid thing about the second period was the rash of penalties. There were five for the Habs and four for the Panthers. The Habs actually ended up playing three on five for a while due to some stupid plays from Plekanec and Komisarek. Begin was already in the penalty box for fighting. They should build those things bigger 'cause the three of them looked really squashed in there. Anyway, all this happened but there was no more scoring from the Panthers. Obviously not for a lack of trying. When the penalties finally stopped, Lapierre managed to get a goal in on Anderson with four minutes to go in the second. It was kind of a stupid goal from Florida's point of view actually. Lapierre went to the right, Anderson follows him. Anderson thinks he's going to around the other way and pass the puck to someone up front, Anderson sprawls across the ice, Lapierre goes around to the left, sees a whole open net because Anderson is playing dead, so he puts the puck over him and scores. Oops.

The Habs looked a lot better in the third period and showed in only two minutes and forty seconds in as Lapierre gets another goal past Anderson who really should have had that one. The puck seemed to slide right passed him. I dunno if he thought that the defenseman was going to get it or what but he missed it. At this point Anderson got pulled for Vokoun. The end of the period was a little not so nice. The Habs took a penalty for delay of the game with 30 seconds left to go. By this point Florida had already pulled Vokoun and had the man advantage. Things didn't go their way at all however, when the Lapierre stole the puck back at the Panther's blue line - I guess the Habs had tried to clear it before - and put it away in the empty net. HAT TRICK! There was a lot of Habs fans there actually so hats did get thrown. I'm still waiting for the day when Halak will throw his hat.


The Good:
  • The hat trick was nice.
  • Price was good again.
  • I liked how the Habs bounced back from a sloppy second period and really took more control in the third. They had the same number of shots in the first and third periods as well as the same number of penalties, and yet, the third looked a lot better in some ways. Even when they were up 4-2, they didn't pull the same stunt as when they were in Pittsburgh where they just rolled over and let Price do all the work.
The Bad:
  • The slew of penalties in the second period.
  • Those two stupid passes that lead directly to Florida goals.
  • The powerplay wasn't looking too hot tonight. Don't try and tell me that 5 on 3 goal was pretty. It wasn't. It was still nice though *g*
  • Where did D'Agostini go? I haven't seen him do a heck of a lot in the last couple of games. Dont' die now!
  • ... on second thought, that whole Tanguay/Lang/D'Agostini line could have been a little more impressive....
The interesting:
  • Plekanec going crazy and attempting to beat the heck out of Radek Dvorak for some reason. I honestly didn't get what Dvorak did to deserve that other than maybe he tried too hard to get the puck off of Price - which failed miserably, in case you want to know. I dunno. That was just insane.
And finally, some things to consider:
  • Why Maxwell is still on the roster when Chipchura is healthy and can play? I'm still trying to figure this one out. Maybe I'm missing something here but I haven't seen Maxwell make too much of an impact here.
  • Brisebois wasn't looking very good tonight. Again. Either reduce the guy's ice time or give O'Byrne another shot. As long as Price stays in the net, he can't score on himself, right? Right.
Now let's see if the Habs can put up a similar, if not better, game against the Tampa Bay Los....Lighting.


Team Canada had a little bit of a problem tonight, winning only 5-1. I'm sure most people looked at this matchup with the often relegated Germany as another walk over. Well, the Canadians didn't play a very clean game, taking a total of NINE penalties. The offense seemed to have trouble getting going from the little bit I saw but it obviously wasn't dead and from I could see the German goalie was miles ahead of the poor guys that Kazakhstan has. First off, Grubauer was not pulled at all which says something right there. And second, he stopped 44 of the 49 shots that he faced. That's better than the 12 of 13 shots that Pickard stopped. I'm not dissing Pickard at all. He's here because he's good. But hats should definitely go off to the German goalie tonight. I think this bit of adversity is good for them. The result was really never in danger. They've gotten more of a work out than they have had in all the official bits of the tournament. This should help them against the U.S.A. as long as they learn not to take so many stupid penalties - what are you, the Habs?!

Oh and if you saw Evander Kane's goal... you hopefully saw all the work that PK Subban did in getting the puck to the net and getting a really good shot on the goalie which allowed Kane to get the goal. I'm very happy that Montreal signed him *G*


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Math time! If the Germans beat the Kazakhs 9-0 and the Germans previously lost 8-2 to the Americans, how much will Canada beat the Kazakh's by? Answer: an embarassing 15-0.

Yeah, it was a scoring fest in Ottawa today. The big question coming into this game was whether the Kazakhs could match shots on goal with goals scored by the Canadians.

But let's be honest here. Were all those goals really necessary? Once you were up even 6-0 surely that was enough to prove your point? I missed the entire game but I did see the faces of all the players after the game. No one was happy. While I like Canada winning, I don't like winning like this. Sure they weren't rubbing it in their faces by the end but the stats are there for everyone to see. Well, not on TSN. I had to go looking for them elsewhere. For the records:


Canada: 15 Kazakhstan: 0


Canada: 1 Kazakhstan: 9

Shots on goal

Canada: 69 Kazakhstan: 11

Isn't that sad?

Oh and Russia beat Finland 5-2. Filatov is showing why Columbus should have kept him and not have let him come here *g*

how I ended up doing this aka a long lecture....

Okay, so here I am, hungry, tired, and slightly bored. So started thinking about how I ended up doing this whole blog thing. I mean...this time last year I wasn't even watching sports. Couldn't have cared less: Roger wins another Grand Slam? Who's that again? Habs come back 5-0 and beat the Rangers in OT? Oh... that's lovely...*yawns* So, how exactly did I end up here? I'm sure no one really cares but I'm bored so you're about to get treated to a long lecture that comprises mainly of paper I wrote earlier in the year for school.


You can blame the Habs for this one actually. I never ever used to watch hockey, tennis and European football. Never. Ever. Well, minus the Olympics and the World Cup but how often do those happen? Exactly.

I have often heard that part of being a Canadian means that you have to like hockey. The problem is, for most of my life, I never got the hockey bit of being Canadian. Maybe it was because I was born in a generation where kids spent their winters indoors in front of the television or the computer. Hockey was something that you watched a bunch of guys doing on the television. You didn’t go out and play it yourself. Or maybe it was because the team from my city didn’t do particularly well after last winning the Stanley Cup in 1993 (which I did not see). As much as that sounds like a bad excuse, it’s not all that much fun to watch the playoffs when your team isn’t doing very well.

Whatever the reasons, I have spent most of my short life completely ignoring hockey, except for maybe the odd Olympic gold medal game which almost always featured Team Canada. Okay, correction, the first time I actually sat through a hockey game was when Team Canada beat the United States in Salt Lake City. I couldn't even tell you who was playing in that. But moving on...Hockey was never really interesting. Never having watched a regular NHL season, I didn’t know who the players were (the only player I could remember was Saku Koivu and he wasn’t even Canadian) and I didn’t know how the game worked beyond the obvious “the team with the most goals wins”. The only thing I knew about hockey was first of all, Canada was supposed to win all the time and second, for a game that was supposed to last only an hour, it ended up going for over double that amount of time (which was frustrating when you wanted to go and do something else but everyone insisted on watching a stupid game).

That all changed pretty quickly.


The flags started coming out about a week into the month of April. I had seen a lot of flags waving around on people’s cars during the 2006 World Cup, but this was different. Instead of everyone displaying flags of their respective (or favourite) countries, these flags all bore the same logo. I have to admit when I first saw the flags supporting the Montréal Canadiens, I was not particularly impressed. Who wants to advertise which hockey team they are cheering for anyway? So what if they had made it into the playoffs? Didn’t these people realize how silly they looked with the flags fluttering around from the tops of their cars? In my defense, I had a bad experience with flags and cars when the Ottawa Senators made their run to the finals. And I still refuse to spend money on an overpriced piece of fabric.

As the Habs geared up for their first game against the Boston Bruins, people began to get more excited. More and more flags began to appear on people’s cars and in front of people’s houses. I tried to ignore the whole thing but my parents put the first game on the family television and I snuck a couple of looks in-between commercials of other shows. Not that I understood what was going on. I had no idea who any of the players were or how the game really worked. I tuned in back to the game in time to see the Habs’ third goal against Boston. “Hey, that’s neat. We’re probably going to win. Cool,” I thought to myself before changing the channel back again.

If you don’t like hockey or if you don’t want to get into the whole thing and you live in Montréal, you have a problem. The people here are very passionate about hockey. The next morning the Habs’ game was all over the newspaper. In spite of myself, I ended up reading most of the sports coverage (after digging out the newspaper from the recycling pile), and from that point on there was no going back. I watched the rest of the series between Montréal and Boston with great interest. I cheered every time the Habs scored and groaned when someone from Boston managed to get a goal. I followed what people said in the paper the next day while I downed breakfast. Even the flags which I had previously took to be an over the top way of showing support for a team were looked at in a different way. When I saw a flag on someone’s car I thought “hey, look, that person’s a Habs’ fan too. Cool!”

I always thought that all cities with teams in the playoffs were like my city. I thought that every city had a bunch of very passionate fans who screamed their heads off through the entire game. I was proved wrong when the Habs next played the Philadelphia Flyers. I could not help but notice how quiet the fans were, or when they did cheer, they seemed to be cheering at all the wrong times (why are you people cheering when your team is about to get called for icing? Duh...). I thought it rather strange, especially after witnessing just how crazy Habs fans were when they played the first two games against the Flyers in Montréal. I had heard about a player for Philadelphia that seemed to be particularly unpopular in Montréal for a few reasons. When I first watched the Habs play the Flyers I had no idea which number this guy was. I quickly noticed, however, that whenever number 48 for the Flyers touched the puck Montréal fans booed him. It didn’t take long to put two and two together. After watching other playoff games, I have never seen other fans consistently boo a single player before. Of course I've since learned that Habs fans are not limited to showing their emotions during the playoffs. We like to boo people during the regular season too (anyone hear how noisy the crowd was during that game against the Hurricanes?). And we still take special exception to Daniel Briere.

Once the Habs were off golfing or going on vacations to Mexico, it was impossible to go back to ignoring them. Of course I had to watch Pittsburgh run over the Flyers and then I had to watch Pittsburgh attempt to beat Detroit. And once that was over all the post season stuff happened (can we say "the overlong saga of Mats Sundin"?). The thing is, once you're a Habs fan, you can't go back. For good or bad, you're stuck cheering for them.

It was June. The Stanley Cup was finished and I had had absolutely no luck when it had come to hockey. Backing the Habs, the Pens and Team Canada in the Worlds all ended in disappointment. I wasn't entirely upset by this point. Just sort of wondering what I was going to do now. I think I was more upset that there was now no more hockey until October. I mean, c'mon, that was FOUR months away. Sure, the Olympics were coming but that was a further TWO months away. It was at this point that the Euro Cup caught my attention. I had watched the World Cup two years ago so I was semi-interested in football. Okay, so I had no clue which country was good and which were awful, but that has never stopped me from getting into something. I was determined to watch this and pick a team that would win. I picked Portugal, the Netherlands, Croatia and Spain.


Like I said, I had no idea what I was doing but surely my chances of at least one of these teams making at least the quarter finals was good? Well... In my defense, I don't know why I picked Portugal. I didn't even like Christiano Ronaldo then - still don't like him now. But surely a team with one of the best players on the planet has to have something going for them? I picked the Dutch because their names sounded cool. I went with Croatia because Slaven Bilic is very fun to watch and I loved the Croatian announcers. And I picked Spain because.... I dunno why. It was almost an after thought in all honesty. But I liked them.

Of course things didn't seem to be going my way in the quarter finals. Michael Ballack finally got revenge on Ronaldo for that Champions League Cup thing win - which I didn't know about at the time - as Germany downed Portugal. Turkey outclassed Croatia in shootouts which was depressing. Russia ran over the Dutch in extra time - before which the Dutch went on record as saying that didn't actually like winning all that much anyway. Only Spain got through in shootout against the Italy. And no one expected that to happen. It was the first time in... a long time that the Spanish team had beaten Italy.

So here I was in the semi-finals of the Euro Cup finals with only Spain to cheer for. At the beginning of this tournament Spain was definitely not pegged as a favorite. They hadn't won the tournament in over forty years and the last time they made the finals they were beat by an amazing Team France who hadn't lost a single game in the entire tournament. The irony of their last appearance in the Euro Cup finals would soon be apparent as Spain ran over Russia to make their third Euro Cup finals.

I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when the finals rolled around. I was really hoping for Spain but I knew how tough Germany could be as well. It didn't matter if Spain looked better on paper this time, the Germans were still a very dangerous team. It was an agonizing 90 minutes which was only briefly abated when Torres got a really nifty goal. Even in football though, one goal is often not enough. Especially not with the Germans peppering Casillas with shots. I sat on the floor (having rolled off the couch in a fit of anxiety at some point), holding my breath. End the game! End the game! I couldn't watch... it was too much to take. The Germans were really trying for another goal now.

Finally the last seconds ticked away. I couldn't believe it. Spain had won. Spain had WON! It was amazing. Even my sports-hating sister was happy (though she will deny that now).

The thing about Spain winning the Euro Cup and people getting off topic in conversations means that the subject of a certain Rafael Nadal comes up. I'll be perfectly honest. I never liked tennis. The very first time I watched a little bit of tennis with any interest at all was when I was bored one night, wondering why there was no Stanley Cup playoff games on, and I ended up on a station showing two peeps hitting the ball back and forth. According to the little names at the top of the screen some guys called Roger Federer and Gael Monfils were playing. I'm not that much of a dunce that I didn;t vaguely know who Roger Federer was but I had never seen him play before. It wasn't the best match to see Mr. World No. 1 play in and I had no idea how the stupid game worked anyway. So I ended up watching something else entirely.

A month later I was back and this time I was more interested. I had heard about Nadal and was curious about him. Wimbledon being Wimbledon and the finals consisting of Roger and Rafa was now a big deal. And then there was this whole "Is Federer finally going to lose here?" thing.

By the time I caught up on the action it was the semis. I did see a replay of Nadal running over Murray but knowing the outcome, I didn't see the whole thing. I did catch all of one whole live match before that Sunday. It was Nadal running over Schuttler. And he really did run over him. I skipped Federer's trouncing of Marat Safin completely.

And that that Sunday happened.

Nothing could have prepared me as I turned on the TV at 9:00 in the morning my time, that I would still be in the same spot 7 hours later. Throughout the course of the match I learned a pile about the sport and of course I had to listen to the announcers going on and on about Nadal and Federer too. I think I was almost as happy as Nadal to see the match finally over. I could finally move again! Yes! And my horrid losing streak with hockey was finally broken with the Spanish!

After that final I said that I wouldn't watch any more sports until the hockey season took up again. That lasted all of two weeks when the Rogers Cup came to town. Well, more or less. You have to watch that even if the guys were playing in Toronto this year, right? Right. And from then on there was no turning back.

So as you can see, one thing lead to another and then to another. I've promised myself that I wouldn't get into any more sports and it's working so far... I mean, liking the Habs is a full time job in and of itself *g*

Habbies edge out Pens

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Random info of the hour: Did you know there's this event called the Spengler Cup going on right now in Davos, Switzerland? Well, if you missed it, I'll forgive you for now. Anyway, it's apparently one of the oldest international hockey tournaments and it's been going on since 1923. Canada didn't start participating until 1980...something... I'm inclined to think that it's 1984 (in which they won the thing). Apparently they've won it 11 times since then including last year. The event is usually comprised of various European teams, a mix of Americans all bunched into one team and Team Canada. Fun, yeah? Yeah. Especially when you consider that Canada kicked off the tournament with a 3-1 win over the Czech team.

...or maybe I spoke too soon about Canada being any good at this.... I actually caught a bit of the Team Canada/Davos (Switzerland) game and... it was kind boring. Bring on the juniors - I'll watch Russia all day even - any day before I sit through that mess again. For the records the Swiss won to a very football-ish cheering crowd in shootouts. SHOOTOUTS! Oh well....I shall return later after I've seen some hopefully good hockey being played tonight by a certain Habs..... oh please diiiieee Pens... pleaaasseee....

Not that I'm one for fashion or anything but....

....But I just read this thing where this Spanish magazine named Federer the "el segundo hombre mas elegante del mundo" which translates as "the second most elegant guy in the world". Yeah, the guy can't even be no. 1 at that either. Not that I really care what Roger wears... I mean.. he could be the worst dressed player on the entire tour but as long as that doesn't stop him from playing good tennis I couldn't care less. But really, when you see who gets to be no. 1, you gotta wonder how exactly Federer ends up as no. 2. For the records, designer Karl Lagerfeld is numero uno. I don't know about anyone else, but that guy seriously creeps me out...I think it's the gloves....


Something better will appear here in a few hours. Least you need to know for now is: Andrei is in and Laraque is out for a while. And Chipchura and Pacioretty will probably not be in the lineup tonight.


This was a slightly agonizing game for me for several reasons. The first is that the Habs have had a horrible record when coming off a long break. The second is, as the Pens are my second team, I've been dreading this matchup for a while. Especially given how the Pens have been doing lately and I just knew that they would be giving it a huuuuge effort tonight. Which scared me, given how I thought that the Habs would come out.

It was a rather interesting game tonight which saw one (part of a) line do all the scoring for one team and one guy netting the others for the other team. It also saw one goalie completely on top of his game tonight while the other was... well... in all fairness he was good too...I mean... the first he had no chance on.. the second he didn't even know where it was and the third... well, he should have had that one. But anyway....

From the Canadiens point of view, they can thank Kostitsyn and Price for the win tonight. Kostitsyn because he was the only guy to score in the 3-2 win tonight - which, for the records, would make this his first hat trick. And Price because... well, we'll get to him later but let's just say he was amazingly good tonight.

I thought that the first period was really good for the Habs. They came out strong and were quickly rewarded with a nice goal only a 1:15 into the game. Or something like that. It was nice. Fleury had no chance at a save as everyone imaginable was crowded in front of the net and he couldn't see a thing. Sowwy, Fleury. The rest of the period saw a lot of action between both teams and lots of zooming back and forth along the ice. Habs took a couple of penalties but Malkin also got the Pens only penalty as well so it was all good until a really weird goal went past Price on the left side. Dupuis shot at Price or at the boards or whatever and the puck bounced off Price. He made an attempt at a save but between Crosby and whoever was trying to clear the puck for the Habs, it went in. Dupuis got the goal by the way. The Habs weren't done scoring however, and with 2 seconds left in the first period, Kostitsyn - who was sensibly standing behind from the pile of puffy blue shirted Pens standing in front of Fleury - took a pass from... I think it was Plekanec and put it past Fleury.

The happy-go-lucky feeling wasn't to last too long into the second though as the Pens came roaring into the period, apparently hell bent on getting another goal. It happened at 5:51 when Crosby moved himself away from all the action on Price's right and stood to his left and took a pass from... Dupuis, I guess... and put it past Price. I still feel like that could have been completely preventable if someone had just been watching Crosby. I mean, the guy didn't have to do that much to get that goal. ANYWAY.... that was pretty much that for the period. Apparently the Habs did get all of 6 shots on Fleury. If I remember correctly they bunched up all their shots in a row while the Pens continued to dominate the period.

Now, I have a confession to make here. I missed a good half of the third period. Why? Because I was taking the dogs out. Couldn't they wait? Yeah, they could have. But honestly, the tension was killing me so I left. I know... I know.... I voluntarily left during a hockey game featuring the Habs. I promise to sit through the entire Canada/Kazakhstand game tomorrow. I did see through the window however, the Habs celebrating Andrei's goal though I had no idea who had scored it. I also missed Andrei's amazing breakaway on Fleury too. I won't miss another game again if I can help it. Replays aren't as much fun. Even if they are less stressful. ANYWAY.... I came back in to see the Pens all over the Habs. Of course it didn't help that the Habbies took three penalties over that period. And then it really didn't help when the Pens pulled Fleury in the last minute and I was treated to a whole minute of almost chances by the Pens. Full credit goes to Price for doing a superb job in blocking them all though. I was really not impressed with how the Habs did in the last 6 or so minutes of the game. They could have done a lot better and could have made their lives a lot easier by scoring on an empty net or something. But noooo... they had to die - which included a really stupid move by Kovalev where he passed the puck directly to some Penguin - and play horribly. If Price had not been on top of things then it would have been a very different outcome tonight.

But as it is, the Pens are upset that they didn't win even though they severely outworked the Habs through most of the second and third periods, while the Habs are happy that Kostitsyn got a hat trick and that Price was great. Eh, that's hockey for you, people. Not my fault that the Pens couldn't put it past Price in the third. Do I wish that the Habs had done better after the first period, heck yeah, but I'll take those two points and run with 'em.

I want to see the Habs get their act together for when they play the Panthers and play a full 60 mins of hockey. I don't give a hoot if they're in dead last - which they aren't but that's not the point - play a full game of hockey. A win.

Random notes:
  • The Pens outshot the Habs 34 to 19 which I guess isn't so cool for the Pens.
  • Crosby got beat up quite a bit tonight. Including getting shoved from behind by Latendresse. No penalty was called which in all fairness wasn't fair at all for Crosby. Yes, yes, he survived and continued playing, don't worry....
  • The Pens are now 1-2-1 in their puffy blue jerseys. I seriously think they should just stick with black...
  • Carbo really has to stop thinking that the refs are out to get him all the time. The Habs deserved every penalty that I saw them get AND they got away with at least a few.
  • Apparently Chipchura and Pacioretty were actually sent back to Hamilton before the game started.

The good:
  1. Priiiiiiiiiiice.
  2. And the first period. Minus the goal by Dupuis but what can you do with that?
  3. Andrei Kostitsyn getting that hat trick.
  4. And holding off the Penguin powerplay... Then again, it's gone 0-10 in the last two games, I believe, so maybe that's more a sign of the Pens inability to put the puck into the net when they have the advantage.

The bad:
  1. honestly, the rest of the game for the Habs. As nice as Kostitsyn's hat trick was, I don't like the idea that one line - and one guy - did all the scoring work. The rest of the team needed to step up and do some work - at least attempt to get a decent shot on goal! - and they didn't really do that in terms of offense.
  2. The penalties in the third period....
  3. Oh and the media in Penguinville who gave Plekanec the second star instead of Price. I guess they left the game before the third period or else they were only looking at Crosby.

I have to look at this as Penguin fan too. And this is going to be one of those nights when I would be cursing the other teams goalie if he wasn't Price. Seriously. The Pens severely outworked the Habs. They honestly almost deserved that win. I'm not going to say that they did deserve a win because that's unfair to Price. But pretending that I didn't seriously want the Habs to win, I really liked the effort from the Pens. They played hard. They had a lot of quality shots on goal. They couldn't really have done anything on the Andrei's first goal but maybe they could have done something about the second. Someone should have been looking behind them instead of just crowding in front of Fleury were he couldn't see a thing. That was just icky. And Fleury probably should have had that other goal by Kostitsyn. But hey... yay for stopping that breakaway. With a lot of teams, you can put up the effort that the Pens did and win. It was a great effort. But right now, they really need to get some consistency going here and climb out of the near bottom of their division. It's not that impressive that their fourth of five teams when the bottom team is the Islanders. This whole month has been quite awful for the Pens who haven't been able to win two in a row. I just hope that they can pull it together and get that stupid puck past Tim Thomas on the 30th. It's in everyone's best interest for the Pens to beat the Bruins (as long as the Habs beat the Panthers *g*).

I love Christmas...with a couple of exceptions...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Apart from the nice happy holiday stuff (in which Santa Hab was very nice to moi), I like the Christmas presents that I got - albeit a tad late - from various teams. Let's see.....
  1. The Islanders beat the Maple Leafs 4-1. I guess the Leafs are still on Holiday break. Oh well. Isn't that smashing though? Eat that Leafs!
  2. Penguins shut out the Devils 1-0. Yay for Fleury. Yes, I'm still hoping that they all implode tomorrow. Sowwy. No idea what type of game that was.
  3. Chicago beat the Flyers 5-1. Not a huge fan of the Blackhawks but yeah, it's always nice to read about the Flyers losing so yay!
  4. Team Canada smashed the poor Czech Republic 8-1. They got off to a rocky start and the Czechs held them off until there was about 30 or something seconds left in the first period and guess who scored on the powerplay... with a really nifty goal.... Yeah, Tavares. And that, everyone, was the beginning of the end for the Česká republika. A whole host of players brought the tally to 5-0 after the second. Some point in here, the Czech's switched goaltender Tomas Vosvrda out and replaced him with Dominik Furch. Unfortunately, Furch did not do too much better than Vosvrda and by the the time the last three or so minutes came it was 8-0 for the host team. Their one goal was due to a mistake by Canadian goalie Dustin Tokarski who's attempt at clearing the puck resulted in the Czechs taking it and scoring on him before he was fully back in place. Minor blip over all, but something that team Canada may want to be careful of when they play next time - then again, if the Kazakh junior team is anything like their men's team then there really shouldn't be an issue. The Czechs hardly seemed to touch the puck al night. A perfectly sad example of that was when Tavares set up one of the goals. He took the puck off of one of the Czech players who was trying to get out of his own end like he wasn't even there, passed it, and there went another goal. It was nice if you were team Canada wanting to make an impression 'though I'm sure it was a reeaaallly loooong night for the Czechs.

    In other news:

    Canada wasn't alone in the mauling department. The U.S.A ran over the newly promoted Germany 8-2. That's to be expected and I expect another fairly high score when they take on the Czechs next.

    Russia downed Lativia 4-1. No scoring by Nikita Filatov although apparently he did well. A good start for the Russians for sure, though apparently their goalie could be a lot better. By contrast, Latvia's goalie kept the score from easily reaching double digits. Should be interesting to see how the Russians do against Finland next.

    Sweden is off to an so-so start after edging past archrivals Findland 3-1. That third goal came on an empty net. Apparently the Swedes didn't do so well after the first period. Oh well. Better news for Canada then. Mind you, I expect that the Swedes will aim for a better game when they take on Slovakia on Sunday.
  5. Chelsea beat West Bromwich Albion with a nice score of 2-0. Then again, their opponents were sitting in the bottom of the premier league. But moving on...If the stats are anything to go by, the Blues were in complete control for most of the game with 25 shots on goal. Drogba and Lampard netted the ball in the 3rd (?!!!!!!!) and 45th minutes of the game. Lovely.
  6. Liverpool remains at the top of the league, however, with a resounding 3-0 over tenth placed Bolton. Is it just me or have the Reds done something similar before? Oh yeah, they have. Anyway, I'm still waiting for Torres to get back into the lineup again before I really start taking a huge interest in Liverpool but as it is, I still love the Reds. So thanks Riera and Keane for getting those goals.
Random note: It just dawned on me that the colours for the three football teams that I follow are red, white and blue... like the habbies!

I was NOT happy to hear that the Habbies called up Max Pacioretty and Kyle Chipchura. I've got nothing against these guys in general, it's just that call ups mean injuries and that's bad. In this case though, I believe Chipchura is here to replace Maxwell - and it really should have been Chipchura called up instead of D'Agostini AND/OR Maxwell but he was injured at the time - and Pacioretty is just here in case Andre Kostitsyn can't play tomorrow night despite practicing with the Habs in Penguinville. I would much prefer a healthy and motivated Kostitsyn to Pacioretty at this point. Again, I've got nothing against Pacioretty but I wouldn't mind jump starting the rest of this season with a good win over the Pens and let's face it, Kostitsyn is more qualified for that job than Pacioretty is. We shall see what happens.... Oh and Laraque who probably would have sat this one out anyway, will be out again with more groin issues. Jeez, this guy is proofing to be worse tha Marian Gaborik is for the Wild. And at least Gaborik does something when he's on the ice!

Why don't we care more about the World events?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One of my earliest memories in actually seriously watching some sport was watching the FIFA World Cup. It was a huge production that had everyone talking about it. It was fun, even if Canada can't play football and wasn't in the competition. Even the Euro Cup received a lot of hype here in the Canada. Now, contrast that to when Canada hosted the hockey world cup and what do the newspapers talk about? Well, the Stanley Cup of course! Well, maybe the papers in Halifax were talking about the World thing but they certaintly weren't talking about it here in Quebec. I was actually really annoyed that Team Canada only got a passing mention in a tiny article in the back of the paper when they lost to Russia.

So why is that no one here cares about the World event? I think there's a few reasons.

  1. There's very few countries that actually play hockey and there are even less who are considered very good.
  2. They hold the event at a really bad time of year.
  3. The hold the event too often.
To elaborate on point 1. Let's be honest. There's way fewer countries who play hockey than there are who play football. Less countries means less fans means less people to generate hype. Also, if you look at past winners of the tournament you will see that there's pretty much only five teams who have filled the top three spots continuously: Canada, Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland and now Russia as well (I'm discounting the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia because they don't exist anymore). So that probably further lessens the fanbase because I'm pretty sure that it would take a strong showing by European teams to generate interest in their repsective countries. Most European countries put a higher emphasis on football than they do on hockey. I think a higher level of hockey in Europe would go a long way to making the World event more competitive and more interesting and therfore a bigger event. And that's why I think the KHL is a good idea but that's another thing altogether.

But why isn't the World event appreciated more in North America where we are clearly quite passionate about hockey? Just take a look at when this event happens. Usually it's held in April and/or May. Yeah. Right in the middle of the Stanley Cup playoffs. In the NHL, the Stanley Cup is really the only thing that you can win. This is not like in European football where you can win in your league/country, in the UEFA cup or in the Champions League. Oh and don't let me forget about that World Cup League thing where the Champions League teams from all over the world play each other (*kicks Man U by the way*). In the NHL you get one shot at one cup. That's it. Yeah, okay so you get a little thing if you win in your conference even if half your games were against teams not from your conference, but no one cares about that. Best in the conference means nothing. Best in the league means a heck of a lot.

Because the best in the world in hockey still play in the NHL, the winners of the Stanley Cup are generally the best bunch of players in the world. Given the choice, what do you think most guys would choose? To test your skills against the best in the world who are playing in the NHL and by winning the Stanley Cup, you're making a case that you're the best in the world OR play in a tournament where there are really only 5 teams who ever win the event and most of the time those teams aren't even consisting of the best guys out there? I'd go for option 1, honestly. Until the best in the world aren't playing in only the NHL, the world event won't gain much importance among the actual players. That's not the say that the guys don't like to win it. Look at how happy the Russians were to win only their second World Championship. But you are honestly telling me that guys like Ovechkin, Nabakov and Kovalchuk wouldn't rather be winning that Stanley Cup?

You are not best in the world if you win the World Championship. I'm sure team Sweden would have done a lot better if some of their star players weren't running over the Dallas Stars in the playoffs at the time. And Canada could have done better if some of the best goalies (during the playoffs anyway) weren't battling it out in the Eastern Conference (and I guess we could have benefitted from having Crosby too).

Change the schedule and maybe then we can see some of the best of the best duke it out.

And finally, I think that they hold the even too often. Look at the World Cup and the Euro Cup in football. It's extra special and because it only happens every four years. I'm not saying hold the hockey championship thing every four years. Maybe every two or three years (why can't it be an odd number?). Every year makes it boring - especially when the best in the world aren't even playing in it.

"Yay", "Nooo" and "HAHAHA"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

That's pretty much what I was doing tonight as I flipped through three different channels showing three different hockey games. How nice is that? I usually only get two channels of hockey.... My poor mom asked me if there was anything besides hockey on TV. This was when I was only flipping through the first two channels so I changed to another channel and saw the third game on. Guess not. Sorry mom!

We may not care a lot about the international hockey tournaments but...

I,for one, intend on watching the Canada's world juniors team this week. If the their three exhibition games are anything to go by, then Team Canada should have a very good chance at winning their 5th straight juniors title. Yes, I know, the only real competition that they had in these pre-games was from Sweden but they downed them pretty easily. So watching a bunch of teenagers isn't quite as exciting as watching an NHL game BUT it was still great to watch and I still think that Canada has a great shot at the gold again. Yes, I know, I know, how can I make that grand presumption when Team Slovakia just rolled over and died for Canada by getting blanked 7-0? Well, apart from Sweden, the only other team that can really make a serious bid for the gold other than Canada is the USA who's juniors are apparently better than their non-junior team - and for their sake, I hope they are better. Team USA was not good when they played here in the spring. Anyway, it should be interesting to see how Canada handles the games once there's pressure to do perform well. I think they should do okay. A few of the team members including Tavares have experience from last year. Tavares just needs to come up with a way to score that doesn't involve standing on the left side of the net all the time (but after that fancy bit of puck handling to get his second goal tonight, I guess I can't complain if he wants to stand there). Team Canada would have been a lot better if a pile of their good juniors were slugging it out in the NHL already (yes, I'm looking at poor Stamkos and Shehn). Anyway, I'm hoping for the junior team to have more sucess than the Team Canada that got beat in a power play goal in OT to Russia this spring *coughs*

Memo to self: remember to rant about why we don't put much emphasis on the world events in hockey...

Where have the Penguins gone? (this is the "nooo" bit)

Can someone answer that for me? Please? The Pens have won just five out of their last eleven which includes two wins in a shootout and OT. I would have to add that some truly bi-polar playing has gone on in this span. Lets' see, the Pens demolished the Islanders 9-2, then lost 6-3 to the Flyers, then won 6-3 to the Thrashers, which was then followed up by a 7-3 mauling by the Maple Leafs. Yes, the Maple Leafs. And the last two games have seen the Pens win 4-3 in OT and now tonight I am sad to say, the Sidney Crosby's Penguins have just been blanked 2-0 by... wait for it.... TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING! Yes, the very same Lightning that downed the poor Habbies a little while ago. Go figure. Coming off a decent game after getting killed by a truly loser team and with Ryan Whitney now finally back in the lineup, I would have thought that the Penguins would be on track to win tonight. Well, I guess not. The Penguins' offense was truly horrendous tonight and the defense wasn't really all that much better. A stupid turnover at the blueline allowed the the Lightning to grab the puck and after some moneuvering around the net, Matt Pettinger put the puck past Fleury. Oh, this happened in the second period by the way, when the Pens failed on a couple of good chances to score in the first period. It was to get worse though.

According to the stats, the Pens only had 15 shots on goal compared to 29 by the Lightning. Now, really, tell me the last time that the Lightning outscored their opponents. Especially a team as talented as the Pens. It felt like only 15 shots too. The Pens completely failed to keep the puck in the other end for any decent amount of time and bad passing lead to the Lightning taking another swipe at Fleury. That was truly a pathetic display of hockey from the Pens and I'm just praying that either 1) they keep this up until AFTER they play the Habs or 2) they continue the trend and beat the Devils then lose to the Habs. Sorry, Habs come first. Always.

And because I just loooove to see Toronto get beaten....(this is the "HAHAHA" part)

I just have to mention that the lowly Dallas Stars beat the Maple Leafs by a wonderful score or 8-2. Lovely. The only reason why this is so good - other than it's nice to see the Leafs lose - is because Dallas stinks and won't challenge the Habs for a spot. Yes, everything is indeed about the Habs.

Sharks are making mince meat out of Canucks

Before I called it night for the hockey, I did see ten minutes of the Sharks vs Canucks game. And honestly, the poor Canucks have no chance. In ten minutes, I'm not sure if the Canucks even registered a shot on goal while the Sharks scored less than five minutes into the game. Oh dear. It got worse though as the Canucks took three or four straight penalties and the Sharks continued to steam roller over them with two more goals. I know Vancouver got in late to the San Jose but seriously, I don't think that they would have had much of a chance even if they were in top form. Now, if Luongo was in nets maybe it wuld be different but I don't know.

Oh and Ottawa dropped yet another game. This time to the Flyers in their blindingly ugly orange jerseys....

I'm only mentioning this 'cause it just so happened to be on TV. I watched a bit of it inbetween watching team Canada, the Pens and chasing my rabbit around the house. It wasn't a terrible loss. 6-4. That sixth goal came on an empty net with 18 seconds left to go. I guess whatever John Stevens was scribbling on that white board thing of his that he likes to cart around with him, made sense to someone tonight. It's more than I can say for Hartsburg's supposed plan. The Sens could have had a shot at a goal if they hadn't turned over the puck to the Flyers in the most horrendous way possible. Oh well....

And finally: What is it with the Rangers and blowing big leads?

We all know about that game in which the Rangers held a 5-0 lead on the Habs and then promptly dropped said lead in the third period and ultimately lost in OT. C'mon, even I know about that game and I didn't see it. Well, tonight, ladies and gentleman, I offer you another game in which the Rangers blew another big lead. Tonight's game featured the Rangers versus Ovechkin's Washington Capitals. Well, okay, so it's a little unfair to say "Ovechkin's Capitals" because he hasn't really been doing that much. But moving on...

The Rangers came out firing and made Theodore's life very miserable for the first period. In fact, he was replaced with a sick Johnson mid-way through the first period after he allowed 3 goals in 5 shots. Oops. Johnson did not continue however, and Theodore was back in the second period and was to stay there for the remaineder of the game. The Rangers would have one more goal on the ex-Hab before they called it a night and dozed off to sleep. And that was when the Caps decided to come back starting with Ovechkin's goal in the second period. Still, going into the third, the Rangers had to be pretty confident. They were up 4-1 and it wasn't like Theodore was proving to be the top goaltender in the NHL or anything. Oh how wrong they were! The Caps came back with three more goals including the tying goal by... guess who... Yeah, Ovechkin. No Semin. I think he's still injured from something. Anyway, the game went to OT and then it was byebye Rangers. To finish off, a couple of quotes by the players after the game (taken from <here>):

"They stopped playing hockey. They probably believed 4-0 they'd win the game." Coming from the guy who got the first and last goals in regulation time. Someone will be partying tonight.

"We were looking forward to going into the (Christmas) break with two points. I definitely have to forget about this one and move on." A clearly unhappy Lundqivst. He's had quite a few games now that he should just forget about. Poor guy.

When the Habs depress you...part 2

It was a dark and stormy night (didn't you read the papers about the almost-blizzard the other day?) I was sitting on my couch staring in disbelief at the TV. My beloved Montreal Canadiens had just gone and lost another stupid game. When was this going to stop? I fumed. How could they have gone from playing a brilliant game to this horrendous display of hockey? When were they going to come out and permantely play like the very talented team that they were and beat every single team that stepped onto the ice? Was it ever going to happen? My mind invariably went back to the other games that the Habs had played against far inferior teams and had lost. I was still fuming over those losses too. Why oh why did they have to be so terrible against bad teams like this? Why? I thought about tossing something at the TV but then I remembered that I didn't have any money to replace it.

So instead I went stomping around the house. I was angry. Very angry. A sudden desire to do something very drastic came over me. You should know that on my door I have pictures of various sports related stuff. I have a picture of the Spanish team celebrating their Euro Cup win. I have a picture of Federer and Nadal winning at the US Open and Wimbledon. I also have the logos of the various teams I support plastered inbetween all the pictures. Anyway, you get the idea. Below this, my door is covered in Habs pictures that I nabbed from the papers. I managed to fit the first fifteen or so games on there before having to resort to using the other side of the door.

Unable to find a pen, I had to abandon the idea of scribbling all over the Canadiens in fit of annoyance at them. So instead, I came up with another idea. It was drastic - and smacked of someone who was very desperate- and I knew that the reprecussions could be very bad if someone took it a certain way. I opened up my computer and began searching for the image that I had in mind. It didn't take long. .23 seconds to come up with over 57,000 hits, if you were wondering. Anyway, I took the picture and after fixing it up a little bit I printed it.

I admit that at the time, I did feel a twinge of emotion as I saw the blue maple leaf with the white text coming out of my printer, but I pressed on with my plan. I was annoyed with the Habs now. Very annoyed. I almost wished at the time that I could pretend that they didn't exist so that I would not have to go through all this agony. I cut out the logo of the most hated team in my city and stuck it on my door. That would show them! I growled. And they thought that they were losers?! They had nothing on the other team.

Standing back, I admired the little Tonronto Maple Leafs logo that was now pasted onto my door. It was kind if nice looking actually, I thought to myself. It fit right in with the other logos that I had on the door. Of course the words "Toronto Maple Leafs STINK!" made it just perfect.

Like I said, and the Habs thought that they were losers? They have nothing on the Leafs. As bad as you may think it is for the Habs, it's still worse for the Leafs. And that, everyone, is something to smile about.

My Christmas List

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dear Santa,

I would like the following for Christmas (in no particular order):

  1. I would like the Habs powerplay to be better.
  2. Oh and their face-offs could be better too.
  3. And I would like it if they didn't take such stupid penalties all the time.
  4. And their bi-polar like tendencies could stop.
  5. I would be very happy if Federer won at Wimbledon and the US Open. I suppose it would be asking for too much for him to win in Australia also, but I'll put that down just in case.
  6. If Andy Murray forgot how to play tennis, that would be just smashing.
  7. And it would be wonderful if Roger could win the Masters Cup thing too.
  8. It would be wonderful if either Chelsea, Liverpool or Real Madrid made the finals of the Champions League and won it. Especially for Chelsea.
  9. If Chelsea wins the Champions League, can Liverpool win at home in England? Or vice-versa....
  10. Would it be asking too much for Barca and Man U to drop off the face of the planet? I would like very much for that to happen
Thanks in advance dude!


I'm still cranky from last night's game so I've decided to perk myself up by watching random amusing tennis stuff (i'm also enjoying embedding video into posts as well. I'm easily amused sometimes). Okay, so technically it doesn't have anything to do with tennis but rather certain tennis players. ANYWAY! To start with, my favorite. Novak imitating a pile of other tennis players. I laugh every time I see this.

And then there's Roddick's most amusing interview ever. You have to give credit to the guy for having a sense of humor after he just got demolished by Federer at the semis of the 2007 Australian Open. If I didn't like watching Federer and Nadal so much I would definitely go for Roddick... Er well... I'd probably go for Novak then Cilic then Roddick. But yeah....I like the bit where they ask him how big a chance Gonzalez will have against Federer and he says "slim". Try "no chance" actually. Anyway, on to the video:

Oh and then there's this one of Andre Agassi and Federer doing something....I dunno... I think they were raising money for something... Anyway... Agassi decides that Roger can stand being made fun of . It seems like Agassi is the only one who Federer doesn't mind making fun of him. Well, someone has to do it sometimes!

Habs to play Hurricanes in a blizzard

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Or is it a blizzard in a hurricane? I think I'm sleep deprived already. Anyway, I actually don't see so much snow coming down right now but we'll see how it goes later on. But moving on to the real point now: the Habbies are to take on the Hurricanes for their last game before the holiday break - which may or not be much of a break depending on how tonight goes. After that little fiasco last time they played, I'm hoping that the Habs feel motivated to come out and beat the Hurricanes tonight. The last two games have been a real turnaround for the Habbies and I would greatly appreciate if they kept it up and crushed the opposition tonight. I'm just hoping that Price is actually fully recovered and won't pull a braindead stunt like Fleury did last night.

We shall hope and squash our new habs pillows that the Habbies win tonight. Otherwise I'll be hitting those sherry bottles stored in my grandmother's cupboard for the holidays.

Time to hit the sherry bottles

What is it about the Hurricanes that makes the Habbies play like crap? I personally wasn't too impressed with the game tonight. Despite outshooting the Hurricanes - huh? it really didn't feel like they outshot though but whatever - the Habs dropped 1-0 after the end of the first period. Here we go again. There was hope though. Even when the Habs were tied 1-1 on D'Agostini's pretty goal, they dropped another one. Still there was plenty of hope. The Habs technically evened the score with around eight minutes left but it was disallowed because the Hurricanes got a penalty. Like hello?! You don't give the idiots penalties all nigtht but you give them one NOW? So it was to the powerplay which had been stinking all night and what do you know... Lang gets the puck past Ward. Whooopie. To OT we then went. The stupid Hurricanes shot the puck at Price who looked like he had it but it dribbled past him and while it wasn't it then someone pushed it into the net. Byebye Habs.


I'd whine about the power play that pretty much wasn't and all the penalties that Carolina didn't take and the stupid officiating (AGAIN) and why I hate Eric Staal but I won't....*sighs again*

Did you know that sherry's from Spain? And that the name is apparently derived from the word "Xeres" which was the Arabic name for the area that the stuff comes from?

Liiiiiveeerpooool you tied with Arsenal.

By accounts however, this wasn't a bad thing. It was better than those ties with all those not so good teams. That being said, apparently the Reds had a lot of good opportunities to come away with two points. But a draw isn't terrible. Then again... I believe the door is now open for Chelsea to take a one point lead if they win against Everton tomorrow. Hmmm....!

Well....desperate people will turn to desperate measures...

In my case I watched Djokovic sing "The twelve days of Christmas" along with a few other players (including Murray!). Well, I actually should say "attempt to sing" because he really can't sing. But he made up for his awful singing by being incredibly funny by messing up the words to the song and making up new words as he went. Ah, Nole, I know you're trying to be taken more seriously but that video really did not help that. Oh well, it's great if you want to take your mind off the Habbies. It's really too bad that they couldn't force Federer to do it. That would have been truly hilarious. Oh well...Next time they should offer 1,000 atp points to whoever shows up and does this *g*

Ovechkin, I hate you right now

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Why? Because you seem to have completely disappeared. Where were you when Philly completely ran over Washington? Okay, so apparently you did have three brilliant attempts at a goal but Mr. Niittymaki stopped you on all three. But really... only three brilliant shots, Alex? That's it from the guy who scores the most goals in the entire league last year? Obviously your team has goalie issues but that does not explain why you didn't score. Is it because Semin wasn't there to help get the offense going? I thought he was "the other Alex". Look, I may not like you when you're playing Montreal or Pittsburgh but other than that I like you. I don't like you not scoring a single goal against the Flyers. That is just icky. But then again, maybe it's not totally you're fault. The Flyers are just so capable of being good and they were obviously ticked off that we beat them. But still.... YOU SHOULD HAVE SCORED! 7-1 is bloody embarrassing. And yes, I'm only mad because it's the Flyers you lost to. But still.... Don't be like a certain other Russian out there who forgot how to score for 19 games in a row. Only do that when you play us and the Penguins.

Speaking of the Penguins and hating people....

What the heck is going on here, people? You're currently losing 5-1 against the Maple Losers? You know what? I was going to go into a whole rant over where Crosby, Malkin, Fleury and everyone else went... buuuut I have the answer: It's those horrid coloured jerseys that everyone seems to like for some reason that's killing you. No one in their right mind should be able to go and skate and score goals when they look like they look like cotton candy. Well, obviously they don't have cotton candy in Russia because Malkin scored a nifty goal while wearing that horrid jersey. But that's beside the point. The point is this: Why are you losing to a loser team? You are SO much better than that. What is going on here? You're making me really sad now.

Later: Well, now I really hate you all. 7-3??????! Guys.... this was so not cool. Please, dump those horrid jerseys and get back to black and back to beating all those loser teams.

And finally, some people I don't hate for once:

1) Real Madrid

You won. Didn't see the game but you did get your one and only goal against Valencia in the 6th minute of the game. Yay for you. Too bad Barca's still waaay ahead of everyone else. Pooh.

2) The Habbies! Habs 4 - Sabres 3 in OT!!!!

You won. I can't believe it actually. I love you guys! When I came home after spending the day making a Hab pillow thing, you were already playing. And by the looks of things, I thought you had died. You didn't seem to be playing with quite the same fire as when you played the Flyers and I was frankly worried. Hadn't we seen this before? The Habbies played really well against a good team and then died against a bad team? Well, the Sabres were playing like a team who was feeling really good after blanking the L.A. Kings. They seemed all over you guys. I was squashing the non-exisistant stuffing in my new pillow when the Sabres scored on you in the first period. Oh boy, here we go, I thought to myself.

The second period was not looking too much more promising as Sergei was the only guy to get a goal past Miller on... what was it? A five on three powerplay? Well, you realize that I would have had to scream until my whole street woke up if you hadn't scored on that lovely opportunity, right? Right. Anyway, I went back to crying like crazy when you guys let Buffalo score again. I'm trying to remember how they got that goal in but I'm coming up with a blank. I think that must have been the one where Halak was on one end of the net facing the puck when whoops, the puck sails past Halak and there just so happens to be a Sabre guy standing there who tips it in. I think that was it. Anyway, I was cursing you guys inbetween cursing my dinner which wasn't the best thing in the world I could have eaten. Your powerplay really wasn't so cool again tonight. Especially when the refs were being so nice and giving the Sabres so many penalties but I suppose getting that one goal was good.

As the third opened up, I was just moaning over how badly when you were all doing when whoops, you scored! It a nice goal off the faceoff by Tanguay which was setup nicely by Hamrlik. Well, the puck comes to the net, Miller can't control it and whoops. 2-2. Haha. Yes, I know you were doing better than I had given you credit for but really... can you blame me too much? Okay, go ahead. Blame me. I was cranky last night. Moving on... The nice feeling of course couldn't last for long. You guys got the powerplay, you guys lost the powerplay but not on the penalty that you should have taken. You guys then play well 4 on 4 and then what the heck was that? Buffalo gets the powerplay, some guy stands in front of Halak so he can't see and presto, puck goes flying past him and he didn't even see it. Hmm, I guess someone should have knocked him out of the way, yeah? So it was more screaming from me. All was not lost however. With five or something minutes to go Kovalev took a shot on Miller which he couldn't control and Sergei got it and it was into the back of the net.

Sot it was to overtime you guys went amid plenty of cheering. I mean, c'mon, there were moments when the crowd was wondering if you guys were going to go down like you had against a pile of other people. But you stuck it out and it paid off in overtime. Let's me honest though, things totally went your way during OT. The Sabres took two penalties to ensure that most of the action was gong to be at their end. It was just a matter of you guys just putting that puck behind Miller for good. It was tense though. Time wasn't on your side. But it happened. With 25 seconds left till we had to sweat it out in shootouts, Kovalev finished the game for good as he put a beautiful shot past Miller. Thank the hockey gods!!!!!

Somewhere in there Lang almost scored but the goal was disallowed because the net got knocked off by some idiot before the puck went past Miller. Booooo. Sorry, I can't remember when you almost got that goal. I think it was in OT but I can't remember. It would have been a nice goal though.

Let's be honest though. You got over worked in some parts of the game. There were moments when it looked like Buffalo was enjoying a power play when they weren't. There were times when you took bad penalties - yes, I'm looking at you Mr. Kovalev. And there were times when it looked like you would never get the puck into the other zone. Oh and the Sabres were really giving Halak quite the workout. Though I suppopse I should be hating Miller more for being good and stopping a lot of really good attempts. Speaking of Halak, you seemed to have some more trouble controlling that puck again. I don't blame you though and you came up with some really nice saves so you're forgiven. But the good news was you all didn't really die. Well, except for that little period after Buffalo got their first goal. You sort of didn't play so well immediately after that. But you did pick it up after and look: You won in OT because you tried. You didn't roll over and die. Yay! Okay, so maybe it wasnt as pretty as the win against the Flyers but still....You won!

The good: The real Kovalev may just be back for good now. You've now had three goals in the last three games plus you had some really nifty chances to get a goal throughout this game. And was that Price I saw as the backup guy? Oh and I really did appreciate you all not going off and dying. You stuck it out.

The bad: well, the powerplay sort of maybe could be better. But you did score twice on the power play, including two times when it was really important to get a goal in. And really, maybe I"m just being picky now because let's face it: four powerplay goals in two games is a lot more than you had in your previous games.

The annoying: the annoying announcer who was doing the announcing in the video on the NHL site where I watched the highlights.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Draws are in for the knockout stages of the Champions League and I'm going to cry. Why? Take a look!

Liverpool v Real Madrid
Juventus v Chelsea
Panathanaikos v Villareal
Bayern Munich v Sporting Lisbon
Porto v Atletico
Barcelona v Lyon
Roma v Arsenal
Man U v Inter Milan

THAT'S SO MEAN! This means that after the knockout stages I'll potentially only have one team to cheer for. Well, it better be two because Chelsea better get their act together to beat Juventus. But whyyyyyy or whyyyyy does Liverpool have to play Real Madrid??? WHY?!!!!! That's so cruel. I'm so unhappy now... *sniffles* I wonder what the chances of Barca and Man U getting knocked out at this stage are? Yeah, about as high as the stupid Maple Losers winning the Stanley Cup.... *wails more*

Ahem, anyway... in other useless news it would appear that Carbo's not the only one juggling his team's lines around. Craig Hartsburg has finally come to the conclusion that the Sens supposed top offensive line - and pretty much only line that can score- isn't working anymore. Brilliant observation! The Sens - lead by Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza - had last year topped the league in goals but this year, the players seem to have gone to sleep (and if what I've been hearing is true, Spezza is particularly guilty of going to sleep this season). Look, I'm no expert on hockey and I really don't like to watch the Sens play, but I have noticed when they have played that the only people who seem to be scoring are Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza and even then they haven't exaclty been scoring lately - and that has to be a problem. You simply can't have just one line that scores goals because when that line doesn't work you're doomed. Even Jason Smith agrees with me:

"One, two or three players can't lead a team on a nightly basis. The League is so competitive that you need everybody playing; you need your whole roster competing at a high level and working and we've been inconsistent with that." [from <here>]

I wonder if he's regretting leaving the Flyers now...?

Apparently this news wasn't greeted too well by the some. The Ottawa Citizen ran an article with the headline 'Hartsburg slots three stars with plumbers' when the news broke. To me, it seems like the Sens problem is that they've relied on these three guys too much for too long and now that it's not working everyone's freaking out. That most people believe that the Sens are indeed Team Alfredsson/Heatley/Spezza and that they are just drop-dead amazing is proved in the same article that ran the aforementioned headline.

"Welcome to the latest Ottawa Senators reality show: Two Plumbers and a Craftsman.

In the first episode, tonight versus the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center, Senators coach Craig Hartsburg is hoping the plumbers -- checkers Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Neil -- can lead the craftsman, Jason Spezza, by example, helping the Senators generate something positive."

I'm not saying that Ruutu and Neil are extremely talented players but is it fair to the rest of the team to be saying it like that? It seriously sounds like everyone thinks that only the "Big Three" are any good. It gets better though. Look:

"The radical line shuffling has the potential to be many things, from a farce to a comedy to a drama, developments worth watching.

It certainly carries the look of desperation, but that is the situation the Senators faced when they arrived here late yesterday afternoon."

Radical line shuffling? Desperation? Good god, there really is a huge emphasis on those three playing together on the same line. Oh well. As someone who had to sit through all of Carbo's musical lines for the past... what, two months now? I find those words really funny. Maybe now the Sens can move away from being a one-line scoring team. Or maybe they won't. I'm pretty sure that Hartsburg tried this move before but he changed his mind for whatever reason. Well, he seems to mean business this time so we'll see.

Later: Guess that idea didn't work too well on the first try. Sens fall to Devils 5-1. Oddly enough they had around the same shots on goal. Not that I was watching the game... I was watching the junior teams playing some pre-competition thing. Team Canada won 4-1 over Sweden. Real stuff starts on the 26th. Keep trying Sens!

So now that I've just spent waaaay too much time yapping about a team I couldn't care less about....

*kicks the Flyers*

Thanks to the Flyers, we've lost Andrei Kostitsyn for tomorrow's game against the Sabres. I missed the injury happening but apparently something is banged up from a knee on knee collision with Hartnell last night. Apparently there is no damage but he's still out. Great. Maxwell is still around so he will be in the lineup tomorrow.

Continuing the useless news:

So we all knew that team Spain and Team Argentina lost their head coaches for the Davis Cup, right? Right. Mancini of course couldn't stay after Argentina lost terribly to Spain and Sanchez couldn't stay because he had a spat with the head of the Spanish tennis association or something like that. Too bad about Sanchez though. I liked him. Anyway, I am now remembering that I failed to mention that both countries have now announced new head coaches! Yahoo... It's not called useless info for nothing! So Spain has gone with Albert Costa. He's won a few titles during his career, including Roland Garros and he was widely rumored to replace Sanchez. And Argentina went with Modesto Vazquez. I've never heard of him either. Apparently he played for Argentina in '68 and '70.

Good luck guys. You're going to need it. Especially Vazquez with the Argentine players all hating each other if the media reports are to be believed.

The bell/horn thing that goes off when you score...

Whatever you call those things. Anyway, I was sitting here after the Habbies lost to the Hurricanes and instead of thinking about why we are losing so badly like this, I started thinking about the various sounds that go off when the home team scores. And then I thought... hey, why don't I listen to every single one in the league and ramble about them? It was late at night and I was tired. Anyway, there's pretty much three different categories: The truck sound, the foghorn and the train. And then there's various horrid combinations of them all.

Anaheim - Maybe it was just my speakers but it sounded awfully like a dying whale to me... It had a deep pitched sound that lowered at the end. I was kind of hoping for a duck squacking. That would be so much better. B

Atlanta - a veeeeery looooong truck sound. Much too long. Ick. C

Boston - Sounds much like the Flyers (foghorn) but it doesn't drag on and on forever. Not bad. But then again, it's Boston we're talking about so obviously this thing going off is not cool because it means that Boston's scored.... B

Buffalo- A very annoying combination of a truck and a train. It blasts two or three times and doesn't stop. I really dislike this one. C

Calgary - They went for the train sound. The first one wasn't too bad but the second one went off forever. Not bad. Not good either. It just is. B

Carolina - Eh, it's okay. Nothing original. It goes off twice. Oddly enough it seems to go off when the refs announce a no-goal for the opposing team. Whatever floats your boat, I guess....B

Chicago - Another truck...boooooriiiiiiing.... B -

Colorado - Yet another truck-ish sound that goes off three times. The sound definitely beats the Avs home jersey colours so bonus points for that. B+

Columbus - Another foghorn which would have boring, but the fact that they use the sound of canons going off makes it rather interesting. Bonus points for creativity. A

Dallas - A high pitched truck thing that goes on for a long time too. I'm about as fond of this one as I am of the Stars' home jersey.... C

Detroit - the Red Wings went for the truck sound here. I would rather that it didn't go off when Hossa scores but I guess they can't be selective over when the bell thing goes off...A -

Edmonton - The first one was a single short blast. Short and simple. Perfect. Except if you're a fan of the Oilers, in which case it could be longer. There is a case for longer horn blasts. But for all the people who don't like the Oilers and want to scream when they score, the sound isn't one of those "Haha. In your face, we scored!". The second time they scored it was longer. Just the right length but the pitch of the horn is actually annoying when it's held for that long. First blasts A. Second B -

Florida - It was really hard to concentrate on this when all I could think of was how annoying the announcers were but anyway, I would put this one into the train section. It was kind of boring and I was more disappointed that the other team let the puck go in (yeah, I was paying more attention to the highlights of the game than the task at hand). C

L.A. - The Kings went for the train affect here. It's a decent length. Not obnoxious. B+

Minnesota - middle pitched train sound. Not very creative here from the Christmas-trees. B-

Montreal - It's sort of like a high pitched train horn (which I hear a lot of). Obviously I'm totally biased towards it, so the only thing I could say is for the rest of the world it could come off as slightly obnoxious, I guess. But I like it. I like it when the Habbies score goals. We don't get enough of them. A+++++++++++++ in my very biased opinion =p

Nashville - A nasal sounding bus-ish that sounds really annoying. At least it doesn't go off for too long and you're put of your misery fairly quickly. C

New Jersey - Weird combination of a truck and a train. Not a fan of this one. C-

N. Y. Islanders - A rather nasalish sound that goes off twice. Well at least it doesn't have just one sound that continues until you want to break it. And it's not like the Islanders score a lot anyway so all in all, it's not the worst out there. C+

N.Y. Rangers - yet another train sound. Goes off three times. Not a bad one. B-

Ottawa - I really don't like this one. It's a really weird mix of a truck a train and a fog horn and it just goes on and on in a really annoying way. Yuck. F!!!!!

Philadelphia - Sounds like some type of fog horn. Except it goes on and on forever. You just want to smash it. Then again, my dislike for the sound could have something to do with my dislike of the Flyers getting a goal in the first place... F....

Phoenix - I've heard better sounding trains before. C+

Pittsburgh - Finally, a decent bell thing at a decent pitch that lasts for a decent length. Yes! A

San Jose - It was hard to hear it with all the people screaming themselves horse, but it sounded something like a deep boat horn type of sound. I could have sworn that it went off twice but it was hard to tell. Best sound. A+

St. Louis - a truck/foghorn mix that goes off once or twice (I couldn't hear between the stupid announcers and the crowd). Nice pitch too. B+

Tampa Bay - a veeeeeeeeery long truck horn thing that goes off in two loooong blasts. Don't care much for the team or the horn thing. C+

Toronto - The Maple Losers erm, Leafs went for the semi-unoriginal tug boat blast. It goes off twice but you can't hear it that well while the poor deprived fans cheer their heads off. Guess they have to celebrate the little things, yeah? C-

Vancouver - Sounds like a truck going off. You know, before they try to run you over, they honk their horn at you? Well, it sounds like that. And it just goes on forever. Like the team most of the time, hate the bell. Sowwy! F

Washington - A very annoyingly pitched truck sound - and was that an alarm bell going off in the background? Of course things get even more annoying when it's Ovechkin that does most of the scoring and no one gets his name right. So you get an annoying bell thing AND you get the announces ruining Ovechkin's name. Ick. C

Komo finally dumps tie and suit

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Finally! No more Coach K behind the bench. Not that I had a problem with him being there. It's just that now it's time for him to get back in the lineup and start skating again. Komisarek finally got cleared to play for today's game. He would have probably been cleared earlier but ironically the doctor was too sick to see him. Oh and Laraque will be back as well. I'm of the opinion that the Habs need all the help that they can get tonight when they take on the Flyers who have been unfortunately doing very well lately. The Halloween-coloured-team has recovered from their horrible start to the season and are looking to win their sixth straight. The poor Habbies are just trying not to lose their fourth straight in a row - apparently if they lose to night, this will be the first time in over two years that they've dropped four in a row. *wails* Komisarek's return means no more Ben Maxwell. Pity. He didn't seem to be doing too badly but it was hard to tell considering how well the last game went. Ahem, anyway.... Don't know what to say here. The Habs need to be really focused tonight and if they play like they're capable of then there should be no problem. But I've been saying that for how many games now...? Four? More? We'll see. I'll try not to get my hopes up too much here. I still think if stupid Columbus had beat San Jose we should be able to beat the Flyers, no.....?

HAAAAAABS WIIIIIIIN! FINALLY!!!!!!! Habbies 5 Flyers 1 1/2!

There was talk about if the Habs lost tonight then it would be the first time in two years that that they dropped four in a row. There wasn't too much confidence in the media about how the Habs would do either tonight. I mean, three consecutive losses to bad teams was not very acceptable from a team that clearly has a lot of talent and just can't seem to get it together. And then there was the little fact that the Flyers were coming into this one having only lost one in regulation time in the last 17 games. Yeah, funny what can happen in the stretch of 60 mins.

Habs won and they won playing good hockey. D'Agostini opened up the scoring on a mini breakaway (can he stay here, Bob? Please? Please?). That obviously proved to be a huge moral booster for the Habs who haven't scored first since.... the game against the Flames. Anyway, D'Agostini's goal was followed by one from Sergei Kostitsyn on the powerplay, which I missed initially because I was looking for something to eat, but I saw the replay and it was nice. I was just moaning over not having any food to eat when Begin got a goal in past Niittymaki as well. Yay! This was immediately followed by a not so nice goal by somethingrather Asham for the Flyers off the faceoff. He caught Halak half out of the net and got a goal in. Yuck. To make things worse, I still didn't find anything to eat. Blegh. Anyway, so the first period ended 3-1 for the Habbies which was good news. Finally. More good news was to come as Kovalev scored in the second period off another half breakaway. Dare I hope that he's finally woken up now? The Habs sort of went to sleep a bit in the third period and sloppy playing almost lead to a pile of goals by the Flyers. The Habs kind of got an own goal as... Boullion.... or someone tried to catch a shot with his hand but failed horribly as the puck pounced off his hand and past Halak. The Flyers then decided that they would like to try harder and they did but through a series of luck and skill from the Habs nothing happened except for this: Niittymaki gets pulled at the end. Flyers have the advantage. Flyers put Niitymaki back in for faceoff. Flyers get penalty. Latendresse scores on Niitymaki. Game officially over for the Flyers. Well, okay, so the Flyers made one last ditched effort and nearly scored but they didn't.

On a whole, I liked the game that the Habs played tonight. The powerplay worked. Though of course if you don't get a goal when the goalie is sprawled across the ice and can't do anything then you stink big time. But still. The effort was there tonight. There was some potential bad turnovers but they didn't amount to anything. Halak still seems to be having issues with rebounds and controlling the puck but I still think he did a good job tonight. The Flyers had exceptionally bad luck last night, hitting the post on numerous occaisions and they clearly weren't happy. I'd be more upset with the defensive end of their game if I was their coach. D'Agostini and Kovalev both scored after getting the puck past the defensemen and practically going in alone on Niittymaki. Anyway, that's their problem, not mine. Both teams had 31 shots on goal and while the Habs shot 5 goals past Niitymaki, the Flyers only got past Halak and the Habs gave the Flyers a Christmas present in the form of the other goal. Merry Christmas Flyers!

The good - Well, winning, right?

The bad - the own goal thing but we'll pretend that they were being generous to the Flyers tonight. If you saw Richards face after his team was offside for the who-knows-what-time, you would know that the Flyers needed a little help.

The ugly - cant think of anything yet..... the Flyers maybe?

The potentially not good - Considering that 1) the Habs obviously didn't want to lose four straight 2) it's the Flyers are normally the Habbies are pretty motivated to beat them (erm, minus that little fiasco the last time they played) oh and 3) the Habs almost always seem to be motivated when they play top teams (I suppose they realize now that Boston is a top contender), I'm still worried about how the weekend will go. The Habs completely die against loser teams and that is the huge problem for them right now. WAKE THE HECK UP AND GET SCORING! There's nothing wrong with beating your loser opponent 9-2. Just ask the Penguins ^___^

No more bi-polar behavior!

I think I spelled Niittymaki's name wrong throughout the whole thing... oh well...There's too many double letters!!!!

In other irrelevant news:

  • Pittsburgh flattened Atlana 6-3 with Fleury back in nets again. Yay for Fleury!
  • Boston won 8-5 against the Maple Losers... I can't believe Tim Thomas let that many... And Boston was up 5-1 or something. Oh well. Lucky Bruins that it was Toskala in nets on the other end.....
  • Oh and Detroit won 6-0 against San Jose...!!!!!!! Umm, oops? That's incredibly embarrassing for San Jose. This is their first regulation loss since.... when? A long time. Not a nice way to break that streak. Also, this is the first time in... a while... that the Sharks have dropped two in a row. Oh well...

I know I said that I would never talk about Sundin but I'm going to say something now because this truly will be the last time. The indecisive Swede has finally decided that he wants to continue to play hockey and what's more he actually picked a team to play for. Thank the hockey gods! This whole saga thing began after the playoffs - if not earlier considering the Leafs didn't make the playoffs- and has been dragging on and on and on and on since then. And it's over now! Sundin will be a Canuck for a year now and hopefully when he's contract is up he will be a little quicker about making a decision. But anyway... Celebrate people because this whole overlong epic is over! YEEEEEEES! And thank goodness he's playing on the other side of the country so we don't have to put up with him a lot. YES! HUZZAH! No more talking about Sundin now! Yaaaaaaaay......Okay, I'm shutting up...