Rafa vs Roger part 165435432

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Don't you just love this soap opera? Last time these two played my necked was hurting for a week because I was sitting there for SEVEN HOURS completely freaking out. Yes, I occasionally have no life.

This should be interesting. For all their great rivalry and for all the times that they've played each other, these two have never met in the two hard court Grand Slams. That's mainly because up until the US open last year, Nadal has been no good on hardcourts. You can't doubt that he had a good run in New York last year and he's had an even better run in Melbourne.

Save for a little blip against Berdych, Federer has been rolling in Melbourne. He practically steamrollered over Del Potro following his five setter against Berdych and the new and improved Andy Roddick couldn't take a set off of the Fed. Now the Fed is about to chase history. Should he win at some undgodly hour here in Canada, he will have tied Pete Sampras' record for the most Grand Slams won. This was a record that everyone thought the Mighty Fed was supposed to have had last year. But as it was, the Fed got sick and Rafa made a bid for the top spot. It's save to say that last year, Rafa made Roger's life miserable. He routinely trounced him on clay, he then trounced him on grass, and then while the Fed was getting beaten by nobodies, Rafa was taking the no. 1 spot. Roger's only saving grace last year was his 13th Slam in New York. If Federer is to tie for this record, he's going to have to beat Nadal. Can he do it?

It's hard to say who's got more pressure on them here. Nadal as the new no. 1 needs to prove tha the can do better on other surfaces other than clay. He's shown that he can beat the best on grass and he's shown some good stuff on hardcourts last year but he still doesn't have a slam. Beating an in-form Federer would go a long way to consolidating his no. 1 spot. Then again.... The Fed is shooting for history here. If other people aren't putting the pressure on then he's heaping it on himself. If Nadal beats Federer here on a hardcourt then who knows what the affects will be for Mr. no 2? Don't tell me that he wasn't messed up after losing Wimbledon.... It's more of Federer's to lose than it is for Nadal. Federer may have a slight advantage if the match runs long because Nadal just finished a 5 hour marathon 44 hours before. Plenty of time to recover, but Rafa may get slightly tired if it runs to four or five tough sets.

I say Fed in 5 which means I'll get no sleep tonight... whoopie....maybe I'll sleep while the Bruins pound my poor Habs to death...

Not out of the doghouse yet!

But this was a good step in the right direction. I had almost forgotten what winning was like... *g*

First off, the Habs won. More importantly, they won because they didn't quit even though they made some stupid errors that lead to all three of the Kings' goals. As I grumpily predicted, the Kings got the first goal. As I also grumpily predicted, it came on a LA powerplay and it was mostly due to a huge lapse in defense by the Habs. I think lesson number 1 should be "it's not necessary for four guys to skate after one player. In fact it's stupid and leads to a wide open space in front of the net for the Kings to score on". Evidently they didn't learn that lesson quickly enough as they were to do the same thing in the next period. But at least the Kings didn't run away with a lead. Which would have happened if they hadn't high-sticked (is that a word even?) the first "goal" into the back of net earlier in the first period. Video replay proved the officials wrong and the goal was overturned. Thank god for that. Anyway, of all the people to score the Habs first goal, I wasn't expecting it to be Tomas Plekanec. But there he was battling for the puck which LA goalie Quick (nice name) couldn't handle when he fell flat on his face and Plekanec put it around him and into the back of the net.

Things got ugly in the second period. Josh Gorges got well... okay, this one will get debated maybe but I saw Denis Gauthier deliver a hit to Gorges head with his elbow. I also saw his feet leave the ice. To me in my biased opinion it looked like Gauthier was aiming for his head. Like I said, I'm being biased. Either way, Gorges went down and looked like he had a mild concussion after that hit. And the idiot returned to play after words only to get hit again (more on that in a sec). I seriously hope that he's okay because we can't lose him right now. While certain people on a certain English television station think that the Habs should have tried to kill Gauthier after that, I much preferred what happened next and I'm sure at the end of the day Gorges does too.

Habs ended up with a 5 on 3 powerplay. And Andrei Kostitsyn got a really nice goal almost off the faceoff. Unfortunately they couldn't capitilize on the rest of Gauthier's 5 minute penalty. Party got crashed when the Habs first of all forgot what I said about not needing four guys to chase after one opponent and the Kings pretty much got another goal exactly like the first one (except on the opposite side). Okay... that was bad.... It got worse too. Price tried to clear the puck, Gorges got the puck, Gorges got hit again, Kings took the puck and put it over Price. 3-2 Kings. Second period over.

By this point one had to wonder whether this was going to end in heartbreak again. That was three goals that the Habbies had let in by being really stupid. Full credit to the Kings for somehow being in the right place at the right time. *sighs* Well, it looked to be mostly all Kings through 18 minutes of the third period. They played really well defensively and the Habs started to look a little disinterested again. With 2 minutes to go, I'm getting annoyed despite my best efforts and Higgy saves the day when he took a pass in the neutral zone and pushed Doughty out of the way - people are griping that that should have been a penalty - and put the puck over Quick's shoulder before he could come out and poke him. Now don't tell me that wasn't at least a little nice. Of all the people who I would have thought would be saving the Habs, Higgy wasn't not on the list. At all. Maybe now we'd go to OT and have a shot at it? Or.......maybe not. A mess ensued and the next thing anyone knew 3 Kings were sent off along with Komisarek. A here's what the good luck came in. Markov shoots the puck from the blueline and it goes through the goalie. He goes to lie down and he pushes it into this own net. Or at least that's how I saw it. Whatever. Looked like a legit goal to me despite what anyone else says. Sucks majorly for the Kings but I'm not about to complain. After all those goals that the Habs have let go in in the last four games, I'll take this one. Yes, it was freaking good luck. Fine. I admit it. It still counted though and the Habs have taken 2 points for the first time in.... well, a while.

Obviously they can't play like that against Boston or else they'll get really embarrassed but we'll whine about that when that happens....

The good

  • wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin
  • I thought the Koivu/Pacioretty/D'Agostini looked good even if they didn't score
  • Higgins' goal was nice. Sorry. I liked it.
  • effort was mostly there from most people for a lot of it. Yes, you can have effort but be sloppy at the same time.
The bad

  • defensive lapses at bad times
  • powerplay showed a lot of crappy-ness
  • Kovalev looked completely uninterested.....which dragged his whole line down....
  • why did it feel like the Habs couldn't win a faceoff to save their lives even though the stats say otherwise?
  • what the heck was Pacioretty getting into a fight for?!
  • Latendresse not getting that puck into the open net. BAD!
  • While I just said that I think myself and Gorges preferred that the Habs got a goal, it would have be a nice gesture someone attempted to do something instead of continuing to try and score....
  • And.... wanna bet Gauthier is going to get suspended for less time than Sean Avery and his comments about his ex?
How my predictions went

  • communication will still be bad....okay, so it looked pretty good other than those stupid defensive lapses
  • turnovers will be made and it will be bad.....a lot of turnovers were made
  • penalties will be dished out a lot. Carbo will be upset. Yup
  • the Kings will score first and Price will be upset and the crowd will be booing a lot Yup
  • the Koivu/Pacioretty/D'Agostini line has the best chance of working Kind of. I thought that line worked fairly well even if they didn't score.
  • Brisebois - assuming he's playing - and Higgins will do something less than desireable today *coughs*
  • Powerplay will work once and once only okay, so it technically worked twice....
  • PK might be better but I'm not counting on it it looked not too bad
  • I keep my word about not being upset when they lose to the Kings and go off to see what this Extra Attacker fantasy game thing is for the Pittsburgh Penguins.... I'm happy and now I'll go off to see how bad I am at this thing
I"m off to eat and then to sleep so I can be awake for the Australian Open Finals.

Oh and.....as if we needed more proof that Alexander Ovechkin was amazing... go look at the highlights for the Caps 4-2 win over the Red Wings (for the records, the Stanley Cup champs have just lost their 5th straight game. More than us, yes? That makes me feel better)

I'm taking a new approach here

No matter what happens today with the Habs, I refuse to be upset about it. I was just thinking what it would be like to be an Islander's fan right now. It would be really easy to be bitter about the whole thing or everyone could just learn to treat it with some degree of humor. So. No matter what the Habs do today and tomorrow, I refuse to be upset. Now if the Fed loses tonight.... I'll be upset.... but moving on...

I think Carbo decided to try something new too. It would appear that he put everyone's names into a hat and randomly drew their names out and create his lines from there. For today we can expect these for the lines:

Lang-Kovalev-B├ęgin
Koivu-Pacioretty-D'Agostini
Lapierre-Kostopoulos-Higgins
Plekanec-Latendresse-A. Kostitsyn

Price will get another turn in nets - bet you anything that if he messes this one up we'll be seeing Halak again soon - and I'm making the assumption that O'Byrne and Sergei will be sitting this one out.

Here's what I see happening
  • communication will still be bad....
  • turnovers will be made and it will be bad.....
  • penalties will be dished out a lot. Carbo will be upset.
  • the Kings will score first and Price will be upset and the crowd will be booing a lot
  • the Koivu/Pacioretty/D'Agostini line has the best chance of working
  • Brisebois - assuming he's playing - and Higgins will do something less than desireable today
  • Powerplay will work once and once only
  • PK might be better but I'm not counting on it
  • I keep my word about not being upset when they lose to the Kings and go off to see what this Extra Attacker fantasy game thing is for the Pittsburgh Penguins....
And I'm hoping Begin won't feel too useless when he winds up skating around in circles while Kovalev hogs the puck.

Did that smack of crankiness? Sorry. I'm still working on this new approach *g* I never said that I was going to be oppomistic though... that would make me the "Eternal Oppomist" which doesn't sound as good.

Sometimes we all need to grow up

Friday, January 30, 2009

Myself included. I admit that I was upset by another crappy loss by the Habs. Quite upset. But then I read this article in Gazette this morning. In case you're too lazy to go look, it's about a man named David who has terminal cancer. His doctors have given him 3 to 8 months to live. He was originally from Nova Scotia (he lives in the Yukon right now) and has been an avid fan of the Habs his entire life. Thanks to the support of his community and RDS, tomorrow and Tuesday he will be at the Bell Center to see the Habs play.

I had to pause when I read that. It made me feel bad for being upset over a game. I have so much to be happy and thankful for right now and I spent most of my night b****ing about the Habs losing (and that after giving a lecture on not being obsessed about them). Barring something really tragic, I've got the rest of my life to watch the Habs play (among other things). Chances are still fairly good that I'll live to see them win Stanley Cup number 25. David, I hope you enjoy your time in Montreal and at the games no matter what the outcome of them may be.

Oh and... If I've remembered correctly, I believe tomorrow there will be another fan from Newfoundland at the game. It's his first time seeing the Habs live and the first time he will be at the Bell Center. I'll see if I can find that article too...that was kind of neat to read about.

Rafa's through

There's nothing like Nadal or Federer winning to put a horrid hockey game of the night before out of your mind.... Yes, apparently despite what I just said, I'm still mulling over that one....

But anyway.....Imagine my surprise when I woke up and learned that Rafa was still playing tennis. For a match that was supposed to have started five hours ago or so, I as a little puzzled by why he was still playing. I quick look at the score said that Fernando Verdasco was playing the match of his life and was actually pushing Mr. No. 1 to five sets. Oh dear me. What was going on here? Verdasco wasn't supposed to be this good. Surely this was a fluke and he would be tired by the 5th set? Or not.... The Verdasco I saw, was a very good one. He was just going for all types of shots completely fearlessly. It was crazy. This was incredible from him. Rafa had a pile of break chances during the fifth set which he failed to convert on until the end when Verdasco handed him the match. That was a little distressing. But Verdasco finally crumbled. After another half an hour of some very good tennis, Versdasco double faulted to give Rafa the match. Final score was 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 for Rafa. Wow.....

As much as I love Rafa and I have to say that I really want Roger to win this one. That 14th Slam would be amazing not just because he would be tied with Sampras, but also because I think Roger would like to prove that he can beat Nadal *g* Rafa has about 44 hours to get himself recovered from his 5 hour slug fest. Good luck dude!

Hitting new lows....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Fed may be shooting for history in a few days but the Habs are making some headlines of their own.

Except they will be making some headlines tomorrow in the really negative type way.

Think back to when Federer lost in the second round to Gilles Simon in Toronto (and remember that he got a bye into that round).

Yeah. That type of way.

I'm sitting here floored by this 5-1 loss. I can't believe it..... I mean....It's one thing to reach a new low while giving it a good effort but.... where the hell was the effort? I'm getting really sick of saying that the Habs couldn't show more effort. There's absolutely nothing positive whatsoever to take away from this. Zip.

Maybe I'm just tired and hungry and very cranky right now but I saw I an extremely dysfuntional team tonight. Communication seemed to be nonexistant, they took bad penalties at bad times, they couldn't keep the stupid puck in the Panther's zone, they couldn't keep the puck out of their own zone, they couldn't play well defensively, their offense couldn't generate a whole lot, their powerplay only worked once while their penalty killing unit let in two goals straight goals. And Price wasn't particularly wonderful either. These last few games have made Halak look like Steve Mason in comparision. Well... okay that's going a bit far but.... still.... Like I said, I'm cranky right now. And I've just learned that my sister ate the rest of my dinner... so I'm very upset now.

It's official people: WE SUCK BIG TIME RIGHT NOW. There. I said it. Like I keep saying, I can accept five hard fought losses in a row. I'll take losing to Boston or even Toronto in a closely fought tough loss five times a row. I won't like it although I'll take it. But I will not sit here and take these type of losses. And I hope to the hockey gods that Bob Gainey and Guy Carbonneau come up with way to turn this around. Although right now in my present state, I'm thinking that this is going to take something drastic to change things around right now. This was supposed to be the game that they showed up and played well and look what happened. What's it going to take to win a game in a decent fashion?

Oh and because I really feel like rubbing the salt into the wound right now:
  • Boston is now 16 points ahead since they just lost in OT to the Devils. The Devils had a 2-0 lead on them before they caught up. Yes, the same Devils that trounced us last week. And it's the Bruins who have routinely kicked our butts this year.
  • The Islanders beat the Thrashers 5-4 after taking a 4-0 lead. Yes, I said the Islanders (who beat us last time. Remember that one?) beat the same Thrashers that we couldn't beat.
  • The Carolina Hurricanes that we can't beat for no real reason just beat the Tampa Bay Lightning who we can't really beat either.
  • And the Dallas Stars who we haven't lost to yet are about 7 seconds away from taking out the Red Wings who we did manage to beat 4-2.
  • The Sens who we have beaten are tied with the Blues who we did eke out a win against after the second period. [crap, make that 3-1 for the Sens in the end]
  • And the hated Leafs who we have beat twice and lost embarassingly to once are beating the Avalanche who we haven't played yet. [Guess who won 7-4.... Oh yeah the Leafs]

Do we actually have a winning record against anyone? Oh yeah, we had one against the Panthers... Still technically do....Right.....

Curse? What curse?

It was a dark and stormy night as the man hurried through the woods. Cold and sopping wet though he was, he had more pressing matters on his mind right now. It was happening again. Signs of "the curse" were creeping up again. It was getting bad too... something had to be done. And soon. After a while, he spotted the path he was looking for. Admits the rain pounding down, the path looked to be made of small round dark rocks but in reality they were hockey pucks. Yes, this path lead to the Temple of the Hockey Gods. The place were numerous players, coaches and general managers had come to seek answers to their problems or occasionally just to say "thanks". And it was here that Guy Carbonneau was headed on this particularly yucky night.

Within a few minutes he saw the building rising up above the trees. Within another few minutes he was at the steps of the building. Not pausing to wonder why the temple looked oddly like the old Maple Leaf Gardens building, he hurried inside. It was dark inside save for the dozens of candles that were placed at random around the place. There was all kinds of stuff inside the building. There were statues of Saints scattered here, various trophies over there (you honestly didn't think that they kept them in Toronto did you?). Carbo could see that he wasn't the only one here. He was quite sure that was Craig Hartsburg standing in front of Clod Joolee-ehn (who else did you think the Bruins' coach was named after?), the patron saint of head coaches. And that was definitely Brian Burke have a ferverent conversation with the stone statue of Sam Pollock who was the newly annointed patron saint of general managers. And.... was that Tim Thomas doing some sort of weird ritual in front of the patron saint of goalies? It looked like he was flailing around like he did in nets.... Some people had all the luck....

Carbo quickly put those guys out of his mind as he had his own issues to deal with tonight. In a room off the the side sat statues of all the hockey gods. They were huge. It was enough to make even Zdeno Chara look like a midget. Carbo stood still and looked up at the gods. It was always a little awkward talking to stone statues but what choice did he have?

"Hi.... I think you guys might remember me, no?" he mumbled. "I was here after my team got booted out of the playoffs last year? Well.... I'm here because... how to say it? Um, there's been talk of a curse going around. Some people seem to think that the Montreal Canadiens are cursed. I was at first a little dismissive of the talk - you know, people talk a lot around Montreal. But you know things are bad when they're talking about a curse more than they are about Vincent Lacavalier, so I thought I'd come here and well... see if you guys would maybe like to stop cursing us?"

Even as he was trying to formulate those words in his mind they sounded stupid. But what else was he supposed to say?

"I mean.... it does seem a little like a curse if you consider it's been 16 years since we've last won the Stanley Cup.... That's a really long time in this city.... " he glanced nervously at the huge stone statue of Lord Stanley. "And... things were looking good last year. We finished on top of the conference when no one thought it possible. And then we imploded in the playoffs. I thought we did an okay job against Boston but then the Flyers came around and... what was the deal with Biron? He never plays like that! It was like had some type of supernatural abilities or something....And ever since then we've had trouble... We started great but then we fell apart. Our powerplay was best in the league and now it's well, crap." He couldn't help but look up at the god of powerplays. but the stone statue merely glared back at him so he looked away. "Our guys just can't seem to be motivated enough to play consistantly. We play well to some teams and like crap to others. There's no real way of telling when we'll be crap and when we won't be crap...I don't get what's happening. Any help?"

Of course stone statues aren't very good conversationalists so there was no response.

Carbo couldn't contain himself any longer at this point. "Why is that the refs are all conspiring against us too this year? WHY? They always come up with stupid reasons to give us penalties and it's killing us. How are we supposed to score when we're always a man down? And how come Boston is so darn good?" Now he had gotten to the real source of a lot of his angst. "How on earth can Boston have gotten this good so quickly? Why? We were beating them routinely last year. They were crap last year. What happened? Surely you can see why people think we're cursed? Powerplay down the drain, penalties by the dozen, penalty killing sort of working, players looking downright lethargic half the time.... and on top of that Boston is on top of the league!" By this point Carbo had sunk to his knees and was staring up at the stone statues of the hockey gods. "Why is this happening?"

Of course there was still no answer.

"What it is going to take to appease you?" Carbo asked. "Whatever anyone has done to upset you guys, I'm sorry. How can I make it up? Do you want Crosby? You can have him. Or Lang. Take Lang. Or Halak. You'd be doing all of us a favor if you took Sean Avery. " In the flickering light, Carbo could have sworn that the statues were glaring even harder at him now. "Please, I'll do anything if you help us. People are screaming for my head and it's not fair. It's not like there's nothing I can do to change all of this..."

Carbo paused for a moment. A sudden puzzled look crept across his face. "Wait a second.... I'm the headcoach here... Of course I can change it.....right? I'm supposed to be the guy in charge here. All this stuff can be fixed by me....of course....there isn't really a curse is there? This was your way of telling me that I'm supposed to be the won who can fix all of this, right?"

The stone statues didn't reply but Carbo could have sworn that their faces had softend just a little bit. "Thank you! I can fix this. I know I can. I can turn this team around and make it into a real contender for the Stanley Cup. Thank you!"

Carbo got up and left the room. On his way out Scott Gordon, headcoach of the New York Islanders entered the room. Now there was a guy who needed all the help he could get, thought Carbo to himself. Feeling oddly enlightened and even perky, he left the temple and returned back to his team.

Bring on the musical lineup again!

Just when I was beginning to think "Hey, Carbo hasn't moved around his lines" he goes and does just that. Granted, I was waiting for this to happen since Koivu and Higgins have come back. But I'm slightly puzzled as to why he's sitting out Pacioretty and O'Byrne tonight. I thought O'Byrne was one of the better player against Tampa Bay actually. And Pacioretty has been good with Kovalev.....Oh well. Brisebois is taking over from O'Byrne and Begin is back....I hadn't noticed that he was out before.... Oh well.... Hope they're up to it. I'm still waiting for the day when Plekanec takes a stint in the press box. Lineup should be:

A. Kostitsyn - Lang - Kovalev
Higgins - Koivu - D'Agostini
Latendresse - Lapierre - Kostopoulos
Begin - Plekanec - S. Kostitsyn

Brisebois is with Boullion.

And Price is in nets because... well, we just can't have Halak, right?

*sighs*

And yes, the Fed won last night. Straight sets. I didn't see the match - decided against it in the end - but from what I saw later and from what I heard, Roddick did really well. This is great for Roddick and if Davydenko goes the way of the dodo and the Frenchmen start to overachieve some more then Roddick can maybe make a bid for the no. 5 spot. He can do it! Bring on Rafa in the finals, I say! Well, actually... it would be nicer if it was Verdasco because he'll wilt completely but he has no chance of beating Rafa tonight...

About the mini controversy concerning the roof policy.....

I think that's really unfair of them not to close the roof before Serena played Kuznetsova. How much hotter can it get within the half hour or so their first set took? Surely they at least a feeling that they would need to close it when the players got on court? The conditions are completely different once you close that roof - and it was obvious that it was helping Serena. I'm not saying this because I'm biased against Serena. I would have said the same thing if it had been the other way around. When doing something like closing the roof can have such a drastic affect on the outcome of the match it should be done before the match. Not in the middle. They really need to come up with a more definite policy about this heat stuff. There were a lot of players who had to play through some tough weather and they had to tough it out. That's not fair.

Federer vs Roddick part 18

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tonight will be the battle of the semi-oldies as Roger takes on a rejuvinated Andy Roddick. As mentioned, this is their 18th match up with the Fed taking 15 of the past 17. If that sounds like Roger always beats Roddick it then you're right. He does. These guys have been playing each other for a very long time in tennis years. When you consider that A-Rod was the last person to be numero uno before the Fed took over, it's pretty cool that he's still around in the top ten.

I'm seriously considering watching this match at 2:30 in the morning. Federer has shown that that match against Berdych was a little bit of a blip and he's ready to go for Slam no. 14. Roddick though is looking really good too. I mean, this is the best that he's looked since... a very loooong time. I think Federer will still win but I'm hoping that he's not expecting Andy to be a pushover this time. Should be a good match.

Oh and A-Rod has this to say about the Fed "I was really happy to see Roger win the US Open last year. If I'm being frank with you guys, he was a lot classier in that press conference with everyone here than I would have been if I was in that position."

Enough of the obsessive behavior!

I came across this interesting news bit over at Dennis-Kane's blog and I found it really interesting. For those of you who don't want to click the pretty link I'll sum it up quickly. It's about a guy named Richard who, for the last 30 years, has been an avid fan of the Canucks. After the Canucks lost in spectacular fashion to the Sharks, Richard decided to call it quits with the team. Not because they lost necessarily, but because he felt that his emotional outburst at his wife following the game, was unwarranted. He felt that he was expending too much emotion into a sports team. He feels that it was time to step back and call it quits.

I found it interesting because I know that there are many people in this city who were like Richard before he called it quits. I will be the first to admit that I have at times gotten carried away with my emotions following a particular performance from the Habs. I think it's easier to get carried away in this city because there are so many enthusiastic people here.

You do realize that this is slightly unhealthy right? At the end of the day it's still just a game. Yes, I know that the Habs mean a lot more to this city than the Canucks will ever mean to Vancouver. It's different with the Habs. The Habs are a very big part of this city. The political and cultural situations in Montreal and Quebec have often thrown their mark on the team or vice-versa.

With the centennial year being this year things have heated up a lot here. If we were very interested in the Habs before, we're downright obsessed now. And this is what I want to address really. This obsession over winning the Cup this year and expecting this team to be more than it is.

The Habs are a good team.

We know. I know. You know. The guys on the team know. Heck, even my dogs probably know.

But the reality of the situation is that right now they are not the fantastically wonderful drop dead team that everyone seems to think that they should be.This team isn't going to turn into San Jose or Detroit over night. It's going to take time to build this team into something like those teams. They've got a lot of younger guys who can help build the team into a real contender for the cup in the future. It can happen. But not right now.

No, I'm not just saying this because I'm bitter that they lost. Again. In a stupid fashion for their third straight game.

I'm not saying that they can't win the Cup this year. Once you're in the playoffs anything can happen. The playoffs are a very different beast. I'm not saying that they're about to go on a 12 game losing streak either or that they'll just squeak into the playoffs. I think they'll have a good finish and get a good seeding in the playoffs. And they'll probably have a decent run at it.

I'm saying, we have to stop putting such high and unrealistic expectations on this team. And stop being so freaking obsessed.

The thing is, this whole centennial thing, while it's great and all that to remember your team's history, is sucking the life out of this season right now. The players, the staff, the whole organization are under a huge amount of pressure right now to win. Every single little mistake, every little bit of information that we get, every little aspect of the whole organization is being scrutinized to death. I’m sure that all this happened before but I think it’s intensified more now.

This obsessiveness towards the centennial year is keeping us from enjoying what's going on now. It's keeping us from supporting our team in the right way. Every win that they get is met with a sigh of relief and with the private thought that "yeah, they should have had that win anyway..." rather than a "oh yes! They won!". Every loss is met with huge criticism - and yes, there have been quite a few games that they shouldn't have lost but that's is a completely different thing.

It’s one thing to dream about them winning the Cup this year, but it’s quite another to take that dream and turn it into an obsessive thought that says that they have to win it this year or else they’re doomed for the rest of eternity. That’s setting up the dream of reliving all of our past glories into the nightmare of incredibly bitter disappointment if it doesn’t happen.

It’s killing the fun of the game. I’m not about to abandon my team. Once a Habs fan, always a Habs fan. But I just think everyone should stop the obsessive behavior. Take a step back and put things in perspective. If we’re not willing to at least see this as just a game, then let’s see this as a team who is doing well, better than last year, but who really shouldn’t be expected to bring home the Cup this year.

Heck with the predictions

I'm wrong AGAIN. Tsonga got mauled by Verdasco which will set up an all Spanish semi-final with Rafa.......Tsonga....how could you? Now I'm sad....

New predictions for the next couple of days:
  1. Federer beats Roddick in four sets
  2. Nadal beats Versdasco in straight sets
  3. The Habs play better but not amazingly well and eke out a win over the Panthers. Powerplay continues to stink big time....and the Habs can't put together 60 minutes of effort.....

Zap... zap... zappity zap....zap.......

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

That's the sound of the Habs as they lie sizzling on the ice after being zapped by the Bolts in case you weren't wondering.

What am I supposed to say here? That was a pathetic effort for the Habs. Again. I'm trying desperately to wrap my head around what the heck just happened here but my brain is drifting towards women's tennis right now. You got me. I'm watching one of my least favorite tennis players on the planet right now. At least the effort that Serena Williams is putting out is actually an effort. She may not be playing very well right now but she's trying.

I just don't get what happened here tonight for the Habs but from the outset it looked like this was going to be bad. I lost complete track of who scored for the Bolts and I don't care to go revisit it. But what happened to all that talk of playing a full game from the Habs? Eh?! Oh and staying out of the penalty box? I lost count of the number of times that the Habs ended up in the freaking box all night. You absolutely can't get anything going if you're constantly a man down...The thing I really didn't like was the Habs giving up. They looked like they were ready to quit by the middle part of the third period. This is really not the team that I like to see. It's sad and downright frustrating when such a talented team, like this one is, gets burned because they just don't bother to show up for whatever reason..... I could almost understand if the Habs were a bad team like... Ottawa.... but.... but..... Why do you torture me like this? Why? I'm not saying that you should win the Stanley Cup (which would be nice but I don't see it happening). I'm not asking you to blank Boston next week (the flailing goalie's team are just that good). I'm not asking for you guys to turn into a team like the San Jose Sharks or the Detroit Red Wings (because who wants to be the Wings when they lose to Rick Nash). I'm just asking for a good effort for sixty bloody minutes....Is that really too much to ask for? (apparently so). I don't care if Carbo thinks the refs are against him. Tough it out and don't do stupid things to get penalties anyway. The Habs could have won tonight. No, they should have won. Yes, the Bolts overachieved in the second period. But don't tell me that the Bolts get full marks for that period. The Habs made it easier for them.

I just hope that things change for their game against the Panthers..... Mind you, I've been saying and hoping for the Habs to do better for what seems like forever now....

.......I'm off to watch more tennis now.........

Bruins run by a Clod

Now before you jump down my throat for insulting the guy, you need to know that I'm speaking the truth. While I was waiting for the Habbies to play, I turned on the Boston vs Washington game. I wasn't really paying attention to the announces until one of them said Julien's name.

Only on... well, I was going to say Versus, but it goes for just about any station that doesn't have an announcer who at leasts knows a little bit of French. Okay so only anywhere outside of Quebec will Claude Julien be called "Clod Joo-lee-en". Clod? Look, I may not like the guy too much, but calling him a clod is going a bit too far, no? People.... It's "CL-oh-d ZHU-lee-eh". I should find a recording because my abilities to express sounds in a decent manner are non-existent. But still... Clod? You get Milan Lucic right but you can't say Claude??!!! That's just....funny.......

Sorry, I'm easily amused right now...... Clod........ Funny...... Yeah, I had too much sugar.....

In this case, being wrong is great

My predictions for the Australian Open have officially been shot down. Murray went out to Verdasco and now Djokovic pulled out against Roddick. So. That leaves Roddick to face Roger. The real Roger hopefully. Mr. no. 2 simply crushed Del Potro with a score of 6-3, 6-0, 6-0. I'm still waiting on the highlights but I'm putting credit on Federer for being great instead of Del Potro being bad. Tomorrow morning we'll see if Simon can stand up against Nadal (I'll say 'no') and if Tsonga can repeat last year's success (I'll say 'yes'). If the Fed plays like he should then he should be into the finals and then it's only a matter of beating Tsonga or Nadal.......granted, a very good looking (I mean playing-wise of course!) Nadal....and a still looking good Tsonga.....Blergh.....

Now if only my Habbies could be as good as Roger.....

These are two big points coming up people. We should have had at least two points from before the break. Tampa Bay has been on a roll as of late - sadly - and Florida hasn't exactly been dead either. In other words, the Habs need to stay focused and play 60 minutes of hockey... When they try hard they can beat almost anyone. When they don't everyone beats them. So people. SIXTY MINUTES. Please!!!!!!!

I'm not going to get into this one too much because every time I try Tampa Bay always plays better than they're supposed to - or the Habs just plain stink. So.... onto the prediction stuff....

A 4-3 win for the Habs. And I'll go as far as to say that Prospal gets a goal and breaks down completely into tears (you didn't think that I was letting that go, did you?). It' would almost be worth it to see him break down..... almost.....

Okay so my predictions stink....

Monday, January 26, 2009

I have visions of Federer sitting up in some fancy hotel staring at the TV screen gloating right about now. Andy Murray who? Mr. Supposed Favorite just crashed out against... wait for... Fernando Verdasco! Oh no, not Verdasco..... Well, I was sleeping through the whole thing but apparently Murray didn't do too well and Verdasco played really well and the Spanish dude took it in 5 sets. While it's kind of nice to see Murray out - okay, really nice - now I'm worried about Federer and maybe Nadal getting too easy a time of it. Oh well, we'll see. Verdasco will face Tsonga next while Nadal will take on Simon. If Nadal and Tsonga win then they'll play each other which could be interesting. The Fed will run over Del Potro and the defending champ will play the other Andy.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd

O'Byrne is back. The poor guys is best remembered for putting the puck into his own (empty) net when the Habs were completely underachieving against the lowly Islanders back in November. The Habs continued to be crap and ultimately lost the game in a shootout. After that O'Byrne sat out in the press box for quite some time before he was sent back to the Hammies to regain his confidence which I'm sure took a real beating. You don't put the puck into your own net like that without it being all over the place. And when you consider that you're a member of the team who suffers the most at the hands of their media... you're doomed. But anyway, I'm hoping that his confidence has returned to some degree. That incident was an accident. Stupid? Yes. Was it his fault that they lost? No. Here's hoping everyone has put it behind them and we can move on now.

If Carbo can be happy we can all be happy, right?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A very interesting probably quite unique thing happened tonight. Guy Carbonneau pulled a strange face. Later experts were to announce that after hours of meticulous research, they had come ot the conclusion that this strange face was indeed what most would define as smiling. Wikipedia says this: "Among humans, it is customarily an expression denoting please, happiness, or amusement". Yes, Carbo was smiling. Almost non-stop too. No, this wasn't one of his "Oh my god, I can't believe we just took another penalty that we don't deserve" smiles. This was definitely one of those "holy cow, this is freaking amazing!" looks. I've never ever seen the guy look so happy. Never. Ever. It was insane.

Anyway.....

I liked the game. I'm sorry. No, wait. I'm not sorry at all. I don't feel any shame in saying that I enjoyed the AllStar Game tonight. I think this city knows how to put on a good show and they did it. This is the only time ever that I can cheer for Alex Ovechkin without feeling guilty. This is the only time too that I will not hate Chara, Kaberle and Carter for playing for my least favorite teams. And this is the only time when I will cheer for Tim Thomas the perky and totally uncolour coordinated goalie. That should be the whole point, people. To see some of the best guys together and just skate around and scoring like there was no goalie in nets.

I mean it about the scoring thing.

Okay, so, this game was obviously going to promise to be a higher scoring game than some of the others that the Habs have been in when they play for real. You think a score of 6-4 and 6-5 is high? How about 12-11? Yeah. The score really did finish 12-11. In a way it's too bad that Price started off the game because I thought things were kind of slow at first. The players were probably still shaking off some serious nerves and the crowd was still trying to figure out the whole cirque eloise thing from the beginning. I would have liked him to be in nets at the end of the game when the crowd was really in it. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers or whatever. The first period ended with a score of 4-2. Goals came from Tkachuk and Marleau for the West while the wonderfully talented Ovechkin, Eric Staal, Kovalev and Markov (who took a pass from Ovechkin) tallied for the East. Modest enough score.

I think Giguere was happy to get out of there but I'm sure he couldn't have been happier than Lundqvist and Backstrom. The players made it very clear that they would do some serious scoring tonight and by the end of the second period the score was 8-8. Ready for it? Take a deep breath. St. Louis and Parise scored first for the East followed by two straight goals for the West from Souray and Boyle. Malkin got a weird one which dribbled past Backstrom while Nash came in put it past Lundqvist. Hejduk and Souray followed up with some more goals. Kovalev got a beautiful breakaway and scored. And Iginla somehow also added to the total and tied up the game at 8-8. Good thing the goalies don't play like that normally.....

So just how high was the score going to be? I was thinking like maybe 20-20 by the end *g* The players sort of decided that maybe they would try a little harder and keep the scoring down. I mean, how many 4 on 1 rushes were there? It was ridiculous by fun nonetheless. Shane Doan decided he didn't want to be left out of the scoring party and put the West ahead for the first time before there was even a minute in the third. Can we say "Thomas, you look horrible in nets the way you flounder around in there?" Heatley added a goal (boooo). Toews added another because like, that would be like, so embarrassing if he didn't score. We then had a 1o minute span of no scoring (*le gasp!*) which wasn't great because the East was losing. St. Louis tied it while Kane got a break away or something and put them ahead again. It was Jay Bouwmeester who finally tied it up and saved the East from total humiliation. There was lots of cheering actually. Everyone wanted to see Les Boys win it.

Just when you thought you'd had enough of the game, it was going to OT. Great. OT was great until the stupid referees called a penalty on... Komisarek. Like hello?! You don't call ANY penalties whatsoever throughout the whole game - mainly 'cause the guys were on their best behavior but really, there was some minor stuff that could have been called - and yet NOW with two and a half minutes left in OT you call a penalty? Give me a break. Amid all the booing, the West couldn't score - how is anyone going to score if Chara just stands in front of the net? He completely blocks it *g* So.....SHOOTOUTS!

Well, I guess in this case it wouldn't be a bad idea. I mean... just get a couple of goals in and it's over. I would like to say that I didn't care who won but that's a lie. I wanted the Habs err I mean, the East, to win it.

First up was Vinny who had been getting cheered all night. Sadly, he was one of he few guys not to score - which was incredibly sad because well, the crowd would have loved him to score - and what does he do? Shoots it right at Luongo. Okay.... Doan is next. I'm not terribly confident in Thomas' shootout abilities. It's tempting to say that the only reason why he's good is because he flails around so much that he's bound to stop something. I was almost surprised that they picked Doan to shoot only because they had so many talented forwards but then again, Doan was the one who routinely got past Thomas yesterday in the elimination shootout thing and he scored tonight. So Doan was probably the West's best hope and.... he doesn't score. Okay. 0-0. Kovy's up next. I was praying that he would get it in because otherwise this could have been a very long night for all of us. No hitting the post like you did in OT, Kovy! And what does he do? He puts it into the back of the net. In spectacular fashion too. YES! Nash is next. And he misses entirely. I predicted that we would see Kovalev (because he really can be good at this), Lacavalier (for crowd pleasing points) and Ovechkin (because he can score any way on any given day) in the shootout and yes, it was Alex the Great who finished off the shootouts. Yay! Game over. Habs err East won!

It was a lot of fun to watch, especially from the second half of the third period on. it looked like a real game from then on - minus the hitting. I don't think there will be another AllStar game quite like this one for a while. Like I said, the Habs put on a show, got to brag a bit about their team and their city and the city - minus a few grumpy writers - loved it.

The good
  • The whole thing? I just love the crowd getting excited about this thing. It would have been awesome to be there live.
  • The crowd booing Gary Bettman. Am I the only one who finds this guy kind of creepy?
  • The fans
The bad
  • Lacavalier not scoring. I mean c'mooooooon.....practically everyone else scored or at least got a point...Okay so Carter, Vanek and Kovalchuk were useless too but nobody cared about them....

FEDERER YOU IDIOT!

Seriously man! What was that?!!!! Dropping the first two sets - including getting your serve broke in the very first set - in a horrendous fashion and looking just as horrid in the first four games of the third set.....If I hadn't been so exhausted I would have stayed up all night watching you eke out a five set win. But I missed the rest of the match and had dreams of you losing in straight sets. On a day that saw another of the women's top players fall on the very same court that you were going to play on, and saw another top seeded woman almost fall, I had to ask: Was this court cursed or something? Jankovic lost to Bartoli in straight sets, Safina faced half a dozen (at least) match points against her but fought back from 2-5 to take the third set and the match at 7-5.

And YOU Mr. Federer, looked awful at the start. You dropped serve in the very first game, you got run around like a qualifer, you dropped serve again.... and you magically managed to break serve once but lost the first set anyway. What was going on? You seemed completely out of sorts and then you looked like your brain was getting your way. There seemed nothing wrong with you physically but mentally you were obviously suffering. Your body language showed a guy who upset more with himself than he was with his opponent. I mean, you both had around the same amount of winners but in your case, for every winner you had, you had almost the same amount of unforced errors. Not acceptable from a guy ranked in the top 10 and definitely not acceptable from the former world no 1. And you knew that. Those errors were what were keeping you out of this match at first. They kept replaying your mind and you couldn't focus. You came up with the plays to break serve but then you couldn't hold your own serve. It was awful.

But you pulled out of it because in the end, you knew that you weren't going to go out in the 4th round. You couldn't. There was no way that the papers were going to have the headlines "For the first time since 2004, Federer loses before the semi finals". So you pulled out a win. You deserved it if only because you hung in there mentally. And now I can rest easy for a little bit.


*coughs*

And just because I could Ovechkin's in the breakaway challenge for quite a bit....



You just don't vote against the guy with the hat.... you just dont...

Well, that was interesting

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I think I like this All Star thing. It's kind of fun. I wish people - including you guys who write for the papers here - would stop dissing the event. I mean, yeah, it's meaningless. That's the whole darn point of it. It's a meaningless FUN event. Let me say that again. The AllStar thing is a meaningless F-U-N event where most of the best players come together and do meaningless FUN things together in front of an APPRECIATIVE crowd. Look, is it sad that Crosby, Lidstrom and Datsyuk aren't participating? Well, as a non fan of Crosby, I don't care too much. And I couldn't really care too much if the other two aren't here either to be honest. Do I care that the Habs fans stuffed the ballot box? Heck no. If you're going to let the fans vote, you're going to get ballot stuffing. Don't try and tell me that the Pens didn't do it either. Bottom line is: it's supposed to be FUN and the only thing keeping it from being (more) fun is the people who whine about it.

Okay enough complaining.

Okay, so the cold weather outside was absolutely horrid so I didn't bother to lineup and buy tickets to go to all the stuff for the fans downtown (I know, I know. But I figured I wasn't missing too much) but I did get some pictures of the stuff outside- my fingers froze just trying to take the stupid pictures - and I blew some money at the gift shop (which got taken over with AllStars stuff). I couldn't help myself... I'm oddly drawn to the over prized merchandise that the NHL sells..... ANYWAY... the skills thingy was kind of cool to watch. I mean, I wouldn't want to watch them every week or anything but yeah....

My favorite thing was definitely the breakaway challenge. I think St. Louis had a couple of neat moves and I liked Stamkos' last one, and I'll biased and say that I liked Kovalev too, but I have to say that Ovechkin got my vote tonight. I'm sorry, but you don't vote against the guy with the hat, the glasses and two sticks. How can you? You want creativity? That was it. I loved it *g*

I know Price wasn't particularly trying tonight, but I'm hoping that it was mainly because everyone knows that it was a meaningless game and no one cares how many goals he lets in and not because he's ankle is still hurting him..........

I was going to say more but the Fed is about to play at a fairly decent hour here so I'm off to watch him decimate Berdych. In theory...

It's quiet...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happens when you can't watch too much tennis and the Habs aren't playing. It's borrriiiiinggg..... *sniffles*

Things you should know anyway:

  1. The Fed won in straight sets. So much for Safin giving Federer a run for his money.... He'll play Berdych now because poor Stan couldn't beat him....
  2. Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic got knocked out by relatively low ranked players. I saw some replays of Venus' match and I liked what I saw from her opponent Carla Suarez Navarro. I saw Suarez Navarro play today and I have to say she's pretty neat to watch. She's got a single backhand which you don't see too much from most players, she talks to herself like Djokovic and I had a reason why she reminded me of Nadal too but now I can't remember...I hope she does well in the tournament.
  3. Poor Muller got mauled by Del Potro. I was kind of hoping for something better from Muller but oh well....
  4. And you thought that the riots during the playoffs were bad here..... well, they still are and can't really compare to this but there were some rioting of sorts going on in Melbourne. Last year the event had a problem between fans from the former Yugoslavia. This year was not much different. After Djokovic played Amer Delic (who is Bosnian-American) fans started throwing stuff at each other outside the courts. Apparently one person was seriously injured after being hit by a chair.... Things had been heating up before when Marin Cilic took on Janko Tisparevic of Serbia earlier. After the riots here, I felt that it was just some people using the situation as an excuse to cause (creat?) havoc. People who do this type of thing don't represent the vast majority of the fans and they're bringing down the image of the whole event (and in our case, not just the playoffs, but the team and the city). I think it's the same thing in Melbourne. It's an excuse. The players don't hate each other. I know Cilic and Tipsarevic were both asking the crowd to calm down. The peeps at the Australian Open should be doing a better job with security here. They know from last year what could happen so it wasn't like they could say "hey, we weren't expecting that...." Please.... I've never heard of this happening in any of the other Grand Slams....
  5. The NHL has decided that it's fed of up guys pulling out of the All Star game so now they've come up with this rule that basically says if you don't at least show up to the event, you're going to get booted out of a game. While I see where Gary Bettman is coming from - I mean... while I guess it's nice for some people to see Martin St. Louis in the lineup, he's not exactly Sidney Crosby (who he just happens to be replacing) - I can see why players would want to skip it too. Ultimately I'd rather see a certain goalie stay out of the event(s!!!!) and spend the time recovering...

Perhaps I spoke too soon?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm hoping so anyway. It was announced this morning - probably while I was busy whining about the Habs - that Chipchura and Stewart have been sent back to the Hammies. I'm taking this as a sign that Higgy is coming back after the break for sure. I can't say that I'll miss Chipchura too much. I was hoping from a little more from him but it just didn't happen. And Stewart wasn't around long enough to really be given a shot at it but that's not his fault really. It just happens. Well, anyway... this whole thing could be good. Or it could just plain fall flat on its face. I'm hoping for the former obviously. I'm als hoping that since there is some actual competition for a spot on a line, we will see the guys working harder now. We shall probably see some musical lineups happening again which should hopefully further get the guys to work things out quickly unless they want to be shuffled around and around and around and... okay I'll stop. I'm thinking that Lang will stay with the Kostitsyn brothers for a while at least and Lapierre's line will stay put for a bit. The rest? Well, we shall see.....

I'm thinking of braving the crowds tomorrow and just go downtown for the heck of it and to say I did it..... It's going to be cold...and wet....and mushy... and there will be a billion people... and I'll be all by myself.... Oh well... could be interesting....

Can we have Ovechkin?

And no, I'm not saying that I want him because he can score a lot of goals (although that would be a nice bonus). I want him because I like what he does for his team. I like the fact that he can light up his team and can inspire them to come back and win games (for the sake of this post, we're pretending that that little mishap in Sensville didn't happen) or keep pushing them forward to win When he isn't scoring, he's still almost always without fail out there doing something. Yes, the scoring is nice, but he would still be an incredibly valuable part of his team if he didn't score at all (we're also pretending for the sake of this post that he doesn't sulk too much when he doesn't score. It's called only looking at the good side of Ovechkin).

I want someone to step up and do that for the Habs.

Yes, I know we've had injury problems that has sidelined a lot of key players including Koivu. I know. But someone want to tell me how it is that even when the Habs were fine and healthy they were still losing stupid games? I think I've said before that it's what happens when the Habs aren't inspired that scares me. It's what happens when they take other teams for granted that has me freaking out. They get burned and they seem unable to get themselves out of the holes that they did for themselves. They could have pulled themselves out of that mess in Atlanta, and they probably could have at least made a better effort out of the New Jersey game too. I can accept losses. I have to. But it's very hard to accept losses when they come when the team doesn't play well for seemingly no reason.

Yes, some of the rookies that have come up have fired up the team, but you can't keep bringing new guys every eight games or so to get the team going (and let's be honest, that's about how long it takes for the intial high of being in the NHL to wear off). You need permanent members of the team to step up and do something.

It's not that they don't have guys that work hard. They do. Look at Lapierre and Kostopoulos (and Latendresse since he's been put on their line). Those guys almost always work really hard every game. The problem is, it's not rubbing off on the guys who have the more natural ability and talent to put the puck into the back of the net. Yes, Kovalev, I'm looking at you. And Plekanec too. I'd glare at Lang too but actually he has been doing well since putting put on the same line as the Kostitsyn brothers. And besides, at 38 Lang's kind of ancient (sorry!) and he wasn't brought into this team to be the top scorer. So even if I'm not a fan of Lang, he doesn't get glared at this time.

I was hoping that at least having Koivu AND Price back would inspire the team a little bit. But apparently not (actually, having Price back actually freaked out Halak so much that he completely bombed out in Atlanta). This is troubling. Both of those guys have been missed a lot on the team. They need those guys. But apparently them coming back wasn't enough to get the team going. It's tempting to blame it on the All Star break but I think that's pushing it. The Habs have not being doing well since losing to Boston. They eked out a win over the Predators, snuck passed the Sens after blowing two two goal leads and put up two embarrassing games in a row. You're telling me that these guys were already on holiday after losing to the Bruins? The thing is....Were those last two games just flukes or have we really gone back to the beginning of the year when the Habs just couldn't be inspired enough to come out and play hard every single game? What is it going to take to get these guys going?

I don't know and I'm glad it's up to Carbo to figure that one out and not me.

Oh and to make my day just great: I found out that the NHL has taken over the Bell Center and has plastered a huge poster of Crosby on the outside of the building. I have to keep reminding myself that it could have been worse and that they could have put Daniel Briere's face up there......

Well that sucked....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm trying to think of a positive to take from tonight's game but so far I'm coming up with blanks. I mean... there just isn't anything good to say about the game. Except for Gorges goal. Yay for Gorges. They never win when he scores. It's too bad because he never scores. And when he does, no one cares because the Habs lose. It's sad. And it was such a nice goal too. But other than that.... The Devils completely shut down the Habs offense (which looked a little dead anyway) while the Habs defense just got out muscled and out played. I can't say "Oh, Price was awful tonight" because I wasn't expecting him to be amazing on his first full night back (I still don't believe that he's ready to come back). He did come up with some big saves though so that at least was good. I'm still trying to figure out if the Devils were just that good defensively or if the Habs offense was just that bad tonight. I'm inclined to think it's somewhere inbetween. Either way, you still had a game where the Habs had very little in the way of decent scoring chances. Yes, they had enough chances that they could have converted, but they were quite few and far between for my liking. And the Habs just don't like it when they can't set up a good shot on net. No one ever said that the goals had to be pretty, you know. Just get 'em in.

I kind of feel like we're back to where we were at the beginning of the season where the Habs went a whole crappy session. Honestly, I was wondering if we were bound for an embarrassing loss or two after the Habs lost to the Bruins. Since that game, they just haven't looked good. We should be lucky that we've got two wins out of those games.

Am I worried? Honestly? Yeah, a bit. I'm worried because this is completely an attitude thing that can be fixed but doesn't seem to want to go away. I'm worried because the second of the season is where the Habs need to be on top of their game, every single game. Because they had issues in the beginning of the season they let a lot of points go that they should have had. And I'm worried that those missed points will cost them at the end of the season.

Despite the very tough schedule coming up next month, I think that the Habs can do it. They have shown that when faced with adversity that they can pull through.... The problem isn't when they're faced with a lot of adversity, it's when they aren't. And I'm just hoping that all those points that they should have had won't cost them in the end......

I'm also seething at the stupid Maple Losers. They had a chance to cause a huge upset over Boston tonight and make my life easier but keeping the Bruins off the points tally. But NO! The Losers had to go and squander a two goal lead in the third period and ultimately lose in shootouts. Oh and who gets the shootout winner? RYDER! Of course. I'm so upset right now. First off, my team loses. Second, my two least favorite teams are playing each other while my other loathed team is also playing - and beating the very same Thrashers that we lost to. And of COURSE it's the Maple Losers who give me one ray of hope that the Bruins won't completely run away with the lead but then they go and squash my hopes.

I hope the Habs are reflecting on the last week. I hope they're thinking about how difficult they're making their lives right now. Look, enjoy the All Star Game but remember that the event ain't going to bring the Stanley Cup home - for real! It's visiting righ now and then it's going to go away for a veeerrryyy loooong tiiiime if this type of play keeps up. I hope these games are burned into their brains and they do everything in their power to make sure it never happens again.

Yes, I'm very cranky right now. Sue me. And please sue the people who came up with Rafa's new look. It's horrid.

Someone hit Price upside the head. Right now.

Seriously.

Can someone tell me why the guy - who only two weeks ago was said to be still too injured to participate in the All Star game - is not only playing tonight and will be in the All Star Game on Sunday but is now also participating in the YoungStars game on Saturday as well? HELLO?! Look, I was in favor of him playing tonight if his ankle is truly okay, but I'm getting the feeling more and more that if there was no All Star thing then he would not be playing tonight or last night and would be sitting at home getting some much needed rest. Even Steve Mason is sitting the YoungStars game out and he would have been a real showstopper.

I understand that it's a once in a lifetime thing to be in the All Star game in your team's home city like this - and add the extra hype with it being in the centennial year, it's pretty big. I get that. But I would much prefer that the Habs rack up a billion more points and have a genuine shot at the Cup in June than have their great goalie be part of the All Star thing. I'm sorry.....If I was Price I would want to be in the All Star thing too. But I'm not Price so I can whine about him potentially getting himself injured again and having to sit out another three weeks or even more. And we all know that that would be awfu. If he gets re-injured or suffers another type of injury, I'm going to cry because we need him back in nets playing the best that he can. Which he obviously can't do if he's hurt.

Again, I get that he wants to play in it. But can I point out that this weekend the Stanley Cup is visiting our wonderful city. If Price goes down with another serious injury that could be the last time this city sees that Cup for this year and that's truly a tragic thought.....

On to the pregame ramble now....
  • The Devils are the winners of four straight games. Habs are the losers of one, the just winners of two others and the losers of a fourth against the Bruins.
  • The Habs still havent been able to beat the Devils this year. Maybe third time is the charm? Worked against the Caps....
  • The Habs need two points and the Habs need to not lose two in a row.....
  • Koivu is supposed to be coming back.
  • No word on who is sitting out tonight.
  • Price is obviously going to be in nets......
  • I will cry if they lose
So I picked up Twilight....

...and before I through the book across the room in disgust I noticed something. The author must be a Roger Federer fan because she describes him in the book. Look:

' "Hello," said a quiet, musical voice.

I looked up, stunned that he was speaking to me. He was sitting as far away from me as the desk allowed, but his chair was angled toward me. His hair was dripping wet, disheveled - even so, he looked like he'd just finished shooting a commercial for hair gel. His dazzling face was friendly, open, a slight smile on his flawless lips. But his eyes were careful.'

And I think there was a mention of the perfect teeth somewhere too. I dunno. I tossed the book out the window. But yeah.... Sounds like Roger to me! Poor Roger.... *g*

Speaking of Roger...
  • He won last night. 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 over Evengy Korolev. And looky at the shots he was making!



    I'm tempted to call him a showoff but I won't. He will now face Marat Safin who beat Guillermo Garica-Lopez. Federer leads 9-2 in his matchups with Safin - including a straight set victory in Wimbledon last year. Safin did win their last meeting in Melbourne though, in the semi finals in 2005, beating Federer in five sets on his way to finals and ultimately taking the title. Somehow I"m getting the feeling that Safin won't be winning here in Australia again...
  • Nole's looking better too, needed just under 2 hours to down Jeremy Chardy of France 7-4, 6-1, 6-3.
  • Roddick, Cilic, Del Potro, Wawrinka and Muller are through to the next round. Delpo and Muller will be facing each other. As much as I like Delpo, I'm still thinking that Muller can win. I liked what I saw from him during the US Open and I think he's one of those guys who really should be higher up in the rankings.....
  • David Nalbandian continues to underachieve and gets knocked out by a Yen-Hsun Lu. Never heard of him either. Actually, I lie. I think this guy beat out Murray in the Olympics. Whatever. Point is.... Nalbandian officially takes over from Alex Kovalev as the most frustrating player in any sport that I watch....And I seriously thought that no one was more frustrating than Kovalev.... Wow....I didn't see the match but from what I hear, while Lu did play well, Nalbandian had a lot of chances to take the match and he didn't.
Ramblings of the easily amused:

Josh Gorges got asked a pile of random questions recently. I died laughing at a couple of them simply because I'm easily amused. My favorites were..

Q. If you were a professional tennis player, would you rather play doubles with Rafael Nadal or Anna Kournikova?

A. Kournikova, no question.

Q. If you had two hours to kill, would you rather watch Bride Wars on wide screen or have dinner with Mikhail Grabovski?

A. I’d watch the chick flick. I think having dinner with Grabovski would be a little too quiet.


While I agree that playing doubles with Kournikova could be more fun if you're a guy, I have to disagree completely with his choice of watching Bride Wars over having dinner with Grabovski. He should take Sergei Kostitsyn along with him and then it wouldn't be so quiet anymore *g* Could you imagine what that would be like.....

So much for being motivated: How NOT to play

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I think Price is bad for Halak. And I think the Habs are allergic to playing bottom ranked teams. And I think I'm going to explode right now (which would probably make me the only one other than maybe Carbo who wants to go Jarrko Ruutu and bite someone).

The Habs simply didn't show up to the game tonight and Halak who despite all the criticism has been doing well, didn't look good tonight. It's hard to say just how much of an affect Price had on the whole game but look at it this way: Price is sitting at the benches for the first time since Dec 30. and Halak lets in two straight goals - whether they were his fault or not (I'm not blaming him too much on the second goal) they were still scored within a minute and whatever apart while he was in nets - in the first period and another one in the beginning of the third. He gets dumped for Price and the Habs get a powerplay. Within seconds Pacioretty scores and within another minute or so, the Habs have another goal. Granted it was a lucky goal that happened to bounce off the skate of Begin. But it was an attempt at a pass to Begin who could have maybe put it into the net. Point is, for a little it in the second period the Habs were trying like they weren't doing before. Was it because Price was in nets or was it because the Habs were playing like crap in the first period and they wanted to do something other than play dead? You tell me. Bottom line is, it didn't actually last and the third period went down the drain for the Habs and they lost 4-2. Cue the depressing music (I knew I got the soundtrack to "Defiance" for a reason!).

Oh, the one almost funny moment was a save that Price made when the puck bounces off his back and into the new pads that he was breaking in. For a moment nobody had any idea where the puck was. That should rank up there with...I think it was Sabourin who made this shootout save because the puck went up his shirt...

I really don't know what to say on this one (re: I want to forget about this one as soon as possible). They just have to stop not taking other teams seriously. It's killing them. The number of games that they've lost because they didn't show up to the game because they thought it would be easy are too numerous to list right now. It's pretty sad, really. I know the Habs can't win every game and I know that there will be tough losses. But I can't easily accept the Habs not showing up to the game and losing. I'll take five losses like the one in Boston over ones like tonight's. You may not be able to control what the other team does, but you can control what you do. You can control your attitude. You can control how much effort and emotion you put into a game. And for their sake, the Habs better put in a heck of a lot better effort tomorrow.

Oh and someone should tell Bettman that there should be a rule against teams in ugly jerseys and no fans winning.... The place was practically empty and I swear I heard more people cheering for the Habs than I did for the Thrashers. AND the Thrashers look about as good as Rafa did in Melbourne yesterday.... Normally I adore Rafa but this whole new look thing really stinks...

Around the league in about 2 seconds
  • Either the Penguins are completely under-achieving or else Cam Ward and the Hurricanes are seriously over-achieving tonight because thanks to a certain Eric Staal (gotta say, he's not my favorite of the Staal brothers *coughs*) the Hurricanes just won 2-1.
  • Caps and Sens are tied but I'm not holding any hope on the Sens stopping Ovechkin an Co. Even if Ovechkin hasn't score yet.... someone else will score....Update: Ah... Guess I got proved wrong here. Sens got a goal on a late powerplay. As much as I hate the idea of a victory for the Sens, I'm glad that the Caps didn't get anymore points.... it's good for the Habs.
  • Rangers won over Anaheim so they collect two points and put themselves up on the Habs by two points.....

I know the Thrashers are in like 29 place....

...Anyone want to reassure me that they'll actually play like a bottom ranked team and that the Habs will play like the top ranked team that they are? If anyone remembers, on Saturday, the Thrashers were the 7-2 winners over the Nashville Predators and the Habs were the 5-4 winners of a shootout win over the stinky Senators. Yes, I'm still griping over that shootout win mainly because I can't stand Sens fans gloating....Anyway, if the Habs learned their lesson like I'm hoping they will then they should take away two much needed points in regulation time without too much trouble. I'm trying desperately to ignore what happened last time these two teams met back in December. Habs were about 6 minutes away from a shutout and boom! Thrashers score three goals in under a minute and add another one later. Grrrr...... Too bad the same stinky Sens are about to give away two points to the Caps tonight...Boohoo....

Halak gets the start again tonight but maybe the Habs will be motivated to see the Price sitting as backup (apparently he's getting the start tomorrow in New Jersey)? And maybe just maybe the other guys will be motivated to get to work knowing that Koivu and Higgy will be around too?

Random notes on random things....
  1. Despite the truly ugly shirt, Rafa won against some poor guy from Belgium (who if I remember correctly, also lost in the Davis Cup thing against either Roger or Stan) while I was asleep last night. 6-0,6-2, 6-2. That's much better than his start to the US Open *coughs*
  2. Murray got it easy when his opponent retired after being down a set and a break. lucky Murray.
  3. Happy belated birthday to Mike Komisarek! He turned 27 yesterday and I forgot to mention it mainly because I only found out today *G* I find it hilarious that he's the same age as Federer and no one's acting like he's about to go off and die......
  4. Things are heating up here for the All Star thing. Despite contributing to the ballot stuffing (in all honesty, I think I only voted about 10 times in all) I wasn't that hyped about it but it's getting hard not to get a little excited about it. Okay chuck that, I'm really hyped about it. I intend on staying as far away from downtown as possible for the weekend - what? You think I'm taking out a bank loan to go see it live?! Yeah right! - but I'm still hyped about it. Should be at least an entertaining way to spend the weekend and it will at least keep my mind off of Roger and co down under for a little bit. Yay!

More random info

Monday, January 19, 2009

Can't help it....

On the Habs front:
  • Price is coming back! Finally! It feels like forever since he's been on the ice - no, I'm not dissing Halak at all. I just missed seeing Price. He should be playing in one of the two games before the All Star thingy and sitting as backup for the other.
  • Higgy and Koivu should be back after the All Star thing. Good news for the team, obviously bad news for the Hammies who have been doing wonderfully.
  • Dandenault is skating some more. He shouldn't be back until February but seeing him skating is good news.
  • Tanguay should be back in February too
Update: Koivu and Higgins are making the trip to Atlanta and New Jersey. No word on whether they'll actually play though.

And today's lesson is:
  • Never ever stop watching/listening to a hockey game midway through. Even if it's the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues and the Bruins are leading 4-2 with a minute and whatever left in the game. Why? Because you miss the Blues getting two goals in - the second of which came with .8 of a second left in the third period - and ultimately beating the Bruins in shootouts. I switched to watch the Caps/Islanders game which wasn't nearly as fun as watching the Blues get those goals in would have been... Boohooo......
On the tennis courts... Italians make Roger and Nole cranky
  • Federer decided to go with the Novak Djokovic strategy of blinding your opponents with an awful coloured shirt and looks to be wearing purple for the entire tournament. Yuck. The colour didn't seem to affect Seppi too much though and he challenged Federer enough to make you go "Uh.... I hope this isn't a sign of what's to come". Federer won 6-1, 7-6, 7-5. Apparently Roger was just not looking too good out there for a lot of the match but after a particularly unpleasent mistake, he woke up and finished off the match. While it wasn't the resounding victory that would have been nice, it was still a straight set win.
  • Djokovic got stuck out in the hot Australian sun for two hours as he downed Andrea Stoppini 6-2, 6-3, 7-5. The world no 220 made life dificult for poor Novak, breaking serve in the second set at one point and actually having a 4-0 lead in the third set. Eventually Novak showed who was the world no 3 and defending champion and won the match in straigh sets. But still... I think this match will be one of those that you would rather Murray and Federer not see....

So I go away for a few hours and...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Andy Roddick's already through into the next round and the Habs send down Marc Denis. Well actually, I think I'm late to the party on the Denis news but whatever *g* As for Roddick...that was quick. He flattened his opponent, Bjorn Rehnquist - 6-0,6-2, 6-2.

I know I'm late with the predictions and wishes and all but I'll give 'em anyway before too many more people start hammering their opponents...
  • I still think that the top 4 will be in the semis. I know this tournament is rife with upsets but I think given how these guys have been doing and/or should be doing, they'll be in the semis.
  • Murray's making the finals and like I already predicted, he will win. I'm hoping to be proven wrong here.
  • The young guys like Del Potro and Cilic will make some noise.
  • Gilles Simon will be upset by someone
  • Tsonga won't be repeating last year's success
  • Richard Gasquet will continue to under-achieve.....
  • Nadal will be the last Spanish guy standing by the quarter finals
  • Nalbandian just might come out playing like he should be and start winning some good matches
  • Or Nalbandian will come out and be the biggest underachiever since Richard Gasquet and lose in the first round
  • Djokovic and Roddick will play each other again
  • Djokovic is going to have some serious issues. Mainly concerning his racquet but also he'll be having a hard time with the pressure of being the defending champion
  • Someone in the Djokovic camp will say something that will upset someone
  • Wawrinka won't be playing Federer. Sorry Stan!
  • Federer will get even more annoyed that he is not the undisputed favorite this time around
  • Federer will also display some emotion (oooo!)
  • The heat will get to someone
  • Gilles Muller is going to play Del Potro in the third round and give him a run for his money. I'm sorely tempted to say that Muller may just beat Delpo too....
  • David Ferrer won't be making the quarter finals
  • I will miss Federer/Nadal and Djokovic playing for most of the tournament because the timezone difference makes it impossible to see them
Habs sending down Denis means we will either see some really random guy come up and act as Halak's backup or else Price is actually coming back this week. I sincerely hope it's the latter.

Alright......I meant to mention a couple of interesting things about the Penguins before but I forgot... can you blame me?
  1. They blanked the Rangers today 3-0. Most accounts agree that the Rangers weren't very good today but Fleury came up with some good saves to earn his shutout. Penguins still haven't dumped their third jerseys and actually wore them today for their win....
  2. Penguins made a weird trade that sent Dany Sabourin, an AHL player (Ryan Stone) and a 4th round pick in 2011 to the Oilers for goalie Mathieu Garon. So drop an okay goalie from Quebec along with an AHL player and a draft pick for another okay goalie from Quebec? This is the part where I wonder why all the okay goalies seem to be from Quebec and what the whole point of that trade was..... I will ponder this more as I go to sleep and continue to dream of an incredibly lame Senators team inbetween thoughts of the Habs decimating the Thrashers.....Sounds like a good dream.... Bwahahahahaha......

OLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

[disclaimer: the following is the ramblings of an insane, tired, and extremely happy Habs fan. It may not make a heck of a lot of sense and it's probably filled with Sens bashing. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. And no, I'm not changing the title to "Olay". Pretend there's an accent on the Es]

What?

The football song is stuck in my head now.

This being the first ever time that I've gone to a hockey game - sad, I know. EP wants to thank her uncle for getting the tickets and putting up with sitting with all the Habs fan for the night - I was quite wrapped up in the atmosphere of the whole place - which was mainly Habs oriented - and so I kind of missed quite a bit the finer aspects of the game, therefore, I won't even attempt to break this one down properly. Go read the HABS papers or blogs for that. Buuuuut I can say that the atmosphere was really awesome. Gotta love us noisy Habs fans. We really know how to show the other team who's got the noisier fans *g* Even I - who really doesn't like to display a lot of emotion in crowds (which is technically the time to do it, right?) - was screaming and was tempted to sing even. It's a very catchy song you know. Oleee! Oleee-oh-leeee! Oooo leeeee!!!!!!!!!!

I can say one thing for sure about the actual game though: HOW THE HECK DID WE END UP GOING TO SHOOTOUTS AGAINST THEM??????!!!!! Oh god, I was screaming - which no one heard admits their own booing or cheering - when that goal came in..... I actually haven' got a clue who scored. I did have seats at the end where the Halak was for most of the night but I wasn't paying attention to who scored....Argh....That was.... ick...ick....ick... And it could have been less ick if the stupid Habs hadn't let a 3 on 1 rush happen for the Sens.

The downside to watching Halak all night was that I didn't get to see the Habbies scoring too well. BUUUUUT! I saw D'Agostini score and I'm happy for the guy that he got a goal (finally). Whoopieeeee! Oo and I did get a very clear view of Kostopoulos' goal....I'm totally not complaining that Elliot should have had that one.... I got a clear view of the puck sliding past that red line. Aaaaaaaaaand.... I got a clear view of Spezza and Alfredsson messing up completely in the shootouts which was really nice, but I wish I could have see Kovalev and Lapierre get their goals.

I had to keep sitting there going "Wow.... Halak is actually there..... I'm actually staring at the guy in real life as supposed to on a TV screen. And that's actually the back of Guy Carbonneau's head I've got a good view of....." It was really weird and really cool at the same time. I was prettying high up but I could easily see the bench. It would have been a downside to not being able to see Carbo go nuts in the third period but umm, I wasn't thinking about Carbo at all *g*

Okay look, I hate the idea that we had to go to shootouts against them. The Sens fans on the radio all acted like their team was great again. News flash people: yes, your team showed signs of brilliance (I said SIGNS) but evidently you all missed out on two things. 1) the Sens stank\ in the second period big time. You're lucky that the stupid Habs couldn't get more than 1 goal in on you! 2) the Habs did roll over and die in the third period, making your lives easier. Oh and to the people who think that the Habs fans should stop singing a "soccer song"... first off... it's a "football song" and second of all, what's the big deal if we sing it? It's catchy and easy to sing and we're just going to do it more if we know it bugs other people. You want us to chant "Sens Suck" next time? Oh wait, there were people saying that already tonight.....

So as you can see, I had fun. I'll take the Habs winning any way possible if it's in Ottawa and the place is packed with Habs fans. The Habs get two points, the Sens get to feel special for taking a point, the Habs didn't exactly implode entirely, it's all good... We know that when it matters, the Habs can pull the trigger and produce sixty minutes of brilliant playing. Now, someone just has to tell them that every game matters.... But like I said, two points is two points. Take 'em or give 'em to the Sens. And bring on a better effort against.... whoever is next! Atlanta? New Jersey? Forgot....it's almost 1 in the morning and my brain is shutting down!

Oh and... how come nobody told me that Stewart was getting a try tonight? I didn't know that he was playing until I saw him on the ice...... *dies* Oh well... Didn't he get an assist on D'Agostini's goal? Or at least bonus points for trying?

The gooooooooood -
  • HABS FANS ROCK. Sorry to everyone who thinks we're obnoxious...
  • HABS WON
  • Live games are fun
  • D'Agostini scored
  • Kovalev didn't hit the posts too many times tonight
  • Powerplay is still oddly alive despite some seriously stinking tonight... And no, I'm not getting into whether it should have been only 4-3 or not when Kovalev scored....
Baaaaaad
  • The noise...my ears are still ringing and my head is killing me....
  • people who drink waaay too much during the game.... yes, I'm looking at the Sens fans sitting next to me. Then again, I can forgive them. They needed to drink to keep their minds off of how icky their team is in general
  • Habs dying in the third period.... YOU NEED TO PLAY SIXTY MINUTES PEOPLE! SIXTY! And I said I wanted a resounding win!!!! I'm sure Carbo will agree with me!
  • Umm.... was that THREE goals in SEVEN shots you let in, Halak?! *sniffles* I don't blame you for that 3 on 1 rush thing but...but.... but..... *wails*
  • POWERPLAY for the rest of the game.... *kicks it*
Notes on the mind of a rabid Habs fan
  • Habs fans like to cheer "Go Habs Go!" before the Habs even come on the ice to warm up (you know it's going to be a looooong night when only a handful of people are in the stands and they're screaming "Go Habs Go" and there's still 30 mins till the players warm up even....)
  • Habs fans like to cheer "Go Habs Go!" at random intervals of the game
  • Habs fans like to cheer "Go Habs Go!" when the Habs are doing well
  • Habs fans like to cheer "Go Habs Go!" when the Habs are stinking
  • Habs fans like to sing "Ole!". A lot.
  • Habs fans like to scream a lot. Yes, you annoying kiddies who were screaming behind me! I was ready to drop kick you onto the ice but I figured as long as you scream "Go HABS Go" and not "Go Sens Go", you deserved to make some noise. And also, I was told that dropping things on the ice could get me fined or booted out. Too bad. I could have hit Spezza with a beernut thing....
  • They also like to chant "Sens Suck" (I refrained from that).
  • Habs fans don't shut up. They sing and sing and sing until they're out in their cars. And even then they continue as they wait to get out of the parking lot which almost resembles the traffic in the parking lot at my local shopping center...
  • You can't out-chant a Habs fan. Think you can get something going by saying "Go Sens Go?" Forget it. Habs fans will ALWAYS out chant you. They come back and shout at the top of their lungs to drown out any sound that resembles "Sens"
  • Habs fans like to boo. A lot.
  • Habs fans took special exception to the "Big Three" doing anything on the ice. Scoring, taking the puck, skating, breathing.... You name it and the Habs will boo 'em. Well... okay... maybe not the last two... or even three.... They haven't reached the "special" treatment class yet. You have to be Briere or Grabovski for that.
  • Habs fans hate the refs. Unless the refs are giving the other team penalties.... No, Habs fans don't care if it's a real penalty or not.
  • Habs fans are the best fans in the whole league ^___^
And because I like to: Around the league in 30 seconds... or more depending on how much you enjoyed the idea of Boston losing...
  • Yes, Boston lost. Amazing, eh? Okay so it was to the Caps.... Why can't a bad team beat the Bruins so the Habbies can move up in the standings?! I thought that Boston would win but they didn't. Hahaha.... Savard's goal in just under two minutes of the second period wasn't enough as Green answered a minute later with his 12th goal of the year. Semin would later add the game winner in the middle of the third period. No, Semin didn't get into a fight....And no, Oveckin didn't score (hmm?!). Caps had 30 shots to the Bruins 24 so I guess it would have been a pity of the Caps lost....
  • Carolina continues their downward spiral with a 3-1 loss to the Sabres. I continue to be surprised with how badly the Hurricanes are doing... I should get over it soon...
  • Thrashers earned a resounding 7-2 over the Predators. Yes, I said the Thrashers. No, I can't believe it either...And apparently 7 different guys got the goals.... weird....
  • Devils beat the Islanders 3-1..... Islanders losing is getting a little bit old now...
  • Tampa Bay wastes 3-1 lead and lost to the Panthers 4-3.... Fun....
  • Chicago slipped past St. Louis 2-1 in shootouts....okay?
  • Dallas squeaked by the LA Kings in shootouts.... more shootouts?
  • Ducks shot down Wild 3-0. Poor Wild!
  • San Jose and Detroit are currently 4-4 going into the third period. Sharks had 2-1 lead on the Wings before a scoring palooza in the second period equaled things out.
  • Some weirdos called the Montreal Canadiens beat out the Ottawa Senators in shootouts....*G* yes, I'm still gloating.... reality will hit soon enough so don't ruin my fun in the mean time.....

Okay listen up, Habs....

You need to win tonight. Okay? No "ifs", "ands" or "buts". You need to win and put this little winning streak of the Senators to an end. Right now. I want a resounding win that will show those Senator fans just how much their team stinks. Please, please, don't die on me just because the Sens supposedly stink. No one ever said that a team can't win 10-0. Seriously. My concern with you guys is that you won't try while the Sens will try really hard to get something going. I dont' want to see that. You have WAY more talent. And Halak can SO beat that newbie that they've pulled up. Just score, score, score, and keep Heatley/Spezza/Alfredsson away from Halak. And stay away from Ruutu unless you want to end up as a snack.

TEEEEEENNIIIIIIISSSS

While it was really nice to see Federer cream Wawrinka, I'm really tired now....But anyway, while I was either not paying attention or was asleep there's some good news on the Argentina tennis front:

1) Del Potro beat out Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-4. I actually saw about two seconds of the match but the point I saw was Delpo getting his serve broken...Apparently the first set went "Delpo breaks serve. Delpo gets serve broken. Delpo breaks serve again. And again. End of first set." Second set saw more breaks as Querrey broke twice and Delpo broke three times. Well, a win is a win but Delpo's going to need to work on holding serve.

2) David Nalbandian won! I was sound asleep throughout the entire match (hey, it was 3:30 in the morning for me) so I missed it. Amazingly, he kept his focus and beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-7(9), 6-2. Sounds like that second set was quite the barnburner. That's good for David and now I hope that he continues this good form into Melbourne.

Of birds on skates and a Swiss tennis star or two

Friday, January 16, 2009

Saw most of the Pens and Ducks game. It was quite boring for the most part - I almost fell asleep! Nothing exciting happened really until Malkin decided to get into a fight with I think Corey Perry, maybe not, I forgot, at the end of the game.I missed the first period but stats say the Cooke scored at 19:39 in the first period and only two penalties were dished out for fighting. I had to wait all of 23 seconds for the Pens to score again in the second. Giguere completely lost sight and control of the puck and pulled a Toskala move and got caught completely out of his crease. So the empty net was there for Cooke to take (yes, yes, Cooke scored again). Pens outshot the Duckies 10-7 but they only had that one goal. Getzlaf would get a goal in on Fleury on the powerplay. It happened to be the only powerplay goal of the game. Penalties were again even in this period (2 each) and again, the only goal was Getzlaf's. The Ducks really had no luck on scoring and after coming off a lame powerplay, they got further burned when the Pens got a third goal off the face off in the Ducks's zone. And that was it. Well, actually, the Pens had at least two really good chances to score when Giguere again missed the puck entirely and it very nearly went in. Staal looked completely screw up on getting another goal in a half open net but video replay showed that the Ducks got a very lucky break when their defenseman turned at just the right moment and the puck deflected (safely) away from Giguere. Lucky!

Yes, I'm aware of the fact that if I was a die-hard Pens fan instead of the casual fan, I would be jumping up and down at the win. As it is, I'm just really pleased for the team who just proved that they don't need Sidney Crosby for every game.

Around the league in 30 seconds

  • Blue Jackets lost 2-1 to the Devils. Apparently the game winning goal was just a tad controversial...
  • Leafs wasted a 3-0 lead and get thomped by the Thrashers 4-3 in OT. I hope the Hurricanes weren't watching that game.... Silly Hurricanes can't win against the Leafs...
  • Flyers eke out win in S/O over the Panthers who clearly stink in shootouts... Prospal didn't score so the Flyers were not treated to an insane victory celebration. Too bad.
  • And Rangers squeak by Blackhawks in OT. Oo...

Oh let him at least get a point, Roger!

Poor Stan. I felt so bad for him. Federer came out and demolished him in under an hour with a score of 6-1, 6-3. In all honesty, Wawrinka really only deserved to win one of the games. But ah well. Federer just looked really good. Granted, there was no pressure on him, and he was clearly the best player in the entire tournament AND he was playing a tired Wawrinka.... but still.... he looked good! Poor poor Stan though.... and he could be facing Roger again at Melbourne!

Quote of the hour: "I wish I could play him more often" Roger in his vitory speech after the match. Yeah, Roger, we'll pretend that you meant that in the "I want to play him more often because it's cool to play someone I know well" rather than "I want to play him more often because I know I will win every time" *g* He kept apologizing for winning in his little speech thing. Poor Stan!