Monday, 23 January 2012

Game Forty-Nine: Wings v Habs

Ohmygod, nothing is happening today. Nothing important anyway. Well, there's this gem from the G&M today about how the Habs can't win for winning because they went gone and started playing decent hockey just when hockey is about to stop for a ridiculous week to play a game this weekend that no hockey fan in their sane mind would give two figs about but the League insists on playing anyway because it's sponsored by a donut chain catering to people who have no idea what real coffee is supposed to taste like and it makes a lot of money off the people who are too stupid to know the difference between real hockey and fake hockey.

Bah. I hate Monday.

GNASH YOUR TEETH UPDATE: So the Bruins were honored at the White House today for beating the Habs in seven games Winning the Stanley Cup, and one current Hab got a pretty nice spot right behind Obama at the podium.

Really?? They ship guys off for uttering the words "losing mentality", but it's okay to the day off to celebrate championships with the most hated of the hateful opposition?

Yeah, none of what I wrote was reasonable. But man, I really, really hate Mondays.

HAR HAR UPDATE: So Tim Thomas, as was already reported in advance, refused to go to the White House event. Well *somebody* finally took notice of this (rude? obnoxious? crazy?) no-show, and now Thomas is preparing to put out a statement via his Facebook page (more traffic for Tim!! Buy his merchandise!!).

Com'on Thomas. You might not like the President, but refusing to go to an event most players would give their front teeth to experience makes you look like a dick of the highest order.

CRAZY TEA PARTY BAGGER UPDATE: Puck Daddy confirms what we already knew. Thomas didn't go because Obama is a Muslim-loving socialist pinko NASCAR-hating university-educated elite apple-pie killer leftist. And he was totally born in Kenya, you know? Anyway, Wyshynski says it's totally fine that Thomas thumbed his nose at the President 'cause, you know, he can! And besides, that awful Sean Avery went and stood up in support of gay marriage, so it's important that Thomas' voice be heard!! Fight the power, Tim!

So yeah. Here I had actually swallowed that bitter pill that represented the Bruins' championship win because I thought Thomas was a pretty decent guy. Now that taste in my mouth is all bitter.

STATEMENT FROM CRAZYVILLE UPDATE: So Thomas has posted (on his Facebook go there now and also stop by to pick up some fab Thomas merchandise, cheap!) his rationale for not going to the White House tonight. And it's just as kooky as you might have thought:

"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT"

Attaboy Tim. You show them who's boss.

DAY AFTER THUMBING YOUR NOSE AT THE PRESIDENT UPDATE: Here's a pretty thoughtful article by Joe Haggerty about Thomas' beliefs and ultimate decision not to go to the White House yesterday. Aside from outlining Thomas' ideology, which is pretty wacked out, it also drops a few subtle hints that all is not well behind the scenes with respect to cohesion and comradery within the Bruins' dressing room, where Thomas' relationship with his teammates seems pretty disconnected. His decision to upstage what should have been a great day for the Bruins hockey club, in large part to his own selfishness and stubbornness - well, that's not exactly the tone you like to set as you near the playoffs, eh?

ACTUAL HABS-RELATED STUFF UPDATE: Ryan White practiced with the club this morning, thereby giving him an iron-grip lead in the "who will return first?" sweepstakes over Andrei Markov. Anyway, he (White) has been missed, all due respect to Pettri Nokelainen, who's filled in ... admirably I guess, but not sufficiently. White brings a lot more skill and physicality to the table, and so I would expect the team as a whole to improve a bit once he returns (maybe next week?).

Also, the team spent an inordinate amount of time with shootout drills - which given our horrid record this season, is probably as sad as it is necessary.

STUNNINGLY BAD GAME-DAY STAT OF THE DAY UPDATE: In case you hadn't noticed, the Habs are on pace to win 15 games at home this season. Yup. That's it. 15. Are we all happy now?

JUICY TIDBIT UPDATE OF THE DAY UPDATE BECAUSE I JUST COULDN'T RESIST UPDATE: Tim Thomas on the way out? That's what the Boston Globe is reporting this morning, or at least seriously hinting that Bruins ownership ain't very happy with what's going on this week, and in the Bruins dressing room. Sweet!!

ACTUAL GAME-DAY UPDATE: Nick Lidstrom is apparently out with the flu, and won't play tonight. So there's hope!!

First Period:

- The big question is, are the Wings as good as, or better than the very impressive Blues? Either way a small-scale miracle is in order if Habs want 2 points tonight.

- Refs pretty much "lettin' 'em play", possible calls not being called.

- Oh that was a *great* rush by Gomez, and Bourque with a picture perfect drive to the net to put it home! But most credit has to go to Gomez for that one. 1-0 Habs.

- Eller with ANOTHER unnecessary offensive zone minor. When will this madness cease?

- Habs cannot afford to be undisciplined against the Wings. We will be punished. The Wings specialty team puck control is outstanding.

- Habs excellent kill, allowed Detroit to maintain possession, but kept it mainly to the perimeter. One bullet dodged.

- Wow. Is this happening? Kostitsyn does the hard work, Emelin with a bullet for his very first as a Canadien, and the Habs lead 2-0??!

- Another bad penalty, this time to Gill for a trip. Guys, don't blow this before the second period has even begun.

- With Emelin's goal, the only 4 Canadiens to not score this season are Engqvist, Price, Budaj and ... guess the last one. Go ahead. Just guess.

- Again Habs very good on PK, giving the Wings plenty of puck control, but not allowing shots to come from high percentage areas.

- Oh man, just about anyone other than Emelin would have probably scored from that position. Wings surprisingly sloppy, if not a big sluggish tonight. Maybe the Blues took a lot out of them Monday? Dunno. It's still very early.

- Oh P.K. Really? Right in front of the official with an elbow? You gotta think out there. You aren't.

- Stunned. Desharnais on a totally complacent Wings defense, the puck slowly drifts between the legs of Howard, and Habs lead 3-0??? Just. Stunned.

- Did the Wings come in thinking this was already in the bag? They've been soundly outplayed.

- Kostitsyn just beat three Wings in prancing to the Detroit net, nobody even tried checking him. What is going on?

- The route is own. Howard gives up a juicy rebound to Plekanec. I'm having trouble keeping up.

- Good grief. Gill came from within 2 inches of giving us a 5-0 lead with seconds left. I can't believe how good we look. I really can't believe how awful Detroit looks.

Second Period:

- Pacioretty now making it embarrassing. 5-0.

- The question now is, will Jimmy Howard inform Wings ownership he'll never play in Detroit again? #raiseyourhandifyougetthatjoke

- That last joke makes no sense, since Howard was pulled before the Habs could score 9 on him.

- Desharnais. Six. Nothing.

- Wings almost certainly figured they could go through the motions and still get a win tonight. By the time the cuts were made, the bleeding was too much to stop. Serves 'em right.

- If Gomez wants to finally score, tonight is as good a night as any. Should have stretched that takeaway for a breakaway, but (I guess) was out of gas at the end of a shift.

- Stupid All-Star game. Just as it started to figure out this winning games thing, the last thing this team needs is a week off.

- Safe to assume Subban has been benched? Hasn't had a shift since that terrible elbow minor.

- Wings (at least those who aren't going to Ottawa) are clearly thinking about the free weekend coming up. Pretty anemic PP attempt there.

- Taking bets on if Subban will get another shift tonight?

- Habs just standing, dumping, working the clock down. It's not going to be a lot of thrills and chills from this point out.

- Bourque set up Gomez perfectly in front of the net, but his stick was lifted and the last possible moment. And so it continues.

- Gomez scoring tonight would be terrible, because who knows how long it'll take for him to do it again. Let's save that goal for a game that's not already decided.

- The Subban watch continues. I say he gets a shift in the 3rd.

- The game is done, but Habs been a bit too lax now in coasting to the finish. Pick it up a bit, guys.

- There we go. First bit of pressure since Desharnais' goal.

- Zero shifts for Subban in the period. Habs six goals on 17 shots. Detroit probably playing their worst game of the season. Timing is great!

Third Period:

- I'm not gonna slag a certain Habs live blog which barely qualifies as a live Habs blog, but I just couldn't resist this:

- Subban starts the third ... on the bench. #subbanwatch

- There goes the shutout. Gomez with a lazy whiff of a check on Hudler. Hrmmm.

- Habs getting really lazy in their own zone, and Wings are kinda taking opportunity here.

- To scattered cheers (jeers?) from the crowd, Subban is sent on the ice. Yay. I got one right.

- Like I said, passive coverage is costing the Habs. Wings score their second. Wake up guys, it ain't over till that big clock reads 0.

- Dany Heatley, Ryan Getzlaf, Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Ryan Kesler. Pretty good group there. What do they share in common? They all have been outscored by Erik Cole this season. HT: Robert Rice @seriousfan09

- Cole deservedly gets a goal, just to rub in a little salt.

- Habs totally dominated the number one team in the League tonight. Granted the Wings came in going through the motions, it was still a pretty impressive team victory. Let's just hope the good play continues into the next week, and maybe then we might start thinking playoffs.

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