HAPPY WEDNESDAY. And thanks to the NHL not being able to get their labour agreements in place, that means we've got yet another hockey game. And then another one on Saturday. And then another one on Sunday. Thank goodness I have no life. But then you probably already figured that part out already, considering I blog every freakin' Habs game.
SO TONIGHT the puck drops at 7:00 p.m. in the arena somewhere way outside of the city it's supposed to represent, and we got Guillaume Latendresse (remember him? .... he was supposed to be the guy that Galchenyuk is now ... sheyah ... I know. You don't remember because it's all something we're trying to forget) and the Sens, who haven't beaten us in the past nine (can that be right?) games. It's true - unless you don't count overtime losses. Then yeah ... they've beaten us. Three times. But still! We've got Ottawa's number, and tonight, we be gunnin' for our fifth straight honest-to-gawd victory. The world's gone crazy, I tells ya.
Anyway, Latendresse has been pretty awful so far, but the Sens do feature the mighty Craig Anderson, who's never won a thing in his life, but is being hailed as this year's sure-bet Vezina winner, just like he was in 2008!
Soooo ... yeah. Anderson has a bit of a history being a little quick out of the gate, followed by a slow fade. Maybe that fade could get started tonight, ya?
So what else is going on. How could I forget? TSN via the Canadian Press, had a nifty little piece yesterday that somehow qualified as an article, stating that P.K. was getting the cold shoulder from his teammates. Looks like somebody from the CP was hoping to stir the pot with a little vigor. Keep working at it guys! Get them pesky Habs off their game and hope that this is finally the year where Leafs fans have a game to watch past the second week of April. It's gonna happen one of these years guys, don't worry.
Say. I'll bet you're wondering how Scott Gomez, with that spakin' new HUGE contract he signed with the Sharks, is doing, right? I know it's the last question I ask each night and the first thing I think about when I wake up. HOW IS SCOTT DOING?!?
Scott is doing just fine! Okay, so he hasn't scored a goal yet. But ... but ... BUT ... he has an assist! And even more importantly, he's found himself a valuable role for his team. So awesome. Seven hundred thousand dollars a year to sit in a box for somebody else. That. Is. Sweet. YOU GO SCOTT.
Peter Budaj will start in goal tonight for the Habs. Enjoy it Peter, 'cause it's probably only gonna happen five more times the rest of this season.
- White went right for Zach Smith, right after Armstrong leveled him. Obviously there's some history between settled.
- As usual, a pretty big segment of the crowd in Ottawa are Habs fans. I'd estimate at least 1/4 (the tickets are more affordable, why not drive the two hour distance?).
- Phillips protesting a pretty clear-cut interference against Cole.
- Well that didn't take long. Pleks scores and Markov, who did a fine job carrying the puck towards the Sens net, just keeps piling up the points. 1-0 Habs.
- Prust and Neil square off in a fight that just wouldn't quit. Gonna be a fun game.
- Budaj gives up juicy rebound from high point shot, and O'Brien tucks the puck past his left skate. Hope you bet over for this one, 'cause I got the feeling there's plenty more to come.
- If not for Desharnais hustling back to cover the slot, O'Brien probably scores his second of the period.
- Budaj kinda just really stole one from Alfredsson there. Habs defense soft and sloppy more than once in the period.
- Emelin has been one of the big unsung contributors to the Canadiens' early season success, but he does tend to struggle adjusting to speedy puck carriers.
- Sens really taking some silly penalties here, Chris Neil, for the 5,000th time, not thinking before he acts.
- Chris Phillips a careless stick to Markov's skate. Take a time Therrien, get your very best out for the 5-3.
- Therrien not listening, Habs 5-3 advantage peters harmlessly away.
- Not wanting to state the obvious, having Subban in the lineup for 2nd line PP unit would be huge benefit. PP definitely not the same when Markov not on the ice.
- Ottawa most definitely toughest opposition Habs have had this year, but Canadiens are holding their own very well. Very close period, fully expect the final to be one goal margin.
- Artstrong doesn't possess much of a shot, probably should have passed off on a clear-cut 2-on-1.
- Desharnais trying to find the sniper in his former self. Still searching.
- Gotta say Budaj doing everything and more for a sparingly played 2nd stringer.
- Ryan White's penalty probably just saved a goal. Weird play there. Oops, never mind, Sens score immediately off the draw. 2-1. White stays in the box.
- This Ottawa powerplay is kinda firing on all cylinders. Habs simply can't find an answer.
- Yup. And there's another. And it's 3-1. And Budaj crashing back to earth.
- Habs have been picking up way too many unsportsmanlike penalties. Roster could do with some anger management sessions.
- Price may play yet. Ottawa now making this a blowout. Habs defense not sure which way to turn. 4-1.
- I think it's safe to say at this point P.K. will be in the lineup Saturday afternoon.
- Therrien really mixing the lines up, trying to get Eller going, trying to get something going.
- Habs started getting their act together last 3 minutes of the 2nd. Otherwise I think we can easily qualify that 20 minutes as a disaster. Can't win 'em all.
- Since this game is pretty much decided, we turn our thoughts to who sits on Saturday. Kaberle? Boullion? Or does Therrien go with seven D, and Eller sits in the pressbox?
- Anderson on Gallagher. Just not happening for the Habs tonight.
- At the very least, Cole has come out of his shell tonight. Playing like a madman right now.
- Prust two glorious chances this period, Anderson finding a way to keep it out.
- At some point, Anderson will return to earth. Tonight was not that night.
- Budaj doesn't quite have the same lateral movement as Price. Okay, it's not even close.
- A game to forget. Habs had their moments, but Anderson was pretty much perfect. Defense was way too soft in the crease, and Eller had yet another forgettable outing - he's struggling badly. Canadiens can provide their response, with Price in net and quite possibly Subban at the line, on Saturday afternoon.