Friday, 3 April 2015

Game Seventy-Nine: Habs vs. Devils


Did Gomez score?! YES! Well, no. But he did score once in March!

Oh man, do I miss Scott Gomez. Those were the days, weren't they? Remember when our then General Manager traded an annual All-Star and future Norris Trophy defenseman (because, pfffft ... who needs those, amiright?) for a centre who was paid $7 million for each goal that he scored? We really screwed the Rangers. Glen Sather never saw it coming.

And to think, Sather still has a job, and the guy who made that brilliant trade isn't even involved in front office hockey operations any more! God. Life. It makes no sense.

Sadly, the Great Gomez is with us no more. No, he's taken his act on down the road, his latest stop in his brilliant journey is with tonight's opponents, the Devils of New Jersey.

It's been a rough year in the Meadowlands, no thanks to all the contributions made by Gommey. The Devils are on track to have their worst season record since 1989. Ouch. What a shame. The organization deserves so much better, what with how this team almost totally destroyed the game of hockey in the 1990s with its trap-and-hook system. And the fans! The loyal fans. The nearly 10,000 die-hards that pack the Devils 18,000 seat arena each and every game!

It's just not fair.

Oh well.

Speaking of fairness, things haven't been going so well in Habsland. After outplaying their opponents to losses the past couple of weeks, the Habs find themselves ever-so-delicately hanging on to 1st place in the Atlantic Division, one point clear of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tonight, the Habs will seek to reestablish some distance between themselves and Tampa for top spot, but they'll need to eek out a win against the Devils. Ordinarily, you'd think this a pretty straightforward proposition - given how low down the feeding chain New Jersey finds itself this year. But this Habs team, for whatever reason, has a pretty poor record against the League's bottom feeders, losing games this year to the likes of the Oilers, and losing almost every single game against the Buffalo Sabres.

And then there's goaltending. Carey Price, who looked rather ordinary last night, striking unconfirmed fear into the hearts of Habs fans that he's playing with an injury, won't start tonight. It'll be Dustin Tokaraski, who's only won 2 of his past 8 starts.

Fact of the matter is, Carey Price simply can't play every single night - his body, no body, can endure that kind of workload, especially as we near the end of the regular season. The Habs need a strong, rested, healthy Carey Price when the playoffs begin, and while winning the Division is nice, given the choice between first place, and a less than 100% Carey Price, well ... there really isn't a choice, is there?

Puck drops tonight at 7:10 EST. No live blogging for this one, I'm afraid, as I have a life. Not much of one, mind you. But I have to be elsewhere.

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