Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bears and bowel movements

Your mama always warned you...
Ahhh... the big, bad Bruins.

A team whose fans will urinate on you in the stands, or gang-jump you outside of the arena and kick you in the head and leave you lying bleeding and unconscious in the gutter if you're not wearing black and gold.

A team whose 37-year Stanley Cup drought includes some of the biggest, most spectacular meltdowns in playoff history, including the biggest one of all last spring against the Flyers. It's saying something for the choking ability of your team when you're able to out-do that infamous "too many men" game from 1979.

A team that waited until its best-ever player, Milt Schmidt, turned 92 before giving him the honour that he so rightly deserved the moment that he took off his skates for the last time: having his number retired. And then they made the poor guy do the dirty work and haul it up to the rafters. Poor Milt looked like his arms were about to fall off. Maybe they had him haul a few kegs up to the concessions once he was finished.

But in spite of it all, the Bruins head into tonight's game against the Habs playing some really good hockey. Tim Thomas has been off to an other-worldly start, though he got lit up for four goals last night by the Penguins. But his teammates came to his aid has scored 5 in the third period--on just 12 shots--to get not-so-tiny-Tim the victory.

Boston currently sits two points behind the Habs, with three games in hand. The Habs are coming off of an excellent home effort in shutting out the Canucks 2-0. With Thomas having played last night, look for Tuukka Rask to get the start tonight against Carey Price.

And in case you missed it, this morning the Habs traded defenseman Ryan O'Byrne to the Colorado Avalanche, where first indications are that he'll drop the "Rhino" nickname in favour of "Bigfoot". In return the Habs get prospect Michael Bournival, who's currently got 10 goals and 14 assists in 17 games for Shawinigan in the QMJHL.

Honestly, even a blind man could have seen this move coming. The Habs could use the cap space, and O'Byrne had been a healthy scratch since forever; even Ryan must have known that something was afoot when the photographer at the team photo shoot a couple of days ago kept telling him, "Number 20, please step back... back up... Ok, a little more..." 

Overheard in the photo lab this morning: "What? Traded?! Is anybody here good at Photoshop?"


Andre Markov helps P.K. Subban celebrate his first NHL regular season goal

Ok, at first I was bummed by having to sit in traffic, figuring that I wouldn't get home for the start of tonight's game. Then my wife called, asking me to get take-out, which meant that I definitely wouldn't get home in time for tonight's game. Thankfully, the Habs decided to reward my patience with a well-fought 3-1 road win against the Bruins.

The Habs did a lot of things right tonight, including using their speed to wear down a Bruin team that played last night in Pittsburgh. Their hard skating really started to pay dividends in the third period, when Boston couldn't find the energy to keep up with the Montreal forecheck.

More good:
  • Two power-play goals tonight, the first time since February that they've scored more than one power-play goal in a game.
  • PK Subban scored his first regular season NHL goal, a power-play one-timer from the top of the left circle. There'll be many more of those before the kid hangs 'em up.
  • Brian Gionta scored on a neat tap-in (the second PP goal) off a nice flip pass cross-ice feed from Mike Cammalleri, who had two assists on the night.
  • And for insurance, Scott Gomez rounded out the scoring with his first goal in his last 14 games. In a great second effort, Gomez made a nifty pass to set up a scoring chance, then headed to the net to pounce on the rebound and flip it high on Tuukka Rask, who bobbled the puck as it dropped over the goal line.
  • At the other end of the ice, Price was fantastic. He stopped all but one Boston shot, a Zdeno Chara seeing-eye wrist shot into the top-left corner past a hard-charging Price who came well out into the circle trying to cut down the angle.   

All in all, a terrific road game which was pretty much an extension of the effort that the Habs put up against the Canucks. After owning the Bruins last season with 5 wins in 6 games (Price going 3-for-3) they take the first of this season's series against a very hot Boston team to remain atop of the Northeast division, and remain third in the Eastern conference.

If the Habs can continue to roll out efforts like tonight's game, they'll do a LOT of damage.

Oh, and one more thing: Carey Price is looking pretty bad-ass with that Mo-vember facial hair.

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