Friday, February 29, 2008

Canadiens @ Sabres

I can never tell if games against the sabres are actually exciting or if it's just the influence of Rick Jeanneret. Regardless whenever these two division teams meet it's always a good game. Both teams seem to always have a team with not too many stars and are fast-skating. Here we go!

First Period

The Habs are off to a good start when, a minute and a half in, Plekanec skated up the right wing and put it "where momma keeps the cookies" (top shelf).
The game has been end to end so far and i'll say it now and i'll most definitely say it again, Mark streit is one of the most undersung heroes in the NHL. Any guy who you can put on either the blueline or forward and he's effective is an absolute hidden gem. Midway through the period on a rush up the ice that looked to be broken up, Streit managed to steal the puck right off of Tomas Vanek's stick and scored a beauty. (Basically picture any goal scored when Sheldon Souray was defending.)

Buffalo didn't have a lot of shots on goal, but so far Carey Price is looking fantastic.

Second Period

Tomas Vanek made amends for his gaff in the first period with a powerplay goal five minutes into the period. Price couldn't be placed at fault as he made a fantastic stop on the initial shot by Vanek and did not have a lot of help from the Montreal defense. But the Canadiens would answer with their own powerplay goal when plekanec scored an almost identical goal to his goal in the first period, regaining the Canadiens 2 goal lead.

The game was relatively even until the end of the period when Streit drilled one in from the point on a powerplay. (Again, i must repeat... what an unsung hero.) His last goal came from in close to the net, and this one was from the blueline as a defensemen. However, it's not as though all is simple in the world. 4-1 is a dangerous lead... especially for the habs. I can't declare this one a win just yet.

Third Period

ok. so i won't lie. i did not see Andrei Kostitsyn's goal a few minutes into the period... i was still coming back from a second run to the liquor store.... so sorry, my bad. But... he scored, habs lead 5-1.

Sabres forward managed to get his team to within 3 but at that point, it wasn't looking promising. For once the Habs were showing no mercy and pressing despite their large margin of lead, because with 2:25 left in the game Sergei Kostitsyn put one in on a two-on-one rush to make it 6-2.

And 6-2 is how it would end... Montreal embarrassing the Sabres in front of their own crowd (although you could really say it was a half home game for Montreal judging by the amount of blue, white and red sweaters in crowd).

So far Price is showing that he's up for the challenge, letting in only 2 goals on 33 shots; and the team is showing that they're behind him, scoring 11 goals in 2 games.

little known fact of the day: Henri "The Pocket Rocket" Richard is a leap year baby (feb 29, 1936), making him 18-years-old today (i wish).

Ever felt like you shot yourself in the foot...

Penguins GM Ray Shero probably does. When i saw Hossa leave the ice I had two thoughts... The first, was a flashbacks to his days in Ottawa where he was "fragile" at best, constantly missing games for various injuries. I also thought, geez, the gamble was supposed to be 'will the pens lose Hossa to UFA in July'.

If you're behind on the news Hossa sprained his MCL (knee) in the game against the Bruins last night. (His first game as a Penguin.) Reports of how long the Hossa will be out ranges from a few games to the ominous sounding "weeks", but that report came from The Score sports channel, so i wouldn't put too much into that.
The penguins are finally coming near the end of a few long-spanned injuries that have plagued the team. Marc-André Fleury returned to NHL ice for the first time last night, it didn't necessarily go as well as planned, but he's back. Also Gary Roberts (broken leg) and Sidney Crosby (sprained high ankle) are reportedly very close to returning.

In other much more lighter news, a saskatchewan sawmill worker is now a millionaire, after he managed to get 15 goals, from the far blueline, in 24 seconds!! and he had a few seconds to spare. I remember a few months back when they opened up the random draw to have the chance to do this... Is that even possible? A big Don Cherry thumbs up to Darwin Head.

Carey Price
, the newly crowned no. 1 goaltender in Montreal has strengthened my position that he indeed is not human. That kid is as cool as a cucumber. Ridiculously long shootout? No problem. AHL playoff run? whatever. Expected to now carry the team into the playoffs with the lofty hopes of Montreal fans riding on his shoulders?
"It just means I'm going to be playing more," Price said. "You can't overburden yourself with the pressure. I thought it was going to happen eventually and it just happened sooner than I expected."
Somebody remind this kid that he's only 20-years-old! Price is expected to be in action against the Sabres tonight, 7:30 EST.

The Senators
fired coach John Paddock. Now i'm just going out on a limb here, but last time I checked Brian Murray didn't fix the goaltending situation in Ottawa at the trade deadline. And now Murray, who has taken over the coaching position (again) besides his General Manager duties can now expect to inherit the goaltending problems. Actually now that i think about it, i wasn't really going out on a limb. The Sens still have a playoff performer in Emery, who is not a team player. And a team player in Gerber, who seems to panic in the playoffs.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I spilled coffee all over my keyboard...

That is literally what happened when i saw the Huet trade pop up on the TSN realtime trade tracker. Yesterday was spent in an aura of disbelief. I had wanted my first ever post to my brand new blog to be reaction to TRADE DEADLINE 2008, but i couldn't bring myself to do it. I needed to sleep on it, mostly to make sure that this was really happening. Now i could be wrong. Perhaps Carey Price will rise to the occasion like a young Ken Dryden, or Patrick Roy... or maybe not. Considering Huet is for the most part the goaltender that has gotten the Canadiens into a position where they are challenging for first place in the Eastern Conference, trading him away for a simple second round pick just doesn't add up. The one redeeming thing is that the habs managed a 5-1 drubbing over the Hossa-less Atlanta Thrashers last night... mildly brightening my mood. Let's just hope that the Price we get for the playoffs is the Price that we saw for the World Juniors in 2007.

Speaking of Hossa! Can you believe how much the Penguins gave away for him? un-bel-iev-able. I'm certain it could most certainly pay off huge... My only concern is the departure of Colby Armstrong. Armstrong is a character player who had a lot of chemistry... not only on the team, but most importantly... SIDNEY CROSBY! I hope this works out for the best for them... and let's hope Hossa doesn't go packing to Free Agency at the end of the season.

And for the first time since the beginning of time a Toronto Maple Leafs game looks interesting. They are in Fort Lauderdale tonight to play the Panthers, where they will suit up against a couple former teammates, Chad Kilger and Wade Belak... fingers crossed that Belak drops the gloves.