Go on. Say it. What was there not to like? The Habs squashed the Leafs. Halak was good. Ron Wilson looked ready to go off and die….
Oh, you thought I was talking about the Penguins/Predators game? Well, that was awful, yes. Pens should never have allowed 5 consecutive and completely unanswered goals against them. Sheesh.
As the NHL site thing so nicely put it “six different Canadiens found the back of the net en route to a chippy 6-2 dismantling of the Maple Leafs”. Chippy? Is that like perky? Yeah, I guess someone was perky after that totally nice game.
Okay fine. So the penalties sucked. The fact that the second period dragged on for twice as long was annoying beyond belief and was making me wonder if all this effort was worth it – especially for the Leafs who were just delaying their inevitable defeat. And what’s the deal with Sergei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski? I thought the whole thing with Malkin and Ovechkin was silly but this definitely tops that. Almost makes you want to speak Belorussian so you can know what insults they’re throwing at each other. Almost. But the important stuff is that 1) the Habs squashed the Leafs. 2) they did it with Halak in nets and 3) Ron Wilson looked ready to go off and die.
Let’s start from the beginning, yes? The game got started oh so late because the Habbies decided that they wanted to honor the long standing rivalry that the two teams had. Lots of nice applause, especially for Jean Beliveau. Very nice, yes, but can we please start the game now? We’re already running almost half an hour behind and I would like to go to sleep at a decent hour tonight!
I want to say that I love Toskala. He made so many errors tonight that it was impossible for the Habs not to capitalize on at least… 5 of them. I’m only slightly kidding here.
Sergei opened up first of many goals tonight when Toskala was caught half way out of his net trying to… I have no idea what he was trying to do, honestly. He was obviously paying more attention to Brisebois and Andrei but Sergei takes the puck which I think rebounded off of Toskala when Andrei took a shot at him and plonks the puck into the half empty net so nicely provided by Toskala. Oh and this was technically a powerplay goal by the way. Another plus of the night. Lapierre then took a stupid penalty for interference and the Habs were able to kill it. As soon as Lapierre got out of the penalty box he took a pass from Hamlrik and put the puck over Toskala’s shoulder. 2-0 for the Habbies. Unfortunately Weber was soon to take another bad penalty and within seconds of him being in the box, Kaberle rammed the puck from the blueline and put it past Halak. 2-1. That would be the last time until the end of the third period that the Leafs were going to score though. We’ll just pretend that it wasn’t Weber in the penalty box, okay? He wasn’t awful tonight. I mean.. he wasn’t brilliant beyond belief but what were expecting? The hockey gods in disguise as Weber? Jeez…. Anyway, at this point I was wondering how many times Toskala was going to provide the Habs with a chance to score a goal as he kept getting caught leaving half of the net open. Well, just as I was voicing my complaints, there was a huge gathering in front of the net, Toskala gets caught off balance again and Latendresse put the puck away. And that people would make it a lovely 3-1 going into the second period.
By all accounts the second period was a mess. Well, okay it started beautifully. Kovalev decided that it was high time to stop hitting the posts and he finally got a nice goal into the back of the net. Oh wait. He had one last night too. Maybe this is the start of something good? Anyway, it was nice. Anyway, after that nice goal, it became a mess. 14 penalties were dished out in all. Yes, yes, 7 each. Finger went off for roughing, after Boullion had gone off for tripping. They were followed by White, Blake, Plekanec and Sergei who all got 10 minutes for misconduct. I completely missed the big deal there. And they were then joined by Kostopoulos and Mayers who got into a fight and about two seconds later Boullion and that new guy that the Leafs got joined them too for fighting. Oh and apparently the Habs “abused the officials” at some point in there and they took a penalty for that. AND THEN! Grabovski went and took a high sticking call about thirty seconds after that. Just when I was hoping that the game would get back on track, the Leafs get a penalty for too many people on the ice. And guess what? The Habs scored on the powerplay. Lang does all the work getting to the net, he either attempts at a pass to Andrei or else he actually takes a shot at Toskala but either way, Andrei is right at the net by this point and the puck touches his stick as it goes. It wasn’t pretty but it was a nice goal to have. Oh and to complete the penalties, Latendresse took a hooking call with less than a minute to go in the second. Bah. In case you were wondering about Halak… he came up with some big saves in the second period. I think he’s looking good again.
After what could only be called an exhausting second period, things toned down a lot in the third. By this point everyone was tired and ready to go home and Toskala had been yanked for Joseph. In all fairness to Joseph, he did fair better than Toskala. Mind you, some of it was luck. Latendresse had a shot on a half empty net that rang off the post. So sad. Lapierre had a swipe at him which deflected off his arm or something. But guess who finally put the puck past Joseph? Pacioretty. He was standing in front of the net when the puck deflected off a sprawling Joseph and he put it nicely away. Okay so his stick also broke in the process but no one cares about that as long as the puck went in. Poor D’Agostini had a great chance a goal but got robbed when Mitchell took a swipe at him. Mitchell went off for slashing after that. Meh, they should have just awarded a goal to D’Agostini. It wasn’t like the Leafs were escaping with a win tonight. Poor Matt.
The end of the period was another mess and Grabovski and Sergei had another go at each other. I guess it was too much to hope for that they were just going to call it quits for the night. I dunno why Sergei got ten minutes for misconduct when it was Grabovski that was the one skating around swearing in some language or other – I wish that there were mikes down near the ice – and pushed the refs around. It’s kind of sad because there can’t be that many players from Belarus and these two end up fighting every time they see each other. Kind of sad. Kinda. Lapierre and some other guy from the Leafs were also sent off for two minutes for something. Didn’t matter. Stajan got a weird flukey goal in past Halak but no one cared that much. It was 6-2 for the Leafs and there was thirty seconds left. For Halak’s sake, I wish that the goal hadn’t gone in, but he really couldn’t have done anything on that one with a pile of people blocking his way. It was a minor blemish on an otherwise very good night for him.
The gooood –
- 6 -2 win for the Habbies. It was a nice way to avenge that embarrassing loss. I like the Habs when they are motivated. Can we be motivated all the time now? Please?
- Halak. You know the Leafs actually outshot the Habs 32 to 29? Now tell me that you still hate Halak. Go on. Just tell me also where you live so I can come and shout at you.
- Is it wrong to say that I take imsense pleasure in seeing Ron Wilson upset? I just do. I’m sorry. I can’t help it.
- I liked that six different Habbies scored
- again, the powerplay wasn’t awful tonight. 2 for 7 isn’t bad for a team that’s 27th in the league on powerplay goals… *coughs*
- I guess the Habs just couldn’t put up a repeat performance of the very disciplined play that they had in Madison Square Gardens? WHY THE HECK NOT?! It’s a waste of effort to get into fights with the Leafs. They can pick as many fights as they want. It didn’t help them one bit in scoring last night. Not one.
- letting the Leafs get two goals in. Especially that last one.
- that the Habbies didn’t win 8-2. They could have done it! I’m joking… 6-2 is still great.. but still… when I think of all the open nets that Toskala left for them…. oh man…. the potential to be an even bigger washout was so there….. *sighs*
- The Habs have now technically scored 18 goals in their last three games. I say technically because that one against Florida was went to shootouts. Although, I guess it still would count as six goals as Markov was the only one to score… hehe… Anyway,18 goals is a lot of scoring, yeah?
I got a proposal for Brian Burke (in all my grammticaly incorrect glory)
- Trade Toskala for a forward who can make it to the net and score. Oh and there’s no need to put in Curtis Joseph as goalie. You’ve got Luke Schenn who is clearly a heck of a lot better than Toskala is at keeping the puck out of the net. I mean c’mon… that goal would have SO gone in if the guy hadn’t been there to stop it with his foot…..I mean helloooo? Who’s the goalie here? Toskala or Schenn? ’cause if I remember correctly it was Schenn in the nets and Toskala looking lost again.
There was something else I wanted to say but my brain is dying right now and I can’t remember what it is…. but I do have to mention a couple of other things before my brain totally freezes…
- Nadal is out. Lost to a very chippy Gael Monfils. It was kind of sad but Rafa really got out of his comfort zone today. And a Rafa out of his comfort zone is a very bad Rafa…. Seriously… He made a lot of errors at really bad times whereas Monfils was the opposite. Errors, erros, errors, ooo big moment coming up! Time to get a winner! Also.. what the heck is with this shirt that Rafa’s been wearing in this tournament? It looks like something Federer would wear. I mean, look at it. It has SLEEVES! And a COLLAR. And funny STRIPES. The only explanation that I have is that Nike thinks that Rafa is Roger now that he’s no 1 and gave him the wrong shirt to wear. YUCK!
- Speaking of Roger and clothes…Have I ever mentioned how much I detest this latest outfit that’ he’s got? I hated since I first saw it in Shanghai and I still hate it now. Moving on… I was not a huge fan of that second set of Federer’s against Kohlscreiber or something that’s spelled similar to that. The first set was good for Federer and terrible for the Gemand but then Federer started making errors and the German dude started picking it up and the next thing you know, it’s 5-1 on in the tie break for the German. Well, Federer put to rest any thoughts that this was going to a third set and he started playing like the future no 1 that he is. So it was byebye Mr. German guy and hello to the semis for Federer.
- The semis will see Roddick and Monfils on the top half of the draw and Federer and Murray (who ran over some poor Ukrainian guy in the quarter finals). I think we’ll see Murray and Roddick in the finals. Boohoo…. Not that anyone cares about Doha. We’re all waiting for the Australian Open!