Thursday, November 16, 2006

11-15-06: Carnivale!

Canadiens 3, Lighting 1

Senators 4, Sabres 2

Flyers 7, Ducks 4

It’s opposite night in the NHL! Forget everything you thought you knew about the season thus far, and make a bonfire out of all your predictions. Grab the commentators and analysts, gag them with their hideous ties, and lock them in the cellar. For one brief and glorious moment, all hierarchies are overturned and all statistical probabilities are nullified. The Senators beat the Sabres, the Flyers beat the Ducks, the Bruins beat the Capitals, and the Islanders beat the Stars. Tomorrow all the pundits will try to tell you that they saw this coming, they will try to convince you that all of this fits logically with their previous analyses. Don’t believe it for a second.

  1. The Habs game was, I hate to say, not the evening’s hottest action by a long shot. The Habs looked mostly good, not particularly flashy in general, but occasionally gorgeous. There was, of course, at least one egregiously botched play, and some moments of dear-god-please-please-please-don’t-have-depressive-episode, but in general I’d say their managing their condition well. Many fewer penalties, and amongst those few, some (in my humble opinion) were miscalled. Souray was obviously the night’s big news, but Latendresse got his in, which I think means now I’m going to start hearing him mentioned in the non-Montreal-based Anglophone media quite a bit more, because we know that the slightest hint of a teenager on a scoring streak gets them all hot and bothered. My sympathies to Johnson, though, who seems to be on his own streak of taking weirdly nasty hits- intentional and otherwise- from all opponents in recent games.
  2. I didn’t see all of the Sens-Sabres, since I was flipping to it mostly during intermissions and commercials of the Habs-Bolts game, but from what I saw it looked terribly dramatic. The great thing about hitting bottom is that you have nothing to lose, and crazed desperation actually seems like a good style for the Senators. It’s nice to see them finally not taking anything for granted and playing like they mean it for the full hour. True, it was probably driven by the fear of having eyes ripped out by the walking dead, but still, guys, way to stick it to all the chattering know-it-alls who’ve been getting off on trying to vivisect you all week. They may still be right in the end, but it’s gotta feel good to make so many people look so stupid in one evening. I can feel the waves of relief pouring down from Ottawa already.
  3. And honestly, if nobody saw the Sens win coming, even less than nobody predicted that the Flyers would smush the Ducks into paté. I hadn’t seen the Flyers yet this season, but I’d heard nothing but terrible things about them- too old, too slow, not ‘New NHL’ material. Going into this game, the only question anyone was asking was how badly they’d lose. HA HA. Actually, the commentary was hilarious on this one, because it was literally 4 guys constantly saying: the Ducks are going to come back, they’re going to turn it around, really, truly, Anaheim is playing better, look, look we have statistics that tell us they’re supposed to win this game… I got treated to 231 different reasons why the Ducks are the better team. Well, maybe they are, the numbers apparently say they are, but, seriously, Philly made them look awful, even when Anaheim was playing solidly, because, well, the Flyers are evidently capable of creativity. Though the victors did look hella exhausted by the end, and I fear for them in tomorrow’s game. Still, it was probably worth it.

So in conclusion, it was actually a pretty inspiring night in the world of hockey, one that suggests how early it still is in the season, how many games are yet to be played, and how much time remains in which anything can happen.

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