1. On Shootouts: Whatever. Actual victory to the Penguins. Moral victory to the Canadiens.
2. On Tenacity: It’s hard to see your team 2 goals behind at 3 separate intervals in a game (0-2, 1-3, 2-4). But there’s nothing more wonderful than seeing them fight their way back from that kind of deficit. It really does feel redemptive, when the calls and the bounces and the odds and the momentum are all going against your guys, but they keep clawing their way back into it. In the standings, a point is just a point and they’re all the same, but we all know that some points mean more than others. This one meant a lot.
3. On Fucking with Koivu: Don’t do it. I don’t care what reason you think you have, don’t ever do it. Do not elbow him, rough him, knee- or head- check him. Do not high-stick him, slash him, or board him. Do not trash-talk him, sexually harass him, or give him the evil eye. In fact, to be safe, don’t even look at him in a way that might possibly suggest that at some point in the future you are considering the option of maybe in some way treating him a bit rudely. There is a special circle of hell that is exclusively reserved for those players who fuck with Koivu, and although I am generally a peaceful soul, I understand Souray’s desire to send them there with all possible speed.
4. On Special Teams: Since when do the Habs outplay anybody 5-on-5? And also, since when is anybody’s defense so bad that they give up 2 short-handed goals in the same game? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love short-handed goals, I leave hyacinths on the altars of the hockey gods and pray for short-handed goals, but really, that says more about the Peguins incompetence in certain areas than about the Canadiens’ talent.
5. On Radek Bonk and Mike Johnson: A while ago, Reality Check and I had a little exchange about Souray, wherein he said something to the effect that it would be fine to let these two go at the end of the season, in order to free up cap space to buy Shelly the crate of diamond-crusted pucks that it will take to keep him. I argued somewhat half-heartedly at the time, but now, I emphatically disagree. 2 points a piece, 3 of them goals, and the infinite pleasure of watching a pair of distinctly un-celebrity players make The Venerable Sidney look like a dork for 30 minutes is, well, priceless. Plus, there’s a sense of cosmic balance in the fact that the Canadiens’ best duo of the season is, for some reason, the guy with the most fun name and the guy with the most boring name.
6. On Sergei Samsonov: 2 points for him as well, and finally getting something for his effort- which yes, he has been making, for quite a while now. Take comfort, Jordi, hope is not lost.
7. On Sidney Crosby: Is he always this much of a defensive disaster? I assume not. 3 assists are great, more than great, but he came out -3 on the evening and was turning the puck over more than Rivet on his worst nights. A couple of moments in the 3rd you’d think he wanted the Habs to win. Also, the lad might want to curb his theatrical streak in future, you know, save the really stirring performances for the RBK ads.
8. On Marc-Andre Fleury: Screw
9. On The Penguins, Collectively: Glorious, shining streaks of offence, but still poorly coordinated, and absolutely no common sense. It’s rather an interesting formula for a team, actually: Take a handful of freakishly talented players, add a few solid, hard-working players, throw them in with 10 Epsilon-Minus Semi-Morons, and find out what happens! Am I starting to hate the Penguins? Only half of them. Guess which half and win a prize. Hint: It’s not only the Semi-Morons.
10. On Predictions: I’ve learned that whatever I predict about the Habs, the opposite will happen. They do it just to spite me. If I say they’ll win an upcoming game, they’ll lose it, and if I say they’ve hardly got a chance, they’ll win. I recently complained that they hadn’t been fighting for Ws, hadn’t pushed anything to overtime in forever, and then they come through with a battle like this. Even though it was a loss, I don’t think I’ve been prouder of ahbabi all season. Hooray for the absolutely freakin’ unpredictable Montreal Canadiens.