Wait? What? Another win? Another big win? Holy shit, when did the Canadiens start being able to beat anyone by more than a one-goal margin? Oh yeah, last Thursday. Better late then never? Actually, I’m not sure, because it’s possible that late will end up being pretty much equivalent to never. Not that I’m complaining- you gotta take what you can get.
1. So, then, this is what they mean when they talk about Kovalev ‘showing up’? Pretty cool, I gotta say. But definitely not yet 4.5 million dollars worth of cool. Yes, he played fantastically tonight, but here’s a little perspective: tonight he got his 15th and 16th goals of the season, while Plekanec got his 19th and Ryder his 25th. So still not exactly a great value on the season- if he keeps putting in these kinds of performances such that they get into the playoffs, then maybe he can be forgiven. Maybe. Also, Kovalev was mic’ed for the evening, and dude is extremely, extremely talkative, but in an unexpectedly boring way- giving long lectures to his linemates about the sort of plays they might or might not be able to make, and what they could have done differently in X or Y situation. Sort of interesting, but honestly, I think I’d rather have listened to Komisarek spitting and shouting incoherently- that’s what hockey’s supposed to sound like.
2. News and notes: I ♥ Tomas Plekanec, but then again, so does everyone in Montreal these days- he, Higgins, and Kostitsyn are definitely The Next Big Thing. Actually, it’s interesting, because Carbonneau line-juggled everyone but that trio all night long in classic Carbo fashion, but unlike in the past, now everything he tries works. For months he would juggle and juggle and no one clicked with anyone, and now it seems like this assortment of forwards can work together in nearly any combination- not everyone scores, but no one’s looking bad. In fact, the whole team looks pretty good, the occasional stupid penalty or ugly turnover notwithstanding. It’s rather as if everything is just falling into place, and that’s good to see, although it may still be so late in the season that it won’t make enough of a difference in the end.
3. I think Ovechkin is very frustrated with life these days, and I certainly understand that, but really, that’s still no reason to go ramming Latendresse’s spikey lil’ head into the ice with his stick. And Komisarek really is sorry about the high stick. Really, really, really sorry. Looked like he was tearing up, he felt so bad.
4. Someone over at Habs Inside/Out comments that Halak looks like he’s in a trance through most of the game. My theory: you know how
5. You know what we need? For everyone else to lose more. That would be great.
So another victory, another 2 points in the right direction, but really all the Habs have done recently is prove that they are in fact better than the teams they ought to be better than. Tuesday will be critical- they’ve not played the Rangers well all season, and they’ve got to make the most out of the 3 remaining games they’ve got against teams in direct competition with them for playoff position (Rangers, Rangers, Leafs). Of course, everybody knows all this, but I’m trying to grasp here the essence of hockey commentary: point out something obvious with an attitude of expertise, insert the word ‘huge’ or variation thereof, and repeat often.
Tuesday’s game will be huge. Huge I say!