This was a game for drinking.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I don’t generally drink when watching hockey games. I know most people do, but most people can handle alcohol. I can’t. Drinking makes me sad, but sad in a very bearable way, sad in a meaningful, sing-the-blues kind of way, which means that if I know I’m going to be sad anyway, might as well drink and sing about it. Hence, this was a game for drinking.
1. Remember what I said yesterday about how the Habs can’t score when they get good goaltending? Well, tonight Halak was pretty strong, and they did nothing. NOTHING. They couldn’t even get anything going on the freakin’ power play, and they’re supposed to be good at that. To be fair, Thomas robbed them on a few really nice tries, but those tries were way too few and far between. Halak ain’t no Huet, but he’s sure as hell good enough to win with, and I wish the team could realize that. And the measure of how unpopular Aebischer is after last night’s disaster: a mid-game survey on RDS found that more fans (14%) want to see Leighton starting for the Habs than Aebi (7%). Ouch. For those of you who don’t know, Leighton is the guy the Canadiens picked up off waivers from Philly at the trade deadline- this season, he’s played for 4 different NHL teams and 2 AHL teams, and gotten exactly 5 starts in the big time.
2. I’m getting the feeling that Souray is a very unhappy guy these days. Recent rumors suggest that he might actually be willing to resign in
3. Can some charitable Habs fan out there explain Kovalev to me? And I don’t mean the standard he’s-mysterious-but-when-he-shows-up-he’s-great explanation, because I’ve heard that one all season, and I ain’t buying it anymore. Everyone seems to believe that he’s consciously choosing to be not good most of the time, and one day he’ll just choose to be good, and everything will be fine. Leaving aside the question of why anyone would want a player who’s going to choose to suck 60+ games a season, I’m sort of starting to doubt that explanation. I mean, I’m just speculating here, but what if he really isn’t as good anymore as whatever it is he used to be? Everyone is more than willing to believe that about Samsonov, why not Kovalev? Yes, I see his tremendous skills on display every now and then, but I also see them doing not much more than killing time most nights, and sometimes he’s just like a black hole in the center of the ice, sucking all the energy, light, and possibly will to live out of everyone around him. Look, I really don’t mean to run the guy down, but he makes so much damn money and people put so much damn faith in him, and I just need to understand why, because right now, seeing him on the ice just makes me, well, want to drink heavily. And use italics quite a bit, apparently.
4. Things I love about hockey: Latendresse, who in spite of his youth is one of the biggest guys on the team, gets into a little shoving match with some Bruins in front of their net. Immediately, Lapierre, Begin, and Gorges, all of whom are smaller than the kid, rush to the rescue as though he’s a little girl being mauled by wolves. There’s something noble (if a little misguided) about it, the way they try to look out for each other, even when it’s unnecessary and mostly symbolic.
5. You know what’s hilarious? When people try to body-check Chara. Lapierre tried to do it tonight and bounced off him like a little bleu-blanc-rouge Super Ball off a brick wall. I’m not sure Chara even noticed. Also, even though he murderized us tonight, I kind of like Thomas for his sheer stubborn refusal to look even the least bit athletic. It’s like the Bruins decided to put a big stuffed panda bear in goal.
Time to bust out my very best Janis Joplin impersonation- freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…. Can I just pretend that they’re officially out of it now? I mean, I know there’s still a chance, but it’s getting to the point where it really hurts to try to stay hopeful, because every time they pull their way up into a playoff spot, they just get knocked down again, and I’m starting to think they just look too tired to pull out any more miracles. There’s so much potential there, some of which they’ve realized at times this seaon, but it’s easier now to think of it as next year’s potential, even if it does feel like a little bit of a betrayal to do so.
I always thought it must be interesting to be the Flyers this year, just because they were so obviously out of it so long ago. It must have been horrifically painful at the beginning, to collapse like that, but the season reels on anyway, and I wonder if it doesn’t feel a little liberating after a while, to realize that there’s nothing riding on any of the games anymore. Maybe they can just play hockey for its own sake, no expectations, no consequences. Or maybe that’s just what I’d like right now, for there to be no more expectations riding ahbabi, no more demands, no more postseason-guillotine suspended over our collective heads. Just hockey.