Thursday, October 18, 2007

10-18-07: Senators 4, Canadiens 3

La Cage aux Sports has this promotion wherein they give away free chicken wings when the Habs score more than five goals in a game. Now, given the apparent scoring trends in the NHL as a whole, this isn’t the sort of promotion that’d be putting anyone, anywhere in the League, out of business. But given the apparent scoring trends in Montreal, I’m starting to think that La Cage is either going to have to lower its standards or deal with a yearlong surplus of chicken wings. Perhaps the Canadiens could have some sort of promotional charity event, giving away all the wings that have gone uneaten due to their lack of scoring.

1. This is an unusual recap to begin with a scoring rant. I mean, they got three goals, right? Three goals is kind of a lot for them, and given the depth of some of the droughts they went through last season, I should be grateful to have them. But watching them try to score these last few games has been excruciating, like pulling out your own fingernails with a pair of pliers. No matter who their opponent is, they seem to be putting in twice the effort for half the result, and that’s frustrating. It’s frustrating to watch and it must be even more frustrating to play.

2. Still, sometimes effort counts for something- Latendresse takes a random shot from a weird angle from the boards to Gerber’s right, and somehow, miraculously, it goes in for his first of the season. I have no idea how this shot went in. 99.999999 times out of 100, that shot does not go in. And Gerber saw it, he had it, and yet somehow it got through. They say that if you bang your head against a wall enough times, eventually it’ll go right through, and this shot proves that if you take enough freakin’ shots, eventually one of them will magically pass through the molecules of the goalie’s body. Anyway, congrats to Latendresse both for remembering how to take shots and being the fortunate beneficiary of an improbable occurrence.

3. We are now facing a challenge with the Alexei Kovalev Annoyance Scale, one that instructively elucidates the reason for the Scale’s existence in the first place. On the one hand, he did score the 3rd- and at the time, tying- goal in this game. On the other hand, he spent the previous two days creating one of his cleverly formulated whirlwinds of media bullshit.

a. Step One: Go to media, pointedly criticize mistake made by coach/management/other player (in this case, Carbonneau’s failure to call a time-out towards the end of the previous game). This step works best if your criticism is somewhat valid but not resolvable, either because it involves something nebulous and unprovable, or something in the past.

b. Step Two: Wait for media to go nuts with the quote.

c. Step Three: Go back to media, accuse media of misquoting/misrepresenting your statements. Get huffy. Threaten not to talk to media anymore.

d. Step Four: Repeat.

Yes, in case you didn’t realize, Alexei Kovalev is a shameless drama queen. Which is what makes it so, I don’t know, annoying that he can also be quite a talented hockey player. And given that it’s a scale of annoyance, not hockey talent, this whole scenario bumps it up to… 1! For now, we’re going to call 1 the annoyance level comparable to that one Kylie Minogue song what was playing all the time in every single public place for a month when we were in Malta.

4. It’s frustrating to note that this, like every Habs game thus far, was decided on a one-goal differential- and there’s nothing like constantly losing by one goal to make one feel all microanalytical of every single play. For example, RDS contested that Heatley should really have been in the box for interference at the time he scored his goal. Now, I’m inclined to agree with that, but it’s not usually something I’d bitch about since such things happen all the time in hockey games- sometimes in one’s favor, other times not. But in this case, I’m going to make an exception, and blame this loss on two people: yes, Heatley, because that was egregious and should have been called; and Kostopolous because oh my God what the hell did you think you were doing there? Were you trying to give it to Spezza? Were you? Were you? Look at me when I’m talking to you! Are you a double agent? Who sent you? If you just tell me who hired you, I promise, I can arrange for your extradition to a neutral franchise…

5. And in case you were curious, in his SECOND EVER NHL GAME, Carey Price was very adequate. Really, quite adequate. Totally sufficient. 14 different sorts of good-enough. But he still seems to approach professional hockey with a level of enthusiasm that most people reserve for macramé and acne-cream infomercials.

6. In other news, Souray-jaan does exactly what we were always afraid he would- gets in a fight and fucks up his arm doing it. There’s a reason we were always a little squeamish hereabouts when he used to ‘scrap’, as the colloquialism goes, and it’s not because we were afraid he’d damage his pretty pretty face. So many conflicting emotions. Should I be happy, that he got his big payday before this happened, but ahamdulillah he didn’t get it from us? Or sad, for both him and my Oilophiliac associates, that he’s not going to be able to play indefinitely and is still costing unholy oodles of money?

But back in Montreal, it’s another night and another loss, and not even an OT point to snuggle up to for comfort. Nothing to do but lie in bed, stare bleakly into the darkness and come to terms with one cold, hard, fact: we’re going to be paying for our own chicken wings this season.


Doogie said...

The only thing better than honey garlic chicken wings is free honey garlic chicken wings.

Remember when the Sens bumped their free pizza offer from five goals to six goals? Wonder if they've knocked it back now that League scoring has re-aligned itself with what we've come to call "normal" over the last ten years or so.

I would take hope in the fact that maybe now that Souray's out, someone will finally figure out that PPs work better when Hemsky-passes-to-the-point-the-SHOT (for some odd reason, I'm hearing Danny Gallivan's voice as I type this -- must be 'cause this is a Habs blog) isn't your only option. I wouldn't count on it, but there's hope. Also, maybe they can try letting someone else shoot. You know, more options to cover? Basic sports psychology?

Kaz said...

I guess Kovalev should learn to keep his mouth shut, but I wish the media and fans would let things be too. After all, the dude is on pace for 41 goals this season (can you project out 82 games after only 6?)