Thursday, February 01, 2007

2-1-07: Penguins 5, Canadiens 4 (10 Different Topics)

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 Crosby, watch the dandelion-goalie. As he goes, so goes his team.

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.


Anonymous said...

re: don't fuck with Koivu...

Looks like someone's learning to appreciate hockey violence eh? haha...

Re : Crosby defensively... Tyler at has some great stats that show various teams +/- per hour of 5v5 icetime when a particular player is on the ice and when they're off the ice... needless to say the Pens are awful when Crosby is off the ice and actually pretty good when he's on.

There are very very few players who are good defensively at 19 years of age, at the very least Crosby is good defensively simply because he keeps the puck in the opposition end more often than not.

Sometimes I just like playing devil's advocate with ya....

Julian said...

Oh, and Re: The shootout... no, not "whatever", it absolutely, definitevly, is a horrible horrible thing. I ranted on it in my last post.

I'm not sure if you're actually indifferent towards the concept itself or just the result in this instance, I just wanted to get that in there.

E said...

oh julian, i don't think i ever said i didn't appreciate hockey violence. the fact that it occasionally makes me wish severe harm on total strangers is part of what makes it so interesting.

i forgot where it was, but i read something interesting recently about crosby that said he was actually quite fortunate to be drafted to a 'bad' team, because his talents stand out dramatically from everything around him, but his shortcomings don't seem significant, since so many of the players around him have even worse ones. but no, i doubt he's overall bad defensively, he just made some pretty bad decisions towards the end of the last game.

and about shootouts, you've got to remember that i've never known regular-season hockey without them. so they don't bother me to the extent that they do you. but i don't consider them a 'real' ending to the game. they're an unjust resolution, but not much in hockey is really fair these days.

Jay said...

Was...was that a reference to Aldous Huxley? Dear Vishnu, I think I love you.

But anyway, actual content. Crosby's play reminds me, in a roundabout way, of a kid I went to school with as a nipper. When we gathered for the lunchtime game of football, I'd generally sit in goal and scream at people to defend - his logic, however, was that as he was a forward, he didn't have to defend. I know Crosby's obvious more mature than that, but sometimes that's the way it seems, the "fuck it, someone else can take care of it" mentality.