Sunday, January 25, 2009

The week that was....

Lots of things to talk about this week so I’ll get right to it.

Here’s my in-depth analysis of this weeks’ games,

Montreal versus Atlanta – yuck

Montreal versus New Jersey – double yuck, and in the words of Forrest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that”.

Musings …..

I really don’t know what to make of our team, some days I’m on a high, thinking they’re doing great and every other day I feel totally deflated. The inconsistent play is taking its toll on me. I know they’ve had a lot of injuries to work through and have weathered them pretty well, but in reality I’ve only seen them play about 5 solid games of hockey this season, is that all they’re capable of?

At the end of last season, they were really on a roll, but ran out of steam early in the first round against Boston. They finally managed to put Boston away in game seven and once again I was on a bit of a high, I was hoping they had their groove back and they would dispose of Philadelphia in five or six games, but they quickly fell back into mediocrity. Exactly the same pattern that we’re seeing right now, one or two good games then back to crap. Guy Carbonneau has commented that the team found it really tough going in last year’s playoff run. So is what we’re seeing this year some kind of strategy to conserve energy until playoff time when it really counts?

Obviously losing isn’t part of that strategy, but maybe putting in a minimum effort to win is. I really don’t know, but I’ll tell you one thing, if they keep this up they’ll be the most energized team come April and maybe that’s part of the plan. In the meantime, I would really appreciate just seeing them regularly play some decent hockey instead of the half assed effort that they’ve been putting out most of the time. Hopefully once Higgins and Tanguay return that line will bring some much needed spark, but I’m not holding my breath. Sigh, the agony of being a Habs fan…never a dull moment.

The Montreal Canadiens, 100 years, 100 stars -

I tuned into CBC last night for the one hour Habs special, it was well worth watching, I especially enjoyed seeing the old footage of Montreal, but being a lifetime Montrealer, it was also bittersweet; this city used to be hopping before the mass exodus down the 401 in l976.

In spite of that, the love this province has for our Habs has managed to transcend race, language and a city that has been plagued with political unrest for the past 30 years. That’s how important they are, the only thing that unites us. It was an eye opener for me realizing how far reaching that love is, the Habs logo can be spotted all over the world and it’s one of the few things that makes me feel proud to be a Quebecer .

Oh, and the one other thing this province has is great cheese, in my opinion the only city that can beat us is Paris. It’s a challenge when you travel, no Habs on TV and lousy cheese. This year I have a solution for our trip in April, I can tune into CJAD with my laptop for my beloved Habs (could be a Godsend, hearing instead of watching them suck is more palatable) and we’ve decided to pack a small cooler full of cheese to bring with us to the Caymans. I can picture it now, sitting outside our villa, looking out over the ocean watching the sunset, sipping on a glass of wine, nibbling on a piece of Pont Leveque, listening to my boys beating the crap out of Boston, Philly or Washington. Sheer bliss, it really doesn’t get any better..am I there yet??

The skills competition –

I was somewhat surprised that Vinnie got the loudest cheers from the crowd, even over Kovy and Price. Silly me, it’s Habs fans we’re talking about here, what kind of message do they think they’re sending to the current team? Not exactly a morale booster, that’s for sure.

I wouldn’t have voted for Ovechkin in the breakaway contest, Getzlaf would have been my pick, but I guess wearing a hat and shades gets you brownie points. Whatever. Gotta love that clip they showed of him giving out his cell phone number to the public, trying to get a date. It struck me that maybe he has to do that, seriously folks for all his talent and millions I wouldn’t have him in a lucky bag and I’m well past my sell by date. He’s in dire need of a makeover; he’s so unkempt he looks like a homeless hockey player. I wonder if he packs his gear in shopping bags. His jersey is half tucked in, even his bright yellow skate laces stick out like a sore thumb, and they don’t match his uniform. I’m sure he could spare some change to get a front tooth and maybe buy a razor. He should take some grooming lessons from Sid the kid.

The crowd still loves my boy Shelly, and really, what’s not to like? He’s still a good interview and he does seem to have at least a couple of brain cells to go along with his good looks. Too bad he didn’t smoke Chara in the hardest shot, oh well there’s always next year.

Kudos to Shane Doan on the shootout competition although I was rooting for Kovy. Tim Thomas is like an elephant in a china shop, but he gets the job done.

I’m glad Price just went through the motions in the sophomore/rookie exhibition game, if he re-injures himself he’ll be raked over the coals, and rightly so, it’s team first above all else.

The All Star game -

How much fun was that? A great venue to showcase talent, veritable dream teams.

I like the comments Claude Julien made when asked about coaching alongside Guy, he said they were having fun hanging out, but Guy kept his desk locked. I guess Guy was just being cautious, God forbid the enemy gets a peek at our playoff plans.

It was really neat how quickly our team gelled, I guess talent supersedes chemistry. Carey did an admirable job in the first, but it all went to hell in a hand basket when Lundquist took over. No worries, we still managed to pull it off. Kovy ! Kovy ! Kovy! has to finish his career here, leaving Montreal would be the end of him, I don't see him flourishing anywhere else. Who would have thought we would be cheering our arch enemy Timmy Thomas? Talk about fickle fans!


One last note ….

The inauguration of Barak Obama.

I saw him interviewed a couple of years back, he was being asked if he would consider running for president, naturally he wouldn’t commit to anything but I mentioned to my other half if he ran he’d have it in the bag. (If only I could pick lottery numbers with the same accuracy). He is just what the American people needed after the dark years of the Bush administration, a perfect example of preparation meeting opportunity. Godspeed Barak, serve your people well.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The week that was.....

Plenty of news this past week, so without further ado, we’ll start with Bob Gainey’s State of the Franchise address on Monday.

Well to nobody’s surprise Bob sticks to his old adage “the least said is the easiest mended”. (Good on ya Bob, the last thing some of these hopeless habaholics need is another drink). He seems happy enough with the team but is always open to improvements should the right opportunity presents itself. I trust Bob, simply because so far he hasn’t given me any reason not to, he has this team’s best interest at heart, so I have no problem with whatever changes he deems necessary to better our team. Maybe I’m following the yellow brick road, but I’m convinced that road will lead us to number 25. Was anyone surprised when he said that his greatest acquisition as GM was Guy Carbonneau? He neither confirmed nor denied the Vincent Lecavalier trade rumors swirling around this week, but now Tampa has stated that Vinnie isn’t going anywhere, so it’s turning out to be as my mom would say “a storm in a teacup”. The truth is out there somewhere, we’ll just have to be patient and see how it unfolds in the coming weeks.

Montreal versus Boston – I really wanted to win this game, it was so frustrating but I took some positives out of it, we outplayed them in the first period, started to slide in the second and in the third I just knew the AK46 penalty would ultimately cost us the game. C’est la vie, we’ll have another couple of chances to redeem ourselves. On a sad note, the days of blowing them out of the rink are gone, Tim Thomas has put a stop to that but we can always pray for a relapse.

Montreal versus Nashville – I would highly recommend this game for insomniacs, predators ? gimme a break, neutered house cats at best, maybe a little catnip dropped in their water bottles might have livened things up, it works for my kitties. That was some riveting hockey, NOT! Let’s just take the two points and move on, shall we?

Montreal versus Ottawa – I’ll bet none of you knew that CH also stands for Charity Hockey, our boys were feeling especially generous and decide to give the lowly Senators a break, 2 for us and 1 for you, I really can’t criticize them for that. It wasn’t a pretty win, but we really have to put it into perspective, we are still missing one full scoring line and the boys are still managing to pick up points. At this stage of the game it makes no sense whatsoever to nitpick players or play, we’re hardly icing the 2010 Olympic team or the Eastern all star squad, you have to try to keep that in mind and just be happy with the points.


A few last notes,

The Habs management has decided to fully disclose the details of long term injures to the public to stop the rampant rumors that were floating around, to me this just speaks volumes about the mental state of some Habs fans. The Habs really had no choice; they don’t want to be held responsible for the psychiatric costs in treating these people or in the more severe cases, the police finding suicide notes with a CH scrawled on them.

Kudos to Kovy for playing through the flu this week, it’s obvious that he takes his responsibilities as team Captain seriously, but is it appreciated by the fans? He’s been accused of everything from single handedly destroying the entire team to holding his line mates hostage. The thing that puzzles me about this logic is why haven’t the coaches caught on to this one man wrecking crew? Something to ponder people.

Carey Price really wants to play in the all star game, God love him. I liked what Carbo had to say to the media, if Carey can’t play in a regular game for us, he really shouldn’t be considering the all star game. Kinda like when you were a kid and didn’t want to go to school, your mom would say if you’re too sick to go to school you obviously can’t go to the movies tonight with your friends. Good strategy Carbo, subtle but effective. Pricey’s leg injury is starting to feel a whole lot better.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The week that was........

I've decided to do a weekly installment of "the week that was" in Habsland, a recap with general observations and musings. So let's get started.



Montreal versus the Panthers - we managed to pull out a win in the shootout, but it was a tough battle against those Florida boys. They certainly do their name justice, they are indeed cats with nine lives and they do posses feline characteristics; they are stubborn, cunning and persistant. A possible strategy before our next meeting with them would be for our boys to show them some hospitality and take them out for a big feed before the game and with any luck they'll end up curling up for a nice long catnap on the dressing room floor and we win by default. (Hey, in Moey's world anything is possible).



Montreal versus the Rangers - A good, solid and necessary win, our boys are starting to look like a real team, Langer gets a hattie. What a great signing by Bob Gainey, I really like Lang, he fits this team like a glove, he really looks like he's enjoying himself on the ice and with his teammates. He's now the team leader in goals, Mats who? I'm not concerned over future match ups with the Rags and I credit that to the famous (pass the tissue please) Feb. 19th comeback last season, I'm sure that also lingers in the memories of both teams, it's a clear psychological advantage in our favor.



Montreal versus the Leafs - quite the debacle, on the hockey scale I'll rate it as a five out of ten, but for entertainment value it's a definite ten plus. Okay, so maybe I'm shallow (no, I am shallow) but I enjoyed it, especially the part where Carbo grabbed SK by the scruff of the neck to keep him on the bench. I'm going to suggest that Carbo & Wilson invest in kiddie leashes before Feb. 7th, much easier to manage and control their young charges, and if need be they can tether them to the bench between shifts. Circle your calenders people, this is "must see TV" and I guarantee it will top Survivor in the ratings game. One last note, I'm not sure what went on between Grabs and the Habs, but it must have been bad, really bad because Gainey saw fit to hand down a "let the punishment fit the crime" verdict, banishment to leaf land, it really doesn't get any worse , does it?


Montreal versus Washington - Last night the Caps' bunny batteries seemed a little run down, good news for me because they usually give me a headache. Seriously, I keep a bottle of aspirin and a glass of water beside me for every Cap game, their endless energy and spunk leaves me cross eyed, especially that firefly Ovechkin, he's here, nope, now he's over there, oops, look out he's behind you.....I'm getting tired just thinking about it, our boys didn't have an easy task, try catching a fly with your bare hands sometime, but they managed to bottle him and keep the lid on, good job, all in all a great game.

A couple of side notes....

Jaroslav Halak needs to play regularly, he gets rusty when he sits too long and he always looks as nervous as a kitten, even his facial expression seems to have a permanent shell shocked look. I was watching him stretching in his crease last night and I could hear the roars of the crowd, immediately an old quote of Jacques Plante came to mind " how would you like a job where when you make a mistake a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo you"? Make that 21,273 people potentially booing you, (times have changed) and the thought of that has to be a tad intimidating for anyone. Contrast that to Pricey, whom I'm convinced dines steadily on a diet of eucalyptus leaves. Be a nice guy Carey, share some with Jaro, he and the fans will thank you.

And a big congrats to Breezer for placing fifth on the Habs points list for defensemen, I like you Breeze, in fact I've always had your back, even before you laced 'em up last season. You can buy me a drink sometime, or maybe ten.

So Carbo & Julien sharing coaching duties at the ASG, should be interesting and maybe a chance to give those kiddie leashes a test run (on each other) before the next leaf game.

So on to the big bad Bruins next Tuesday and hopefully the return of our beloved Captain. Should be a good one.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Resolutions.......

Ugh, it's that time of year again, there's always something we want to change or improve about ourselves and for most of us it's become customary to implement said changes at the start of the New Year. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, I'm living proof of that, but this time I think I may succeed. I have been carrying around an extra eight pounds that I've really wanted rid of for the past year, but of course always find reasons to put it off, I'll start next week, but it's vacation time, you all know the drill.



I was invited to a black tie wedding on New Year's Eve, which was pretty cool and more importantly gave me an excuse to buy a new formal dress. I scoured the malls and boutiques and finally decided upon a sequined, backless form-fitting black dress. Not bad I thought, pirouetting in front of the mirror, not bad at all, but in order to get a smoother look a few tweaks were in order. No problemo, I'll just get myself one of those figure enhancing contraptions that all the celebs use under clinging gowns, yup, that's the ticket.



Back to the mall on a mission and a budget, I figure a decent pair of pantyhose should do the trick, I check out various brands and voila, there they are, promising everything from stomach flattening, butt lifting, thigh taming to waist cinching, wow....instant Heidi Klum for $13.95! Great stuff, I head home really pleased with myself.



I take the pantyhose out of the package, no way, are these for a 5 year old? I check the sizing again, shrug and attempt to get them on. Ouch, they're squeezing my toes.....halfway up the thighs I had to lie down, I was totally exhausted, couldn't breathe and now breaking into a sweat, but I was determined and eventually prevailed. Great, a medieval torture device cleverly disguised as a pair of pantyhose, this was going to be a long night and believe me it was, we hadn't yet left the house and already I was dreaming of coming home and getting out of the wretched things. So I endure the cab ride to downtown, we arrive promptly in time for cocktails and hors d'oeurves, by this time I'm starving but soon discovered that swallowing and digesting was was not in the cards. I'm counting the minutes 'till midnight, and finally we head home. I can tell you quite frankly that getting those demon hose off was better than sex. Never again I vowed, those pounds are coming off.



We have an unfinished basement that we've used for "storage", in other words, it's an accumulation of junk over the years, empty boxes, exercise equipment, yard tools, furniture, old televisions long put out to pasture happily grazing among the wreckage, you get the picture. We start sifting and sorting and at one point I was worried we might actually find Jimmy Hoffa's remains, (we're not the first owners). The whole point of this cleansing was for me to create an exercise space that I wouldn't need GPS tracking to locate. We're slowly making progress and low and behold under a pile of old newspapers, magazines and cobwebs, there it is, my trusty treadmill, none the worse for the wear and tear, well to be really honest there really hasn't been a lot of wear. So I now have my little nook complete with TV, a small table and chair and I've scattered some small area rugs to give it a "homey look". I've hung up two posters on the wall, one of Saku, the other Kovy (no, they're not wearing thongs, they're in uniform on skates in case anyone is wondering) to give me inspiration, I've placed my little Habs piggy bank on the table and I've made a promise to myself that each time I exercise I will drop a toonie in as incentive. When I drop the pesky pounds, I'll buy myself a little reward.



Wish me luck, I'll need it but somehow I know the memories of those horrendous hose have been deeply rooted in my subconscious and will be the ultimate key to my success.



Happy New Year all!