Sunday, January 31, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside.......

And seeing that YouTube replay of Volchenkov colliding with Cammalleri did nothing to warm the cockles of my heart.  I'm of two minds about this team, if Cammalleri is out for a significant amount of time (and by the looks of it he will be) we're pretty much toast.  I don't know if that's a bad thing, at least we have a reasonable excuse.  I had hoped that  the weekend wins against New Jersey and the Rangers were going to be a turning point for our Habs, but the two losses in Florida dispelled that notion rather quickly.  The thing that bothers me the most with this team is inconsistency.  I want to get off the good hockey bad hockey roller coaster, it's starting to nauseate me.  I'm not sure what the problem is, for the most part our off season signings are doing their jobs.  Defense has it's moments and Andre Markov is not yet 100 percent.  There's no contribution to speak of coming from the third and fourth lines, and I'm not sure about the coaching.  I'm certainly no expert but I don't understand why Bob would hire a defensive minded coach and then go out and sign purely offensive players.  *scratches head*

When Bob blew up the team this summer it took me a while to get used to the new look, but I'm basically a positive glass half full type of person and all I really wanted was for the team to be better than last year.  I didn't have unrealistic expectations, I was hoping to finish 6th or 7th in the standings and get through a couple of playoffs rounds.  Bob would have had the season to assess the team and make some adjustments during the summer.  As we stand right now, I don't see us making the playoffs.  Maybe with the return of Andre Kostitsyn and depending on the severity of Cammalleri's injury we MAY have a SLIM chance. The only other positive is the teams we are battling for position are as mediocre as we are.

The only thing I'm sure of is after this season I DON'T want another year of crap.  I'm as loyal as the next fan but one decent season in seventeen is just not acceptable and from what I've heard from Geoff Molson it won't be acceptable to the new ownership either.  I don't care what it takes or who has to go to make this team competative and fun to watch again, please God just make it happen.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bits and bites.....

An interesting week in Habsland, we say goodbye to our "enforcer" big Georges Laraque.  According to Bob, he was a distraction and non-productive.  I have to admit after hearing that I was a bit skeptical, I mean after all, how much of a disruption could an animal loving, tofu eating gentle giant that rarely dropped the gloves be?

Last weekend, before the Ranger's game the boys were getting ready, doing the usual guy things; lacing up their skates, beating their chests and having burping contests.  While all this was going on, Josh Georges managed to sneak a photo of Georges practicing his yoga and made sure it made it's way to Bob.

And the rest folks, as they say was history.

So now the big question is, do we have the real Habs now?  If this weekend is any indication of what's to come, we could be in for a fun ride, I'll take a giant leap of faith and even consider putting the noose and stool back in the cupboard, for now.

Is Benoit Pouliot the fifty goal scorer we've hoped and prayed for all these years?  Are the hockey Gods finally smiling upon us?  If Benoit turns out to be the real deal, I'll seriously consider joining the church choir.  A little praying it forward never hurts.

So Mike and Max got a little chippy during practice this week.  This does not surprise me at all, in fact I wonder why it took so long. Mike Cammalleri has the eye of the tiger.  When he's sitting on the bench, he looks like a horse chomping at the bit, he can't wait to get back on the ice.  Having to watch Max doing piss all game in and game out would get extremely frustrating for a guy like Mike.  I know the feeling all too well, the same thing goes on in the business world.  You work your tail off and yet you have colleagues who just float around literally useless raking in the bucks and getting all the pats on the back.  Maybe it's just a coincidence but Max finally got involved last night and earned a buck or two.  Maybe I'll follow Mike's lead and drop the gloves tomorrow at our morning meeting.  It's worth a shot.

Halak is claiming his position as the number one goaltender.  What does Bob do, I don't see how he can keep both Halak and Price at the end of the season.  So, do you keep the guy who's been winning the important games and give up on a 22 year old goaltender who could have superstar potential?  A very tough call and a big gamble, Bob has his work cut out for him and better him than me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Desperately Seeking Sunshine........

This is by far my least favorite time of year.  Christmas is over, three long months of winter to get through before hearing the sweet sound of birds merrily chirping, a sound that I love because it's a sure sign that spring is in the air.  It's been a very gloomy and damp couple of weeks, not overly cold, but just grey and bleak.  The Habs dismal performance over the weekend did little to lighten my mood.  It's time for a pick me up.  A big dose of good old vitamin C, not out of a bottle or a juice container, but the real deal.  So I'm off for a long weekend in March to la la land (California).  It's been four years since I've been, I need my fix.  Sunshine, warm weather, the beach, my favorite restaurant and outlet shopping. Heaven.  And an afternoon  visit to the Honda Center to see my beloved hockey team suck in the flesh.  If you happen to tune in to watch the Habs play the Ducks on March 7th, keep an eye out for the nut in the Duck's Koivu jersey cheering the Habs. That lightly tanned, well fed nut with a smoking hot credit card would be me.  Am I there yet?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jack Bauer vs. Habs........

Jack wins.

Just in the nick of time too, saves me from watching the Habs tonight.  From all accounts, I missed nothing last night.  I'll watch the long suffering Jack for another year, because even when you  know how the season will end, it's mindless entertainment and a work of fiction.  Unfortunately our Habs are neither.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Out and about......

Mr. Moey and I dressed in all our finery for a night out in old Montreal.

Won't see the Habs tonight, we're going downtown for an afternoon shopping spree, dinner in old Montreal and overnight at a nice hotel.  I'll be  back tomorrow in time for the Habs/Rangers tilt. 

Just one comment about the Dallas game, is it wrong for me to want give Carey Price a hard slap after he gave up that first goal?  Deep down, I want Carey to emerge as the number one.  I would just like to see him have a statement game,  get a shutout Carey, that would be a good start.  Being a typical Habs fan I'm longing for a new Saviour.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Musings from sick bay..........

A couple of days of R & R for our Habs and for yours truly who is battling a nasty cold. We'll have a better idea of where we are in the standings by Thursday as the rest of the Eastern Conference plays catch up.

Okay, I'll come out with it. I feel more confident when Halak is in nets. There, I said it. This is in no way a sleight to Carey Price, but Halak is a couple of years older and manages to get the job done on a more consistent basis. We're in such a tight race for a playoff spot; you have to go with the hot hand. How this will all play out by the trade deadline will be interesting, but that's why Bob is the GM and I'm sitting here blogging.

To my shock and horror, I actually agreed with something that Mike Milbury said on HNIC. Ron McLean was making the usual excuses for the Leaf's woes, reiterating how the Habs beating them in overtime in the first game of the season destroyed their confidence. Milbury says "for thirty five games?" "You need a dose of reality."

Does anyone think that Brian Burke will make a play for Kovalchuk? He was being interviewed on HNIC and he states if he could make a trade tomorrow that would get the Leafs into the playoffs he would do it in a heartbeat. In reality, the only teams that should be interested in Kovalchuk as a rental would be a team that feels they have a shot at the cup, and that sure ain't the Leafs or the Habs. But with Burke you never know, what started out as a rebuild has now turned into a retooling of sorts.

Bob Gainey's comments were interesting last week. He considers games against more elite teams as tests. Does that mean he's making notes of our shortcomings to try and improve our team at the trade deadline? I wonder if a trade is in the works, I still think we need a power forward to improve our five on five, while others feel we need to solidify our defense. I'd welcome your thoughts in the comments.

I'll leave you with a couple of observations about the last of his species, to whom the almighty dollar didn't matter, only the love of his team, the now extinct loyal ex-Hab and my beloved captain, Saku Koivu.

"If only they could bottle the effort Koivu displayed and use that every time in their desperate bid to stay in the playoff picture", said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. Koivu scored a second-effort shorthanded goal in the first period. "That's the inspiration you hope that goes through your hockey club. You could feel it on the bench from our players," added Corey Perry.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In hockey limbo.....again.

Clicquot watching the Habs vs. Caps last night

Not a great start to the New Year for our Habs.  What I've tried to ignore is becoming increasingly apparent, we can't compete with the good teams, we can't score goals against them and we can't control the puck.  I thought with the return of Markov it would nudge us up a level but it's not looking that way.  We're boring, middle of the pack.  No different than any other year, with the exception of that glimmer of hope from the 2007/8 team.  I'm having trouble watching them, I get whiny, restless and fidgety.  There are no surprises on any given night, the best you can hope for is overtime so they can play four on four and maybe bag the two points. On the bright side, I have no expectations so I won't be terribly disappointed if we don't make the playoffs.  I'm not a big fan of clawing into an eighth position, I know it's the playoffs and anything is possible, but historically if you manage to get through the first round you're gone in the second.

This is my least favorite time of year, the holidays are over, it's three miserable cold months before the next long weekend.  I find it to be an endurance test and the older I get the longer it seems, the only bright spot was hockey.  Not so this year, however Jack Bauer will be back in "24" saving the world (well the USA which according to a lot of Americans IS the world) on January 17th, that will just have to keep me going until the spring.  Sigh.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Random thoughts.......

Caught a little bit of HNIC last night, specifically Don Cherry's segment, he was giving his thoughts on who was left out of the Team Canada lineup.  I was surprised to see our very own Bambi (MAB) on his list, his numbers are right up there with the likes of Phaneuf, Bouwmeester and Mike Green.  Who would have thought?  Not bad for someone Bob picked up at a hockey flea market for a bargain price.

If there was a ever a "good" time for Markov to be injured it was game one of the season.  Unlike last year's squad, there was no collective "we're screwed" mentality.  Not even Jacques Martin was aware of what Markov could bring to the table. 

I'm really sick and tired of the Price versus Halak crap.  Why are there two camps?  If Halak has a good game some people react as if it's a jab at Price and vice versa.  Here's a thought, they play on the same TEAM.  Personally I don't care if Mickey Mouse is in nets, it's all about winning games. 

I'm equally as fed up of the on going bitching and whining over Scott Gomez's salary.  He's here to stay, and yes he does need Gionta as his winger, just get over it people.  He was the lure to sign Gionta in the first place.  Gomez is a smart hockey player, Gionta knows his moves and where to position himself, Pouliot is proving to be the third man on what will be a very good offensive line. 

The giraffe (Gill) is holding his own too, he's great on the penalty kill, I'm tired of that bitch fest too.

John Tortorella's hissy fits don't seem to be helping the Rangers these days, maybe he should try a different approach.  Penguins are going through a mini slump and Sid had a hissy fit of his own yesterday.  The Kings continue to surprise, and much to my delight the Leafs lost last night, again.  Komo making Team USA's lineup tells me all I need to know, what an eye roller.  If that's their best........

Looking forward to see how we fare against the better teams, this afternoon against Buffalo will be a good starting point.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy (hic) New Year!

Yup, we drank the whole thing and then started on the wine.......good munchies too!  Didn't see all of the game, just bits and pieces, but from what I did see Jaro wasn't great.  But so what, we won it, I hope the Habs whooped it up last night and are good and hungover today.  I saw Bambi (MAB) and the giraffe (Gill) score and Yappierre dropping the gloves.

I'll check out the winter classic this afternoon, I'm officially declaring it couch potato day at Chez Moey's, we'll top it off with our annual New Year's day cheese fondue by the fireplace, accompanied with a bottle of fine wine of course. 

Back to work on Monday, it's been a lovely week off.  But no more depressing thoughts, our Habs are mostly healthy and in a playoff spot, a perfect end to 2009.