Keep Calm and Carey On
So another week of the NHL season has come and gone and in case you weren’t glued to your computer screen in search of Habs related chatter, tweets and articles; the Montreal Bias has got- to quote Carey - the fucking thing covered.
Things got going against the Bruins on Monday night and prior to the game some Habs fans were posting a video from CSNNE where they ask die-hard Bruins fans about their Stanley Cup winning squad. I love a good Original Six match-up between the Bruins and Lightning as well.
After the 1-0 Montreal loss to the Bruins, TSN 990’s Mitch Melnick got thinking that the Habs could use another piece of the Erik Cole variety.
One thing is obvious – again – after watching Erik Cole do what he could while the rest of the forwards were pretty much neutralized by Zdeno Chara and the Boston defense – is that the Habs, if they are to once again go through Boston, are going to have find another winger like Cole. Maybe not as talented but perhaps even bigger than Cole’s 6′ 2″. aron Pulashaj on the 4th line against a team like Boston is kind of useless, don’t ya think? Not exactly “thinking outside the box” but that’s what I’d be shopping for, without waiting until Boxing Day.
Meanwhile, Habs Eyes on the Prize’s Kevin van Steendelaar says that based on regular stats and advanced stats, the Habs played the better game against the Boston Bullies, the result just didn’t go their way.
The Canadiens dominated the Bruins for the majority of the game in pretty much every category; Hits, Faceoffs, SOG, Corsi, Fenwick, you name it.
But in a game where a single bounce can change the outcome, the Bruins got theirs at 15:41 of the opening period.
After the loss, in which the Montreal powerplay continued to not succeed, many were blaming the man-advantage for the Habs’ troubles. CTV’s Erik Engels may have hit the real problem nail on the head when assessing Montreal’s biggest problem this season; the lack of production from the “role players.”
Travis Moen has six goals this season.
Lars Eller, Mathieu Darche, Petteri Nokalainen, Scott Gomez, Michael Blunden, Aaron Palushaj and Andreas Engqvist are the members of the team to have played in the bottom half of the lineup. Among them, just Eller and Darche have goals this season.
And by goals, I mean they have one each.
Goals generated from the defence core:
Weber: Three goals, all of them on the powerplay.
Subban: One goal.
Gorges: One goal.
St. Denis: zero (obviously, he gets a pass).
Not that the team has to rely on all these players to score all the goals for the Canadiens. They’re generally not expected to score very much, if at all. But Josh Gorges’ overtime winner against the Phoenix Coyotes shows how far a little secondary boost can take a team.
Not only are the Habs not getting enough, they aren’t getting any.
Let’s acknowledge that the most important thing for the players listed above is that they prevent goals.
St. Denis: +1
Oh yeah, while the Bruins and Habs actually behaved themselves on the ice last Monday, some fans decided to disgrace themselves with a disgusting fight. Ted Bird weighed in on the fracas in his Bird Droppings blog for The Gazette.
In former Habs news, Chris Higgins is having a reasonable season out in Vancouver which could possibly have something to do with him drinking and partying a little less these days. The beer gut is certainly gone. Yeah, he must work out.
The big game was of course the Saturday night tilt against
Sidney Crosby the Penguins. There was plenty to talk about in this one, but the Max Pacioretty hit on Kris Letang stole the headlines from a controversial overtime winner. Some douches on Twitter thought they were hilarious and Andrew Berkshire from Habs Eyes On The Prize decided to call their dumb asses out.
It should be expected that any time anything remotely controversial happens, Damien Cox has climbed atop his pedestal to troll fans and then complain about the responses. Here’s a rule you should live by on twitter, if you say something stupid, expect stupid responses. Cox is a serial abuser of the format, constantly inflaming and challenging fans to fight, then blocking them at the slightest hint of disagreement.
Because of course, Damien, the hits were SO similar. This kind of simplistic, stupid analysis is exactly what’s wrong with media today. Cox displays he has absolutely no understanding of this situation or the one surrounding the Zdeno Chara hit of last year. And after getting shredded by a great many people smarter than himself, Cox fell back on the usual crap of the intellectually inefficient, “it was a joke, LOL”. Sure, Cox. That’s why you’re still beating the drum right now.
Along with Cox you have the normally intelligent and reasonable Jimmy Murphy from ESPN:
Hypocrite? Do we really need to tread over the Chara hit again? Do we really need to beat that corpse for media types with an agenda to show how wrong they are?
Good job Berkshire.
And obviously the talk got upped when Pacioretty was handed a three-game suspension for his hit on Letang. There’s plenty of opinion out there and it varies from writer to writer, tweet to tweet; but Leigh Anne Power from The H Does NOT Stand For Habs summed things up pretty decently.
Shanahan’s reaction underlines the need for all players to be responsible for what they do on the ice, and accept the consequences for hurting another guy.
This is where the NHL has a problem. While few will dispute that Pacioretty deserved a suspension, it’s tough to swallow when Boston’s Milan Lucic can run over Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, concussing him, and get nothing for it. If the league is to regain a modicum of respect, it has to be consistent in its discipline…
It seems, however, that in the analysis of the minutiae of every hit, Shanahan is losing sight of the bottom line. The question should be, “Did Player X hit Player Y in the head?” If the answer is “yes,” then it’s suspension-worthy. Shanahan, with his talk of angles of a guy’s head, which foot the player’s weight rests upon and perceived intent, is making these cases much more convoluted than they should be. In the case of Pacioretty, the player making the hit nailed his opponent in the head and, despite instant remorse, got a significant suspension. Canadiens fans can recognize the risk inherent in that hit and understand the decision.
It’s when the super slo-mo view of a fast game provides excuses for glossing over actions that we feel progress is moving at a snail’s pace. So, today it’s not hard for Habs fans to feel there’s no justice in the league. Hits on Pacioretty and Chris Campoli saw the perpetrators go free, while Pacioretty as the hitter rather than the hittee got suspended. The argument today isn’t whether he should have been punished, it’s why so many others are not. That’s what the NHL and Shanahan need to fix.
And this week, Carey Price gets the last word. This video from Mike Boone at Hockey Inside/Out.
“I had the fucking thing covered is what I had.” – Carey Price
- Zach Vanasse
Zach Vanasse can be heard as co-host of our podcast: “The Two-Four,”