The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Hurricanes 3-2 Canadiens – The one where my team drives me to drink…

No, really. I had the Jameson out by the second period.

Honestly, I can’t think of a loss that the Canadiens have deserved more in quite some time. During the second stanza (post-Jameson, if you must know), Brendan marveled at the level of bile that I am capable of directing towards the teams I support. Well, it’s true. But, I rarely get to that point if the team is trying their best, but just happens to come up short on the night. What I can’t stand is when an entire squad of professionals plays a completely brain-dead game, where their fans are subjected to a constant stream of frustrating penalties and defensive lapses.  Seriously, I had to fast-forward large swathes of this game before some poor inanimate object was reduced to its component atoms.

The first good Hurriwhalers chance was perfectly indicative of how this pack of monkeys is performing at the moment. Brandon Sutter dumps in for a line change, and Patrice Brisebois lazily ambles after it. Chad LaRose is tearing in to try and beat him to the puck, and it’s obvious he’s going to get there before Breeze. Roman Hamrlik has to come over from the other point, but can’t get there in time. Instead of crossing over to cover for the man who just tried to bail him out, Breezer follows him into the corner. That left Joni Pitkanen all alone in the slot – he missed wide, but it could and should have been 1-0 Carolina.

The first penalty was called on us soon after, beginning a never-ending conga line to the box that would last for the entirety of the first two periods. I’m not the most objective fan when it comes to the treatment of my boys from the zebras, but in their defense, they got just about everything right tonight. Just about every one was lazy, selfish or just plain dumb. Quite a few were in the offensive zone, and none of them that I could remember actually prevented a scoring chance. It got to the point where all Guy Carbonneau could do is laugh.

Alex Kovalev took a nimrod hooking call with 11 seconds left in the first PK, but the danger looked over. It helped that once again, a team of professionals opted to take a long 6-on-4 rather than give the puck away immediately and have 30 more seconds of 5-on-3. Is anyone thinking out there? Obviously not, as just when the PK mission was almost accomplished, Maxim Lapierre took a stupid slash. Sure enough, the third time was the charm for the Canes.

Even worse, this was another avoidable situation (like the one I outlined above) where a series of small errors worked together in Rube Goldbergian fashion to result in the lamp being lit behind Jaroslav Halak. Hammer’s casual clear up the boards was kept in nicely by the point man. Both Kovalev and Robert Lang over-committed, leaving a 3-on-2 down low. Hammer lunged and missed at the guy in the middle, leaving Sergei Samsonov 1-on-1 with Frankie Bouillon down low. Frankie can’t decide whether to take away the shot or the pass, accomplishes neither, and flails in vain at the cross-ice pass to the wide-open Eric Staal on the back post. Incidentally, Staal was that open because Hammer didn’t get back in time. My GOD, he sucks right now.

The only one the refs missed was Tim Gleason tripping Alex Tanguay, but they sure as hell didn’t miss the retaliation. Our PK (which was fairly good all night, in their defense) stopped that, but Hammer took a stupid penaly before it expired. And, of course, they scored on that one.

Tom Kostopolous was guilty of a far too casual cross-ice clear (double idiocy there) that was going about 2 mph. Pitkanen easily intercepted it, and made one deke that Andrei Markov bit on bad enough to dive at him and miss. That left a clear passing lane across the front of the net. Lapierre was late getting back, and Kosto was beaten to the back post by Staal. Not only was it another series of stupid little errors, IT WAS THE SAME FUCKING SEQUENCE OF STUPID FUCKING ERRORS THAT RESULTED IN THE FIRST FUCKING GOAL IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE!!!!! ARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Ahh, that feels better. For the record, your Montreal Canadiens put up 3 shots on goal in that frame to go along with their 10 minutes in penalties. That is a stat you’d more expect to see from the Charlestown Chiefs in the first half of Slap Shot.

Unexpectedly, it was 2-1 early in the second. Guillame Latendresse picked Tim Conboy’s pocket on the blueline, and waddled up ice. He was caught from behind (I know, I know, you must be as stunned as me), but was slashed in the process. Believe it or not, Gui won a penalty shot. Even crazier, he actually SCORED on it by going out wide, then coming back against the grain with a high snap shot over Cam Ward’s glove! Will wonders never cease?

Actually, they won’t yet, as AK27’s impotence in front of net finally ended after 19 games! We were shorthanded, because, well, we were on the PK just about the whole period…but, our opponents took a lazy icing and paid the price for it. Off that faceoff, the puck came back to Kovy on the point. His quick snap shot somehow found its way through a thicket of players in front, and past the screened Ward. Well, fuck me running. Short-handed goal, 2-2, completely against the run of play, and now it looked like the Whalicanes might pay for not making us pay for the penalties and mistakes on D.

Errr…not so much. Hammer took his 347th stupid penalty of the night with a nasty-looking boarding of Staal, and then Ryan “I’m not good enough at this level by a damn sight” O’Byrne took another one right in front of the ref. On the 5-on-3, the Canes cashed in when Joe Corvo’s slapper from the point beat the screened Halak over his glove. I know it was a 2-man disadvantage, but the fact that someone was right in front of Halak and able to jump up unmolested to block his view is inexcusable. Ugh, this game pissed me off so so so so so so so much.

That’s when I started in on the Jameson.

You know what? I’m done. I’ll sum the rest up. There were like 2 or 3 more 2-man disadvantages that we killed off, Halak made a WONDER SAVE with the glove (after another series of stupid d-man breakdowns, of course), the Habs were real good in the first 10 minutes of the third but couldn’t score, Sergei Kostitsyn had a nice rebound chance off a Gui shot but couldn’t get a clean shot away, it should have been 4-2 when Halak dropped a shot but someone bailed him out, and Kovy was robbed with 8 seconds left when his clevel against-the-grain shot to the blocker side resulted in a “hey, look what I found!” save from Ward. That’s our lot.

I’m going to bed before I make myself madder. Ugh. UGH! What a disgraceful, abject, awful, HIDEOUS performance. Good night…

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December 16, 2008 - Posted by | Montreal Canadiens

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