The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Sean’s weekend update

Sadly, this post will contain no Tina Fey (for the record, I totally would…any day of the week and twice on Sunday). What it will contain, however, is everything I missed blogging about in the midst of:

1. Buying a new computer
2. Standing in line for 2 1/2 hours whilst doing so
3. Having to call Circuit City to give me the password to get in since I bought a floor-display model
4. Figuring out how to make their stupid screensaver go away
5. Re-syncing my iPod to a new version of iTunes
6. Playing a disgusting amount of Football Manager ’09, to allow myself the fantasy of Arsenal actually buying players (though I did tell Zenit to fuck off when they wanted $27 million for Arshavin…I opted for a 19-year old Brazilian named Willians Santana instead).

– Speaking of Arsenal, I was at Nevada’s for the Hull match. I missed the first 11 minutes because of the never-ending construction going on with the L line. Apparently, I missed little. I did arrive in time though to see a wicked free kick from Robin van Persie, which was fingertipped to safety by Boaz Myhill. On one hand, it was a great save. On the other, why on earth did he only have a three-man wall against a FK from that position?

Soon after, Adebayor put us ahead with the kind of goal that he should be scoring more often. van Persie’s cross was whipped in with a ton of pace, and Ade simply guided it across the grain and into the far corner. What bugs me about is that Ade spends so much time drifting back to get the ball, or even worse, wandering off to the sideline where he’ll then cross to one of our midget wingers. Same thing with Nicky Bendtner – while Brendan is right in the sense that he often is disappointing as a center forward, my mind keeps going back to the thumping HEADER OF GOD that he laid on Tottenham for the winner a while back. Why the hell aren’t these two getting in the box more and creating havoc like this? Not only would it give us a more consistent aerial threat, but it would probably open up some space for the smaller guys, too.

As for the penalty shout against Djourou, I wasn’t as convinced as the rest of the world, apparently. There are always clashes of heads when two people are going up for a header…and while Johan was a bit late, it is the sort of thing that happens 20 times a game all around the pitch, and it’s rarely called. It’s no secret that it rattled our boys pretty badly though, and could have had something to do with the schoolboy defending on the goal. Gael Clichy backed way off of Mendy, whose cross found Cousin for the open header. Needless to say, Djourou and Toure were on either side of him, each expecting the other to block him off. Wonderful.

Thankfully, RvP was in magnificent form, and he opened up Hull twice in the waning minutes to get us all three points. Give (half) credit to Arsene, too – while I just can’t understand how Eboue stays in the team, replacing him with Bendtner ended up working well. We immediately looked more dangerous, and as soon as Robin found Samir Nasri with room to shoot, I knew it was going in. He then picked out Nicky, who had all day to sidefoot past Myhill. See what happens when you are IN THE CENTER WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE?

Anyway, it was ugly at times, but it was the right result. Frankly, that’s all I care about at this stage.

– Montreal gleefully toyed with an absolutely horrendous Ottawa team for two periods, and showed all of the verve and devastating movement off the puck that had served them so well last year. The Canadiens led 3-1 at that point thanks to some wonderful passing from Robert Lang and nice finishes from the AKs, 27 and 46.

Brendan asserted that the turnaround came when Markov got caught pinching (for the umpteenth time this season) in a 3-1 game with 5 minutes gone in the third. It was a 3-on-1 the other way, and you can’t fault Gorges or Halak for the inevitable result. What you can blame Halak for, though, was the amount of room he left on his stick side for Ottawa’s opener. There is also an argument to be made that getting beat on his short side to make it 4-3 wasn’t that great either.

On the other end of the ice, rookie Brian Elliott did keep the Sens in it when the Habs were buzzing his net for two periods. During that time, he displayed a sparkling glove hand, making no less than three amazing saves on shooters going high to that side. I was, at one point, literally screaming at my television screen for the Habs to test him to the stick side. Sure enough, the 4th goal came on a tame shot from Kostopolous that trickled through Elliott’s pad to the stick side. Seriously, as good as the kid was before, that was one of the most brutal goals against I’ve seen all year.

But, Halak let Heatley beat him to the short side, and at that point the equalizer was probably inevitable. Lang once again was the main culprit, standing there like a retard while Fisher walked in and beat Halak. Sigh. On to the shootout we went, and I didn’t know what to think. On one hand, a rookie goalie against our shooters is a matchup I like. On the other, Halak wasn’t awesome and the Sens still have some firepower.

Thankfully, the Sens shooters gifted us with two bad shots – Spezza skied it over the crossbar with the glove-side gaping, and Alfredsson opted to just shoot into Halak’s chest rather than try a deke or anything. On the other hand, Kovalev absolutely CLOWNED Elliott with a ridiculous deke before beating him to the stick side, then Lapierre made almost the same move except he went high…TO THE STICK SIDE. Elliott may want to work on that if he wants so stay up in the majors!

So, Montreal continues their “Arsenal with better kids” ways, matching the Gunners in the winning ugly stakes. Still, with Boston continuing to win, I still hold out hope that we can catch them if they falter. To do that though, the Habs have to keep winning these games – by hook or by crook.

– I don’t have much to add to Brendan’s UFC/boxing coverage. What I will say though is that Collazzo got fucking robbed. I don’t know what fight those idiots saw, but one guy kept landing good shots for the majority of the fight, while the other was hugging more than the leader of a hippie retreat. Berto didn’t get blown out or anything, but Collazzo won that fight and you can’t tell me any differently.

– Meanwhile, let’s all LOL at the Philadelphia Eagles! They never should have made the playoffs in the first place, and luckly the Shield of Justice was with the Arizona Cardinals. Even after the Cardinals had blown the lead, you still figured they were a better than even-money shot to come back and win. When you have a team miss an extra point (in a spot where you HAVE to go for 2 points anyway), have two kickoffs go out of bounds, and manage to not get anywhere near Warner until the 3rd quarter; the only stunning thing was the Cards let Philly back in it at all. By the way, the double-option back to Warner to hit Fitzgerald for the TD is officially my favorite American football play of all time. That was fucking stellar.

– I watched most of the first half of Pittsburgh-Baltimore, then decided that a) it was a foregone conclusion at that point (Flacco did not have his best day at the office) and b) life is too short to spend watching a boring tilt like that.

The Canadiens are at home against Atlanta on Tuesday, see you then!

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January 19, 2009 - Posted by | Boxing, Montreal Canadiens, The Arsenal

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