Thursday, 27 October 2011

Game 10: Montreal 2, Boston 1

What is it about the Bruins that brings out the best of the Canadiens. Lately I always fret that we are outclassed against them, they have all the high-draft picks, the size, the pugilistic acumen, that we're going to get run out of the Gardens. Somehow, the undersized, speedy Canadiens regularly find a way to slay hideous, loathsome Goliath. Tonight was another example, as the tottering heroes entered the Bruins' lair, avoided a mauling and escaped with a confidence-inflating 2-1 win.

The game started off slowly, with the Bruins buzzing and hitting. I noticed Jaroslav Spacek in the defensive zone giving Milan Lucic a big cushion instead of checking him tightly, memories of the Beatdown last year possibly still fresh in his mind. This led to a nice pass from Mr. Lucic that wasn't converted into a goal. I concentrated on Mr. Spacek for the rest of the game, and didn't see any gaffes or instances where a mild shove from a Bruin caused him to disintegrate. I'll be darned if a couple of times he didn't make the right play. I still contend that Alexei Emelin should be in the lineup rather than Mr. Spacek, especially since they are a physical team.

Also early in the game, I thought Sean Thornton might have found a playmate in counterpart Mike Blunden, but the Canadien laughed him off. Considering Mr. Blunden fight record, that was probably for the best. All in all, he and the other more physical Canadiens forwards such as Mathieu Darche, Erik Cole, Travis Moen and Petteri Nokelainen provided a barrier against the usual egregious Bruins transgressions. We did see Milan Lucic throw a clear punch at Travis Moen after a whistle in the last minutes of the third, a clear punishable offence which should have been penalized, but I guess that is allowable in Boston when the refs want to get out alive.

Speaking of Bruin thuggery, how did Brad Marchand escape being called for an extra or instigator penalty in his tangles with PK Subban? He started the whole ordeal by putting him in a headlock, then on the second occasion threw a punch. Somehow, everything was handled with offsetting penalties. The Canadiens, short-manned on the blueline, were the clear loser on these exchanges. The fight also provided a clear illustration for those who pined over the summer for the day that PK executes Mr. Marchand that it won't be that easy. Also, we should take into account that Brendan Shanahan might not look too kindly on homicide. In any case, we saw two little punks who wouldn't be denied, and I'm glad PK is our punk. As opposed to the rat in black.

All in all, another good win which should relieve some pressure on Mr. Martin and Mr. Gauthier. It was heartwarming to see Jacques after the Tomas Plekanec goal, his countenance as he scribbled delightedly in his notebook displayed his often-discounted passion for the game. I bet the i's are dotted with emphasis and the t's are crossed with a flourish tonight.

As far as Mr. Gauthier, as the game ended I tried to think of which of his decisions, always much maligned, were vindicated at least until the next game. The decision to let Benoit Pouliot walk seems inspired. Now if Benoit could only turn into a hybrid of Terrel Owens and Sean Avery, he could cause some turmoil in their dressing room and finally help the Canadiens. The decision to keep Carey Price instead of Jaroslav Halak seems beyond debate. He overpaid for the right player this summer, as Erik Cole more and more seems to find his stride and on the verge of paying dividends.

I've spoken before about how Mr. Gauthier listens to my suggestions, and the decision to reassign Perry Pearn follows suit, since I've posted before on how I wanted a former NHL defenceman to be the coach in charge of our defenceman, and for that coach to be behind the bench proffering advice and encouragement to our young crew. My wish was granted tonight as I saw Mr. Ladouceur talking animatedly to his d-men during the Bruins timeout. Mr. Gauthier, if you're reading this post, aside from disregarding my strong recommendation to sign Shane O'Brien over the summer, thanks for listening.

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