Tuesday, 16 December 2014

24 CH, 2014-15 season, Episode 6: Notes

I'm falling behind on these.  This one deals with Guy Lapointe's jersey retirement ceremony.

02:00  We see the elbow/high-stick on Alex Galchenyuk by Brandon Bollig, sending him back to the bench with a fat lip and groaning in pain.  After a couple of minutes, one of the trainers is telling him he needs to leave the bench and go to the quiet room, which Alex spontaneously resists.

"You don't have a choice, you got hit in the face."

"Yeah, but it's only my lip," Alex protests.

"Just go and come back," Manny Malhotra cuts in, and Alex gets up and walks off.  Good leadership by Manny being demonstrated, again.

What we did see though is how refs are loath to 'inject themselves in the game', how they want to allow the players to decide the outcome of the game, how they 'let them play'.  In this case, by not intervening in the proceedings, they allowed a plug like Brandon Bollig to definitely have an effect on the game, by removing a talented young player from the play, and it was fortunate it was only to miss a few shifts, and then be 'off' for the rest of the game due to the pain and stitches.

05:15  Carey's superman-type save of a carom that was headed in the net, but he knocked out of the air and over his net.  Such an unorthodox save, I don't know that it'll make it in any year-end lists, but seeing that one during the game, I had to rewind on the PVR a few times to understand what happened, and appreciate it.  The boys on the bench sure do.

08:00  We see a small glimpse of Stéphane Waite's work with his goalies, in this case Dustin Tokarski preparing to start against the Sabres in Buffalo.  They work on some specific situations with shooters, talk about specifics with regard to mental prep before the game.

I don't understand goalies.

08:40  An Yvon Lambert sighting, he's solidifying his reputation as a bon vivant, acting as MC for a game night at a Montréal brasserie.  We sure could use one of him right now, to tack onto the David Desharnais line with P.A. Parenteau, for example, a big guy who can occupy opposing defencemen in front of their net, and deflect a few pucks.  Yvon was really good to have on the team in the seventies, with Mario Tremblay and Doug Risebrough they were quite a good line.

09:55  Michaël Bournival's shoulder injury.  What a difference a year makes.  Last season he started as if shot out of a cannon, scoring big goals and being a factor throughout exhibition season and early on, earning a spot with le Grand Club.  This year, circumstances have conspired against him.

10:15  Max Pacioretty getting the boys up between periods, laying it on thick.  First he targets Brandon Prust.

"Go north.  They can't contain you.  You think Georgy's going to contain you?", referring to Josh, before turning his witty banter to Lars Eller.

"Your skin's too sensitive," he tells the Great Dane, "you can't go south."  Classic.

11:45  P.A. Parenteau scores in the shootout to seal the win, as Dale Weise, who was miked up, predicted earlier on the bench.  P.A. has picked up a nickname, they call him Master P.  Not bad.  Could be worse.

Tomas Plekanec inherits the boxer cape from Carey.

12:40  We see preparations at the New Forum for Guy Lapointe's jersey retirement ceremony.  During this segment, there's talk of how well the Canadiens pull these off, and some mentions of Jean Béliveau, some eerie foreshadowing there.

Guy Lapointe tells the story of how he was invited from the Junior Canadiens to attend the Canadiens camp, and he had made up his mind not to attend, since he thought he was just being asked to fill out one of the four teams they make up at camp for scrimmaging, that he was just going to be a body for the real team to sharpen their skills against.  In his mind, his career was going to be as a policeman, and he didn't want to 'waste' his time going to camp.  It's only due to his father telling him to take advantage of this invite, that these don't come around again, and that at the very least he'll be able to say years later that he skated with Jean Béliveau, that he decided to attend.

It's shocking to me that an eventual Hall of Famer, a player good enough to be on the powerhouse Canadiens Junior, didn't think he seriously had a shot to make the Habs.  That his career hinged on this, that we almost never got to see him play makes me wonder how many other players fell off the treadmill, never to be heard from again, accidents of history.

I imagine also how great the Police de Montréal hockey team would have been with Guy on their blue line, they'd have been unbeatable.

15:10  Media briefing on the day of the ceremony, with Serge Savard and Larry Robinson flanking him.  Then, Michel Therrien meets Guy Lapointe and congratulates him, there's a great camera shot again with the Big Three re-united.  Michel Therrien is asked by someone if he'll put them in the lineup that night.

I miss those guys.

Guy, ever the prankster, creates a mini-crisis when he dons the jersey he'll wear for the ceremony, and struggles to get his arm in, complaining to everyone that it's too small.  After a few seconds of this he cracks a smile and pulls it on smoothly, ceasing his O.J.'esque 'It doesn't fit' shtick.  Amusing to see that his wife and daughter, who've known him all this time, still fell for it, and now cluck their disapproval at his attempt at comedy.

Larry being interviewed in an aside says that Guy is using humour to decrease the tension, but that he's underneath a very emotional guy, and that he probably doesn't understand what a big deal it's going to be going through the ceremony.

16:50  Still think it's a great idea to involve Andrei and P.K. in the ceremony, have them bring the #5 banner to Guy.  Great way to plant that seed.

18:50  Jean-Jacques Daigneault to Nathan Beaulieu on the bench:  "Are you all right Nate?  What are you pissed off about?  No shot?  Yeah, all right.  Just relax," and then taps him on the shoulder.

Jean-Jacques Daigneault to Nathan Beaulieu and P.K. on the bench: "Time and space on the puck carrier, time and space."

"I was going to," P.K. replies, "but I thought it was an odd-man rush, that's why."

P.K. is definitely not a 'Sir, yes sir!' guy, he needs to get his two-cents in, needs to be heard.  For some old-school coaches that will rub them the wrong way, definitely.

This is one of those areas where I hope P.K. can develop the self-confidence to just accept the coach's patter, nod, and let it go, instead of having to discuss and explain his side of the story to everyone, the coaches, the refs, the media, etc.  Like I've said before, I'm sure there's a background there, there are reasons he wants to explain his viewpoint, but it's a waste of his energy, his focus.  Not everything he's told needs to be discussed or refuted.

19:40  Thomas Vanek's assist on his crazy no-look pass that he's patented, like a quarterback looking off a safety before throwing a pass.  No look is actually not quite the right description, it's a 'see the pass and the passing lane, then look away in another direction to fool the defender before making that pass' pass.

20:00  A couple of cool goals against Minny, one where Brandon goes face first into the post, but the refs clearly see that he's being pushed and goalie interference isn't called.  Then it's David Desharnais one-upping Thomas Vanek with his no-look behind the back drop pass to Master P to Max for the clinching goal that makes it 4-1.

20:30  Another look at the Nathan Beaulieu KO of Stéphane Veilleux.  Again, it's clear that Mr. Veilleux was approaching Nate, who was trying to back off, but doesn't hesitate to start the fight when he realizes that it's on.

Later in the dressing room, he explains to a trainer that he "missed him", that he punched him in the neck rather than the head.  That explains why Mr. Veilleux dropped like he did, getting hit in the right area in the neck is essentially the same as being subjected to a Lateral Neck Restraint, the mis-named 'choke hold'.

For his trouble, Nate receives the boxer cape from Pleky.

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