Saturday, 20 December 2014

Game 34: Canadiens 4, Senators 1

Random thoughts on the Canadiens' 4-1 win against the Senators.

1)  I really enjoy watching Jiri Sekac play.  He acts like he wants the puck and when he has it he takes it to the net with authority.  He's big and rangy and swoopy when he skates.  Eye candy.  

In the '80's we went away from the Flying Frenchmen days, we had a bunch of big thumpers on our roster, Steve Rooney and Dave Maley and Ryan Walter and Lucien DeBlois, and they weren't the most exciting team to watch objectively.  Sure we rooted for them, cheered them on, it was great to see them beat the Nordiques and the Bruins, but after our game we'd get to see the Oilers take on the Canucks or the Jets or Flames, and it was end-to-end hockey, fast-paced and high-test adrenaline stuff.  And I caught myself wondering if I didn't enjoy watching those games rather than watching my team play.

I'd resigned myself after the Bruins' tainted finals win and our debacle against the Senators in 2013 that if we wanted to win, we needed to size up, at the expense of skill and our viewing pleasure.  But watching our team now, I'm not sure that'll be the case, that I'll have to endure some snoozers like when we'd pound the Whalers into submission.  Not when we size up with the likes of Alex Galchenyuk, Dale Weise, Max Pacioretty, and the aforementioned Jiri Sekac.  

Maybe we can measure up to the big teams and win, but still play an exciting brand of hockey.  Maybe we don't need to turn heel to win, to adopt the tactics of Abdullah the Butcher or Michel 'Justtice' Dubois.  We can remain as pure as the Frères Rougeau if we watch each other's backs, and triumph in the end.

2)  I'm having trouble keeping up with the lines we're putting on the ice.  Now Brandon Prust is on the Tomas Plekanec line?  Was it Christopher Curtis who first coined the phrase "Michel Therrien's blender"?  I don't know how much latitude he'll have to play mixmaster for the next few games, since he committed to the Alex Galchenyuk transition to #1 centre and stated that they'd need to be patient with him, and the Lars Eller centering David Desharnais and P.A. Parenteau also needs to be evaluated on a somewhat extended term.  

3)  Not too much spark coming from that Lars Eller line tonight though.  It's not an immediate success, like the Two and a Half Men line, or the kid line of Alex, Lars and Gally from last season, combos that seemed like winners from the first game they were put together.

4)  "...Karlsson with the puck, being perniciously pursued..."

"...a Subbanian spinerama..."

Is Paul Romaniuk getting into a rhythm, finding his groove?  Never had a problem with his delivery, his intonation, but he was halting at the beginning of the season, a little rusty, hesitant when trying to identify players.  Tonight's effort was pretty good, with no glaring errors.

5)  Gary Galley however, had this clunker: "Maybe he re-aggravated an ongoing injury..."

Ugh.  Re-aggravate.  Always loved that redundancy.  You can aggravate an injury.  You can re-injure something.  But to re-aggravate an injury means something pretty specific.  That you got injured, then you aggravated it, meaning you made it worse, and then later on aggravated it again.

And don't get me started on the much overused techno-babble flavour-du-jour word 'ongoing'.  

Or the inherent contradiction in that phrase.

6)  I figure Alex Galchenyuk gets all the chicks, but not if he keeps getting high-sticked in the kisser like that, pretty soon he'll look like Réjean Houle.

7)  The Sens aren't so easy to hate when Chris Neil and Matt Kassian and Zenon Konopka aren't on their roster.  It makes even cementally-shod Eric Gryba kind of adorable, trying to keep up to the play, getting all winded from the slashing and the hooking and franticing.

8)  I liked the sober goal celebration by Tomas Plekanec to make it 3-1 and put the game away.  Not too much to get excited about when you beat a clearly inferior team that played the previous night and three games in four nights.  You took care of business, but nothing to do cartwheels about.  Nice.

9)  Also liked that Michel Therrien put out the fourth line for the last powerplay to end the game.  No sense getting the Sens all riled up by rubbing it in at that point, and it was a good opportunity for Manny Malhotra to pad his point totals.

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