(January 12, 2016)
I’m a pompom-waving positroll, that’s been established, but I’m kind of out of ideas. I know seasons have their ups and downs, and have posted recently that each of the last 4 seasons the team would hit a skid, the howls on here would get more strident, posters we never see would come out of the reeds and join the chorus to fire the coach, but Michel Therrien would stay calm, say that quote of his about adversity, and when things seemed most dire, we’d blow out the Bruins and get cruising again.
During the streak, I wrote a couple of posts which, without actually blaming the goalies, tried to explain that there was no real mystery to the downturn. My point was that sure we miss Carey Price, but if we even got adequate goaltending, instead of the .880 Mike Condon and Dustin Tokarski were pitching, the team would be playing .500 hockey.
Well now, Mike Condon and Ben Scrivens are giving us that adequate netminding, if not better. Mike Condon is performing as he did early on, during Carey’s First Absence. He gave the Canadiens a chance to win, putting up a .935 on Saturday. He’s stopping the pucks.
Things are cyclical, there’s an ebb and flow. Remember a couple of years back how the comparisons between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin went? Sidney was the champ, who won at every level, was a leader of men and Good Canadian Kid, while Ovie was a moody enigmatic Russian, the selfish buffoon who frittered away his career and immense talent. Now we’re getting the opposite, how the Caps forward is a force of nature who scored 500 in the Dead Puck II Era, and we scratch our head at what’s wrong with Sid. And we’ll ask him why he’s not scoring, put the microphone in his face, as soon as that space is vacated by Brandon Dubinsky’s stick and Zdeno Chara’s Fist of the Common Boston Man.
But now, I don’t know. I’m partially grateful that Sportsnet screwed up, mixed in with my paroxysmal outrage, that they changed their schedule at the last minute and made me record the Leafs-Sharks game instead of the Canadiens on Saturday night. It seems it wasn’t pretty. I didn’t get to watch the game, and won’t go back and put myself through the ordeal either.
And I find myself thinking how Tomas Plekanec would be eminently more tradeable with an expiring contract, instead of with the two-year extension that just got tacked on, and how the rules have been changed for the draft lottery, how every team that misses the playoffs now has a chance at a Top 3 pick.