Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Game 55: Canadiens 4, Lightning 2

I watched the condensed version of the game on RDS' "Canadiens Express", thanks to Gary Bettman's love of lucre being much greater than his love for hockey, but also because of a sense of foreboding I held.

I'm a pompom-waving positroll, but I had a bad feeling about this one.  I thought we were going to get blown out, that Ben Scrivens would be shelled all the way down to the ECHL, that the season was going to puncture, finally, and deflate completely.  

So I didn't have the stomach for a full game, kind of like a Republican Party primary season debate, just give me the lowlights, and I'll be on my way.  No stream for me, thank you.

Because my mind is made up.  I have some very concrete certainties about how this season is going, and how it's going to go:

a)  Carey Price will come back too  late for us to claw ourselves back in the playoff race,
b)  our GM is aware of that, and has decided to ride this down to the bottom of the standings, like Major Kong in "Doctor Strangelove",
c)  our players are aware of this, they know they're not making the playoffs,
d)  they've made themselves heard, they've spoken on how they feel about the coach,
e)  some players, and I have to believe Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec are among them, have taken their foot off the gas pedal, 
f)  the GM has spoken too, and he's not going back on his word about his coach finishing the season,
g)  but he's going to clear house in the off-season, with the Canadiens and in St. John's, with lots of coaching talent available to choose from,
h)  the GM is going to convert some of his assets into draft picks, and
i)  the GM is going to not mind having a crack at the #1 pick, but he'll keep a close eye on players who don't put out maximum effort and don't play with pride.

So with a solid 4-2 win over our division rival and would-be nemeses, all these best-laid schemes and prognostications are in peril.  I'm resigned to a losing season, and this three-game win streak is most unwelcome.  I wants my lottery pick and I wants it this year!

So I'll take the win, graciously, thank you very much, but can we get back to the business at hand, please?  

Tomas, can you ease off by at least half, please, and play like you've got your new contract signed and in your back pocket?  

Andrei, can you skate desultorily, wondering why you bother, and not intercept all these passes like a cobra striking?  

Nate, you're trade-bait, cut it out with the visor shattering and the shot blocking, will ya?  

Mr. Barberio, I'll accept you sticking it to your old team, but we've pronounced you a third-pairing option, can you please not overdeliver on this and upset the applecart? 

Mister Scrivens, you're supposed to be the final nail in the coffin of our GM, according to the pitchforks and torches posse, can you commit a few more blunders per game, please?  Because right now your saves are more than cancelling those out.

With that housekeeping out of the way, we admit we did decide to surf this wave and enjoy the ride.  It was fun to see Ben Bishop's bigness not be enough, to see him discombobulaterize before our very eyes.  

And keeping an eye on the out-of-town scoreboard and highlights, Kate Beirness was nice enough to show me Nazem Kadri get knocked around by Mark Giordano and probably earn himself another suspension, and the Bruins get shellacked by the Kings 9-2.  A good night all around.

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