Saturday, 12 March 2016

Game 69: Canadiens 1, Wild 4

The Canadiens, staffed mostly with interns and summer students, lost 4-1 in a tedious game against the Minnesota Wild.  With their horrible jerseys.  I so miss the Minnesota North Stars sweaters.

–The Wild were in the Canucks’ division for years, and they played soporific Jacques Lemaire hockey, so that there were lots of tickets always floating around for their four or five appearances every year at the New Pacific Coliseum, people just offering them up, practically begging others to take them off their hands. I guess they’re still weaving their magic, HIO decided to Netflix-and-chill instead tonight.

–I’m so glad we’re not paying the $7.3M yearly salary to Ryan Suter and Zach Parisé, until 2025. Good players, but so not worth the money. They’re not the ballyhooed ‘impact’ players teams look for, the Wild are still that mid-pack team they’ve always been, eking into the series and flushing out in the first round.

–Great suit on Michel Therrien, shiny and zooty. Should have been double-breasted though, with wider shoulders.

–The RDS boys were a little guarded in their evaluation of Mike McCarron. They question whether his skating is up to NHL standards quite yet, whether he’s being given a little too much responsibility right now, and whether he wouldn’t be better off in the AHL. The consensus is that next season he should at least begin in St. John’s. Stéphane Leroux mentioned again how Marc Bergevin prefers to not call up AHL rookies to the NHL, but rather give them a full season to acclimate to the pro game, as he did with Sven Andrighetto two seasons ago, and Charles Hudon last year. Of course, the situation is different, with injuries changing the plans on a daily basis it seems.

–Mark Barberio post-game, explaining that Andrei Markov was probably his favourite player growing watching the Canadiens, and how it was a little surreal this morning seeing his name penciled in next to his in the lineup.

–Darren Dietz looked like a big teenager, appropriately so, his last year in Saskatoon, with blotchy complexion and gangly physique. He’s grown up a lot in the last couple of years, looks like a man now.

So, what a difference a loss makes, a balm for a tortured fan’s soul, after a few calamitous wins.

Our lottery odds, according to NHL Lottery Simulator, have zoomed back up to 5%, a substantial increase from our recent sojourn to the depths of 3.5%.

We spin the Great Wheel of Destiny, with a melancholy nod to Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel and their epic work on “The Man Show”.

Two spins in, we get Sabres, Canadiens and Jets. I could live with that, our choice of either Finn wingers to fold into our Top 6. Except that as a fan, I’d be tortured by which player to claim, I’d hem and haw. It’s as if I’d be relieved to pick at #3 and let someone else decide for us. I mean, I can’t even decide between Pierre-Luc Dubois or Julien Gauthier.

I can’t stand it. Let’s spin again.

At 14 spins, we get the second pick again, sandwiched between the Flames and the Leafs. Feeling up for more spins?

At 18, we get:



Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens


Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames


Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators

Draft Order

Montreal Canadiens
Calgary Flames
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Edmonton Oilers
Winnipeg Jets
Buffalo Sabres
Columbus Blue Jackets
Arizona Coyotes
10 Vancouver Canucks
11 Colorado Avalanche
12 New Jersey Devils
13 Carolina Hurricanes
14 Philadelphia Flyers

The Leafs have really done all they can, they come up incessantly in these attempts. Out of 18 attempts, they ended up with 14 Top 3 picks. The next best team was the Oilers with seven. Compared to our measly 3. Dagnabbit.

Monsieur Condon, please accomplish more fooferawed giveaways like that gift for Nino Niederreiter. One or two a game for the next dozen games should do. Make it look accidental, like Chris Kreider broad-jumping into Carey Price.

And, how low can you limbo in terms of playoff odds and still not be mathematically eliminated?

Montreal Canadiens Playoff Chances

Lost to Minnesota 1-4, playoff odds down 1.5 to 0.5%

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