Thanks to Gary, I got blacked out of the Canadiens' 4-3 loss to the Senators, so I watched it on RDS' "Canadiens Express". Gary made it up to me with this pallid 'World Cup' that mercifully just ended. It deflates a team when the goalie puts them behind 1-0 early in the game.
Here are my notes:
1) Mike Condon lets in an early weakish goal, which was a pattern for him last season. One of these can squeak by once in a while, but not necessarily, and then a goalie must certainly make two or three excellent/miraculous saves to make up for it.
2) Mike McCarron answers, and ties the score on a good individual effort. He takes the puck and makes a strong play for the net, protecting the puck as he beelines right at the goalie and tucks the puck in behind him, just like Lars used to do.
Canadien 1, Senators 1
3) A few days back I expressed the wish that Brandon Prust would do the planet a favour and ram the shaft of his stick into Mark Borowiecki's ugly stranded fish mouth, and knock the few remaining teeth out of there. I was remonstrated that violence is not the answer.
Well, after seeing the Senators, ahem, 'defenceman', outright tackle Charles Hudon to the ice, ripping off his helmet in the process, I'm going to renew my call for the edentation of the Senator's goon. Bobby Farnham, you're up. Make yourself useful.
4) Major pangs of jealousy as I espy Guy Boucher and Mark Crawford behind the Sens' bench.
5) Can I say again that I don't think we should play the Senators in preseason games? That we should just quarantine them, freeze them out? Let them goon each other all alone in their lonely quiet barn in the middle of nowhere an hour out of Ottawa.
6) First goal by Mikhail Sergachev, on the powerplay. It's hard to resist the paternal joy I feel, and to not take too great a partial credit for the tally.
7) Another goal by Zach Redmond, the kid can't not score, scrimmages, preseason, he don't care. He's making my prediction that he'll be veteran help in St. John's seem less and less solid all the time. Nice rush to the net from the blue line, and a sneaky bank shot off the goalie's back as he prepared to slide across his crease.
Canadiens 3, Senators 3
8) Pierre Houde had just prior to that announced that Sens goalie Chris Driedger was one of the stars of the game so far, with 17 saves on 19 shots, while Mike Condon had allowed 3 goals on 8 shots. Ouf!
9) Nathan Beaulieu and Greg Pateryn aren't as spectacularly noticeable as on Tuesday, but they look solid enough. On the powerplay, like Tuesday, they were confident, played off each other well, moved the puck quickly and effectively.
10) Nice stretch pass from Zach Redmond to Charles Hudon, who breaks for the net and possibly surprises Tomas Plekanec with a deft backwards pass, it handcuffs him a little bit, can't do anything with it. Charles Hudon is more noticeable tonight.
11) At the start of the third, I learn that Mikhail Sergachev was finally not credited with a goal, I missed that update when it was made, on the condensed broadcast.
Not sure 22 is the right number for him, for a defenceman. That's Steve Shutt's number. We should have kept that 22 for the next left wing sniper to come down the pipe.
12) Love seeing Greg Pateryn get off quick hard shots at the net from the blue line. Maybe he should have been an assistant coach last season, imparted his knowledge, his secrets to other Canadien blueliners who for some reason couldn't get a shot through on net.
13) Canadiens lose 4-3 in overtime. Alex Galchenyuk commits a giveaway in his own zone, with a blind pass that lands on the wrong stick blade, and ends up in his own net.
14) Mike Condon let in 4 goals on 21 shots. I don't know if he'll have another opportunity in preseason to make a better impression, to try to hold on to his backup job. It might be too late now.