Saturday, 15 October 2016

Game 2: Canadiens 3, Senators 4 (SO)

Stuck watching Leafsnet's Lanny MacDonald's love-in, otherwise known as the ruins of what used to be Hockey Night in Canada, and the time-phased Bob Cole's halting call of the action.  My fast-forward button made short work of the blue preamble, but I'll have to suffer with the fading foghorn.

--Sven Andrighetto cleared waivers?  Sven Andrighetto cleared waivers!  Jolly good!  I dreaded that we'd lose that asset.  We're not in a position to squander players and prospects, even those who've had a slow start to the season and a lukewarm camp.

Our farm team needs the help anyway.  That's a very thin roster in my estimation, they have a first line and not much else to scare anyone.

--First period thoughts are that this year's edition of the Canadiens isn't tough, if we're getting pushed around by the Senators, but at the same time we're not yet seeing the speed and the 'push the pace' philosophy championed by Marc Bergevin.

We easily handled the weak Sabres (at least on the scoreboard) even if we weren't clicking, but the Senators aren't that much better in my opinion, they should also struggle to make the playoffs.  We're not seeing evidence that we're any better than they are.

--If the refs allow the Senators to actually wrestle Brendan Gallagher to the ice in the neutral zone, when the puck is nowhere near, the NHL is doomed to wither compared to the other pro leagues, and it will be a long season for Canadiens fans.

--That 4-on-3 penalty kill situation in the second was tough, with Tomas Plekanec, one of the primary defenders for the Canadiens already in the box.  Meanwhile the Senators had Chris Neil in the box on that original offsetting minors infraction, which is no big loss.

--Chris Neil should be in jail.

--Mark Stone, according to Bob Cole, has a microfracture of the mouth.  Bob later clarifies that Jeff Petry elbowed Mark Stone.  With his shoulder.

--Gary Galley later describes a "squirmish" in front of the Senators' net.

--Watching hockey just makes me mad.  It renders me enraged, with a feeling of helplessnes, like when my 4 year old nephew yells "It's not fair!"  This hits me every time the Senators facewash and headlock every Canadien in sight after every whistle.

Two years ago, there came word from out of nowhere that any contact with the head of a player, voluntary or not, regardless of how forceful, would be an automatic penalty.  Just as quickly, this was denied, we were told that this rule wouldn't be implemented.

I guess the 'old guard' won out.  Tedious scrums and hacking in front of the net sell tickets, we're all assured.

All that remained for the NHL's Star Chamber was to ensure their attack poodle Gary Bettman send condescending letters to Congress when the League's commitment to safety is questioned, and deny any link between concussions and CTE.

--À propos of nothing, Louis Debrusk is now Leafsnet's analyst on the national broadcast of Western Conference games.

--Curtis Joseph is the 35th-best Leaf ever?  The guy who is known mostly for his amazing playoffs with the Blues, and his takedown of a ref in the playoffs while in Toronto?  If I'd have grown up in Toronto, I probably would have been an Argonauts fan.

--I was imagining the explosion on social media at the sight of David Desharnais with Max Pacioretty on the ice early in the third, but the coaches can be forgiven for trying to shake up a rather listless team.  And they are rewarded a shift or two later when a frankencombo of Phillip Danault and Artturi Lehkonen combine for the tying goal.

--I know that coaches want to win every game, that even the second game of the season is a must win, but câlice, Andrei Markov on the penalty kill for the entire 5-on-3?  It's hard to argue against the results, but is this going to be a Pyrrhic victory, where we end up with a depleted Andrei when the playoffs come around?

--Speaking of tackling, and the Argonauts, Dion Phaneuf should play for the Redblacks.

--Petry!  Muller!  Now this be a powerplay.  And I won't mention how it all started with a dump-in from Nathan Beaulieu, when he didn't have any other options upon zone entry.

--I used to say that Mark Borowiecki's only function on the Senators was to ensure that Mika Zibanejad is not the uncontested ugliest man in Ottawa.  Now that the latter has been traded, the Senators' Fishface has a healthy lead in that rubric on Mark Stone.

--I don't miss Peter Budaj, Dustin Tokarski, Mike Condon, or Ben Scrivens.  I do miss Michel Larocque though.

--"With 2:33 to go  here in the third period, the Senators have lost a two-goal lead, and then have got it back closing down the third period."

Wait, what?  The Senators have got the two-goal lead back?  It looks for all the world like it's a 3-3 tie, no?

Gary Galley, is your anti-Montréal bias affecting your call, your grammar, or your judgment?

--Someone has to do something about Jean-Gabriel Pageau.  I mean, the guy is killing us, every game.  Just sayin'.

--Overtime.  Everyone gets a point, and now we play 3-on-3 for an extra third point that didn't exist before when the win was only going to be worth two points.

I love Gary 'Schrödinger' Bettman's NHL.

--Two giveaways by Alex Radulov in OT, and then a breakaway on which he's out of gas and can only manage a weak backhand shot right on the goalie.

--Disjointed play by the Canadiens in OT, sometimes giving away the puck to the Senators uncontested.  We need to tighten that up, make it so you only give away the puck on a good shot at the net.

--Ugh, that failure by David Desharnais on his shootout 'attempt'.  I wonder what move Charles Hudon might have tried?  Or Sven?  This won't silence David's critics.

--I guess we're not going on no 9-0 run this year.

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