Wow, that was some game last night. When was the last time Montreal scored eight goals? I actually have no idea! I won't remember this one either: I make a habit of toasting every Canadiens goal by finishing my drink, so the final two goals last night are pretty hazy for me, understandably enough. Luckily, there is plenty of news to fill in all those nasty little holes in my memory.
The headline writers had fun with the Habs' 8-2 keelhauling of the Bruins : the Gazette calls it "Another Boston Massacre", the Globe says "Montreal Shows No Mercy", while the Boston Herald says (my favourite) "Not Big, Just Bad".
The Gazette story covers the basics, noting that the Habs have won nine in a row against Boston, including six in a row this year. The Habs are brutal at home, just 9-8-5 for the year, and one shudders to think what their home record would look like without the three wins they've enjoyed against Boston there. It's hard to believe that a team as fast and skilled as the Habs are so bad on home ice; luckily, they've dominated on the road, but if they make the playoffs they're going to need to be able to rely on a home-ice advantage. Further notes: the Habs entered the game -5 for the year, and left it at +1, quite a turnaround from last year (-29); despite the six even-strength goals, some Habs - Michael Ryder for one - managed to go -1 on the night; and the Curry Stat du Jour, all Canadiens whose names begin with "K" got a point last night!
The Globe piece praises the work of Andrei Kostitsyn, who continues to get better as the season progresses: two goals and an assist last night, with one of his markers coming off a beautiful pass from little brother Sergei. With top-notch skills, a solid work ethic, and willingness to pay the price, Kostitsyn is the total package. How good can he get? I don't know, but it'll be interesting to find out. Oh, and speaking of brother Sergei, in addition to picking up an assist, he also notched his first NHL fight, a spirited if brief tilt with Chuck Kobasew, and handled himself alright.
The Boston Herald is not amused, and even a little baffled. It does indeed make no sense that the Bruins can sweep back-to-back games against the Rangers, and then absolutely mess their pants against a Canadiens team that is not quite a powerhouse. Claude Julien tries to keep positive: “There’s no doubt we want to play a lot better against this team,” he said. “But I don’t think it should tarnish the effort we’ve had against other teams." Sorry Claude, but your team's game soiled not merely its effort against other teams, but the name of the club, the legacy of Bobby Orr, and the reputation of the entire state of Massachusetts. Notes: all but three Bruins were a minus last night, led by Shane Hnidy, who went -4; the Bruins were scored on before the game was 14 seconds long, and allowed the fourth Montreal goal with a second left in the period; the eight goals allowed are the most the Bruins have allowed all season.
Idiot Watch: another language flap is brewing in Montreal, after a Journal de Montreal reporter posing as an Anglophone managed to get hired by 15 businesses over the holidays. Now, she was turned down by 85 others, but that isn't enough to keep the language creeps in Quebec from expressing their shock and horror at the idea that an Anglophone might actually be able to score a job at Tim Hortons. After all, next thing you know, Anglophones will want the right to vote and get married! Why is this relevant to the Habs? Well, it's just that some free agent hockey players might not want to come play in a fascist, crypto-racist city that despises them for speaking the wrong language. Jerks like that Journal reporter and her bosses are the reason Brendan Shanahan is playing in New York, and that hurts.
Well, enjoy that frisson you get when the Habs play the Bruins while you can; the Devils are up next, and as you well know, they are to the Habs as the Habs are to the Bruins. There remains a chance that Martin Brodeur will be unavailable, however, as he tends to family matters, so perhaps that's our chance to turn things around against the only professional sports team creepy enough to name themselves after Satan.