Group of Sevens
The Habs went 8-2 in a string of 10 games against teams below them in the standings. The remaining seven games in the schedule will be tougher. They have two versus Ottawa, two versus Buffalo, two home games against the Devils, and one last tilt with the punching bag of the Northeast - the Bastan Bruins. Even if the Sens and Sabres are suffering injury problems, the Canadiens have a tougher sked than Jersey, Tampa or even Atlanta. Sixth place is within reach, but I'm not optomistic.
Here's the Gazette recap of last night's game. Aside from some knee-on-knee controversy, it was yet another dull, special teams affair.
- After three straight shutouts of the Bruins, Huet says, "Aw, Shucks."
- The gnashing of teeth over the Garth Murray/Marcel Hossa trade disappeared completely after Murray's two-goal first-star performance on Saturday. Okay, everyone who panned the trade please stand up. You know who you are. Now can we please just trust in Bob?
- In all of the games I have seen this season, there have been two laugh-out-loud moments that stand out in particular: Kovalev's run at Darcy Tucker, and this incident featured at Off Wing Opinion. In a game against the Canucks, Dion Phaneuf challenged Jarkko Ruutu to throw down, then cartoonishly tripped over his own stick. I'm surprised one of the many Oiler blogs out there has not yet posted a screen cap of Dion frozen in his head-over-heels posture for posterity.
- There is an in-depth interview of Sheldon Souray by David Amber up at ESPN. Is it just me, or do all of Amber's interviews start with the "race" angle and work from there?
Also up at ESPN: the anticipated playoff series.
I gotta say, the matchups in the East aren't doing much for me. It's been known for a long time that the best hockey is seen in the West. All of the West matchups look fun, excepting Nas/Ana (crickets chirping, *tumbleweed rolls by*).
I'd stay up late to watch Van/Det. Edm/Dal is intriguing too, but ya know what would rawk? The Battle of Alberta in round 1! For that, I could set aside my disdain for Ralph Klein-onomics and revel in the great rivalry. Plus, half the province of Alberta is displaced Maritimers and Newfies who, as I understand it, do the bulk of the grunt work for the oil barons and Peter Pocklington types.
Pet peeve/Grammar Nazi rant OTD: Sportscasters referring to "a (playername)." For example, the Canadiens need "a Crosby" or "an Ovechkin." Sorry, Mr. broadcaster, but there is only one Crosby and one Ovechkin. Please don't insult them by suggesting they have clones. This also applies to phrases such as "the Gretzkys, or the Brodeurs of the league..." The indefinite article can, however, apply to the Sutters, of which there are numerous identical examples.