Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Sky is Falling: ATL 3, Habs 2 (SO)

The Habs played like chicken's and laid an egg against the Thrashers. The THRASHERS? The first team to scapegoat their coach this year? Really? Even one point and continuing the unbeaten-in-regulation streak doesn't get them any more respect from us.

The Sky is Falling - where do we begin? The complete no-show in the first? The countless tape-to-tape passes directly onto Thrasher sticks? Markov doing his best Breeze-by impression? Ryder's ass being nailed to the bench by the end of the third (oh wait, maybe that's not such a bad thing). There is just so much to worry about after a game like that. Chris Higgins again couldn't score with a fist full of hundreds at Grand-Prix. Yeah, he finally scored the game-tying goal, but jeez Garth Murray could have put that great pass like that into the net. Brisebois got yet another delay of game penalty, putting the over-under on the season at 50 - we can only hope it causes Dawn Cherise's head to explode. We assume Josh Georges is visiting Chapters this morning looking for a book to read on his bus ride back to Hamilton. I wonder if they have "Playing Defence for Dummies"? Bring Back O'Byrne!

Plan the parade - we salvaged a point, mostly thanks to the Saviour. But even at that, his shoot-out aura was broken by giving up consecutive goals to Bryan Little (one of only a handful of NHLers with more peach fuzz than Carey) and Ilya "we should have traded Theo for that 1st pick when we had the chance" Kovalchuk - but even FHF has to admit that guy's release is sick. Hamr continues to earn his big time salary - so fuck you, Darryl Sutter. Koivu played better than in Pittsburgh. Grabby was skating and much more visible and Big Tits, although he didn't create all that many scoring chances.

Chez Parée bound? It'll be a bit lonely at the club with just Carey and Hamr. Josh Georges may be there too - but he'll be hosing down the private rooms at 3am.

3.1 lap dances out of 10. The Saviour's jersey number seems to be a nice, round number.

Next evil foe - the Broad Street Bullies on Thursday. Can we count the ways why we hate the cheap shot artist Flyers and their Halloween pumpkin uniforms? Let's just hope no one gets killed on the ice - because sooner or later it's gonna happen if the league doesn't crack down on these jokers. Of course, I'm sure Paul Holmgren and his ilk will say it's all part of the game, don't take the physicality out of it blah blah blah. But how does he not bear any responsibility despite his comments earlier in the pre-season about how the Flyers had to get back to their intimidating ways? Asshole. I wish the GM of the next Flyers victim can do to Holmgren what one of his Flyers does to the other GM's player. A cross-check to the head would only improve Holmgren's looks, anyway.

The Morning Skate for Wednesday, October 31st

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of scoring 45 points amidst a ton of trade rumours...
  • Chirs Higgins on RDS this morning: "We didn't play well." No shit Sherlock. Habs lose 3-2 in the shootoout, and the 1 point was thanks to Ca-rey! The Habs sort of forgot there was a first and second period in hockey games. More on the game later today;
  • Mikka Kiprusoff's new contract is paying dividends already as the Flames beat the Preds 5-1 backed by Kipper's 39 saves;
  • Sid the Kid comes alive with 4 points in a 4-2 win over Minny. Look out, league.

Happy Hallowe'en everyone! Boo!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Ladies and gentlemen, on stage for your dancing pleasure, the Atlanta Thrashers" - Game Preview and Open Thread

Waiting in line details - 7:30 PM start, Bell Centre, Montréal, QC. On TV: RDS and RDS-HD in French, TSN and TSN-HD in English. Montreal English radio CJAD, Montreal French radio CKAC. Habs took the season series last year 3-1. Habs riding a 4-game winning streak (really!), Thrashers 3-8 overall. Classic trap game.

Pay your cover charge to - Talking Thrash. Clever name. If only they had the team to, you know, use it.

Hot sexy Habs to watch - The Franchise Saviour (TM), fresh off his dominating shootout performance Saturday night, gets his first start in the Phone Booth. Pleks is playing well. The Hamr is becoming a Roman God to me. Habs' PP is over 30%, leading the league. 30%!!! Mother fucker.

Hot sexy Thrashers to watch - Ilya Kovalchuk has 6 points in the last 3 games. Slava Kozlov, apparently alive and with the Thrash, is solid. The rest of the team, not so much.

Skanky Habs to watch - The Breezer pulls on the CH for the 800th time tonight. He had this to say about it: “The train just keeps on chugging. It’s a great milestone. I hope I can reach 900 and then 1,000.” Not on my watch, buddy.

Skanky Thrashers to watch - all of them 'cept Ilya. Notably both Bobby Holik and Marian Hossa have 0 points in their last 4 games. Of course they will break out against the Habs.

Post-game adult entertainment establishment - since we already covered Super Contact, let's turn to its more famous big brother, Montreal institution Super Sexe. This is one of those places that you can take your girlfriend or client. A huge place that's relatively clean and classy, with very good looking women. Of course the downside is no contact. But I have seen some fun private erotic lesbian shows. Full confession - a gang of lawyers I am part of (as are two other HF's) go there every year to celebrate Christmas. It's a tradition. You know, like caroling. As is the fine free hot buffet. And they actually show Habs games on their TV's. It's like a sports bar! All in all, a mixed blessing.

Watching the game? At the game? Listening? Imagining the game in your head? Let's hear your dirty, dirty thoughts in the comments.

The Game Day Skate for Tuesday, October 30th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of completing an 82-yard pass on the first play of OT to win it...
  • The NHL's plans to have all Leafs games played at home is not working out too well as they get crushed by the Caps 7-1. Leafs fans both booed and chanted "Let's go Raps." I'll give them points for that;
  • TSN is reporting Mikka Kiprusoff and the Flames are about to announce the signing of a long-term deal. If they can just sign Phaneuf that's a hell of a nucleus;
  • Broad Street Bully Randy Jones gets 2 games for the hit that put Patrice Bergeron in the hospital. While there may not have been intent to injure, TMS thinks it was a nasty hit from behind into the boards. Gotta crack down on that shit.

Carey Price vs. Atlanta tonight at the Phone Booth. Preview and open thread coming later today.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It Kept Going and Going and Going...Habs 4 - Penguins 3 SO

The game that started at lightning speed for the Habs turned out to be the game that didn't want to end.

Blame the Mountain in the Igloo, Carey Price, who on this particular night, beyond the ability to tend goal and stare down the fiercest in the NHL, struck the skaters descending on him with a suddenly startling revelation: there's no room to shoot.

One by one, Penguins forwards and defenseman alike wound up producing a reel comprised mostly of shots gone wide. Eight of them. With Ice running through his veins, the crease in the Igloo proved the perfect locale for the rookie in the only NHL rink that has given him victory.

That was the great news.

The good news was the 3-0 lead the Habs had jumped to early in the second period. For the second time in two nights, the Suddenly Susan Montreal offence chased the starting home goaltender. At 3-0, the Habs' streak had seen them manufacture a 20-7 rout of the opposition over a span of 3 games and cambio. We have seen this team come out of the starting blocks in convincing fashion in the past. We have seen them put together a surprising string of wins to mount improbable playoff pushes. However, what we have never seen them do is blow the opponents out of the water night in, night out. The Montreal Canadiens of late (Habs Thesaurus 2007: "of late" = since 1979) don't inflict damage, they find ways to win, and squeak out victories within the context of one-goal outcomes. Now all of a sudden it's 6-1 here and 5-1 there and Montreal is powerhousing around. They get to meet the other team's backup goalie midway through a game. They no longer require blood thinners late in the third to alleviate the stress. And suddenly the fans who have been watching this strange occurrence all along realize that stars are aligning in ways they had long forgotten. This soon makes them come to terms with the right word amidst the mounting intrigue: wow.

But good things don't last forever. And so, reluctantly, the other shoe began its descent in the second period when Crosby must have realized, "Hey, I'm freakin' Sidney Crosby", and decided to do something about it. What Sid did was make it a game.

And for an odd reason another Pens-Habs tilt yielded inspiring hockey. Yet again. And who's complaining, besides the eight little Penguinas that could not find the correct turns around the Grand Prix.

Maybe Alex Kovalev has reason to complain. Game 1001 delivered a concoction of soft, dipsy-doodly, dispassionate play. He took a bad penalty that lead to a goal and fueled the Penguins' drive. By the end of the third, Pittsburgh had been skating the Canadiens into submission. The Pens'skill started to show, much like the lactic acid that had begun slowing the strides in Montreal on this, the tail end of back to back games.

In the end though, a back to back away equation produced a four point formula. Andrei Markov's slick backhand through a formidable Sabourin saw to that. Even if it did take 16 skaters in the shootout to write that ending. We must note however that eight of this Sweet Sixteen probably found this particular finale quite bitter.

The Morning Skate for Monday, October 29

Bullet points for what you missed while having nightmares of Boston fans becoming even more insufferable...

Don't look now, but the Habs are on a 4 game win streak, and are the top non-division leader in the East. Enjoy it while you can.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Ladies and gentlemen, on stage for your dancing pleasure, Sidney Crosby" - Game Preview and Open Thread (Technical Difficulties Edition)

Hey there! HF29 here, struggling with technical difficulties. My laptop's screen no longer functions after months of me having (lawyer alert) willful blindness about the problem. I have hooked up my computer to the teevee, but the resolution is problematic. Is the stripper above even good looking? I can't tell. I also can't really spot typos, so who knows wtf I am typing.

So my apologies for not giving you a full preview, but I don't want to overload you with tyyypos. So here's some basics - 7 PM start in The Burgh, on RDS and CBC (Quebec and East only). Habs on a 3 game win streak, woohoo! Carey Price will be between the stripper poles. Michael Ryder will be between Pittsburgh and oblivion.

K let's hear your dirty, dirty thoughts on the game in the comments.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Following the Usual Parade Route: Habs 7, Whalers 4

We at FHF are still reeling from the fact the HARTFORD FREAKING WHALERS won a Stanley Cup a scant 2 years ago (mostly because we're all still living in the 80s). To add to the insult, the Whalers have seemed to own the Habs the last few years, so yesterday's game was a welcome return to the realm of hockey reality, at least the way we see it. Nice to see even Whalers fans hate their own owner, though.

Plan the Parade: Habs played like a cohesive unit (gasp), especially in the first. They then coasted a bit, but managed to keep it from getting close and hopefully saved some gas for tonight's game. The Habs continue to show why they belong with the "special needs" class, as six of their seven markers come on special teams: 5-7 on the pp, with a EN-SH goal by El Dandy to round to the scoring. Pleks has a career game with Kovy and Gui!, netting a pair of goals and assists (and, we assume, a pair of jubblies at the post-game celebration in Hartford's finest Gentleman's club). Plus he follows the intermission interview script perfectly by not answering one question from Luc "I the one who speak da good Hinnglish" Gelinas. My Boy Chips' fine play is rewarded by Coach Carbo with a shift one the "first" line, while Huet plays well enough to win. Whaler's coach Petie The Violet does his best Violet Beauregard impression after the parade of Whalers to the sin bin in the first (still doesn't come close to the Carbonneau Face, though). All the chincy "New NHL" calls go the Habs way, so I guess the Habs finally outbid the opposing team for their services (someone must have finally told the refs that the loonie is now the dominant currency in North America). They didn't get full value for their bribes, though, after the 2nd period call against Komo and the non-call and the non-call on the clear pic play against Kovy in the third. I guess we haven't reached "Leafs on HNIC " game-calling status yet. Kovy scored points #800 and 801 in his 1000th game; Giu!, ever cognizant of stats that he can quote to the bimbo from Laval at Newtown, does Kovy the courtesy of digging the puck from the back of the neyt on point #800 . Streit officially removes himself from the FHF milk cartoon with a goal and an assist, and the Swiss Miss turtles from what would have been a one-sided fight with Whaler J. Williams. But the Habs got a pp out of it, proving the Swiss always win when other people are fighting. Hamr again proves to be the anti-Souray with solid, if unspectacular, play at both ends.

The Sky is Falling: Whalers try to run CristoWall every chance they get after the first, and try to pick a fight with any Habs under 5' tall (hi down there, Franky and Streit). Brind'Amour again wins more faceoff than he loses - of course, having the ability to win puck drops with your Gonzo-like schnoz helps. (Seriously, if that guy got punched in the nose it would take his brain 24 hours to register the pain.) Habs play 5 on 5 hockey like the Timbets munchkins between intermissions. The "first" line stinks up the joint again, and Saks is relegated to the forthliners after he treats a Whalers forward like he's got an STD on the backcheck which set up the Whalers' 3rd goal. At least you can't say Carbo plays favorites. Wait, what's that Kovy? He does? Oh who asked you anyway.

Next Evil Foe: Pens tonight in the second half of back-to-back games. The Crosby show again, so look for lots of dives and whining. Let's hope MA Fleury continues his Red Light Racicot impression, and the refs read a rule book and figure out what "goaltender interference" means.

"Ladies and gentlemen, on stage for your dancing pleasure, the Carolina Hurricanes" - Game Preview and Open Thread (Special 10% Season Awards Edition)

So we are playing the Carolina Hurricanes AGAIN. Shit that's annoying. I've already previewed them twice. So here's the quick details - 7 PM in Carolina. It's on RDS. Habs on a 2-game win streak, and Kovy is playing his 1,000th career game tonight. Carolina is second only to Ottawa in the East, led by Cam Ward's 1.85 GAA and Eric Staal's 7 goals. Now you're ready (well, once you've had some beers).

Since I am not doing a full preview 'cause I am annoyed, I have something special for you. With 8 games in the books, the FHF is pleased to present the earliest season awards in the history of sports - the 10% Season Awards. Yes, I know it's only really the 9.8654% Season Awards, shut the fuck up you math geeks.

The tits (offence) - Kovalev. Hands down our most consistent offensive player through the 10%. And he's done it with rotating linemates (thanks, Carbo) which makes the feat all the more impressive. I cannot believe I just wrote that the Enigma is our most consistent offensive threat. Armageddon is upon us.

The tits (defence) - Huet and The Hamr (tie). Sounds like a bad sitcom, but they're both deserving. The Christo-Wall has been stellar, with a GAA under 2 and a save % of .934. He's kept us in games we had no business being in. Comes up with the big save when needed. Unflappable. I haven't heard a "Ca-rey!" chant yet while he's between the stripper poles. Hamrlik, after a bit of a slow start and a gaffe or two, has been our most consistent defensive D by a mile. He's +2, and it's always hard for a Habs D to be on the plus side. He's chipped in on the scoresheet too, with 5 points through 8 games. As I've mentioned many times since I went to my first game, seeing him live is the only way to really appreciate his play. Like a 45-year old stripper, you can't really look directly but you have to appreciate the veteran savvy.

The cellulite - Breezer. I know, I know, I pile on. But while he has possibly delivered some veteran presence on the blue line, he has definitely delivered some of the gaffes that made him famous. I've seen them. In his own zone, in the offensive zone, in the neutral zone. He would make gaffes in the end zone if hockey had them. Please god don't have him on the ice in any critical situation.

The armpit hair - Michael Ryder. One (crappy) goal through 8 games. I know he scores in bunches, but he better get going soon. He's supposed to be the goal scorer on the first line; he needs to start acting like it. Get some Screech in him or something. Dishonourable mention to Tenderness, who needs to get his ass shipped to Hamilton for a wake-up call. Good luck finding a decent strip club there, Gui.

Watching the game? At the game? Listening? Imagining the game in your head? Let's hear your dirty, dirty thoughts in the comments.

The Game Day Skate for Friday, October 26th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of your bullpen coming up big in a Game 2...
  • Leafs win. Ugh. And to make them even more insufferable, now they have some hot shot rookie named Jiri Tlusty who scored 2 goals. On the plus side, Bob Cole may have a heart attack trying to pronounce his name;
  • In delusional Leafs news, they are allegedly looking to skirt NHL rules and sign phenom John Tavares. I thought HF10 was joking yesterday;
  • The Oil beat The Wild in a shootout. Two losses in a row for Minny, looks like their reign of terror is coming to an end.

The FHF will be hitting the keyboard hard in the next two days, as the Habs head to Carolina and The Burgh for games tonight and tomorrow. Are we playing in a six-team league or something???

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Leafs Forced to Pack Overnight Bags: Toronto Management Files Protest Over "Grossly Unfair" Scheduling

Sundin and Tucker console each other after hearing the horrific news

In a shocking development that General Manager John Ferguson Junior has labelled "grossly unfair" and "contrary to all principles of decency", the National Hockey League, in a brazen swipe at the shining beacon at the centre of the hockey universe, has decreed that the hard-luck Maple Leafs will be forced to travel to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins this evening. Leafs season ticketholders, fans, broadcasters, and players were shocked at what team president Larry Tannenbaum called "an outrageous, unnecessarily cruel punishment" from the league.

"I don't even have a bag large enough to hold a change of clothes", sniffed young winger Thomas Steen as he tearfully boarded a plane for the grueling hour and a half flight. Captain Mats Sundin helped the distraught youngster find a seat, refusing to answer questions about "this bullshit decision; rumour is the Penguins received permission to play Crosby and Malkin too."

NHL Head Office representatives would not confirm or deny Sundin's accusations that Penguins stars Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, and Sergei Gonchar would be allowed to play tonight. If so, it would be yet another injustice forced upon the Blue and White. As beloved, entirely neutral announcer Bob Cole noted, "it's bad enough they let all those guys play in Toronto, especially since they had only played one game the night before. But to let them all play at home after the Leafs have to take that horrible flight, and then have to take a bus to the rink ... well, that's deplorable." Cole then mumbled incoherently, mispronounced the names of several Penguin players (past and present), and hugged his Darcy Tucker beanie baby.

Coach Paul Maurice was incensed at the injustice being served on his team. He noted that the Leafs had already been forced to play in Ottawa and Buffalo in their first ten games, "and some of the boys didn't get back to their condos until almost 1 am" after both contests. Maurice also noted that if not for the timely injury suffered by Atlanta goalie Kari Lehtonen, the Leafs would have faced their third starting goalie of the year. "Three starters in the first ten games! And Gerber WAS the starter in Ottawa last year for a time!" said an increasingly agitated Maurice, his voice as loud as a normal human whisper. "If I only have back-up goalies, it only seems fair that the other team use theirs."

Commissioner Gary Bettman was indeed sympathetic to the Leafs, and said that the NHL would make sure that injustices such as this were not perpetrated against "our flagship franchise, and the owners of our rented offices in the ACC." Bettman then promptly suspended Penguins goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Dany Sabourin for tonight's game, and replaced them with former Pens back-up Frank Pietrangelo and Jean-Claude Van Damme's character from Sudden Death "because he plays a Penguin goalie, and that's close enough." Bettman also immediately passed the "John Tavares rule", which guarantees the Leafs the right to choose 16 year-old Oshawa Generals goal-scoring phenom John Tavares "whenever they are ready".

When told of the Commissioner's moves, Ferguson Junior said "it's a start, but it still won't save my fucking job. Do you think the Pens would take the Tavares pick for Pietrangelo?"

The Morning Skate for Thursday, October 25th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of being on the good end of a Game 1 blowout...

Big thanks to Senators Lost Cojones for a great job on his winning wager post from yesterday. Scroll down to check it out. Now let's get back to pointing out ourselves how much we suck.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Come To The Dark Side. We Have Cookies!

Hi. I’m Senators Lost Cojones. Some of you may remember me from such writings as “Héroux: Greatest Hab Of All Time?” and “Bettman vs. Canada: The Sodomite Years”. I have a confession to make. I grew up a Montreal Canadiens fan. That’s right. In my tender years growing up in Cornwall, Ontario (official motto: Come For The Smell, Stay For The EI Cheque!), I bled bleu, blanc et rouge. My family’s Easter dinners were scheduled around Montreal’s playoff games. One of my uncles refused to speak to me for years, after I posited that Les Glorieux’s draft record may not have been so hot. Claude Lemieux’s OT goal in Game 7 of the 1986 Adams Division final against Hartford reigned, until my discovery of the female breast, as the single greatest moment of my life. Then, in October of 1990, coinciding with my attendance at Carleton University (Hog’s Back High – Where the K stands for Kwality!) the NHL gave Ottawa its soul back. For the first time since 1932, Ottawa would have a big-league hockey team. My worlds collided, and I had a choice to make. The seminal moment came on October 8th, 1992. You may remember it. Ottawa 5, Montreal 3 (some things never change). And as I watched a rag-tag group of cast-offs, has-beens and never-will-bees vanquish my boyhood heroes I discovered that I had become a fan. And you can too.

That’s why I’m here. I’m here to show you there is a better way. No longer should you feel obligated by “tradition” or “it’s what my syphilis ridden grandfather would have wanted”. I’m here to say, it’s okay. Come to us. We will welcome you. I’m throwing on my #13 Jamie Baker jersey, pulling up my Laurie Boschman underoos and presenting you with The Top Ten Reasons You Should Abandon Mediocrity And Become A Sens Fan!

#10: Our mascot won’t molest your children. Habfan 29 made much ado about the apparent weakness of Spartacat. But think about it. Which would you trust more with the entertainment of your precious progeny? A cute fuzzy lion dressed up as a hockey player, or a washed up, derelict muppet with a lazy eye on his second job who refuses to wear pants?? Exactly.

#9: Welcome to the New England Patriots of the NHL. Heatley, Fisher, Alfredsson, Volchenkov, and soon to be Spezza, all signed through the 2011 season. That, boys and girls is the making of a dynasty not seen since…well…since 1976. And of course, due to Commissar Bettman’s shrewd leadership, the salary cap can only go up, allowing our Senators to plug in the supporting cast as needed. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway. I fully expect to see John Paddock patrolling the Sens’ bench in a sleeveless hoodie by March.

#8: Hockey in May! For those of you previously unaware of the fact, there is hockey being played after the regular season ends. It’s called “the playoffs”. Ottawa has played on or near Victoria Day (that’s Day Of Imperial Oppression for you separatists) every year for the last ten. Come to our side and enjoy the ride!

#7: We don’t worry about dancing leading to touching. There’s a reason Ottawa is known as the “Town that fun forgot”. While Canadiens players are distracted by the cosmopolitan nature of Montreal, the easy commute to your downtown rink, not to mention the most beautiful “danceuses exotiques” in the western hemisphere, if not the world, Senators players have no such problems. Our boys make the hour and half hour (at rush hour…no cushy “Metro” for us) trek to our suburban rink in blissful ignorance of such frivolity. The game is the thing. In fact, I hear Mike Fisher wears a hairshirt and self-flagellates on the way to games. Such dedication, whether by choice or by the fact that there really isn’t anything else to do, only leads to more wins and less “misquotes” to the press. Are you listening Mr. Kovalev?

#6: Our Canadian billionaire owner is better than your American billionaire owner. Eugene Melnyk is a man possessed. He wants that Big Ugly Trophy so badly, he doesn’t care who or what he crushes on the way to getting it. George? Well I’m sure he checks the standings between attempts to cram another blade in our shavers.

#5: We didn’t draft Darcy Tucker. ‘Nuff said.

#4: Rediscover winning! Twenty four Stanley Cups has a way of making a fan base rather blasé. We’re on a 77 year drought. Last year’s Finals only made our hunger and fanaticism that much stronger. I can guarantee you will never hear Ottawa’s mayor issue a directive that the parade “will follow the usual route”. Mostly because he’s an idiot who’s too busy trying to figure out which way to hold his pen. But my point still stands. Come to us, and remember how sweet your first was. Admit it. Nothing else ever feels the same.

#3: We have the most expensive headcases ever. 7 million dollars tied up in two of the weirdest goalies in the League. Gerber Baby signed to be The Guy last season then folded like a cheap suit seven games in after realizing that his new city took hockey rather more seriously than his previous acquaintances made up of NASCAR loving rednecks. Rayzor took over and led us to the Final. On the way, he caused one traffic accident, decided that Mike Tyson was an appropriate role model, ate a cockroach on a bet, and dyed his hair blonde. In training camp he threatened the life of a fellow motorist ( then again, I would have done the same). Christobal Huet? I think he may have once run with scissors. When he was six.


And the number one reason why you should all become Senators fans: You can survey the rest of the sad-sack, craptacular Eastern Conference and with confidence, point and scream: WHO’S YOUR DADDY??

The Morning Skate for Wednesday, Ocotber 24th

Bullet points for what you missed whiled dreaming of closing the season and playoffs winning 25 of 26...
  • Ryan Smyth returns to Edmonton and the Avs win 4-2. Classy fans in Edmonton, cheering for him all the way and making him cry. TMS wonders how Habs fans would react in the same situation;
  • Leafs lose! Unfortunately it was in a shootout so they got a point. On the plus side, it was to the last place Thrashers. Mmmm that's good schadenfreude.

On tap today - the FHF wil be indifferent as Senators Lost Cojones of Five for Smiting makes good on his winning wager with what will certainly be a humbling experience. If only Habs fans could be humbled.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Grabs grabs his first (groan...): Habs 6, Broooooons 1

Yours truly was delighted to attend the game last night in the first use of his 1/4 of a pair of season tickets. So an actual first hand account follows. If only I wasn't drunk on crappy Molson products costing $9.50, I might have remembered something.

Plan the parade - well, 6 goals is a miracle. And it was balanced scoring - all four lines chipped in. As HF29 boss Warren noted, the new acquisitions and balanced scoring are making up for the loss of Souray, even on the PP. Grabovski gets his first NHL goal, Bégin gets his first of the year, and the usual suspects (Kovy, Higgins, Markov) were in on the act. Even Breezer scored, and I cheered. Please refer to my note about drunkenness above.

On the defensive front, Huet was stellar as usual. Really kept us in it in the first and made some key saves when the game was still close. And The Hamr was really impressive in person. You only appreciate his play when you can watch the whole ice and see him be in the right position all the time - TV cameras don't show that.

The sky is falling - we needed a power play in the last 3 minutes just to get to 20 shots for the game. We were blessed by a crappy performance from Manny Fernandez and Zdeno Chara doing his best Breezer impression (h/t msevigny in the comments last night). The original Breezer, even while scoring, sucked, with two glaring giveaways. And sing with me - "where have you gone, Michael Ryder, Habs nation turns its lonely eyes to you, woo woo woo.."

Chez Parée bound? There may not be enough dancers to accommodate all the Habs who get in. Ryder is the designated driver waiting in the car.

9 lap dances out of 10. The lack of shots and help from crappy Bruins took a little away from this one.

Next evil foe - the Carolina Hurricanes Friday night. How many times do we have to play these guys???

The Morning Skate for Tuesday, October 23rd

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of free Buffalo wings...

While we bask in the glow that is 6 goals, it ain't all lollypops and sunshine and strippers as TMS feels compelled to tell you we have received Senators Lost Cojones winning wager post in our inbox. We'll bask today and feel humbled tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2007

"Ladies and gentlemen, on stage for your dancing pleasure, the Boston Bruins" - Game Preview and Open Thread

Waiting in line details - 7:30 PM start, Bell Centre, Montréal, QC. On TV: RDS and RDS-HD in French, USA National TV Versus in English. Montreal English radio CJAD, Montreal French radio CKAC. Habs took the season series last year 5-3. Bruins come in having won four in a row. Habs come in riding a phenomenal one game winning streak.

Pay your cover charge to - Ghosts of the Garden. They've got a contributor named "Doobie," so I'm a fan already.

Hot, sexy, if a bit "seasoned," Habs to watch - the big UFA signings of the summer, Smolinski and Hamrlik, exploded for 5 points against the Sabres. Smolinski plays his 1000th NHL game tonight after Hamrlik played his earlier this season. Then this Friday Kovy "plays" his 1000th game.

Hot sexy Bruins to watch - goalie Tim Thomas is playing out of his mind, leading the league in both GAA and save %. And Manny Fernandez got a shutout in their last game. Two number one goalies it looks like. Remember how well that worked out for the Habs?

Skanky Habs to watch - Michael Ryder continues to look lost out there. Big Tits and Grabovski, if they are playing, need to start generating some real offence.

Skanky Bruins to watch - Good 'ol Claude Julien return to Montréal behind the Broons bench. I like him, but we'll see how the fans react. Bruins fans in Montreal are always a pain in the ass. Welcome, out of towners!

Post-game adult entertainment establishment - forgotten amongst the lights of Ste-Catherine is Club Super Contact. Sort of the younger skankier brother of Super Sexe. A little dirtier, a little uglier, but a lot more fun than its big brother. Huge area of private booths upstairs and out of the way. Always a good time.

Watching the game? At the game? Listening? Imagining the game in your head? Let's hear your dirty, dirty thoughts in the comments.

The Game Day Skate for Monday, October 22nd

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of coming back from down 3-1 in a seven game series...
  • Just two games last night - Minny continues its winning ways and Vancouver rides Curtis Sanford instead of Luongo to a 4-1 win in Columbus. Canucks were outshot 14-0 in the 2nd. You read that right.

Habs look to extend their winning streak to 2 with the Broons in town tonight. TMS will be there, as his 1/4 of a season ticket finally kicks in. Boston fans will be even more insufferable (if that's possible) after the Sox win last night. Ugh.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy Bounces - Habs 4, Sabres 2

Their goals were not things of beauties. A bunch of lucky bounces helped the Habs end their three game losing streak last night. I thought about an MC Hammer photo for The Habs' own Hamr, but this blog has had its fill of parachute pants for the year.

Plan the parade - Bob's 1996-era free agent signings of Hamrlik and Smolinski finally pay off with some decent play. Kyle Chipchura gets his first NHL goal. Your first star is the boards of the Bell Centre for delivering the puck to Smolinski with a great pass to set up an easy goal on the PP, and they saved their best work for Hamrlik's winner, with an assist to the legs and arms of the Sabres it bounced off.

The sky is falling - the first line was pretty absent for 40 minutes. The defence was seen standing around one too many times, especially on the Sabres second goal. Huet looked shaky on the Sabres 1st goal. Ca-rey! Ca-rey!

Chez Parée bound? Always after a win, especially against a division foe. Hamr and Smo getting the VIP treatment.

7.5 lap dances out of 10. We still haven't played a 60-minute game. We still need to generate offence not on the PP.

Next evil evil evil evil evil evil foe - we get our first look at the hated Broons, riding a five game winning streak and 2nd in the division. Irish pubs and strip clubs of Montreal beware, the Bostonians are coming.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

"Ladies and gentlemen, on stage for your dancing pleasure, the Buffalo Sabres" - Game Preview and Open Thread

Waiting in line details - 7:00 PM start, Bell Centre, Montréal, QC. On TV: RDS and RDS-HD in French, Sabres local TV MSG in English. Montreal English radio CJAD, Montreal French radio CKAC. Last year the Sabres took the season series 4-3-1. Buffalo may be anoyed after getting shut out by Columbus last night. Habs should just be annoyed, hoping to avoid their fourth loss in a row and avoid the sky falling into the lower atmosphere.

Pay your cover charge to - Die by the Blade. Their name alone deserves your attention. And it looks like they do open game threads too, so pop over and taunt with your HF best.

Hot sexy Habs to watch - hmmm. I guess we have good goaltending. The first line is playing well, and Kovalev played a nice game in the Sens loss. Our PP is 5th in the league (really?).

Hot sexy Sabres to watch - Hecht (fresh off signing a 4-year extension), Connolly and Pominville have gelled nicely as a line that plays well two ways. D Brian Campbell has 9 points in 6 games.

Skanky Habs to watch - anyone trying to clear the zone. Coach Carbo's Line Juggling Super Terriffic Happy Hour.

Skanky Sabres to watch - did you know good ol' Jocelyn Ti-Bo is the backup in Buffalo this year? It's apparently true; I think I vaguley remember that signing this summer. The interweeb doesn't seem to know if he's starting though. But Miller played last night, so there's a chance he will. That would be fun!

Post-game adult entertainment establishment - mention Kamasutra to any knowledgeable Montreal strip club patron and you'll get one of two reactions. One group says it's a great, high class place with hot dancers and a great atmosphere to take a g/f or even a client. The other group says maybe, but it's still a rip-off. I am in group two.

Watching the game? At the game? Listening? Imagining the game in your head? Let's hear your dirty, dirty thoughts in the comments.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Sky is (Still) falling: Sens 4, Habs 3

While we wait for Five for Smiting to bring down the Hammer (get it now? Yeah, I know, at least the kitten was cute) on our beloved (?) Habs, let's take a look at what happened on the ice last night out near the big box stores in Kanata.

Plan the parade - we were oh so close to pulling one out on their ice, if not for Greek Lightening's brain cramp 30 seconds after Kovy tied it. Nonetheless the Habs were not completely outclassed by the best team in the league (no matter what **others** may say in thier posts on our site.) Price still looks like he's bored in nets; he's the Iceman. 2 for 4 on the PP, so while I hate to disagree with my colleague HF29, the only thing Souray would have added would have been to the home team's tally, likely courtesy of Spezza undressing him in highlight fashion. Grabs and Big Tits looked like actual NHLers. Tenderness scored his first of the year - of course if I were that lucky, the blond in yesterday's game preview would have been picking up that red dress off my floor this morning.

The sky is falling - again the same story: the Habs play well but come up short, lacking the offensive to pull it out in the end. Pleks wasn't stellar, although we think RDS might have ovverated a tad in their assessment that he's the crappiest player to come out of the Czech Republic since Pavel Brendl. Ryder scores his first of the year - and why, you ask, is that part of the sky falling? As LG77 correctly pointed out in yesterday's open thread, whenever he scores, we lose. Price should be upset about the first 55-foot floater from Wade (Over-)Redden(ed) - of course, that would mean he is capable of emotion, and we all know that androids are capable of emotion (and if anyone makes a reference to Data from Star Trek in the comments I will shoot myself in the temple) . At what point do we put Mark Streit's face on a milk carton?

Chez Parée bound? No cover for Tenderness, the Koivu line, Grabs and Big Tits, Kovy, Hamr, Markov and Price. Greek Lightning is paying the team's tab.

6.5 lap dances out of 10. Could have been a 10. Damn Greek Lightening.

Next evil foe - besides Five for Smiting's post? I guess it's the Sabres on Saturday night at home. The Sabres are evil for Lindy Ruff and the depth to have last' year's third 3rd line center, Derek Roy, step in and be the #1 pivot this year - while the Habs cross their fingers that Koivu plays like this all year and Pleks 2nd half wasn't a fluke. Plus, they're still whining about the toe in the crease FROM ALMOST EIGHT YEARS AGO. Get a life, people. Oh wait, you live in Buffalo, riiight.

Friday Afternoon Blogalicious - Special Habs Suck Edition

While we wait for some more analysis about last night's mistake-o-rama from one of the FHF who is not too annoyed to write (i.e. me), let's troll around the nation of Hockeystan for the best of the best. Today's special, rants about the Habs! As always, these are FHF approved.

The Morning Skate for Friday, October 19th

Bullet points for what you missed while having nightmares of one of your rivals' bloggers taking over your blog after a wager. What's that you say? Aw, fuck...

TMS is off to the strip clubs to console himself.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Ladies and gentlemen, on stage for your dancing pleasure, the Ottawa Senators" - Game Preview and Open Thread

Waiting in line details - 7:30 PM start, Scotiabank Place, beautiful downtown Kanata, ON. On TV: RDS and RDS-HD in French, Ottawa local TV A Channel in English. Montreal English radio CJAD, Montreal French radio CKAC, Sens radio The Team 1200 . Last season, Sens took the season series 5-3. Newly-signed Senator Randy Robitaille returns home from Russia with his pregnant wife and dreams of hometown glory.

Pay your cover charge to - Five for Smiting of course. In case you've been under a rock or on a smack binge, we've got a little wager going on tonight's game. Winner gets to urinate on the ice of the other team's rink, er, post unedited on the other blog.

Hot sexy Habs to watch - Price gets the start. All eyes on him. And how will Kovy react after playing great last game then getting in the middle of a (media created) firestorm.

Hot sexy Sens to watch - Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson: 11, 10, and 9 points respectively. Martin Gerber has been stellar with a 5-1, 1.99 GAA and .941 save %. Ray Emery's wrist who?

Skanky Habs to watch - anyone who is supposed to put the puck in the net (see esp. M. Ryder).

Skanky Sens to watch - when you're 6-1 and leading the NHL, not much to complain about. Their PP has been pretty weak, just below 15%.

Post-game adult entertainment establishment - if you're ready to go out after sitting in traffic for 45 minutes after the game, The Bare Fax is the crème de la crème. Very centrally located, very beautiful women, very classy establishment.

Watching the game? At the game? Listening? Imagining the game in your head? Let's hear your dirty, dirty thoughts in the comments.

The Game Day Skate for Thursday, October 18th

Bullet points for what you missed while having nightmares of being stuck in traffic on the 417 heading to Scotiabank Place and really having to pee...
  • TMS insta-reacted to the Kovy v. Carbo business from yesterday (scroll down to the next post), but Carbo insists all is rosy. He even compared Kovy to Guy Lafleur. He's smoking between periods?
  • Sheldon Souray is out indefinitely with a separated shoulder. Thank God we got rid of him, eh?
  • Bob Hartley was fired by the Thrashers after 6 straight losses. May be a bit quick on the draw there with a quality coach;
  • Crazy Devils-Pens game last night. Disallowed goals, fans throwing stuff on the ice, and craziest of all, the Devils playing run-n-gun hockey.

This is it. Tonight! The Battle at the Bank! We've had some jolly good fun with Five for Smiting this past week as we prepare to have Carey Price steal one so we can win our bet.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Maybe you're the problem

All day long I have been reading and hearing about Carbo vs. Kovalev. I didn't want to post anything because the focus today should be on the awesome Sens post HF10 wrote. So please, click or scroll down to read that. But I can't hold my tongue any longer.

For those of you who, you know, worked today and are in the dark, Kovy blasted Carbo for not calling a timeout last night after Komo got the penalty with 2 minutes left. According to RDS, Kovy said:

"On aurait dû demander un temps d'arrêt, a-t-il dit. Cela nous aurait permis l'avoir les bons joueurs sur la glace. On a été organisé durant toute la rencontre sauf pendant les deux dernières minutes du match."
For those of you who don't read French, that trasnlates to: "we should have called a timeout. We were organized the whole game, but at the end Coach had a brain fart and I hate him."

Carbo was quick to reply: "C'est facile de dire ça une fois le match terminé." Translation: "go back to Russia you dumb lazy fuck and stop bothering me."

This comes on the heels of this fascinating piece in The Gazette today where Habs beat writer Pat Hickey says Carbo is still having the same communications problems with his players as he had last year.

Last year all Habs fans said Carbo deserved some time. He would mature as a head coach. He would grow into his role. Clock is ticking Carbo. Ask Bob Hartley.

Fear of a Beige Planet

So we have this little wager with Five For Smiting. We're supposed to unload all of our snark on the Sens this week. And we tried, we really did. We declared "Sens Hate Week" on the FHF campus, held a big bonfire, had Youppi hang Spartacat in effigy in front of FHF headquarters. Nothing. We looked for dirt on Spezza and Alfredsson and Redden to no avail. We thought long and hard about things we hate about Kanata, but none of us have actually been anywhere in Kanata other than the Palladium - er, Corel Centre - er, ScotiaBank Place. We tried to work ourselves into a frenzy over losing to Neil Freakin' Brady and the expansion Sens in their first ever game ... but we actually won the Cup that year so we really don't care. We had a good laugh over Alexander Daigle and his nurse's uniform, Alexei Yashin's holdouts, Ray Emery's driving record, Mel Bridgeman's pornostache and the Benny Hill-esque goaltending of Steve Weekes and Peter Sidorkiewicz, but ... nothing.

You see, we like the Senators ... the team referred to as "the tiny, perfect franchise" by NHL brass during the expansion process. The Sens and their fans are such cute little darlings ... from the "Dah dah dah-dah dah! Let's Go Senators!" theme song, to their pleasantly plump anthem singer Constable Slewidge, to their milquetoast manager, coach, captain and fanbase. They're everyone in Ontario and Quebec's second favourite team.

Sens fans travel well; they pour into Montreal and speak their civil servant French, go to Nickels or Baton Rouge, probably tip decently, and politely cheer their team. Bruins fans are boors and Leaf fans are morons, but Sens fans don't raise too much trouble in Montreal because the majority of them still have a "Roy 33" Habs jersey in the closet at home. Oh, the Sens fans boo and hiss the Leafs, and they make themselves loud, but Scotiabank is quite a civil place to watch a game, nowhere near the looneybin the Bell Centre can become.

You see, the Sens suffer from the malaise all expansion teams suffer from. They're building a franchise; that means new history, new heroes, new rivalries. The problem is that every single Ottawa fan over the age of 15 already had a favourite NHL team when the Sens came along. More often than not, that team would have been the Canadiens (give it up, Leaf fans ... it's a geography thing.)

Now don't get me wrong, the Sens have built quite a little rivalry with Toronto over the past few seasons, at times as bitter and nasty as any in the league. Part of that is attributable to constant playoff meetings, some of it a result of the NHL schedule makers (home and home to start the season again? Really?), some is the natural "Canada's Capital" vs "Ontario's Capital" rivalry played out on ice, maybe some is even due to the fact that so many Sens fans grew up cheering on the Habs and love one more reason to boo Toronto. Somehow, though, Montreal/Ottawa never took off. Maybe the demise of the RoughRiders/Renegades/Fighting Gleibermans took some of the sting out of the Montreal/Ottawa rivalry. Maybe it was when they closed the Dunn's in the Byward Market to put in that Nickels. Maybe the Sens and Ottawa are just too lovable, too cute, too vanilla to be angry with. To wit:

The arena is in Kanata, Ottawa's duller, quieter suburb. It's a nice rink, good sightlines, decent size, average amenities. It's a nice pinkish hue on the outside. The fans are loyal, knowledgeable, not too rowdy. The team is lead by a stoic Swedish guy, a pair of polite Western-born defencemen, and a couple of offensive whizzes from Southern Ontario. They have some sort of assembly line producing good natured, swift-skating 18 to 25 goal scorers named Fisher/Kelly/Schaefer/Eaves They all ride bikes while they give post-game interviews. Their goalie wears flashy suits and has trouble with basic traffic laws, and their "enforcer" is a gap-toothed little imp with strawberry blond hair. He looks like he should be carrying a slingshot in the back pocket of his overalls, not throwing bombs with Derek Boogaard.

The Sens are talented, draft well, make smart personnel decisions and win games. They contend. They play hard and fair. In short, they're BORING. Can I hate the Sens for being an efficient, don't-rock-the-boat model for how to do things right? I might as well hate beige, or the Swiss, or the production line of a Toyota plant. I'll start hating seeing-eye dogs, or automated banking, maybe Girl Guide cookies.

Maybe I'll save my anger for the Bruins. And the Leafs. And the Panthers, apparently. I can't seem to develop any rage against the beige. Sorry Sens. It's not your fault.

Cats Rob Habs

Yeah we know the cat is being held up, but come on, how could we not post this pic? Oh, and it's official: the Habs will be synonymous with "goal starved" again this year.

Plan the parade - Huet, again. 3 stellar stops or the Habs don't even make it to overtime. We scored first and outshot them, and managed to avoid the penalty parade for most of the game. Koivu's line was dominant at times. Kovy seemed to want to play.

The sky is falling - despite outplaying the Cats, the Habs choke with 11 freaking seconds left and make Vokoun look like The Dominator against Team Canada in '98 in the shootout. 1 of 4 points on the season-opening homestand. Again they run up against a hot goalie, but as Coach Carbo said in the post-game interview, at some point you have to put the puck in the net, and we're quickly losing faith in the so-called goal scorers (where are you, Mr. Ryder?). Komo takes a bad penalty late in the game (but we still love him - even if he does do yoga). Seeing his old teammate Zednik must have made Breezer remember his Breeze-by act, as half way through the second he allowed Zed to walk around him - thankfully ChristoWall was there to bail him out. Plus he doesn't clear the puck when he has the chance with seconds remaining. Bring back Georges!

Chez Parée bound? We'll let them in for the effort - this time. But they pay cover and no comp'ed backroom visits, except for Christobal.

5 lap dances out of 10. No where near the embarrassment of the Canes game, but they still blew it.

Next evil foe - the Ottawa Senators Thursday night. We're on the road, so maybe we'll win. And FHF has a lot riding on the outcome, so let's hope Begin and Latendresse are motivated after their benching.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Ladies and gentlemen, on stage for your dancing pleasure, the Florida Panthers" - Game Preview and Open Thread

Waiting in line details - 7:30 PM start, Bell Centre, Montréal, QC. On TV: RDS and RDS-HD in French, TSN and TSN-HD in English. Montreal English radio CJAD, Montreal French radio CKAC, Panthers radio 790 the Ticket. Last season, Panthers owned the season series 3-1. In the 4 games, Habs scored 3 goals total. And the Panthers supposedly suck. Uh-oh.

Pay your cover charge to - Panthers Daily Puck. Number of Habs fan blogs? About a jillion. Number of Panthers fan blogs? One. Man that expansion was a great idea.

Hot sexy Habs to watch - Huet made the Canes game resepctable. He's about the only thing that's hot.

Hot sexy Panthers to watch - Olli Jokinen has two goals and two assists in the last two games, both Panthers wins, and tied Scott Mellanby for the all-time Panthers scoring lead (ah, such history). Panthers PP had 5 goals in those two games.

Skanky Habs to watch - name your poison. PK is floundering. No offence in the last game has led to a new second line, Gui? apparently being benched, and the coming of the apocalypse.

Skanky Panthers to watch - Tomas Vokoun is not the saviour he should have been, with a GAA above 3 and a save % below .900. Jay Bouwmeester has zero points and is -4 so far this year.

Post-game adult entertainment establishment - a favourite among the FHF is Club Downtown. Conveniently located a block or two from the Bell Centre, it has the best combination of good looking dancers and er, "fun" in the Downtown core. Ask for the two Romanian women special. Can get very crowded on the weekends, but otherwise pretty flawless. And show your Habs ticket stub and get a free beer!

UPDATE - it's official. Gui? has been benched. Even more updates - Bégin will join him in the press box, and Garth Murray will see action. God help us.

Watching the game? At the game? Listening? Imagining the game in your head? Let's hear your dirty, dirty thoughts in the comments.

The Morning Skate for Tuesday, October 16th

Bullet points for what you missed while having nightmares of talking with pissed off Forum ghosts...

Alrighty very busy couple of days in the FHF coming. Tonight is a classic trap game against the Panthers (we'll have an open thread of course) as we look ahead to Thursday's tilt with the Sens and our wager with Five for Smiting. After we brought the fuzzy orange genitalia F4S gave us the nightmares of Forum ghosts linked above. If only this bet was against a Leafs or Bruins blog, we might really care.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What's that smell??? Oh yeah, it's crap

A day late, but a quick review of the shit from Saturday night.

Plan the parade - the only positive thing was Huet. Played his ass off, preventing both a blowout and the Ca-rey! chant with some fine play. Oh, and I guess the Breezer played reasonably well, and was brought to tears by the fans ovation. My god, when Breezer is a reason to cheer we're really in trouble.

The sky is falling - you're fucking right it is. That was about 3 minutes of effort to start the game and we finally got desperate with about 8 minutes left in the 3rd. Other than that, it was flat play, no energy, and a parade to the sin bin. Major stink bomb.

Chez Parée bound? That team wouldn't even get into the skankiest clubs in Laval.

1 lap dance out of 10. Huet prevented the 0.

Next evil foe - the Florida Panthers tomorrow night. They suck, so we might win.

UPDATE - I totally didn't mention the length and breadth of Gui?'s sucking (note the ! has been replaced). Thanks to regular reader Fezworth for pointing out this has led to him being benched for tomorrow. Finally Carbo pulls his head out of his ass long enough to notice his level of suckitude over the first 4 games.

The Morning Skate for Monday, October 15th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of winning 20 out of 21 at just the right time...
  • The entire FHF was just too pissed off at the Habs effort (or lack thereof) in their 3-1 loss in the home opener to post anything yesterday. TMS' excuse was that he was too much in shock as to how the Breezer was the best player on the ice;
  • Flyer Jesse Boulerice gets supended 25 games for his vicious cross-check on Vancouver's Ryan Kesler. All these 20 and 25 game suspensions don't seem to be stopping this shit;
  • TMS is wild for Minnesota (sorry) after they beat the Ducks to remain the only unbeaten team in the NHL. If only they were still the North Stars I'd really be happy.

OK tomorrow against the shitty Panthers. Habs better play 60 minutes, or we will release a stream of expletives the likes of which have never been seen around these parts.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

"Ladies and gentlemen, on stage for your dancing pleasure, the Carolina Hurricanes" - Game Preview and Open Thread

Waiting in line details - 7 PM start, Bell Centre, Montréal, QC. Woohoo! Habs' home opener! Who's going? On TV: RDS and RDS-HD. Canes TV Fox Sports South. Montreal English radio CJAD, Montreal French radio CKAC, Canes radio WCMC 99.9 FM The Fan. This is the second meeting this year already between the 2 teams, with the Habs winning their season opener in Carolina 3-2 in OT (thank Saku). Hurricanes come in after blowing through Ontario, destroying the Laffs 7-1 and ending the Sens win streak.

Pay your cover charge to - Carolina on Ice. Their world's worst Photoshopper is actually pretty funny.

Hot sexy Habs to watch - Andrei Markov on offense, 5 points in 3 games. And Pleks looked great on the reconfigured Danse à 10 Line.

Hot sexy Canes to watch - Eric and Erik. Staal leads the Canes with 8 points and Cole had 2 goals against the Sens.

Skanky Habs to watch - Andrei Markov on defence. Man he had some ugly moments against the Pens. Breezer pops back in from the press box, but he can't be worse than Josh Gorges was, right? Right??? Gui! has not yet realised the season started. And the Habs fans, will they start the Ca-rey! chant as soon as Huet lets in a goal?

Skanky Canes to watch - Vinny Testaverde, 43-year old QB who may start this weekend for Carolina. He couldn't move out of the pocket at 23, what happens at 43?? Whoa, for a second there I was channelling KSK. Sorry.

Post-game adult entertainment establishment - in what may become a 41-part series on the best strip clubs in Montreal, we'll start with the grandaddy of them all, Chez Parée. Just up the block from The Phone Booth. Best looking dancers in the city, if not the world. There's a reason it's a favourite amongst Habs and visiting players alike. But there's two reasons it sucks, very expensive beverages and no contact. Though I'm sure neither is a problem for those same Habs and visiting players.

Watching the game? At the game? Listening? Imagining the game in your head? Let's hear your dirty, dirty thoughts in the comments.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Only Thing We Agree On is Leafs Suck

So we had a very special email in our inbox this week, courtesy of Senators Lost Cojones of Five for Smiting:


I would like to propose the following on our upcoming *cough* tussle at the Bank next week. A small wager, as it were. Should the Habs somehow prove the better team in our house, FHF will be invited to write as gloating, irreverent, insulting (and with luck, stripperific) a post as the four of you can muster to be put up on my site, unedited. And of course, I would ask the same in return. And between now and then, a little interweb smack talk can surely be arranged.

So what say you boys? I have thrown down the gauntlet. It just happens to look like Pleks' bloody Cooper.
The reaction was swift. As HF10 put it:
I'm all for it. When do we play those little darlings with the cutesy trumpet fanfares and the goofy anthem singing cop?

Did anyone see them trot out their legendary first captain LAURIE BOSCHMAN for the ceremonial faceoff at the home opener? I almost fell off my couch.
So the gauntlet, er, keyboard, has been thrown down. There is much juiciness to taunt with (Daigle, Kanata, bankruptcy, a couple dozen Stanley Cups for starters), but we figured we'd start with something truly inane yet would still bring glorious victory to Nos Glorieux - mascots.

We've got Youppi!, the only multi-sport professional mascot ever. Like a fuzzy orange Bo Jackson. They've got Spartacat, an anthropomorphized lion with no apparent skills. Look at the photos above. Youppi! is brimming with confidence, giving the thumbs up, totally comfortable enough to be flashing his fuzzy orange genitalia. Spartacat, on the other hand, looks timid, afraid of failure, like he might collapse at any moment. You know, like the Sens in every playoffs.

See you on the 18th, SLC.

On Stage for your Viewing Pleasure: The Saviour (TM)

Let the record show that on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 Carey Price made his first NHL start, his first win, and his first 1st Star selection, in a Habs uniform. He made his first save, and a tremendous one, at 0:53 of the first period, robbing Mark Recchi in close. Does this mean he is The Saviour, the Future Face of the Franchise, the Man-child who will lead the Habs back to their Glory days and bring the first Stanley Cup to Le Centre Bell? Yeah, we don’t know. But lets take a closer look at The Saviour’s (TM) first game.

Price is the prototypical goalie for the New NHL. He’s not a true butterfly goalie in the mould of Patrick Roy; he’s a “hybrid”, which basically means he’ll do whatever it takes to stop the puck. People who know way more about goaltenders than FHF talk about a goalie’s “tool box”, or the set of different save skills they use to keep the puck out of their net. Just like a great NHL goalie, a great Strip club needs a variety of young ladies who bring their own particular talents to the stage for your viewing pleasure. And of course, as with everything else, the best way for FHF to explain Price’s attributes is to use some kind of stripperiffic-like rating system, so here goes.

The first thing The Saviour has going for him is size. At 6’3” 212 he covers a lot of net right off the bat, something the Habs have not had in between the pipes for a while. A perfect example occurred in the second when a Penguins player took a shot from the high slot and Price went down in the butterfly and it just deflected off his shoulder and into the corner. If that was 5’11” (in Paris’ heels) Theo, he’s fishing that puck out of his net.

Stripper equivalent: obviously, breast size. Price would be the blond with the DD’s, and not the kind you have roll up when you’re done with them. No, these are sitting right her the chin (see the pic for the Pens preview).

Then there’s Price’s athleticism; while he made lots of technically sound saves, he also had to scramble for a few. All night long you could see how quickly he recovered when he went down.

Stripper equivalent: Working the pole. Oh yeah, don’t pretend you don’t know what we’re talking about. FHF has seen you working you way up to the stage when that petite raven-haired goddess comes on stage, the one who can do the upside down splits at the top of the pole. As Timmyyyy put it, yowza.

Then there are his reflexes. In the third, Christensen got off a shot through traffic that Price couldn’t have seen before it was two feet from him, and he threw up his blocker, knocked it out of the air and smother the rebound.

Stripper equivalent: The brunette who always looks half drunk, the one who does all her lap dances with a Vodka-Red Bull in one hand. Never spills a drop - not that we noticed, anyway.

Young and nubile (just ask LG77), Carey’s got the flexibility thing going. Again in the second there was a mix up behind the Habs net and Crosby almost managed to stuff it in. Give credit to Komisarek for helping his ‘keeper out, but The Saviour appeared to make his spine disappear as he twisted around to keep the puck from crossing the goal line.

Stripper equivalent: Remember that cute redhead with the B cup who put her ankles behind here ears? She says she’s 23 but she looks 18 (and that’s just because, well, even we have limits). Yeah, we remember her too…

Probably the most important skill for a goaltender in the New NHL is lateral movement, getting from, post-to-post as quickly as he can. Without this, NHL goalies don’t last long (ask Bill Ranford). The Saviour made about 5 saves over the course of the night coming across, one of the best off Old Man Roberts half way though the first.

Stripper equivalent: The 6’1” chick with the black hair who goes from the stage to the back, stage to the back. Just a blur in between and always a guy waiting when she gets off stage. She’s not only putting herself through college, but the club owner’s 17 kids with 8 different wives, too. When she leaves you move on to the next peelers arena that opened up down the street.

The flashiest move in goaltending is the glove save, and The Saviour pulled out a few (although admittedly Fleury had the glove save of the night). A couple of times, though, you could see Price just pick the puck out of the air like he used the Jedi Mind Trick to slow it down first.

Stripper equivalent: The hottest girl in the place, the one with perfect tits and the defined abs and legs who you (or anyone else) can't take their eyes off while she's gyrating on stage. The reason you keep going back ever night for more, you degenerate.

One of the perks of being a goalie is you get to have more individuality than your teammates, mostly reflected in your mask. Carey's new one (seen above) is the best Habs mask since Roy left, IMHO. If replicas go on sale, Panger will be the first in line for one.

Stripper equivalent: The tall lean one with the long blond hair who wears the great outfits - the ultra short jeans with pink fishnets peeking out, to go with the thigh high fuck-me boots. Just try to look away. Or not.

Another key element in today’s game is rebound control. In the third, with Malkin lurking on the doorstep, Whitney stepped into one from the point, and Carey when down butterfly style and squeezed that bullet for a face-off. Otherwise, 2-2 and it’s a different game.

Stripper equivalent: The smoking hot black girl who is constantly trolling around the room, looking for her next victim. No guy can say no to her, and none of her targets manage to get away before dropping next month’s car payment.

One thing that seemed to need work was communication. Although Bouillon said on RDS during the 1st intermission that this was fine, the mix up behind the net when Price left the puck behind the net and Koivu skated past it. Thankfully it didn’t result in a goal.

Stripper equivalent: The French girl who doesn’t speak English, dancing for the guys from Texas who don’t speak French. Somehow everyone seems to figure out what they should be doing, though, and everyone leaves happy.

Puck handling skills have been sorely lacking in Montreal since the halcyon days of Jeff Hackett. Theo was a disaster and Huet is not much better, although at least he seems to realize his limitations. Price, on the other hand, is fantastic. While a couple of his shots off the boards landed on opponents’ sticks, you could see the velocity on them. And at one point he has the puck behind the net with a Pen closing in, between him and a Habs defender (can’t recall who). Anyway, Price calmly flipped the puck over the Pens stick right on to the tape of his teammate. He’ll set up his share of goals with long bombs, and probably will score a goal to finish it off.

Stripper equivalent: We’ll leave this last one to your imagination. Let’s just say it doesn’t take place out in front of the club, and you usually have to pay extra. And it definitely has a happy ending.

The Morning Skate for Friday, October 12th

Bullet points for what you missed while having nightmares of being pelted by water bottles by angry fans. Man you would have thought it was Philly, not Phoenix...
  • Mats Sundin becomes the Leafs all-time leading scorer and points-getter in an 8-1 romp over the Islanders. Mats is a classy guy so we'll be classy and congratulate him, even though, you know, Leafs suck;
  • Sens' winning streak comes to an end with a 5-3 loss to the Canes. Let's see, Canes beat Sens, Habs beat Canes, how does that math work for you on October 18th, Five for Smiting?
  • After the "success" of the London experiment this year, it looks like next season will open in the Czech Republic. Pilsner + absinthe + hockey = one hell of a good time.

Today on FHF, resident goalie expert Panger takes an in-depth look at the Franchise Saviour (TM) so grab a lovely beverage and watch the show. Looking forward to the big home opener this weekend? TMS' swinging bachelour pad is within view of The Phone Booth, he can already smell the hot dogs cooking. Of course we'll have an open thread for those of you not lucky enough to be one of the 21,273 so we hope you'll pop in. We'll be taking bets on how long it will take the "faithful" to chant Ca-rey! Ca-rey! after the Christo-Wall lets in his first goal.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Plan the Parade: Habs 3, Pens 2

There was a Penguins massacre last night in Pittsburgh...ok maybe not a massacre, but something occurred that should strike fear in the rest of the NHL. The Saviour began his journey to replace a Saint, 22 years later to the day in the same arena. And he did NOT disappoint. Oh, FHF is giddy this morning!!

Plan the Parade: "The Saviour" Carey Price, but that's it's own post. Future Captain and My Boy Chips makes his under-hyped debut as well; started off slow (a little over 3 mins in the 1st), but by the third almost scored playing with HF10's Boy Higgins and LG77's Boy Ryder (kidding!). Besides The Saviour, Pleks was the best player on the ice (yes, better than Crosby - not that he was shabby, but The Kid is incredibly still looking for his first goal of the season). Pleks scored on an outstanding shot on the Habs first goal and made a gorgeous tape-to-tape pass off the boards to Kovy to set up the second goal. Both the Pleks and Koivu lines looked like #1 lines last night. The PP scored again and the only PP goal allowed was bullshit. Markov seemed intent on replacing Souray's offense.

And special mention has to go to the players on the ice in the last minute - I haven't seen that many Habs players throwing their bodies in front of shots since '93. Think it had to do with the kid in nets? Me too.

The Sky is Falling: As a team, faceoffs and discipline need, umm, work. Crosby was a whopping 67% on faceoffs. We acknowledge he's the best player on the planet, but come on, tie up his damn stick! Almost makes us long for the Yannick Perrault days. Almost. As for discipline, Markov's blatant cross-check to the other team's (and league's) best player, right in the crease, 5 feet from the ref comes to mind as an example.

As for individual performances, Gui! was invisible again last night. Josh Georges had a few gaffes and looked a little overmatched, prompting us to look longingly up to the press box for Breezer (ok, that line was just to see HF10's head explode). Mrs. Panger couldn't understand why Georges doesn't go with the French pronunciation of his last name - he may have to if he wants to keep O'Byrne down in Hamilton. Smolinski icing the puck with an open net in the last minute - just the kind of thing that comes back to bit a team in the rear, to steal a classic line from The Saviour - although he was there to make sure it didn't happen. Markov seems intent on replacing Souray as a defensive liability (see the Pens second goal). Cover the open man in front of the net, Andy!

What we can blame the refs for: Even though the PP's were 5-2 in favour of the Pens, the refs really only made two mistakes: Crosby clearly made no effort to avoid contact with The Saviour while in the crease on the 1st goal. "But he was pushed" is always the excuse - I'm sure when he was hit by Hamrlik on the right side of the crease, it meant he couldn't recover 5 seconds later on the left side of the know, as opposed to when he's getting hammered driving to the net but still manages to keep skating. Don't get me started. Plus they missed the obvious high stick of Old Man Roberts on Big Tits. Although the Whitney penalty was clearly bogus, from the replay.

Chez Paree bound? With The Saviour on their shoulders. Gui! stays on the bus, keeping Georges company.

10 Lap Dances (out of 10): This isn't a reflection of the Habs dominating the Pens (it could have gone either way). Except that in 20 years, (hopefully) Habs fans will look back and remember this as the start of the rebirth of the Stanhely Cup winning days of the Storied Franchise, as The Saviour fulfilled even the most optimistic prognostications during his first game. That rates a 10 on its own. Plus, you know, they won and everything.

NEXT EVIL FOE: Saturday against the Canes. The Canes are evil because of Justin Williams' blatant, unpenalized high stick on Saku Koivu. And no, we haven't gotten over it, as it directly resulted in the Habs elimination. Also, what the f@#$ was the Stanley Cup doing in Carolina? Seriously, Lord Stanley is still rolling over in his grave (wherever that may be over in England). Plus, everyone says Cam Ward is from Sherwood Park. It's EDMONTON, people. If I made the NHL, I wouldn't say I was from Cote St Luc instead of Montreal. But then again, that's just because I would never want to be associated with Red Fisher in any way.

The Morning Skate for Thursday, October 11th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of playing in a League Championship series...
  • Habs win! Here's your highlights. Obviously you'll be noticing the Franchise Saviour (TM). Breathe people, it's one game. Much more from the FHF on the game later today, and you can scroll down to see the insta-reaction from the game open thread. TMS may have been a little harsh on the D, calling them "6 Breezers" at one point;
  • A Flyers over 'Nucks blowout turns chippy turns ugly. You can see the ugly moment here at about 1:07. Broad Street Bullies are back?
  • Senators win again. Yawn. Though there is hope for the rest of East as they gave up 28 shots to a sucky Atlanta team and needed Brian Elliott to be great in his NHL debut. Though TMS may just be jealous.

This 3-4 days between games is annoying. I want another game NOW.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Ladies and gentlemen, on stage for your dancing pleasure, the Pittsburgh Penguins" - Game Preview and Open Thread

Waiting in line details - 7:30 PM start, Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. On TV: RDS and RDS-HD (in French), Pens TV Fox Sports Pittsburgh. Montreal English radio CJAD, Montreal French radio CKAC, Pens radio WXDX 105.9 FM. Hockey on alternative rock radio? Cool, dude. Last season Habs were 2-1-1 against the Pens, but the only thing anyone remembers is the vicious yet somehow satisfying spear Maxim Lapierre delivered to Sid the Kid right after the opening faceoff in a February game that was playoff-intense. Oh Max, where are you when we need you?

Pay your cover charge to - our friends over at The Pensblog of course. While their formatting-challenged layout may best be viewed with THC-9 in your system, they know how to turn a phrase and are quick with the Photoshop. The AK-47-toting, cigar-chomping penguin I saw over there this morning (seems to have disappeared now) was a work of genius.

Hot sexy Habs to watch - all eyes on the Franchise Saviour (TM) with a glance toward the Franchise Captain in Waiting (TM). El Dandy looking good up front.

Hot sexy Pens to watch - Crosby, Malkin, Sykora, Staal, Gonchar, take your pick. Jeez it's like the '27 Yankees or something. Even Michel Therrien can't screw up that lineup.

Skanky Habs to watch - with Breezer watching from the press box, ugliness should come from Gui! Gui! Gui! who has been the invisible man so far this season. And the new Danse à 10 line (Kovy Pleks Big Tits) needs to provide the big O (offense, people, get your minds out of the gutter).

Skanky Pens to watch - Crosby's right foot, bruised from a François Beauchemin shot on Saturday. Marc-André Fleury ain't been so hot between the stripper poles with a 4.81 GAA. And apparently Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts are both still alive and playing for the Pens.

Post-game adult entertainment establishment - from The Cantaloupe, you can stroll over to Blush. Totally nude and a free lunch buffet. Can't get better than that. Although it's "Couples Night" tonight, which sounds a bit too classy for our tastes. Unless it means lesbian couples on stage, in which case, giddyup.

Watching the game? At the game? Listening? Imagining the game in your head? Let's hear your dirty, dirty thoughts in the comments.