Monday, October 29, 2007
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.
Posted by Dave at 11:39
Tags: HF33, post-game, Spaceballs, This is the song that never ends this is the song that never ends this is the song that ne....