The number eight in an interesting figure: All spiders, and more generally all arachnids, have eight legs. An octopus has eight tentacles. Eight is the atomic number of oxygen. The Jewish religious rite of brit milah is held on a baby boy's eighth day of life. In chess, each side has eight pawns and the board is made of 64 squares arranged in an eight by eight lattice. The original Nintendo used 8-bit graphics. In tarot, card No. 8 is "Strength". It's also my very own numerological number.
In hockey, it`s the number of the NHL`s top goal scorer and perhaps MVP, Alex the Gr8. It`s exactly half tyhe number of wins required to win the Cup. It is also now the number of wins the Montreal Canadiens have earned against the Boston Bruins in the 2007-2008 NHL regular season.
In last night's game number eight, yours truly had the honour of being present to watch the Habs pull off this historic feat. Against Boston, Montreal has won 11 in a row and 12 of 13 at home. They outscored Beantown 39-16 over the year. Since the '03-04 comeback playoff win against Joe Thornton's Brooins, the Habs are 2-42 against Boston. I think all of the above qualifies the Bruins as Monteral`s whipping boys. And thr world is as it should be.
It`s almost sad how dominant Montreal is over Boston (almost); as LG77 said during the game last night, cheering against them has become like picking on the retarded kid: you kindea feel bad about it, but itsso easy and its not like he`s going to retaliate. Even when the refs handed the B`s a powerplay with less than 2 minutes left in the third, even my normally paranoid self was relaxed and utterly convinced we would win (although I predicted we`d win in overtime - my bad). Turns out the Habs needed to make it dramatic, waiting to the last shot of the shootout to put a stake through the hearts of poor, pathetic Brooins fans. And what a beauty The Captain`s SO goal was: after Kovalev put the backhand-forehand deke into Tiny Tim`s head, Koivu went backhand all the way and put it past the spastic Bruins`tender.
Unfortunately this also means no more gimmie games in the six remaining against Ottawa (against whom we seem to play like the Bruins), Toronto (who always plays much better against us than the rest of the league), and Buffalo (fighting for their playoff lives and not a shabby club). And the Habs will have to do it without their own number 8, Komo (aka DOOM), the NHL leader among defencemen in hits and blocked shots, for the balance of the regular season at minimum. Last night Josh Georges stepped into Komo`s spot along Markov, and played a solid 25 minutes - and almost added the OT winner. The Swiss Mister was also solid in his return to the backend, further jacking up his UFA salary demands. Perhaps most gratifying was seeing Begin return to hit anything with the puck, including the Bruins` own Count Chocula, Zdeno Chara. (Seriously, if the hockey thing doesn`t work out for Chara, I`m sure he can go work as a spokescreature for General Mills.) Guys like Mad Max and Begin have to pound opposition defencemen at every turn in order to negate the Habs general lack of overall size. Of course, size is one advantage and speed is another. With the addition of Grabby, Mad Max and Little Tits this season, the Habs have gone from fast to blur. And most importantly for Montreal`s playoff hopes, Price has done nothing to dispell comparisons with Roy and Dryden`s younthful Stanley Cup runs.
Enjoy today and revel in beating a hated rival past the point of embarrassment. Tomorrow we face our own nemesis, the Sens, and the tables may be turned. May SLC have mercy on our souls.