Sunday, April 06, 2008

The FHF Come Together for the Finale - Habs 3, Leafs 1

So on Friday the FHF was having our usual email discussions and we thought it would be a trip for all of us to participate in the last regular season game recap. We'll each give you our thoughts, updating this post as the day goes on.

One problem - by the time Panger and yours truly came up with the idea, we're not sure of HF10 and HF4 saw the email. We hope they did. We're like a dysfunctional family - we have problems communicating. Anyway, on with the show.

HF29 - a decent finish to a decent season. That's high praise coming from me! Habs take care of business, avoid any more injuries. That's all that needed to be done. Price showed he's ready to go. We got some sort of freak performance from the new guy (Gregory "Stewie" Stewart), who looked like a Flying Frenchman for most of the game, then showed his true colours in a tilt with McCabe with two seconds left. Not much more really to say.

I'll close with this - 12-0 against one team in a year is not possible. Let's just hope 12-something is. Go Hockey. Pants.

Panger - a great finish to a terrific season. The Habs went beyond all but the most irrationally-passionate fans' expectations. Last night was like so many other games all seasons: solid goaltending, superb special teams, timely goals (although thanks to Paul Maurice for starting Andy "The Sieve" Raycroft) with a few big hits sprinkled in.

I'll close with this: when was the last time we had a collection of young players that all had a shot at being stars? At the least, the list includes TFS (tm), Komo, Higgins, Turtleplek, Big Tits, Little Tits, Rhino, and Guimauve.

HF4 - True or false. The ovations given to Kovy before the game and then to the entire team at its conclusion gave me goose bumps at the Bell Centre last night. None of your business.

It was a truly convincing trifecta of games, with this Captain K short team committing to a defence first approach. They handcuffed the Sens through 60 minutes of nearly perfect hockey. They replicated that effort against the Buffalos. Why not finish off the season in this newly discovered style; one which doesn't sacrifice too much offence, a defense so stifling it makes Jacques Lemaire look like a Harlem Globetrotter.

This season has been about Alex Kovalev. Period. Take the man's picture. Call Wheaties. In the last 3 years, I've often said, imagine what this guy could do if he played an 82-game schedule. Well, it's a bit late to get an answer, but you can argue that Kovy mailed in one of the best seasons ever by a player in his mid-thirties. In terms of imagination, skill, creativity. Kovy threw in a couple of jaw dropping moves a night. He led this team, mentored the youngsters, fostered a new bond with the coach. Most of all, he smiled, almost every night. Kovy probably had the time of his life this year, minus, say, a certain run in 1994.

Kovy had 28 goals through 61 games, meaning that he did trail off a bit. At that very juncture, another player emerged as the real billing. If Kovy's story this year took a page out of the late blossom edition, another proved to be cut from the cloth of the early bloomers. Carey Price owned the final 20 games of the season. His spectacular form finally emerged from its earlier, blander shell. The team responded to his unyielding play with unrelenting confidence; the type they never even demonstrated in front of a formidable Jose Theodore during his Heart Trophy year.

Top scoring team in the NHL. Splendid goaltending. Kovalev painting strokes of wizardry. However the Canadiens fare in the playoffs, 2007-2008 was the best in ages. Ages.

HF10 - An excellent ending to a season that defied all my expectations. Interesting to the last, including something happening to my part of this post (I know it was up ... people commented!) Last night the Habs did what good teams are supposed to do: they beat a team they should beat with a workmanlike performance. And beating the Leafs is always, always, always nice. The "67" chant is also fun ... I hope it becomes as ubiquitous as the "1940" chant used to be.

And now, 1st in the East and a springtime date with the Old Enemy, the Bruins. It doesn't get any better than that. Best rivalry in hockey. Yeah, I said it. Bring it on, and Go Hockey.

40 comments:

moeman said...

Way to cap off the Habs fantastic 2007/08 season with Stewie taking care of bryan 'decent living' mcpivot;

http://youtube.com/watch?v=qwX5udID13M

Brian said...

Is there anything preventing the healthy members of the "No Trade Five" from honing their playoff skills on the Marlies? The Leafs are the equivalent of a bad hairdo. It's time to get a crew cut and start from scratch. Mark my words, Toronto will be even worse next year. They may be financially healthy, but they're in a death spiral as far as the game is concerned.

panger76 said...

@brian: the only way the Leafs are going to get better (long term) is to be worse (short term). As long as Leafs fans refuse to allow a real rebuilding movement, the Leafs will still suck. And without any real top prospects coming up, it will be a long rebuilding process.

Sonia said...

@Panger: I think it's not so much Leafs fans as MLSE which refuses to allow a rebuilding movement. As long as the Leafs make them money, they're fine with suckitude.

Brian said...

@panger76: Even on the issue of sucking, the Leafs were woefully inadequate. The couldn't even suck badly enough to get a decent shot at Steve Stamkos. Watching all the promising young talent on a team like the Black Hawks makes you realize how far their management really is from putting a decent product on the ice. Man, has Gainey stocked the pond or what?

Phoff said...

@HF29: Dude, I get the fact that you're the pessimist of the group, but you have to use a better adjective than "decent" to describe this season.

There are only 2-3 teams that have more wins than the Habs this season. That's in the entire league!

104 points is better than decent, it's a very good season. Given the expectations at the start of the season, one might say that it's a great season.

Brian said...

Upsall could have ordered a cocktail and Chinese and burried that one. Go Flyers 1-0!

moeman said...

A very stalwart Habs fan and good friend was up from, wait for it, Indiana, last night and took in the game. She tells us that the '67!, 67!' chant was eventually returned (late in the 3rd period) by leaf fans with 'we know!'. Some leaf fans are actually fun-loving hockey fans (cbc/hnic excluded cuz those guys are wet noodles).

Also, corked a bottle of CHampagne today to fete the season and the sunny climes. Go Habs!

HabsFan29 said...

@10 - im sure it's true. because I had them as well. great thoughts re Kovy - to see him play every game over 82 was really quite something

@phoff - when i wrote that, i was back to the late 70's HF29. anything less than a Cup is a failure.

but everyone's right - it really was a great season. i play the role of pessimist, but even i see that

Flyers still up 1-0 to start the 3rd. Do I care about the Conference title? I guess maybe a little

Brian said...

@moeman: I actually have a few friends who know the game down here in NYC that are Leaf fans and they informed me that they will be cheering for the Habs. To a man, they are transplanted Canadians who get ill at the thought of the Cup being paraded in some BS local down here. The parking lot outside the Medowlands. The indignity of it all!

Brian said...

My typing really sucks. Man, how much more rest I could have gotten in college and grad school, if I could have typed!

Bryan said...

is that really the FHF in the picture above? funny, i always pictured you guys to be a touch more heterosexual! :P

HabsFan29 said...

@Bryan - it is not. we are too drunk before games to accurately paint letters on our chests

Brian said...

Habsfan29: Besides, if your spelling is as good as mine, you might end up writing SHAB!

Brian said...

Bash would be OK though!

Brian said...

First in the East: Flyers 2-0!!!

HabsFan29 said...

Damn Brian you beat me to it!

Wooo!

msevigny said...

Well, the Habs just won the conference, although granted, this is less because they were the superior team than because the Penguins tanked their last game so they could play the Senators instead of the Flyers. Sort of hard to blame them for that one.

Brian said...

And, without any typos!

Flying Toaster said...

w00t! Pitty lost! Habs are 1st biznatches!

Brian said...

Pens/Sens could be a very interesting series. What do you guys think?

moeman said...

Eastern Conference CHampions

Suck it media experts.

msevigny said...

If you consider a contending team melting down completely in the playoffs as its goaltenders are destroyed by the Crosby line and their own douchebaggery interesting, then yes, I'd say Pens-Sens will be pretty interesting.

Brian said...

@msevigny: I agree with you. No Cam Ward surprsie here. If Gerber returns to playoff form, you're stuck with Emery. Methinks the Sens are intercoursed!

moeman said...

The Sens are hurting and they will go into the series with a nothing to lose mentality. It'll go seven games and the Sens'll surprise. Habs might be next for them. Its God's plan and she is a Habs fan. Babes love da Habs!

Habsfan10 said...

Hey, anybody got a spare ticket? I'm gonna be in Montreal Thursday night!!

panger76 said...

@HF29 - that is the way it should be. In Montreal, it's Stanley Cup or bust. (Although a least now we have a future, too.)

@Sonia - point taken. But MLSE wouldn't be making money hand over fist if the fans stayed home.

Brian said...

What the hell are we going to do until Thursday night? Put in extra time at work? Naaaaaaaa! I have to find some pickup somewhere!

Bryan said...

we get a Z beside our name !

Brian said...

@Bryan: Come back tan, rested and ready like Richard Nixon in '68!

HabsFan29 said...

@bryan - the z is added.

@4 - whoops, i wrote 10 before. this name change has me confused

HabsFan29 said...

wait, maybe it did say 10 at the time given 10's note about his post. or maybe it's just the meth

HabsFan4 said...

By the way, in case there was any confusion regarding the title, that is NOT a picture of the FHF.

If it were though, I would totally be the hot one.

Loser Domi said...

Go hockey! is that a picture of the FHF or just some random drunk dudes at the Bell Centre Bell?

HabsFan4 said...

Weird, LD and I had the exact same thought at the same time. Whoa!..It's like we're totally connected or something.

Montréaliste1 said...

I was at the game last night... it was awsome. A riot almost turn out after the game. Some idiots climbed on cars (that were rolling on de la Gauch') waving hude flags.

They even burnt a Leafs' shirt. A bit too disrespectful I found...

Tabernaks. Habs are hot...

Montréaliste1 said...

@hf4: who's the hot one ? I got tickets in the blue section!

NOT for sale thought.

Habsfan10 said...

@ montrealiste:

HF4 thinks he's the hot one. He's actually the smart/funny one. Panger's the jock, HF29's the rebel/hippie.

Ergo, I'm the hot one.

Loser Domi said...

for the picture, starting from the left: Maybe/need more info, maybe, no, no

(I'm also female in case people didn't know)

Bryan said...

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j37/power2matt/Google.jpg