Did you know the Habs hit the halfway point this weekend? Did ya? Huh?
Really? You knew? Well, bully for you Mr. Checking the Schedule Smartypants Fuckface. I guess you can stop reading right now.
Whatever. For the rest of you, in the grand tradition of the one other time I did this, here's The FHF Half-Assed Half-Season Sorta-Kinda On Time Review. In handy stream-of-consciousness form.
We're what? You're fucking joking. I'm pretty sure this team sucks!: Last year at this time? 2nd in the Northeast, 5th in the conference, 21 wins, 13 losses, 8 OTL. This year? 25-10-6, 2nd in Northeast, 4th in East. For all the whining and gnashing of teeth that gets done around this team, for all the worries about the Bruins morphing into the 1970 Bruins and destroying the planet with their awesomeness, the Habs are ahead of last year's pace and riding an 8-1-1 streak. Fuck, really?
All-Stars! All-Stars! All-Stars!: And so, after all the ballot-box stuffing, all the complaining, all the embarassment that is fan voting, your Eastern All-Stars feature Carey "TFS" Price as starting goalie, Markov and DOOM on defence and Kovy skating with two guys playing for the tenth place team in the conference. Of the four, Markov certainly deserves it, Price's numbers are good but not as good as some others (Tim Thomas immediately comes to mind), DOOM is an FHF and neutrals favourite for his hitting and general all-around badassery, and Kovy shouldn't be anywhere near the rink that weekend. If you look at DOOM as the fan's acknowledgement that maybe fancy-pants goals and stickchecking isn't all you want in a defender, then his election is a good thing. My only wish? That all Kovy and Tanguay's votes had gone to Koivu so he could be named captain, start, and get the ear-blistering ovation he so richly deserves from his hometown crowd. Now I get to hope DOOM breaks someone in half instead. I'll see the replay because I ain't wasting any time watching the game.
The New Guys: Gang Bang Lang is leading the team in goals, points, missed open nets, and ability to mesh with anyone. He's currently leading the charge of the Tits brothers and can also be found hanging out with Kovy in the "former Pens with groovy mullets on the downside of their careers who still weave magic sometimes" section of the dressing room. As a Plan B from "Fuck You" Mats Sundin, he's been terrific.
BGL keeps getting hurt, and he's slow as death when he plays. If he tears Chara's or Lucic's head off before the season is done, it's a successful signing.
Tanguay is also hurt after a promising start. He showed more goal-scoring skill than I anticipated, and the promise of Koivu/Tanguay/Higgins was enticing. Jury still out.
The New Kids: Dagger! Max Pack! Chips! Maxwell! (Okay, not really Maxwell). Weber! As the injuries piled up, Dagger provided a jolt of goal-scoring electricity and helped the team over a rough patch. Max Pacioretty continues to give us all glimpes of awesomeness, and makes the Rivet for Gorges and a 1st (Pacioretty) trade take on mythic proportions of one-sidedness. Chips finally got the call back up, and has looked fine ... which is what you want from your checking line centre-types. Maxwell needs some work. Weber looks to be struggling a bit with the speed and I shudder to think what might happen against a top-flight team. Still, Dagger! Max Pack! Whoooo!!!!
The Subbanator deserves his own damn paragraph!: PK F'in Subban is great. I hope Bob doesn't trade him. He's not even on the team and he might be my favourite Canadien.
The stat that made me go WTF? more than any other: It's not that our leading scorers (Lang and Kovy) are on pace for 64 points. It's not that Mad Max has more goals than Gui! Gui! Gui! and Little Tits, and only one less than ZombiePleks. It's not even that Max Pack has a shooting percentage of 33%. It's this: Josh Gorges, plus 16.
Habs would be dead in the water without: Mad Max and his fucking crazy channelling of Guy Lafleur the past few weeks. Josh Gorges and his mystifying chicken-head-cut-off style of defending resulting in a plus 16 and all sorts of important ice-time (he's averaging over 20 minutes a game!). Dagger and his timely goals. Lang and his timely everything. Breezer, routinely making the safe play and chipping in with a dozen points and a plus 6. Whoa. That and an inexplicable ability to pull games out of the fire. Hold on, kids.
Things to look forward to or worry about: What happens when all the walking wounded return? Where do Higgins and Koivu and Tanguay and Laraque and El Dandy fit in? Can Gorges keep it up? Is Price hurt worse than anyone is letting on? If he is, can Jaro keep winning? Is Bob going to mess the chemistry up with a monster deal for Jay Boumeester or Vinny Lecavalier or Ilya Kovalchuk? Can I get an indication of what sweater number PK F'in Subban is getting, so I can order it now? Will the fucking Bruins please fall back to earth, and will someone shoot Milan Lucic down off a building King Kong style before the playoffs? Can the Habs keep winning, hold down a top-four spot, and avoid a trip to Jeff Carter and Mike Richard's house of goons for at least two rounds? If Bob trades for Tomas Kaberle, do I have to refrain from calling him soft as Craig Janney? Can you believe El Dandy finished that shift with a fucking broken arm??? What the hell is with all the road games in the next few months? Will someone please explain how this is the 100th anniversary, so the Leaf fans can find something else stupid to complain about?