The New Jersey Devils, the living embodiment of Earth Hour, shut the power off for 60 minutes. Like always. David Suzuki approves of their conservation efforts ... saving red lights from going off since 1994.
The Sky is Falling: Well, with the Devils, the sky never actually falls. The Devils inexorable grinding down of opposing teams is a lot like the booby trapped ceiling in an Indiana Jones movie. It slowly, surely comes towards you until it squeezes your breath out and ends it with a whimper instead of a bang. For the past 15 years, it's usually the ending the Habs get. Montreal didn't play terribly, and New Jersey wasn't at their best, but their system is freakishly effective unless you have the otherworldly talents that can unlock it. The Habs don't. And now it looks more and more likely that they could be playing for their playoff lives until game 82. Fourth line lynchpin and surprise power play ace Glen Metropolit went down with what appears to be a shoulder injury, taking away some of the sneaky offensive menace in the bottom two rungs.
Plan the Parade: Things to take away from this one? These are not the remorseless killing machine Devils that throttled the life out of Yzerman, Federov, and a talented Red Wings team in the 95 finals. This Devils team looks beatable if they meet in the playoffs (delusion metre off the hook? Possibly). Jacques Martin (possibly forced by an injury to Metropolit) shuffled the deck and tried different looks, which is a nice change. Gomez and Gionta were flying at times, Cammy had two assists, and Little Tits showed flashes that the coaches must have noticed. Even some first line duty for Sergei. Big Tits scored again, and may be the happiest guy in the room to see Cammalleri back drawing away defenders and tilting the ice away from Andrei's space.
Other stuff I was thinking about during this most holy turn off the lights for one token hour to save the planet evening: Jaro 2.0 is Gainey's worst offseason move by a country mile based on his performance of late. Andrei Markov seems off. Dominic Moore had his quietest game as a Hab - I barely heard his name. Bob Cole drove me crazy because every time he said "Motteau" I thought he said "Otto" and kept looking for former Flame beast Joel Otto in the faceoff dot. That Tim Horton's commercial with the guys doing cliche Canadian things would be a lot more effective if they hired actors who could fucking skate ... those two skate like the Indian exchange student we had on our intramural hockey team in university. I don't trust Halak sometimes. He makes me nervous and I can't say that about Price when Price is on. Jaro makes it look hard sometimes. Fuck me, I'm gonna be pissed if the Leafs sneak out of the lottery picks. Carbo is the worst colour guy ever. He'd be in the three-man booth in hell with Joe Bowen and Harry Neale for sure. Turns out the Devils have no one wearing a number over 30. I know that couldn't work for a team with so many numbers in the rafters like the Habs, but that's kind of old school cool.
Scoreboard watching: Sens, Bruins, Sabres and Thrashers win; Flyers, Rangers, and Panthers lose. Habs stay in 6th, two up on Bruins and Flyers, four up on Thrashers, 6 on Rangers. Of course, they all have games in hand on Montreal. Hey, remember when Montreal had played a bunch of extra games for no reason, but "don't worry, they have a week with only 2 games so everyone else will catch up?" Well this week Montreal played four times to jump a couple games ahead in the played column again. The lesson, as always: The NHL is fucking hapless in every single fucking way. It seems like this is Montreal's lot every year (and yes, the Habs could make it a moot point by winning), but there has to be a mental strain that comes with looking at the standings and doing the calculations and seeing your playoff position change when there is nothing you can do about it. I'm not sure how there isn't a computer scheduling system out there that can't keep everybody withing a game or so ALL YEAR LONG. At one point this year I think somebody had SIX games in hand on the Canadiens. That's fucking ridiculous.