Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Live on the Ocho!: 7:00 (8:00 if not for Daylight Savings Time - stupid farmers costing me an hour's sleep) from the soon-to-be Don Cherry Safety Approved Bell Centre. On RDS and real coast-to-coast TSN. McSplooge or Benoit Brunet? Bob McKenzie or Joel Bouchard? Sound off and radio? Anyone else want to exhume Danny Gallivan and let him and 113 year old Dick Irvin handle this?
I now declare thee the "Not So Great" 8: So, Alex. You've spent your entire NHL career gunning 50+ goals a year, freewheeling, not really backchecking, throwing reckless hits and winning squat. And now your team seems to have figured out defence, you've toned down the borderline cheap shots and with your team firmly in the mix for 1st overall in the conference, we notice you are on pace for 32 goals and 84 points. You and your "defensively responsible" teammates don't scare us! 32 goals? Milan Lucic is on pace for 32 goals, you scrub. Crosby has 32 goals already and he hasn't played in two months. Go back to the KHL you ... pardon? 17 points in his last 13 games, huh? Shit. Okay, maybe he's the "Still Pretty Great" 8.
Also great right now? Rookie Caps goalie Braden Holtby went 4-0 with a 1.05 goals-against average, a .965 save percentage and two shutouts last week, and Carey Price has won 5 of 6 with a 1.17 GAA, a .965 save percentage and a pair of shutouts too. Squid has 3 points in his last three. Plex has 4 in 4. Travis Moen(!) has points in 5 straight games and his work with Lego and Big Tits is invaluable at the moment. For the Caps, Alex Semin has 6 points in 6 and rookie centreman Marcus Johansson has 3 points in 3 games replacing injured Nik Backstrom as Ovie's centre.
Eight Men Out: Not the story of Montreal's defence. Although with Markov (right knee surgery), Gorges (ditto), Spacek (ditto ditto) out and newcomer Brent Sopel (broken hand) questionable, it's close. Wiz still feeling effects of puck smashy face day in Edmonton. Cammy is flu-ridden but probable. Drache has a groin, still out. And I don't know if you've heard, but Max Pacioretty got hurt last week on a "routine hockey play". Sure hope Zdeno Chara doesn't get hurt in a "routine gangland style hit" or something. Be a shame for someone with no prior disciplinary record.
Caps missing Backstrom (broken hand), goalie Semyon Varlomov (knee), and rover Mike Green with - wait for it - a concussion. Another star attraction out with a concussion, you say? Keep whistling past the graveyard, Bettman, YOU FUCKING IDIOT. Goalie Michael Neuvrith is probable for tonight. His injury is listed as "facial". Don't even go there.
[Side bar: Caps 8 game winning streak and renewed commitment to defence coincides with clever deadline trades for Jason Arnott and Dennis Wideman, but also loss of "defenceman" Mike Green. Not gonna read anything into that at all.]
Eighty Year's War: No, not the Bruins and Habs. The Eighty Year's War started with protests in the Seventeen Provinces against the rule of Phillip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands. Here's hoping the protest/demonstration planned for HabsBurg (aka the corner of de la Montagne and Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal) this evening is more peaceful but still results in the ousting of the ineffectual, dictatorial leadership the NHL is dying under. Everyone just try and keep your Beeldenstorm under control, okay?
Eighteen?: Better be sure before you go in the champagne room, fella.
Got any thing to add about the Great 8, today's protest or the underrated comic genius of Willie Aames? Add it in the comments.