Thursday, March 17, 2011
Stay where yer at, I'll come where yer to: Tonight, at the old Bell Centre, where the real St. Patrick's banner hangs like Michael after stealing Trevelyan's corn in Fields of Athenry. 7:30 on RDS, TSN-Habs, and for those of you on March break, the Sunshine Network down South. Only one quibble with this St. Patrick's Day dust-up. The Lightning? Man the NHL misses some sitters don't they? Why not make use of your iconic franchises in towns with big Irish populations and throw together a slate consisting of any combos of Boston/NY Rangers/Chicago/Montreal and Toronto (in their old St. Pats uniforms) and have at it? If there's a sixth team in a place with a big Irish population, send 'em this way - I don't think Detroit cuts it, but if they do the matchups are brilliant. Anyway, Lightning are 4-4-2 over their last ten, Habs are 7-3 after the loss to Washington on Tuesday.
Hot like the fire of Cú Chulainn's battle in the Táin Bó Cúailnge: Lightning sniper Stephen Bertie O'Stamkos is more deadly than an IRA operative from the hash marks. Martin St. Patrick St. Louis remains the engine driving the City O' Tampa, with 4 points in his past two and closing in on another 90 + point season. Until recently, Simon Sean Ryan O'Gagne was solidly in the cold section, but has 4 points in his last 2. For Montreal, Leprechaun David Mickey O'Desharnais found a pot of gold in his play on Tuesday when placed beside Michael Patrick O'Cammalleri after injuries felled Thomas Michael O'Plekanec and Geoffrey Stephen O'Halpern. Once again, Pernell Karl Sheamus O'Subban wowed the crowd with more moves than a Riverdance marathon on Setanta.
Cold like a dew-covered Blarney Stone on a crisp morning before the first tourist bends their arse down for a peck: Workhorse D Roman Ronan Rory O'Hamrlik is pointless in 7, not good for a man logging so much time. Lars Rourke O'Eller has cooled slightly. Benjamin Patrick Flaherty O'Pouliot is pointless in 5. For the City O'Tampa, much maligned (recently) pivot Vincent David Declan O'Lecavalier is like the hockey version of U2: once in the conversation as best in the world, now just a huge financial hit and increasingly irrelevant to all but a few who believe he's one step from a monster comeback.
Broken like the Irish people after the Battle of Clontarf: Well, the Habs room looks like a Kerry jail after a Celtic/Rangers match with all the broken and bruised. You know about O'Markov, O'Gorges, O'Spacek, O'Darche, O'Pacioretty, and O'Sopel. But O'Gill, O'Plekanec and O'Halpern are all questionable, so Nigel Michael Patrick O'Dawes and Aaron Eamonn Ian Palushaj have journeyed up from Hamilton just in case. For the Lightning, Ryan Patrick Patrick Patrick O'Malone, Stephen Sean O'Downie and Randy Rory Iain O'Jones are two shamrocks short of a four-leaf clover, and Pavel Mickey Joseph O'Kubina is probable after serving a suspension for the old Belfast elbow he threw.
Better Reading than the Book of Kells at Trinity College: The boyos at Raw Charge would probably raise a pint of Guinness with you if you asked, and hated the Panthers.
Post match entertainment and pint raising: Well, since the GREATEST PUB IN MONTREAL the Old Dublin left it's original, brilliant hole-in-the-wall home, Hurley's has taken the Irish pub crown by default in Montreal. But I have new for you - if you're reading this and you aren't there yet, forget it. Ireland has a better chance of qualifying for the World Cup than you have of getting in now, unless you know the owners - or you can play the fiddle better than our good friend Brabander ... which you can't.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody! Hey, remember when St. Patrick's Day was in late May/early June back in 1993? That was fun. Drink up in the comments.