Monday, March 31, 2008

FHF Foot Monday - Could Have Been Worse

RDS reports that yes, Koivu's foot is broken. More tests tomorrow, then we'll have a better idea how long. On the good front, Streit is OK and will be back in the lineup tomorrow. Whew. One less chance for Breezer to play. Bouillon sees the doctor later today, no word on his severity. DOOM even skated today.

FHF Foot Manday - Koivu's Foot is Broken

CJAD reports that, in fact, Koivu has a broken foot and will be out for at least the rest of the regular season. Carbo has a press conference scheduled this afternoon - details to come.

FHF Foot Monday Pretty Lame So Far; Foot Fetishists Everywhere Disappointed

Still no word on the status of the feet of Koivu, Streit, and Bouillon. Beyond the reports of Koivu wearing some sort of foot brace and crutches as he came home, there is nothing to report.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled waiting and panicking.

The Morning Skate for Monday, March 31st

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of being a number one seed...

It's "Foot Monday" at FHF. We'll be watching out for reports on Koivu, Streit, and Bouillon. We're rubbing a rabbit's foot on a horeshoe as we write this.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

"The Worst Game I Have Ever Attended": Dad of HF10 Reviews the Blechh that was last night.

In the tradition of HF29's Mom, and because I don't feel like rehashing that dreadful performance, here's the review a la Dad of HF10, who was in attendance at the ACC last night, and gave me this review at Sister of HF10's birthday brunch this morning:

Dad of HF10: "That was the worst game I have ever attended. It didn't look like either team wanted to be there at all. The O'Byrne call was bull ... it was a totally clean hit, and with them already short the big guy [DOOM - ed] they were done. The Canadiens never even showed up. If Koivu is out for any length of time, they're going out in the first round, because no one on that second line did anything. Your brother-in-law heard it was a broken foot, out eight weeks. By the way, Son of (Dad's friend who owns the season's tickets) says hi. He's working for the ROM now. The crowd was totally dead. No noise at all. At least it was over quick. They're going to get swept by the damn Bruins in the first round if this keeps up. They were healthy for 75 games and now they'll lose everybody with a week to go. Awful. Just awful. "

Well said, Dad. That was a sorry excuse of a performance for Montreal. At one point, they had 8 shots on net (late second? I don't know). 8 shots on a guy as good as Toskala is NOT GOING TO DO IT. Was the team demoralized after hearing the news on Koivu and Streit? Taking the Leafs too lightly? Coasting because they knew Ottawa had already lost? Tired from their 3 minutes of effort in Buffalo the night before? Whatever it was, the game was dull and boring and made the Oilers/Flames game following look like the 7th game of the '89 Smythe Final by comparison.

Anything else to say? Not really. I'm fully on board with HF29 at this point. The team looks crappy at the worst possible time of the year, injuries are starting to show up, and the Habs vaunted "depth" is no good if Doom, Koivu and Streit are replaced with fucking Breezer and El Dandy. Worst of all? Leafs fans just chalked up another notch for their "the Leafs own the Habs" argument. Super. At least that will keep them happy as they hope for the Habs and Sens to lose.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Game Preview and Open Thread Wherein We Pay Tribute to the Leafs and Sucking

I agree wholeheartedly with SLC who so elquently reminded us, "As the Nation would say, we may not have won anything either, but at least we got further than you." That's all that matters, isn't it? Remember last year? When we fought to the last day with them for a stupid 8th spot? Compare that to this year. We're in first for fuck's sake, and they will be on the golf course soon. My glee knows no bounds. And I'm sober. We sort of feel bad for PPP and Loser Domi, but not really. Some very quick thoughts and updates headed into tonight's action:

  • 7 PM ACC CBC;
  • With Ottawa losing this afternoon, Habs can end the Sens' tyranny over the Northeast and clinch the division title with a mere single point tonight. That would be our first division title since we won the Adams in 1991-92;
  • Koivu and Streit both have swollen feet from too much dancing, er, blocking shots, and will sit out tonight. Their replacements? Breezer and El Dandy. Oh god;
  • Ha-lak! Ha-lak! Ha-lak!
  • We will celebrate Earth Hour between 8 and 9 PM by drinking our whiskey without opening the freezer to get ice. Talk about sacrifice.
Thanks to commentors Fezworth, Scott and Anonymous for writing the preview for me. If you have more news, please continue to do my job for me in the comments.

57 Minutes of Crap + Swiss Mister + TurtlePlek = Holy Fuck

I am sure if other HF's were writing this review this would be an "OMFG what a comeback!" kind of thing (see e.g. HF4 [née HF33]'s brilliance re the Rangers comeback). But you know me - focus on the negative. I'll be happy when I'm dead. Maybe. Just thought you noobs should know that in advance.

Plan the parade - OMFG what a comeback! Totally left for dead midway through the 3rd down 3-1 against an inspired Sabres team, even deader with about 3 minutes left when we got a PP. 3 minutes - can we do it? Old Habs no, new Habs yes. Pleks, by his own admission fighting the puck a bit lately, beautifully tips a Streit point shot. Hope rises out of nowhere. Price pulled. Heart rates rising in the last 30 seconds as Habs get into the zone. Streit gets off a shot from the point and Pleks is there to backhand the rebound in with 14 seconds left. From there even I felt it was inevitable. And in OT, Streit spies an open Higgins at the back door and feeds him a beauty he redirects into a virtually open net. Orgasms for all. First place in the East again. Habs win their 24th road game, 4th highest total in our long glorious history.

There were only two other good things during the game. The Kovy-Grabs give and go that was our first goal had me crying. Wow. Kovy reaches 80 points for only the second time in his career. And then there was TFS(tm). Stopping 35 of 38 shots including a couple of highway robberies, he totally kept us in the game we had no business being in. After the game, I was really impressed when several Habs did post-game interviews on the stationary bike. Very Sens-like. You know, back when the Sens were good.

The sky is falling - hello Habs, we have a game to play. Was it rust after not playing since M0nday? Was it complacency? Was it a Sabres team desperately fighting for its playoff lives? A little from each column I guess. All I know is we were outshot 27-13 through 2 periods. We looked lifeless. We had very few offensive chances, and the Sabres were skating rings around us. The defense really felt the loss of DOOM for the first time. We played a little better in the 3rd, but really, for 57 minutes, the return of Hyde was upon us.

Coach Carbo said after the game, "we didn't respond, but sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, and we took advantage of it in the last minutes." Fuck you, Guy. It's better to be good. It's better to be ready to play from the opening face-off. It's better you get your head out of your ass and realize this team can't play 60 minutes. It's better you realize this fact before the playoffs start.

Mark Streit, for all his offensive heroics, looked a little lost on the back end. A near Breezer-like gaffe directly led to the Sabres' second goal. The rest of the defense wasn't much better. The 3rd and 4th lines, so full of energy lately, seemed non-existant.

Chez Parée bound? Everyone gets in, but only after waiting in line for 57 minutes.

Next evil, evil foe - Leafs! Habs! Saturday night on CBC! Bob Cole! Er, Saturday night!

Special note - Playoff tickets on sale today at noon! It's not a dream after all.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Mmm Wings - Buffalo Game Preview and In-game Discussion

After 77 games, I am totally out of ideas to keep my previews new and exciting. So I am defying myself - write a preview without using the letter "h" (except as just noted in the previous sentence). Considering our sport and Nos Glorieux' nickname include said letter, not to mention several very important brief words in our language, I am fucked.

Waiting in line details - 7:30 PM start, arena named after a bank in Buffalo. Canadiens are 7-2-1 in last 10 games, Buffalo 4-4-2. Our boys are on a 3 game win streak, and are setting out on a 3-game road trip. Buffalo is in a tussle for entry into playoffs, and just beat Ottawa last evening. We've split 6 games so far during our current season.

Pay your cover to - Sabres Center Ice. Jessica only writes every week or so, but it's good stuff.

Sizzling Canadiens to keep an eye on - Price, Big Tits, Kovy, Streit, many more. Face it, we're playing pretty well.

Skanky Canadiens to keep an eye on - none. Even TSN says so.

Sizzling Sabres to keep an eye on - Derek Roy, 12 points in Sabres' last 6 games, Vanek, 5 points in Sabres' last 4.

Skanky Sabres to keep an eye on - G Ryan Miller is playing like dreck.

Not dancing due to too many vodka Red Bulls - Just as Gui! was getting warmed up, boom, out from a neck injury. DOOM expected to be back mid-April. Sabres injured list is too long to mention, I've got work to do.

Stuff to ponder - playoff appearance secured, do we rest some players or go for a #1 seed? Do we start giving Price every start just to keep warm going into post-season play? Do I continue to drink excessively, or rest my liver to be 100% for April?

Post-game strip club - Mademoiselle. Looks like an underage skank-o-rama. God love Buffalo.

Find a forbidden letter? Let's hear it. Numbers don't count, nor do tags.

You Don't Belong, Patrick

A sweater I proudly wore in 1985, at the age of 9. 33 was my childhood hero. This was the image I've always kept of him. Until now.

These views are mine and mine alone. They are not necessarily shared by the other FHF.

Red Fisher wrote the article I had intended on posting yesterday, but as I have been fighting a busy week, he beat me to the punch. And I thank him for it, because with it he has obliged me to delve deeper into the issue of violence.

I won’t make any firm accusations here. My legal background entices me to know better. I will speak out, however, against a trace of rage that Patrick Roy has left behind him at various intervals of his life, not only as a hockey player, but as a man.

We often times offer our heroes the sort of blind eye that attaches a sense of entitlement to their swagger. We elevate them to a super status where anything goes, as their improbable feats, achieved in professional arenas, forgive their indiscretions. We are quick to forgive, and often times are reluctant to punish at all. And we do so for the wrong reasons; enamored by the amazement we once felt in marveling at their achievements, we choose to dismiss the darker side of the individual, as if we have decidedly rejected anything that could tarnish that pristine image of our favorite stars and the creation that was hatched out of our imaginations.

Yet, these athletes are no different from anyone of us. Where they display their genius within the confines of an adoring platform on the sports field, others, unknowns, show their amazing skill in the offices of little start-up companies, in non-profit charitable organizations, behind the counters of our restaurants. They are judged by our social measuring stick, with indiscriminate justice, applicable to all, never above the law, never protected by the impressions that throw a quilt over our superstars and blanket them from what our legislators had intended for our communities.

The genius demonstrated in sport should never silence our protest of the athlete’s transgressions. In Roy’s case, there have been far too many, with stories of violence and uncontrolled emotion that have inflicted harm more often than anyone should be held liable for. Because once is once too many. Roy’s list of shameful gestures is a long one; a man aggressed in a parking lot, another attacked in a bar, a coach abused in his office, a wife afraid in her home, an unsuspecting child drawn to criminal violence, misguided by Dad. Other acts that have not seen the public light of day must also be compiled in a somber list, somewhere in his mind.

This highly unsound behavior is not just at the wrong end of the moral spectrum, it is a series of criminal acts that have gone unpunished and that have yet to leave the faintest, yet rightful, blemish on his persona. The first one may come in the form of a denial of immortal recognition as plans to lift his number may be grounded forever. If anything has vilified Patrick in the eyes of Montrealers, it was his unceremonious exit off Forum ice, ejecting himself from the team’s historical womb. Of all the controversy he has surrounded himself around, that antic was probably the most harmless of gestures he can be held accountable for. Of all the sanctions he could have merited, the abortion of a number retirement ceremony amounts to one within the realm of insignificance, for an icon who has eluded both the ire of the public and the severity of the law.

Off-ice violence. A raging temper. We must reject them. We must all heighten our awareness towards aggression. If we do not denounce it and frame it in its proper context, in the receptacle of all things wrong, we will have abdicated our moral authority and our civic responsibility as dutiful citizens of this community.

I don’t have the facts. I don’t know what goes on in his home, nor in his head. I’m not certain what he meant or intended, in gesturing to his son from the bench. I can’t measure his level of responsibility over what the young Jonathan decided to do, which was to commit a crime and harass the crowd in a jubilant demonstration of pride over his abominable actions. But there is an amount of responsibility. I suspect the fiber that ails the Roy family has been passed on from father to son, because these patterns are not improvised by a teenager, suddenly, out of thin air. The apple gave the finger, with the tree, verbally abusing the officials, in tow.

It’s time to arrest an arrogance, once so splendidly channeled for example through a historic wink to a dejected Tomas Sandstrom, before more damage is inflicted. It’s time to take away the sense of entitlement Patrick has negotiated his life with, the entitlement we have all pumped him with, in our adulation of a man who simply stopped rubber objects from entering a small net for a living.

Of all the punishments he could be dealt, the permission to have his number worn by another is, as I’ve said, a minor one. But because I do think his actions warrant reprimand, I will stand amongst many who will no longer admire the 33 as they did before. That number will begin its descent from my imaginary rafters. And in the end, it will no longer appear next to my name. If 33 was my childhood hero, then let me say that I have grown up and have decided to take a relentlessly unforgiving stand against violence, be it emotional, mental or physical, at home, at work, anywhere. Time to bury the illusions I have had about the man who is, by no means, a Saint.

As of today, I will be correcting a small injustice that our little blog has committed in not acknowledging the person whose true grace and class we owe so much to as admirers of this fabled team. A man whose number is really worth going by: the incomparable number 4. Someone to be proud of.


The Game Day Skate for Friday, March 28th

Bulet points for what you missed while dreaming of inventing sound recording and giving a big F U to Thomas Edison...
  • Leafs faint playoff hopes are... gone. Aw, I feel terrible. Bruins hold on to 8th;
  • Habs slip to East #2 after Pens win in Sid's return;
  • Sens lose as Sabres try to claw back to 8th;
  • Capitals keep up in the race for the 8th spot too;
  • Bruins are to Habs as Devils are to Rangers. 7 straight wins for NY, and catch up to NJ in the standings;
  • Man this is all confusing - just look at the standings will you?

Habs play tonight. Seems like it's been forever. We're gonna have fun in Buffalo! Er, we're in Buffalo.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Morning Skate for Thursday, March 27th

Bullet points for what you mised while having a moment of silence for the inventor of the Egg McMuffin...
  • No games in the East last night, so we lump all the West mess into one bullet point. Minny wins to take the Northwest lead, Ducks get a Malcolm next to their name in the standings, and Luongo is chased as the Avs beat the 'Nucks in the race for those last spots;
  • Hockey Jesus to return tonight. I thought Easter was over.

Woohoo, bring on the Sweet 16! Er, go hockey.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

FHF True Confessions: I Have a Man-Crush on The Hamr

The Gazette's Pat Hickey has a nice little piece today on the Top 10 reasons for the Habs' unexpected success. The usual suspects are there (Kovy, lack of injuries [jinx again!], depth, Carbo[?!?]) and there is a mention of the new "Big 3" - Markov, DOOM, and The Hamr. I love Markov and DOOM. But I heart the Hamr.

I remember back in July when HF10 wrote the now classic headline "Gainey invents time travel, returns from 1996 with two free agents," in reference to Hamr and Slowinski. We all had a good laugh. But there was truth in them thar sarcasm. Hamrlik was old, his best years were behind him. We all thought that. We were wrong.

Markov may get the publicity for his talent, DOOM may get the notoriety for his shot blocking and hits, and these are well-deserved. But The Hamr is the rock of the defense. Don't believe me? Think back to when he was out with the flu. What were we all saying then? We were saying the D is falling apart without the Hamr. If I wasn't lazy and actually did some research and had stats, I'm sure they would say we lost alot of games when he was out. Those were dark days.

Playoff hockey means tight defense, good positional play, and 3-2 games. Hamr will be one of the big keys to making that happen. Our success in May depends on the best 1996 free agent signing Gainey could have come up with.

Roman Hamrlik - my vote for Habs unsung MVP of 2007-2008. And my man-crush.

The Morning Skate for Wednesday, March 26th

Bullet points for what you missed while having nightmares of the Antarctic ice breaking up...

Whew. TMS is now sleepy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

PART UN - Habs Clinch - Canadiens Emancipated - Ability to Have Multiple Orgasms Retrieved - Habs 7, Sens 5

I shall be forever in debt to the Mighty HF29 for having invited me to the slaying that took place for, um, forty minutes at the Alexander Graham Bell Centre last night.

The fans created a nervous buzz around the building just before game time. With a sun shining proudly past 6pm, a very big game on tap, and the temperature rising ever so slightly, Montreal caught its first glimpse of a playoff atmosphere. The beauty is that this team has been on such a consistent roll since January that there was never much of a platform for playoff hype; their ticket to ride in the Spring appeared, if not booked, then put on lay away for some time now. For the first time in ages, Montreal just glided in the playoff picture, not needing the insane pressure of 18 MUST WIN GAMES for a feeble clutch of eighth place.

All the Habs needed last night was a statement game that could wipe-out the enduring torment served by 5 losses in 6 games that all exposed Montreal as a far weaker opponent, as a team that wasn't even in the Senators' league.

Did Montreal ever turn the tables. For 40 minutes of play, it looked like the billing flashing outside on the building's billboard read:

"Tonight: NHL Hockey: Montreal Canadiens v. Muppet Babies"

The puck dropped and Montreal immediately began to execute Plan Emancipation for 40 Minutes . The 4th line pounded everything in white and an awkward logo. Menachem Begin led the way with furious hits to the tune of Menachem circa 2005-06. The passes were crisp and all 4 lines peppered Martin Gerber with shots coming from and heading towards all directions, including his gaping 5-hole.

The Habs left the ice in the first with a 3-0 lead and a standing ovation from the Forum faithful. As soon as the crowd recovered from euphoric bliss, it reverted back, during the first intermission, to scenes of carnage from games before, and was soon reminded of Ottawa's scoring potential. Like a machine gun, Ottawa could explode into such rapid fire that damage would already have been severely inflicted before the Habs could react. A 3-0 lead could conceivably turn into 4-3 wizardry before you knew it.

But the Habs must have known that because the second was better than the first. And for another 20 minutes, they were dominant.

Ray Emery led a hopeful squad back onto the ice to start the period. Quite charming as, HF29 and I were quick to point out that the Rayzor (is that how you spell moron?) had not even made it to the bench or makeshift backup seat across from the bench in time for the first period. "I thought the game was at the old Forum, really." Asshole. Well, Emery couldn't do much better. Montreal took the game to the Sens with an even greater sense of purpose and disassembled the team from top to Spezza. For 40 minutes, the Senators' big line was completely silenced. For two periods. Where they had so often tallied a combined 12 point production against Montreal, Heatley, Alfredsson and Spezza looked like they were playing the game in a different continuum. Montreal had succeeded in making them look ordinary. For 40 minutes.

The pretty passing plays were rattling of the sticks of a team that is THE most potent offence in the entire NHL (pause for risk of aneurysm). Kovalev put on another exhibit of moves that should be bottled up and put on display at the Smithsonian. For 40 minutes. The bigger of the Tits reached the 25-goal mark, a figure Chris Higgins also climbed close to on this night with his 23rd of the season. This team dishes the puck out with elegant skill, but as elegance commands, they do it with quiet grace. Andrei, Pleks, Higgins, they all quietly surpassed the 20-goal plateau. And they were looking for more, during those 40 minutes.

You know for 40 minutes of hockey, the D squad played with pride and intensity, this after having lost its anchor in Mike Komisarek. Make no mistake about it, this kid is Scott Stevens and he means as much to the Habs as the latter did to the Devils. It's a huge loss to a team that has been spared injury, but they are showing they can hold the fort until the playoffs when Komo is scheduled to return. Markov played 2 periods like a fan of Norris (not Chuck) with Gorges and Bouillon stepping into the offensive zone when needed,... although needed for 60, did so for 40.

Montreal owned Ottawa in that second and, this time, left the period to the vibrations of another standing ovation, stirred by the 7-1 lead they had just created. 2 periods of excellence, the playoffs were a formality now, if they weren't before.

There was just no way, the way this game was shaping up, that Montreal could wet the bed. Not after 40 minutes of perfection.

What do you think 29?....I hear footsteps....

PART DEUX: What the Fuck Was That?

Seriously, what the fuck? Can this team not fucking play 60 minutes? I have now witnessed 21,273 people go from ecstasy to fear in an instant. Yours truly was at the top of the list. Sort of like that Rangers comeback in reverse. I missed the last 10 minutes, because my head was buried in my hands. In a matter of minutes, HF33's face went from his swarthy semitic good looks to pale as a pre-painted Easter egg.

How many ways did we suck in the 3rd? So many I won't list them. Let's just say you must, you know, skate and play defense if you decide to go into a defensive shell. If that was a defensive shell. I think it was more like hibernation.

The lone highlight was Price, who, despite giving up a couple of juicy rebounds, helped to kill off a two-man advantage. And as lawyergirl77 said in the thread, at least the young Habs learned a lesson: NEVER. FUCKING. STOP. PLAYING.

That lesson better fucking sink in before Philly, Washington or whoever hands us our asses on a platter in Round One.

The Morning Skate for Tuesday, March 25th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of seeing an "x" next to your team's name in the standings. Oh, wait...
  • Yes, it's true, Habs are in the playoffs after a 7-5 win over Ottawa. More later today, asssuming we can see our keyboards after gouging our eyes out during the 3rd period;
  • The Pens lost, giving the Habs some space in the race for first in the East;
  • Edmonton and Colorado both won in their battle for 8th in the West. Jose Theodore with a shutout to lead the Avs.

By reader request
We may show joy with haiku
Habs play in April

Monday, March 24, 2008

Enough Already, We Surrender - Senators Game Preview and Open Thread

I really don't know what we can do to change our luck against the Sens. Sens are 5-1 against us this year, and our only win was against a short-handed club, and we still had to hold on for dear life. The last game was a 3-0 pasting in Montreal where we were dominated in every aspect of the game. So that's it, we surrender. Sens are great, Habs suck. We freely admit we are not in your league, mighty Senators. You win. Our speed and power play are no match for your star-studded line-up, Wade Redden and questionable goaltending. We bow down to your brilliance. Have mercy on us.

Did that work? Let's hope. A quick set of bullet points to get you hot and bothered:
  • 7:30 PM start at the Phone Booth. An epic moment in that yours truly and HF33 will be attending the game together. I am drinking already to warm up;
  • Since that 3-0 embarassment, Habs are 3-0-1 and the Sens have lost 2 of 3, including Saturday night to their own kryptonite, the Leafs;
  • Of course, SLC of Five for Smiting and Sherry of Scarlett Ice have all your Sens-ly goodness;
  • Spezza and Heatley playing well, 8 and 7 points respectively in their last 5 games. Big surprise;
  • Kovy and Big Tits looking good lately for the Habs, ever since I questioned them;
  • Ever since I didn't mention it, Habs injuries are piling up. DOOM out 3 weeks with a lower body injury, Gui! day-t0-day with a neck injury. Wow, "neck" is very specific for an NHL roster report;
  • These game previews are obviously more powerful than I thought;
  • And let's end on this: if the Habs win (ha!) we clinch a playoff spot. Double Ha!
So is it wrong to be drinking at noon? Discuss.

UPDATE - Just learned that will finally broadcast games on the Web, starting tonight! That's the good news. The bad news is that it costs $2.99. WTF?

The Game Day Skate for Monday, March 24th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of protesting the Olympic torch relay...

Senators tonight! There's a loss.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


The number eight in an interesting figure: All spiders, and more generally all arachnids, have eight legs. An octopus has eight tentacles. Eight is the atomic number of oxygen. The Jewish religious rite of brit milah is held on a baby boy's eighth day of life. In chess, each side has eight pawns and the board is made of 64 squares arranged in an eight by eight lattice. The original Nintendo used 8-bit graphics. In tarot, card No. 8 is "Strength". It's also my very own numerological number.

In hockey, it`s the number of the NHL`s top goal scorer and perhaps MVP, Alex the Gr8. It`s exactly half tyhe number of wins required to win the Cup. It is also now the number of wins the Montreal Canadiens have earned against the Boston Bruins in the 2007-2008 NHL regular season.

Sweep. Sweet.

In last night's game number eight, yours truly had the honour of being present to watch the Habs pull off this historic feat. Against Boston, Montreal has won 11 in a row and 12 of 13 at home. They outscored Beantown 39-16 over the year. Since the '03-04 comeback playoff win against Joe Thornton's Brooins, the Habs are 2-42 against Boston. I think all of the above qualifies the Bruins as Monteral`s whipping boys. And thr world is as it should be.

It`s almost sad how dominant Montreal is over Boston (almost); as LG77 said during the game last night, cheering against them has become like picking on the retarded kid: you kindea feel bad about it, but itsso easy and its not like he`s going to retaliate. Even when the refs handed the B`s a powerplay with less than 2 minutes left in the third, even my normally paranoid self was relaxed and utterly convinced we would win (although I predicted we`d win in overtime - my bad). Turns out the Habs needed to make it dramatic, waiting to the last shot of the shootout to put a stake through the hearts of poor, pathetic Brooins fans. And what a beauty The Captain`s SO goal was: after Kovalev put the backhand-forehand deke into Tiny Tim`s head, Koivu went backhand all the way and put it past the spastic Bruins`tender.

Mission Accomplished.

Unfortunately this also means no more gimmie games in the six remaining against Ottawa (against whom we seem to play like the Bruins), Toronto (who always plays much better against us than the rest of the league), and Buffalo (fighting for their playoff lives and not a shabby club). And the Habs will have to do it without their own number 8, Komo (aka DOOM), the NHL leader among defencemen in hits and blocked shots, for the balance of the regular season at minimum. Last night Josh Georges stepped into Komo`s spot along Markov, and played a solid 25 minutes - and almost added the OT winner. The Swiss Mister was also solid in his return to the backend, further jacking up his UFA salary demands. Perhaps most gratifying was seeing Begin return to hit anything with the puck, including the Bruins` own Count Chocula, Zdeno Chara. (Seriously, if the hockey thing doesn`t work out for Chara, I`m sure he can go work as a spokescreature for General Mills.) Guys like Mad Max and Begin have to pound opposition defencemen at every turn in order to negate the Habs general lack of overall size. Of course, size is one advantage and speed is another. With the addition of Grabby, Mad Max and Little Tits this season, the Habs have gone from fast to blur. And most importantly for Montreal`s playoff hopes, Price has done nothing to dispell comparisons with Roy and Dryden`s younthful Stanley Cup runs.

Enjoy today and revel in beating a hated rival past the point of embarrassment. Tomorrow we face our own nemesis, the Sens, and the tables may be turned. May SLC have mercy on our souls.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen ... Round 1 Review, Round 2 Preview: Habs Look to KO Bruins Playoff Hopes

The Habs and Bruins home and home is half done, and so far it looks like every other game between these two age-old rivals. Will the script be the same in Round 2 at the Bell Centre Saturday night? Stay tuned to FHF to find out!!

Plan the Parade: 7 and 0. 10 straight dating back to last year. The longest winning streak against Boston since 1944-45. Is there anything better than lording it over the Broons? No. Nothing more better. The Danse a Dix got back in the groove, especially Kovy, with 2 "holy shit!" goals and a "holy shit!" assist to boot. As poster msevigny said last night, every time Kovy got near the net, the whole arena gasped. Koivu, Gui! Gui! Gui! and Ryder scored the nicest pass-pass-shoot goal of the evening. The defence played admirably after the loss of Doom (more in a minute). Greek Lightning showed why his name needs to be on the dressed list every night come playoff time. TFS righted the ship after the proverbial "fighting the puck" first period, and Carbo seems to have stumbled onto an excellent new line combo in Higgins-Grabs-Little Tits. In fact, I like that line so much, they're getting their own paragraph.

Frankly, I wasn't happy that Grabs was in the lineup, despite his success in Hamilton. It seemed that his skill set wasn't what the Habs needed, especially when he was in the lineup in place of Mad Max, who really gives the Habs an extra level of feisty they sorely lack. However, with Mad Max taking Slowinski's spot, and Koivu hooking up with Ryder and Gui! Gui! Gui!, suddenly Grabs is with two smart, defensively responsible wingers in Higgins and Little Tits, and any defensive lapses are more easily papered over. Little Tits looks like he could be one of the guys mentioned as a "draft day steal" for years to come. For a young player, his defensive positioning is phenomenal (witness the steal he made on a threatening Bruins rush last night, or the fact that Carbo had him out there with a minute left to kill the game off) and he's already one of the team's best passers. Higgins is Higgins; a bulldog with great hands and hockey smarts to spare. Grabs is fast and smart and skilled. I hope Carbo realizes that the lineup last night is his best and that Slowinski, Breezer and El Dandy only see the ice during practice for the rest of the year.

As always, the bottom line is Habs 4, Bruins 2. Good triumphs over evil, AGAIN.

The Sky is Falling: The first period was not good. The Habs were listless and lucky that all the Bruins huffing and puffing didn't amount to anything (some of that can be attributed to the Bruins continual parade of talentless grinders ... "The Boston Bruins: Cheap, Hardworking, Not Talented Enough to Truly Compete Since 1979!" is probably printed on the season ticket brochure.) Price looked off for the first, and only the aforementioned dearth of scoring talent in Black and Gold kept them in it.

Greek Lightning stood up for Big Tits after a cheap shot, and got himself a nasty shiner for his trouble. He's going to feel that for a few days. Worse news was the loss of Doom less than five minutes in to the dreaded "lower body injury" on a seemingly harmless play. If Komisarek is out for any amount of time, bad, bad things will happen. You tell me Breezer in for Komisarek isn't a sky-falling scenario. You can't. It's as bad as you think. As an aside, if you don't love Mark Streit's versatility by now, you're an idiot. The team barely missed a beat last night because of the Swiss Mister's ability to switch back to the blueline. He needs to be resigned pronto.

Welcome Back, Ya Big Stupid Bastard: Zdeno Chara, back from missing five games with an injury: Minus 2, embarrassed by Kovy twice, would have been minus three except he was on the ice for the cheap bullshit late goal scored after Thorton spun Price around in the crease with no call on the play. Chara also found time to start his usual stupid scrums after a couple of whistles, and to fall like a 6 foot 7, 240 pound girl when he and Little Tits went for the same puck with less than a minute left. How good were his defence partners in Ottawa, because this guy looks like a useless stiff against Montreal every time. On his 60th birthday, Bobby Orr wept for his old team, because Chara gifts the Habs at least a goal a game all by himself. Hey, speaking of gifting goals ...

I knew Gerry Cheevers. I was stopped repeatedly by Gerry Cheevers. You sir are no Gerry Cheevers: Early in the summer, some handsome blogger pointed out that Tim Thomas could dress like Batman and he was still going to give up 5 a game vs Montreal this year. Last night Thomas let three soft goals in. Alex Auld is the next best option for the Broons. After too many seasons of Andy Moog, Reggie Lemelin, Gillies Gilbert or Cheevers giving the Habs fits, I would do cartwheels to see those two sieves guarding the crease if I was wearing the CH.

Next Evil, Evil, Black and Gold Wearing, Didn't We Just School You Assholes Yesterday? Foe: Glad you asked! It's time to set up Round 2. Remember, you can't spell Game Preview without Game Review!

Waiting in Line details: Saturday night, 7:00 pm start, at the Bell Centre. Habs try and make it 8 Straight and sweep the season series against the old enemy. Price probably getting the start, who knows which career back-up the Bruins drop in the crease. Habs fans might start the Ole chant in the warmup.

Pay your cover charge to: Ghosts of the Garden. Such a great blog name, I give them the honours for a second straight game.

Hot sexy Habs to Watch: Um, Kovy? Yeah, Kovy. Greek Lightning deserves some attention, because he absolutely thrives in these sorts of games. Gui! Gui! Gui! growing in stature each and every game ... can I dream about a LeClair-like playoff coming out party?

Skanky Habs to Watch: Oh please, let Komisarek be okay. Oh please. Otherwise, we are going to be witness to one of the Breezer or El Dandy, back where they don't belong.

Hot Sexy Bruins to Watch: I'm not even going to dignify that with an answer. The B's are in a freefall, and the two games they have left vs Buffalo will probably be the final nails in their ninth place coffin.

Skanky Bruins to Watch: Zdeno Chara, the big dumb bastard will be good for one monumental fuck-up someone on his salary shouldn't make. The random "seasoned vet" keeping Tuuka Rask's crease warm is always good for a laugh.

My bracket is already shot because of that damn Kansas State/USC game: Rumour has it there is some sort of basketball tourney going on Stateside. Apparently it's a pretty big deal. Might want to check it out between Canadiens goal celebrations.

Post-game entertainment: If you think I'm suggesting a strip club on Easter weekend, you're insane. Get thee to St. Patrick's Basilica; the Easter Vigil starts at 8, but they'll just be getting to the good part by the time the game ends. Don't worry if you aren't Catholic; at Christmas and Easter, 90% of the people in attendance aren't really Catholic either.

Okay, let's hear your thoughts on our last regular season dance with the Bruins in the comments.

The Morning Skate for Friday, March 21st

Bullet points for what you missed whil having nightmares of having your bracket busted on Day 1...
  • Kovy. 'Nuff said. Here's highlights. Oh, and Komisarek may have a broken leg, or hemorrhoids, or stubbed his toe, and it's all my fault. More later;
  • Sens keep pace in the division;
  • Pens keep pace in the conference;
  • Richard Zednik was on the ice. Amazing.

Happy Easter and Purim to all! Yours truly is off to the land of the 56k modems, and HF33 is off in the wilderness somewhere, so we're more like THF this weekend, but you're in good hands with HF10 and Panger.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Ladies and gentlemen, our season's doormat" (jinx!) - Bruins Game Preview and Open Thread

Waiting in line details - 7 PM start, at The Gahden. Oh wait, sorry, what year is this? Habs 6-3-1 in their last 10, but coming off some serious sucking. B's 3-4-3 in their last 10 and fighting for their playoff lives.

This deserves its own paragraph. Habs are 6-0 against the B's this season, including an 8-2 shellacking in the last one. Bruins are gonna be pissed. Habs better be ready.

Pay your cover charge to - Ghosts of the Garden. Unabashed Bruins fans who share my love of the exclamation point.

Hot sexy Habs to watch - Higgins looking decent. The Grabs-Little Tits combo bears watching for the next 15 years (I hope).

Skanky Habs to watch - OK, I'll say it first. What the fuck is up with the Danse à dix line? Each has only one point in their last four games. They don't seem to be playing that badly, but damn they are not converting anything.

Hot sexy B's to watch - Chuck Kobasew has 3 points in his last 2 games. I don't know who that is. Alex Auld has a 1.16 GAA over his last five starts.

Skanky B's to watch - Glen Murray pointless in his last 9 games, Marc Savard pointless in his last 3.

Not dancing due to too many vodka Red Bulls - Zdeno Chara and Steve Bégin, both out recently, may both be playing tonight. We could use some Bégin grit. No other word on line-ups, besides Price getting the start.

Alternative programming - if the Habs suck again, be sure to check out Lost on ABC at 9 PM. Kevin Johnson, aka Michael, WTF? It's the last episode for at least a month or so, so expect a big cliffhanger.

Post-game entertainment - do a sudoku. Work your brain instead of your dicks for a change.

The Game Day Skate for Thursday, March 20th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of calling in sick today for some reason. Yeah, that's it, "sick"...
  • Rangers pwned the Devils AGAIN, 6th straight this year, with a 2-1 SO win. Oh and by the way, this leaves the Habs a mere 3 points out of 6th place in the East. I'm just sayin';
  • Holy comeback Buffalo! From 4-1 down to win 7-4;
  • San Jose is the second team to clinch a playoff spot. JR ties Jean Béliveau on the careers goal list. If only he had 1/10th of Jean's class.

Habs in Beantown tonight. 7 straight against the B's this season? Thats un-possible imho. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Shittiest First Place Team EVAH - Blues 4, Habs Suck (SO)


The phrase "Habs suck" is bandied about quite often around these parts. Mostly by me. And as recently as The Morning Skate (twice!). Because I get totally distraught (and drunk, and on meth) when the Habs are losing, my brilliant powers of speech, once used with aplomb to a degree of success in the courts of our fine city, are reduced to those of a 3rd grader. Or a Leafs fan.

But really, today that phrase is apt. Apt, I tell you! Yes, the Habs are in first place in the Northeast. Yes, we are tied with the most points in the Eastern Conference. Yes, we got a point last night. You know what that means? Fuck. All.

Come playoff time, if the Habs play like that, it's four and out. I don't give a shit if we play a tumbling Flyers or Sabres team, or god forbid a rising Washington team with HueT at the helm. You cannot win playoff hockey only playing 20 fucking minutes. Fuck, you can't even beat one of the shittiest teams in the league.

Don't believe me? (How could you not believe me? I'm a blogger!) Let's take a sampling of comments from regular readers in the open thread last evening:

"brutal....this was supposed to be a gimme. terrible games of late (despite our record), this is a bad time of year to be playing like this. better get the house back in order soon..."
- Matt (Fear the collapse)

"It was like poo vs. poo out there tonight. The Bell Centre hasn't been that stinky since the circus came to town..."
- lawyergirl77

Fuck this shit. Eight games left before the playoffs. We better get our asses in gear. And fuck you Carbo, and your "we win and keep the same line up" philosophy. Do some fucking coaching. Stop sucking Breezer's dick and get him out of there. Mad Max was playing fucking great, put him back in. Teach the team how to fucking cover players in our own zone. That's supposed to be your fucking specialty.

Wake the fuck up, boys. Stop listening to the hype, and fucking play hockey.

The Morning Skate for Wednesday, March 19th

Bullet points for what you missed while having dreams of Girls Gone Wild...
  • Habs suck. Seriously, a pathetic display in what should have been an easy two points. We do manage to grab a point with a shootout loss to reach the magical 90 mark, but blech. More later I'm sure;
  • Leafs fans still have hope. What else are they gonna have?
  • Now the Rangers look good, beating the Pens 5-2. Great, another East team playing better than us.

I suppose I should mention that with 90 points the Habs are tied for the East lead. But the Devils have two games in hand. And we suck. So there.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Skanky Dancer for a Skanky Team - Blues Game Preview and Open Thread

Who holds the "Queen of the Skanks" title these days? Paris, Britney, or Lindsay? Discuss.

Waiting in line details - 7:30 PM start at the Phone Booth. Habs 7-3 in their last 10. Habs can move into first in the Eastern Conference with a win. Habs can clinch a playoff spot with 2 wins this week, according to Danica McKellar. Habs have not played St. Louis since the mid-80's (or so it seems). Blues suck. They have lost, like, 49 of their last 50 games or something. Don't believe me that they suck? Listen to their own players:

"It's a joke is what it is," D Erik Johnson
"Oviously we are out of it," G Manny Legace

Pay your cover charge to - St. Louis Game Time. Basically the Blues version of FHF, top-notch snark and humour. But those guys are like, intelligent. But then again, they don't have strippers, so we're even. They do killer live-blogs of games, so check back throughout the night and taunt them in their comment section (knock wood).

Hot sexy Habs to watch - Streit and Koivu both a point per game over the last dozen. Gui! starting to really show something, albeit in his own slow, plodding way.

Quickly becoming a FHF hero - Jaro have powa. Play many matches to ween. Not making sheet games in Mantreal, will play night.

Skanky Habs to watch - Markov may have been a bit quiet lately, but otherwise not too many (Sens game notwithstanding).

Hot sexy Blues to watch - Blues leading scorer Brad Boyes has 7 points in his last 5 games.

Skanky Blues to watch - the rest of 'em. See above comments re sucking.

Not dancing due to too many vodka Red Bulls - Blues: Mike Johnson out for the season, Dan Hinote day to day. Habs: Bégin still day to day with the always humourous groin injury. Would it bother anyone if, headed into the stretch run, I mention that the Habs have really been lucky with injuries this season? No significant time lost by any significant players? Oh, it would bother you? You say I might jinx it? K, I won't mention it then.

Post-game adult entertainment establishment - Cleo's of course. The skanky club for the skanky theme du jour. But damn, it's good skank.

K let's hear your skanky thoughts in the comments.

The FHF Hate Math... Unless Danica McKellar is Involved

RDS must have some mathematicians on their staff, for they report that with wins in two out of three games this week the Habs will clinch a playoff spot. FHF cannot verify this fact, as all lawyers have an innate fear of math (well, except tax lawyers, but they're weird anyway).

Really? Clinch a playoff spot? With three weeks left in the season? Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, Ms. McKellar.

P.S. for those of you who wonder (groan) what the McKellar connection is, check out this. Or this. Or just assume FHF is posting photos of hot babes for no reason, as usual.

The Game Day Skate for Tuesday, March 18th

Bullet points for what you missed while having dreams of a city without guns. Well, if you're a liberal Canadian like TMS...

Blues in town tonight. Wait, there's still a team in St. Louis?

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Got the Powa!!! Habs 3, Islands 0

Look at me! Look at me! No goal behind my ass becase I heve talant. My teemates play like sheet. Stupide mistakes all the game and if I not there they loose the game like a defecting Cuban pitcher looses he family.

OK now Mantreal you say Jaro, Jaro you so good and incredible and great, please please play in the net again for next game becase we want more matches no goals. Thees is what I say to coaches for three facking years in city of masturbation Hemilton. I make good plays, put me in the goal in Mentreal, I’m a pro. “No Jaro, you knit sweaters for teem, or No, Jaro, play Mantreal with Ea Sports, same thing”. Fak you you stupide coaches you make me go crazy so long.

Now big ugly Cari have game of shit against the Senators. Ohhh I’m sooo scared! The Senators are so good and I am so small, like clitoris of woman mosquito. That what Cari say before game, little baby idiot. He play trembling all game and Mentreal make so big poop for 3 periods.

Now coach come to me after Poopopalooza against the Senators and he say “Jaro, get ready for Saturday”. I tell him, I know fat guy from Superbad on SNL, I tape it for sure! He meen no, I play game on Saturday. Me? Play? Fak you coach Carboner!

How many mankeys it takes to screw light bulb?

It take six mankeys to screw light bulb.

OK, so now I have to be ready because now, oh we HAVE to win, game is SO important that after watching movie Jesus of Nazareth 17 facking time, I can play one stupid faking game in Mantreal, where I never make a shit game before.

And from beginning, team play like autistic larva and if me not there we have maybe 18 goals against us in first period. Cari stupid jerk play PSP on bench and not look at me play like King Jaro once! I see Kepten Saku play Sudoku and ask Lapierre for to help him. Stupid Lapierre? He don’t know to count!! New York Islands mach better teem than Mantreal shit. More talant and better sweter and big colors. They play without 32 of their regular players. I recognize some players from porno theater in Prague. They not even hackey players but they play so better than Mantreal.

Fans scream my name Halak Halak Halak!! You crazy stupid fans, why you wait so long time to make love to me. Why we not make love in Hemilton. It only 2 hours in car. Nooo!!! We snob fans from Mantreal, we not care about farm team in Hemilton. We not like goats and chickens and cows. Now you love to me. You are like girls. Jaro who? What?, when I ask you for blowjob in bar, but now I win a game a make no goal match, now it’s OH Jaro! You so big! Please follow me to bathroom!!! Stupid fans. You only love me if I win. You not love me for me, like my family, who come to bathroom with me no metter what.

Now coach Boner tell me today, Hey Jaro, can you do this again like Saturday? Coach Carbonnies he so stupid, he look like hooker from Bratislava kiss him with that sore on his lip. He get that from “Happy Finish” in hotel in Anaheim. I tell this teem for soooo long, make me play. No! Jaro! Cristobal’s is too good, he croshed like Parisian pastry if we make him sit. No Jaro! Cari is too good, he is like young Skywalker. We have to a grow his talant. No! Jaro! That man has no legs, he great goalie because he have determination to fight.

Now you all see I am special goalie and you put red carpet in front of me. OK, red carpet for anthem. So what? Meantreal!!!! Listen me!!!!Now I have power! I play when I want to play!!!! I decide my games forever!!!!!!! Fak you stupid Kepten, go play your Sakudoku.

…can I play tomorrow?

Kenneth Joseph "Kenny" Reardon, 1921 – 2008

Kenny Reardon, Hockey Hall of Famer, World War Two veteran and Stanley Cup-winning Habs defenceman, passed away Saturday at the age of 86.

In many ways, the forties were like the bizarro-version of today's NHL: the Maple Leafs were a powerhouse, while the Habs were cellar-dwellers. In the 1939-40 season, the Habs finished seventh in the then 7-team NHL. Any trepidation Reardon may have had about joining such a lackluster squad were likely tempered by the rebuilding of the Habs roster overseen by former Maple Leafs coach Dick Irvin Sr. (Irvin had been brought over from the Leafs after a falling out with Leafs GM and huge asshole Conn Smythe. The Habs went on to win 3 Cups under Irvin.) The following year, the Habs acquired Reardon's brother, Terry, a winger, from the Stanley-Cup winning Bruins (yet more 'bizarro' evidence).

In 1943-44, the Rocket became the first player to score 50 goals in 50 games. However, Reardon played no part in that accomplishment: in late 1942, Reardon entered the army and spent the following two seasons, like many NHLers, playing hockey on stacked military teams. Reardon even won an Allen Cup with the Ottawa Commandos in 1943, a championship still awarded to Canada's top adult men's amateur team. Reardon was by no means unique in his wartime career path: in those days, many military hockey squads were as good, if not better, than their NHL counterparts - with many military commanders competing to recruit former professional players to help stack their base's hockey team.

After the relative comfort of a military life spent playing hockey, Reardon was sent overseas as one of the waves of troops pouring into Britain in preparation for D-Day. Reardon saw action on the front lines in Europe, and was awarded Field Marshall Montgomery’s Certificate of Merit for several acts of bravery during battle. He returned home in 1945 and rejoined the Canadiens the following season, winning a Cup along side the likes of Bill Durnan, Maurice Richard, Toe Blake and Elmer Lach in 1945-46. He retired in 1950 having played seven seasons in the NHL before teh age of 30 - his great career cut short partly as a result of his fighting in the War. He continued to work for the Habs through the '50s and '60s as a Vice-President, linking him with the great Habs teams of those decades. He also got his name engraved on the Stanley Cup 5 straight years as part of the Habs record-setting run in the late '50s.

Reardon was one of the young Canadian men that set foot into Europe for the first time not as tourists, but as soldiers - unlike pretty much everyone who reads this blog. We owe him, and all those men and women with whom he served, our respect and gratitude - for much more than his contributions to the game of ice hockey.

Rest in Peace, Ken. All Canadians owe you our thanks.

The Morning Skate for Monday, March 17th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of being a number one seed...
  • Pens dominate the Battle of Pennsylvania, even without Sid;
  • I sort of feel bad for SLC (sort of) as ex-Sen Joe Corvo bites his old team in the ass, scoring his first NHL hat trick in a 5-1 Canes win;
  • The Oil snap the Sharks 11-game win streak in a shootout;
  • Alberta's Kevin Martin draws to the button in the 10th end against Ontario's Glenn Howard to take the Brier. Whoa, sorry, the CBC-TSN curling cabal took over my brain there for a sec;
  • Comment of the week comes from Jeff in Hong Kong in this post (5th comment). There's gold in them thar drug-crazed ramblings.

Sorry we didn't give you a game report yesterday. There was some, er, confusion. We may bring you a report from the Isles game today, we may not. What are we, Kresgin?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's Saturday Night, Let's Have a Delicious Beverage! Isles Game Preview and Open Thread

The aperitif - 7 PM Start at the Bell Centre. It's allegedly on CBC, but because the Leafs also play at 7 I'll believe it when I see it. Habs coming off being humbled by the Sens, BUT could be right back on top of the East tonight. Isles suck. 2-8 in their last 10, losers of 4 in a row. Habs look to sweep the season series agains the Isles, after only allowing one goal in each of the 3 other wins.

The foreign beer - check out The View from Section 317. Just good solid blogging.

Hot 'n spicy Bloody Ceasars - not too many really hot Habs. Little Tits has 2 points in the last 2 games. That's something I guess. Gui! looking okay. Well, that is if lawyers are to be believed.

Ice cold frosty ones - Ryder has one point in 7, Higgins one point in 4.

Flaming sambucas - Guerin has 3 points in his last 2 games.

Vodka in the freezer - Rick DiPietro is 1-5-0, 4.34, .852 in last 6 games. Enjoy that 15-year contract, Isles fans.

Just throw 3 things in a glass and call it a mixed cocktail - The ever-so patient Coach Carbo throws the following together as lines 2-4 tonight:

Gui!- Koivu - Ryder
Higgins - Grabs - Little Tits
Streit-Slowinski-Greek Lightning

Sure Coach, that'll work.

Please god no more tequila shots, they're making me sick - Breezer in the lineup.

A delicious Zlaty Bazant - Ha-lak! Ha-lak! gets the start. In his career, he is 7-0 at the Phone Booth.

Hangovers - Bégin still listed as day to day. Insert groin joke here. Isles have too many injuries to list.

5 beers in a bucket for $30 - I'm really running of Montreal strip clubs to review. How can that be possible? They're everywhere. Chateau du sexe is one of those clubs along Ste-Catherine Street you walk by all the time but never think about going in. I think I've been there, but it's so generic I can't recall any details.

So seriously, grab a drink and let's talk hockey.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sens 3, I Want to Sign Up For Eye Amputation

A massive elephant just took out its massive elephant dick and rained Niagara on the Habs parade. No matter who Montreal beats, no matter how high they are perched atop the standings, the Senators just take out their guns and shoot Montreal in the center of its anus. The team walks away with a noticeable limp, having shot itself in the foot moments before.

These Ottawa - Not So Fast, Montreal - Senators are a handful and the Habs are learning that they just don’t match up well with them. As we’ve said before, we now know how the Bruins feel when playing the Canadiens. Hampered by complexes, hesitant, unsure, insecure. Playing the Senators feels like puberty. So while the Habs were busy popping their zits, the Sens squeezed the life out of the team by applying a thorough chokehold at the first drop of the puck. Probably the most stifling game they have been dealt all year.

It was one of those wins that sees you off to bed with a chip on your shoulder, and prompts your better half to ask why you take these things so seriously. It’s one of those games that drops your team from second place to the lower half of the conference playoff seedings. A game that had the opponent skating 60 minutes of flawless hockey, where you realize that you’re just not there yet and that there’s THAT much separating you from this other team.

So how can we illustrate the gap between the Habs and the Sens on this night? Think of this:

· The above-mentioned elephant’s penis, erect
· A 100 person cheerleader pyramid with Manute Bol at the top
· Rita McNeil
· Space between Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale at the dining room table in the first Batman
· Whatever has doubled as Paris Hilton’s cerebral cortex
· The space between Gwyneth Paltrow’s nipples
· The ideological differences between avid Manitoba Polka AM Radio listeners and Al-Qaeda

Good on Martin Gerber for keeping Ray Emery in the House of Dog. You can bet that after having bolted after 30 minutes during the game day practice, management will be pushing for expansion to Karachi to ship his ass off to a life of misery.

You have to admire Ottawa for demonstrating what perfection looks like on a sheet of ice. Jason Spezza did his best Billy Crystal impersonation with a perfect swing of the bat on a border line high stick swat on goal. Terrible outlet passes, dispassionate play, this was the type of poor execution only a death row inmate in Texas would dream of.

The Sens gave the Habs nothing. As much air as Borat had in that “uncomfortable scene” in the movie. Despite having accustomed the fans to miraculous comebacks this year, on this night even the early 1 goal lead seemed insurmountable. Full marks for Alex Kovalev on being the only Hab who tried. His lonely wheels kept turning all night.

There are 2 more of these statement games against the Sens and the Habs better find a way to beat a full Ottawa lineup or connect to a direct line to God to avoid facing these guys and a majestic stomping in the form of a four act play in the later rounds of the playoffs.Don’t hold your breath for a reversal of fortune, with the type of suffocation imposed by the Sens, air will be scarce. Ottawa turned the Habs’ breath into a waning wheeze; they sounded like Darth Vader, with an asthma attack.

The Morning Skate for Friday, March 14th

Bullet points for what you mised while having nightmares of having your MySpace and Facebook pages end up on the front of the New York Times...

At least it's Friday.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Grab a Brew and Let's Do this Thing - Sens Game Preview and Open Thread

So given the Habs have only beaten the Sens once this year, and our last game was a 6-1 disaster loss, we're going with a new format tonight. It's the paragraph that never ends! The game starts at 7:30 at the Phone Booth. It's on Sportsnet East (HF10, do you get that?). It's for first place in the division. By my calculations Habs could be 1st, 2nd, 4th or 5th in the East by the end of tonight. Of the 11 games the Habs and Sens have left, three are against each other. Oy. Habs are 6-4 in their last 10 and coming off their biggest win of the year. Sens coming off a nice solid win over the B's and starting to put the fear in their enemies again since the Kings disaster. Our internet BFF SLC of Five for Smiting has Darth Gerber as a big reason, being handed the official #1 goalie title and playing like it. Did you know Alex Kovalev has 73 points? I didn't. Hey, a real point getter on the Habs! In fact, Habs and Sens tied for the league lead in goals for. Captain K is good for a point per game over the last dozen or so. Price is obvioulsy hot after his Devils shutout. Heatley has 5 points in the last 2 games, Spezza has 3. Alfie may be back tonight, no one knows. Bégin is questionable, still no word on the Habs line-up. Die, Breezer, Die! If the Habs win, celebrate at Chez Parée. Only the classiest place for a classy win. If they lose, get drunk and turn on Channel 213 on Videotron after midnight.

Man that hurt my head to write, I'm sure it was unpleasant to read. See you in the comments!

Kill all the Lawyers - In re: Guimauve Latendresse

Kill all the Lawyers is the newest feature at FHF wherein we invite lawyer Habs fans (besides us) to write special comments, full of inside lawyer jokes that will drive everyone else crazy. Today, regular reader and commenter Damion files this appeal.

In the matter of the appeal concerning Gui!:

I respectfully submit the following evidence in support of my petition to release Gui! from the purgatory FHF condemned him to: Gui! has scored 15 goals, admittedly low, in 66 games. However, 13 of those goals were at even strength. That puts him fourth in team scoring for even handed scoring despite only averaging about 12 minutes a game, which is the 18th lowest on the team. Prayer for Relief:

1. Clarification of Gui!'s contribution to the team in a future FHF post; or

2. In the alternative, abstention of criticism until his play (reasonably assessed) causes either (a) the team's detrimental movement in the standings (e.g. he turns over the puck to Darcy Tucker in the final game against Toronto who scores the winning goal, thereby costing us the win along with a drop to fifth place and losing home ice in a series against the Rangers); or (b) a loss in any single playoff game.

Respectfully submitted,

A reluctant Gui! fan.

Consider your prayer for relief answered.

Girls Will Be Girls

So this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with our team, is more what you would find on the brilliant Dooce, but it was just too good not to share.

On Saturday, I attended my friends' twins 4th birthday. They have a boy and a girl, R and L.

The girl, L, has entertained of late a little obsession with animals, so I figured I would introduce her to the animal kingdom and entice her fascination with all things mammal, i.e. keep her veiled to the fact that men are the only true animals out there.

I figured I would get her farm, jungle and prehistoric plastic figures so she could start telling the difference between the various species roaming the wilderness. It gets interesting here. With the set came a rather towering, frightful and menacing T-Rex. I actually hesitated before getting it because I thought that a first glance at the beast would scare the living hell out of her. I offered her the big box and sat back anxiously as she unwrapped her present. The T-Rex and L's eyes met for the first time and she stood there in silence, dismissively unimpressed. She quickly took to the other, smaller animals though.

The blizzard in Montreal that night left me stranded so I stayed there overnight. The next morning, I awoke to discover what L had done to her so-called monster T-Rex:

So much for my fears of inflicting permanent trauma on a 4-year old girl. Conversely, I think she may have given that tyrannosaurus severe masculinity issues for life. I never thought someone could make a T-Rex look like Liza Minnelli.

So to our beloved Habs, on the eve of this important game versus the mighty Senators, however daunting the opponent, put a proverbial necklace over them and reduce them to size.

The Game Day Skate for Thursday, March 13th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of, or having nightmares of, becoming famous for fucking politicians...
  • First place was fun while it lasted. Crosby was out with a bum ankle but the Pens still beat the Sabres 7-3;
  • Leafs fans began praying heavily, as the Leafs continue to show signs of life after beating the Flyers 3-2;
  • Ovie scores 55 and 56 and Olie gets his 300th career win in the Caps 3-2 win over the Flames. But they are runnning out of time. Too bad, Ovie would be fun in the playoffs;

Rejuvenated Ottawa tonight. A real test. Luckily (or unluckily) we still have two more "real tests" after this one.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fuck I Love Doing This

Shit that's pretty tight. But nice to come home to.

The Morning Skate for Wednesday, March 12

Bullet points while you dream about where a rookie goalie can take a team ...
  • Good triumphs over evil, fans of actual hockey rejoice as Habs take first place back from dull Devils;
  • Leafs continue to drive their own fans crazy, storming back from 3-0 down to win but gifting Flyers a much-needed point;
  • Andrew Cogliano makes history with third straight overtime goal as Oilers make late Leafs-esque charge out of the lottery.
  • Has Heatley righted the Sens ship? We'll find out Thursday, I guess.

First place is nice, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, On Stage to Bore You to Tears - The New Jersey Devils

Les Canadiens return from their West Coast junket to host the team that fun forgot, the New Jersey Devils. The Devils, as you know, are the mind-numbingly boring, trap-trap-til-you-drop, dour, nameless, faceless monster of dull created by Evil Genius Lou Lamariello, kept competitive by All-Universe goalie Martin Brodeur, a stout defence, timely scoring and an endless parade of grinders named Pandolfo or McKay or Brylin. They are the dark side of the moon for the new NHL, the fly in the Crosby and Ovechkin and Malkin and Lecavalier scoring soup. I hate watching them.

Waiting in line details: 7:30 pm EST start, LIVE! from the Bell Centre. Eastern Conference supremacy on the line as the always-in-the-mix Devils try and defend their perch against the happy-to-be-in-the-conversation Habs. Their last meeting was a test of wills, with the Habs trying their usual running and gunning and the Devils doing their evil, lull everyone in the building to sleep ruination of hockey thing. Jesus, I hate watching the Devils.

Pay Your Cover Charge to: Interchangeable Parts. Anyone willing to sit through that many Devils games is either a die-hard, an insomniac, or both.

Hot Sexy Habs to Watch: Koivu still scoring. Grabs centres the Danse a Dix again because Turtleplek remains felled by the flu. TFS between the stripper poles across the ice from the man whose mantle as "Best Goalie Ever OMG4SURE!!!" [trademark ESPN] is his for the taking soon (we hope).

Skanky Habs to Watch: Is Breezer playing? Cause we want O'Byrne back. The call for the return of Chips continues, as Slowinski still cashes paychecks he doesn't deserve. Gui! Gui! Gui! remains a nice kid but too bloody inconsistent. Oh, and hey, if someone wearing a CH on their chest would like to win some faceoffs, GO RIGHT A-FUCKING-HEAD. Seriously, does anyone even work on that shit?

Hot Sexy Devils to Watch: After being mind-tricked into signing a below-market deal last summer, Zach Parise is on pace for almost 40 goals, which makes him far and away the Devils leading threat. Brian Gionta always seems to score important goals, and Patrick Elias, while not the same guy who got some votes as best player in the league some years back, can still make you pay for mistakes. But like they have forever, the Devils go as Hall-of-Fame bound stopper Martin Brodeur goes; on pace for another 40 win season, all-time records for wins, shutouts, and opposing players frustrated in sight, Brodeur looks like he could keep the Devils in contention for another decade. For years, he didn't get the credit he deserved because critics claimed it was easy to tend goal behind Stevens, Niedermayer and Rafalski, but now Brodeur has the Devils in first place playing behind guys like Mike Mottau and Karel Rachunek. Oh, and his last three games he's 3-0, .972 save percentage and a 0.98 goals against. Fuck.

Evil, Evil Genius to Watch: We've run down the evil genius of Lou Lamariello before, but it needs to be said again: The man is intent on boring us all to tears, taking ill-gotten Stanley Cups and ruining all that is glorious about hockey. Fans of the Habs should feel even more grief when confronted by Lou's evil, evil ways: his Devils play "hockey" in a way that is the polar opposite to the firewagon Flying Frenchmen we all grew up with (post 1979 birthdates excepted. Sorry.) Seriously, the man got Zach Parise to take less money to play in front of 12,000 people a night in fucking NEWARK. That's some serious evil mojo.

Skanky Devils to watch: It won't matter. They've got an entire bench of clone shock troops ready to trap, hold, ice the puck, and grind the game to a halt just long enough for Brodeur and Parise to steal it.

Post-Game Entertainment: You're probably going to want to slit your own wrists if the Devils get their way tonight, so maybe it's best if you just go home and crawl into bed with a DVD of the classic 1975 New Year's Eve game. At least the souless, red-clad evil empire the Habs played in that epic played the game right.

Okay, let's hear dirty dirty thoughts from anyone who stays awake in the comments.

The Texas-Sized Game Day Skate for Tuesday, March 11

Bullet points cause you are too busy celebrating 19 straight wins ... or bullet points for what you missed while having dreams or nightmares of being with a high-priced prostitute... or bullet points while you wonder how big the Game Day Skate can get when HF29 and HF10 get their signals crossed ...

Devils in town tonight. Bring your pillow because you're going to feel sleepy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Listen to the Radio: Starship Said it

The FHF will be taking part in a one hour radio show tonight at 9pm. EDT on BlogTalkRadio's hockey show.

The Amazing Melt Your Face-Off will be taking over the hour and have us discuss the Instigator Rule, the role of the Enforcer and the purpose of rough stuff in today's NHL.

Log on here:

See you tonight. Actually, hear you tonight. Don't be shy, phone in!

Bahh, It's a Stupid Name Anyway - Ducks (...pssshahahaha) 3, Habs 1

While Anaheim and Montreal skated around the pond for a rather dull game last night, I tried to think long and hard about the better ducks out there in this world. Then I concluded by thinking that ducks are kinda like the Indians in Hollywood movies - wanting to be hip and calculated yet inherently socially awkward and clumsy, and cursed by a missed-the-mark virility (that's what the movies want you to think, not me, call off the defamation suits, what the hell sue me I'm a lawyer, I have Indian friends), ....(ok not really friends more like acquaintances).

Think about it. Take a look at these ducks.

Daffy: Terrible lisp. Sounds like Bryan Murray. I don't care how smart you are, you're coming across as a 7-year old with a sugar rush.

Donald: The cooler duck. A wanna-be suave. Kind of like the James Bond of ducks. But he's still a geek and every Disney character would bone him last if stranded on a desert island with other Disney characters and Jurrasic Park dinosaurs (1st movie).

Howard the Duck: Uber nerdy, tried to bang Lea Thompson. The only other character who tried to get into her pants was that creepy dude from Back to the Future. Howard is responsible for one of the most disastrous bits of fiction ever committed to film.

The Aflak Duck: The Keanu Reeves of ducks. Kinda cool at first but you soon come to notice that his thin acting skills fail to veil his dense persona. I'm sure he gets the chicks but they usually go home with that dirty feeling rather than a sense of jubilation. They screen his calls afterwards.

Losers. All of them. Sure some of them may have hatched prematurely. Some of them just had it rough from the beginning. Some learned to waddle late, some refused to eat on their own, insisting their parents continue to vomit the food in their mouths. Some lost everything in the dot com bubble. Some said, "Hey, laser discs! That's a great idea!" I know, it's not right to judge. But look, I'm just calling them how I see them.

Sure, Anaheim can skate rings around most teams in the NHL, but at the end of the day no player who respects himself`can say" I'm real proud to be a Duck" without feeling his testicles vanish. Really. "I'm proud to be a Duck" - checks for testicles - "phew!!!" - another quick glance to make sure.

It's too bad because the Habs could have left the West Coast with the mental reassurance of having beaten at least one of the top teams in the Conference, with a 3-1 record to boot. But the hostile wildlife in California would eventually have its say, and the Sharks and Ducks can now tell themselves they won't have much to fear should the Habs or Sens make their way across America in June. They sure didn't in June of 2007.

These Ducks, formerly of the Mighty lineage, schooled the Canadiens for 3 periods, limiting them to 12 shots after the first 2 of play. An inspired Kovalev, who finally notched his 30th of the season, couldn't find enough fuel to lead the reunited Kovy-Grabs-Tits trio of love. With a Turtleplek nursing a Turtlecold, the team reluctantly fed Grababybovski to the Ducks. It wasn't enough; Turtlepleck was turtlemissed.

So yes, the name is terribly puerile, but the players wearing the jerseys are not the bumbling buffoons of Disney. Pronger, Niedermayer, (bis), Selanne. All carved out of the trunk of Man. Champs. Nothing Carey Price could stop when Anaheim turned the jets on late in the third to break an endless tie. It was just a matter of the fortress being breached and eventually falling to a far stronger opponent. They play the game the way it was to meant to be played. One thing you can say about ducks: they always mean well. These Ducks insist on being taken seriously.