Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wasted management 101 ~ Habs are garbage in 6-2 loss to Canes ~ Game Review and Open trash thread

Reek ~ The game stunk from the get-go as the Habs polluted the ice with pathetic play.

Recycle ~ Here's an idea whose time has come, collectively try to cycle and recycle in the offensive zone. Enough with the garbage goals and wasted efforts of forty foot shots.

Recover ~ PatCHes! is doing better each day, RDS says he may be on skates by Saturday.

Rethink ~ Funduhmental flaws in The System™, noted. CHocula, whatever it is you are scribbling on that fucking notepad isn't worth wiping yourself with. Incinerate it.

Litter the ice ~ With boos at the next home game. No waffles though. Save those crepes for the last game.

Reduce ~ Cutback Lego's time to four minutes? Really?

Sceptic tank ~ Too late to can the recent end-of-season garbage. Throw out the trash this summer, unless of course some of it is composted and it feeds a new Flower.

To the Curb ~ Is our enthusiasm sunk at the FHF joint or what?! We need some freshening up.
Landfill ~ The methane collected from Montreal's March misery could fuel a fire but luckily Habs fans only do that during winning riots. I ain't dousing that hope just yet.

Pay as you Gomez ~ This toxic hazardous cocktail is costing the Canadiens environment. Climate CHange is real and we're melting like lg's Mexican Margarita.

Reuse ~ Hand me down some Bulldogs or use the one's we've already got FFS.

Turn off the red lights ~ Save TFS™'s energy, be efficient and rest the kid.

Low-flow ~ No decent passes from the D, no effective dumping in of the puck, no clogging up the zone, no shit. Flush The System™!

Regift ~ Are we revisiting last year's filthy finish or 2005's? Either way, Steve (Bégin) says it sucks.
Dis pose (says it) all ~ Those are some big cans.
~ ~ ~

Nibbling on plunge cake, watCHing the Habs bake,
All of those tourists covered with Whale oil,
Struggling win-loss string, lg's Jekyll & Hyde thing,
See those fucking sCHrimp, they're beginning to boil.

Wasting away again in Hockey-est-la-ville,
Searching for my lost playoff gestalt,
Some people claim that there's a System to blame,
But I know it's The Notepad's fault?

Don't know the reason that I Pants!'d here all season,
With nothing to show but these game day P(Reviews),
Ain't he a real beauty, our Mexican booty,
How he's still here I haven't a CHlue.

Blew out my FHFlipflop, as I tapped on my laptop
Habs were the heels, now they CHruise on back home,
But there's booze in the Bell Centre blender,
And soon it will render,
That frozen CHoncoction the Habs have going on.

Yes, some people claim that there's a System to blame,
But we know it's all Bob Gainey's fault?

G Y F H G !

The Morning Skate for Thursday, March 31st

Bullet points for what you missed while having nightmares of being excluded from the debates...
  • On the plus side, Habs scored 2 PP goals. On the minus side, everything else. Canes 6 Habs 2. Commence panicking (if you weren't already). More later today;
  • Not Ryan Miller and the Sabres shut out the Rangers. This leaves the teams tied for 7th, 2 points behind the Habs in 6th and they both have a game in hand;
  • Devils technically still in the playoff hunt after a 3-2 win over the Isles, the same way the Leaf is technically in the playoff hunt;
  • The Ducks probably buried the Flames with a 4-2 win;
  • Blues 10, Wings 3. Huh?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ten Things I Hate About the Hartforlina Whalercanes - Game Preview and Open Thread

Well, now that the relief of last night's win is over, you know what this place needs?  Hate.  When was the last time we spread the hate around here?  Really?  That recently, huh?  Well, fuck it.  It's time for some more hatin'.  If you want to know what time the game is, who is hot or not, who is manning the pipes, I'd love to help you, but I'm busy pouring out some haterade for our old forgotten Adams Division enemies, the Whalers ... er, Hurricanes.  Really. 

10 Things I Hate About the Hartforlina Whalercanes

10. Cooperalls. My god, the Cooperalls. When your only fashion forward brethren are the assholes in the ORANGE jerseys, maybe it's time to rethink. At least the NHL came to its senses and banned those monstrosities.

9. Speaking of fashion forward, how does one go from the classic Whale colours of green and blue and it's variations to the current mess that is Carolina? Check out this timeline and tell me anything from Raleigh is an improvement. You can't.

8. Hey, I've got an idea! Let's trade three straight first round picks (Kyle McLaren, Jonathan Aiken, and Sergei Samsonov) to the Bruins, the team that dominates the hearts and minds of our entire target market, for Glen Wesley! He'll totally continue to put up 50 points a year NOT playing alongside Ray Bourque! Thanks for reloading the fucking Bruins for almost a decade to get your hands on a second pairing defender, you idiots.

7. Look, I get that you needed a PR boost to draw people to see hockey in Raleigh. I also understand that "Nature Boy" Ric Flair could probably declare himself King of North Carolina and the people would build him a palace made out of the skulls of his enemies, and when he bought seasons tickets you must have been ecstatic. But now Flair's damn trademarked "Whoooooo!!!" gets played after goals in waaaayyyyy more rinks than it should, and it's all your damn fault. Hearing it seven times versus the Bruins last week made me so pissed I was hoping Dusty Rhodes would come out and give virtual scoreboard Flair the bionic elbow to shut him up.

6. I've given some of the other WHA refugees grief for this before, but here it is again: Can you at least try to respect the history of your franchise? The Whalers retired Rick Ley's number 2, Gordie Howe's number 9, and John McKenzie's number 19 (which is problematic in and of itself, since rumour has it the Whalers did that solely to cater to Bruins fans who loved former Bruin McKenzie). Since you moved to Raleigh, you just decided to ignore Ley and McKenzie and issued those numbers again. At least you haven't been dumb enough to let someone take 9. Yet.

5. Made a poster boy out of Rod Brind'amour. Nothing against Brind'amour as a player or a man, but making him captain and the face of a franchise? Hard on the eyes, Whalercanes. Not fun. Glad Rod retired before the HDTV explosion or it could have been really scary.

4. Gave Brian Burke his first GM job in the NHL. Yes, it's all the fucking Whalercanes fault. This should really be higher on the list.

3. April 2006 and the 7th seeded Canadiens go up 2-0 versus the 2nd seeded Whalercanes when Justin Williams nearly blinds Saku Koivu in game 3. Habs lose their lynchpin, Montreal media goes apeshit trying to snap pics of a nearly blind Koivu in his hospital bed, Canadiens lose 4 straight and get bounced from the playoffs. Koivu, the Habs and the fragile relationship Saku had with the city were never the same. Fuck you, Justin Williams. Oh, and to add insult to injury, the fucking Whalercanes won the Cup.

2. Speaking of winning the Cup, remember the Penguins mini-dynasty of the early 90's? Yeah, well, it might have been a lot different if Hartford hadn't handed franchise icon Ron Fucking Francis, rock-hard defender Ulf Samuellson and Grant Jennings for John Cullen, Zarley Zalapski and Jeff Parker. The hockey gods were so incensed by the trade they actually ended Parker's career after only 4 games as a Whaler. Seriously, you traded a guy who finished his career with 1800 points (4th all time) for John Cullen? Cullen was a solid player, but his best years were between Kevin Stevens and Mark Recchi when a guy named Mario Lemieux was out injured. Who the fuck was scouting for you people, Reggie Houle?

1. 1980. Playoffs. Four-time defending champs the Montreal Canadiens, lead by all-world superstar (and 7 year old HF10's favourite player) Guy Lafleur sweep aside the Whalers in three games. However, most evil man in the history of the world Pat Boutette of Hartford takes out Lafleur with a knee-on-knee hit, ending Lafleur's playoff campaign and the drive for five as the demoralized champs fall to Minnesota in round two without their talisman. Lafleur never comes back to full on superstar status as nagging injuries start to pile up, leading to his messy divorce from the team a few years later. Save for a few fleeting moments, the glory of the Canadiens died that day. Pat Boutette can rot in hell.

The Game Day Skate presents a TMS Review of Habs 3, Thrash 1

"Sorry my blind eyes cost you a shutout" "No worries, dude"
Bullet points for what you missed while having nightmares of a bunch of new condos around the Bell Centre...
  • Hallelujah! Praise Jebus! Praise Winnie! Habs score 3 goals (ok, two and a half, though the empty netter from 100 feet was probably the prettiest one) to snap out of their goalless streak that according to TSN was the LONGEST GOALLESS DROUGHT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE to beat the Thrashers and put a stake in the heart of their playoff hopes (like we care about that). We'd give you a full review with things like "thought" and "humour" but there's no time as we've got to turn around and attempt to score again this evening. So let's put a numbered list inside this bulleted list (a real risky move in the world of Blogger formatting and unprecedented in FHF history) for some game notes:
  1. All credit to the Mexican American! No really, he may have played his best game of the season, and helped make DarCHe not look out of place on his line. Great work behind the net and a nice pass to set up DarCHe's goal. He worked and skated all night. It's true, we swear!
  2. Love us some Tits! Throwing his body around! Getting his body thrown around! He was like a Weeble who wobbled and wouldn't fall down. No that's not right. He was like a bowling pin that gets knocked down over and over but keeps hopping back up and gets right back to work. Yes, that analogy is apt, Tits is a bowling pin;
  3. We have seen a lot of non-calls in our lifetime, but that missed high stick to Gill's face (pretty hard to do!) was an embarrassment to the refs or more in the Anti-Habs conspiracy, as it led to spoiling Carey's deserved shutout, changing a 2-0 cruising to a 2-1 clenching of our bowels for the rest of the game. TMI?
  4. Squid needs to go back to the training room and take some games off to get better. He must have come back too early, because he is just not right. We'd say the same of PleXXXe, but we need him in the lineup;
  5. Our PP continues to blow chunks. You know what our PP needs? A young energetic puck moving black man. If only we had one;
  6. We certainly feel better about our playoff chances this morning (up to 99.2%) and we think it was a pretty hard fought win, but at the risk of taunting McPhee, two in the crease goals in 11 seconds does not momentum into the playoffs make. The PleXXXe line is doing nothing, the PP sucks, and the D needed to be bailed out by Carey numerous times once again. We're taking a wait and see attitude until tonight.
  • Leafs! Greatest team in the universe! Nazem Kadri! The Next Great One! Leafs 4, Sabres 3;
  • The Phucktards keep the Pens at bay with a 5-2 win;
  • Give the WhalerCanes some credit for going into the 3rd down a goal with their playoff hopes on the line and beating the Caps in a SO;
  • The Bs shut out the Hawks, and they could easily make it to 2nd in the conference;
  • Tampa's 5-2 win over Ottawa keeps them 4 points ahead of the Habs for 5th;
  • The 'Nucks secure top spot in the West with a 3-1 win over the Preds;
  • Looks like Todd Bertuzzi won't be suspended for his elbow the other night.
OK like we said, right back at it tonight in Carolina. In the meantime, enjoy these long-from video highlights after a win. They feature actual goals! Scored by Habs!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

CHrunCHing numbers ~ Habs vs Thrashers ~ Game Preview and Winnie Cooper appreciation Thread

Everyone is talking numbers. Math is fun and easy. Let's try some. 3 games multiplied by no fucking goals equals sweet fuck all. Sharpen your skates and your pencils boys cuz we need a win. OK, we don't actually need one as bad as say the Thrashers or the leaf but being rational, we don't want to end the season facing those latter Fuckfaces holding the playoff cards. Odds are still in the Habs favour but its no time to get CHomfortably numbered. Even Joey Juneau would tell you it isn't calCHulus out there. Pick a branCH betwixt Ambition to Win, Distraction by Danica, Uglification of the Standings, or total Derision if they fucking lose. Carey the two points and GYFHG!

CHraps ~  No one is hot on RDS or TSN (19h30), but Danica makes counting up to 21 fun.

The UnaCHountables ~ Too many too mention. Score already.

ZilCH ~ Zero is on the line for the opponent from Atlanta. OK, they aren't mathematically out yet.

186.05 ~ Minutes and seconds since someone last scored. Remember who it was? Remember 1949? Remember 'The Wonder Years'?

They can be Zeroes ~ ATL (32-31-12) shutout MTL (40-29-7) in their last game.
Tumbling Dice ~ Still lots of injured players.

0.4% is Almost Null ~ Golf leaf Golf!
31 is a lonely number ~ TFS™ and our own Esther are both goalies, one is an FHFemme, the other is starting in net tonight.

Its in Descartes ~ "One more time. It's simple. Habs win tonight and tomorrow. Canes lose tonight and tomorrow (against Habs). Habs secure playoff spot". ~ LDude, a card who can be dealt with.
3.14159 26535 89793... ~ Sorry Steve.

Spin at 45 RPM ~ Rolling out a song parody soon …
I think women are tasty, but they're always tryin' to wa$te me

And make me burn my CHandle right down,
But baby, baby, I don't need no ice in my Royale CHrown.

'Cause all you FHFers is low down gamblers,
CHeatin' like I don't know how,
But baby, baby, there's fever in the Habs house now!

This low down bitCHin', got my poor fingers itCHin',
You know you know the Steve is still wild.
Sharon baby, I can't stay, you got to roll me 
And call me your fun loving' guy.

Today I was in a hurry, I never stop to worry,
Don't you see the time FHFlashin' by.
GG honey, gets no FHF money, she's all golden and sweet and fine.

Say now, Anon, you're the rank outsider,
You can be mcsplooge's partner in CHrime.
But buddy, you can't stay,
You can't roll me and call me the FHFumbling' guy,
Go fucking roll thee and watCH me enjoy Carey Price'.

Oh, my, my, my, you're the lone crap shooter,
Playin' the field ev'ry night. Buddy, can't stay,
You can't roll me, can't call me Pants! tumbling' guy,
Blogroll me but don't call me the Habs hockey clay dice.
Go fucking roll thee. Go fucking roll thee.

The Game Day Skate for Tuesday, March 29th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of what could have been...
  • HUGE night in the N last night, with uh, hmmm, a couple of games out West. Was there Monday night football or something? Forty year old Finnish Flash had a hat trick for the Ducks, and Todd Bertuzzi had an incident;
  • Ovie was back at practice following his "rest" for "undisclosed injuries" to "get better for the playoffs" (i.e. community service for killing a Russian hooker);
  • Sports Club Stats has the Habs at 98.5% to make the playoffs. Sounds good! And here's some magic numbers table, which after 10 minutes we have yet to figure out. We've put both these links in a new box on the right so you can check them every minute to raise your blood pressure;
  • Your power rankings roundup see the Habs take some very expected drops: 8 to 17 (ESPN), 8 to 15 (THN) and 11 to 14 (TSN). Uh, thanks TSN?
Thrashers tonight. One goal, pretty please?

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Morning Skate for Monday, March 28th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of being Cinderella...
  • The Bs punch their ticket to the playoffs thanks to a 2-1 win over the Phucktards;
  • Atlanta tries to hold on to some playoff hope with a win over the Sens;
  • The Pens win their fourth game in a row by shootout (setting a dubious NHL record in the process) 2-1 over the Panthers;
  • The 'Nucks get to 50 wins for the first time in their history thanks to Chris Higgins' 2G 1A night;
  • Bag skate! It won't help.
Just six games left in the season. Six games to score ONE GOAL. FOR PATCHES.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Forget Dr. Jekyll, can I just Hyde? Caps 2 - Habs: 3rd consecutive goose egg

Man, we sure did get a lot of mileage out of this pic... 

Please indulge me in a bit of a personal digression...

I have a trial starting in about a week.  My stress levels have never been higher, I'm no longer sleeping well, I'm not motivated to work, I can't concentrate on anything and so the deadlines keep piling up, time feels like it's slipping away from me while I feel powerless to do anything about it.  And so, the panic keeps getting worse and I don't know how to stop the cycle.

Even with all of that, I still wouldn't change places with ANY member of our beloved Canadiens de Montréal this morning.

They wish they could put a bag on their heads and forget about it, slinking away from the spotlight while nobody notices them.  They don't have that luxury.  So much credit to Squid, Gio and even Gomer for manning up and standing together to face the music (i.e. the reporters) last night after the Habs' 3rd consecutive shutout loss.  Shit, Gomer even admitted that "it starts with me" and that he's part of the problem this year.  Squid was apparently barely audible for parts of the interview and Gio was mumbling platitudes in his "Just because I'm the captain, don't expect me to say anything truly meaningful, ever" way.

And poor Carey Price kicked his shoes across the locker room in frustration 'cause, even though he's doing his best, short of skating up the ice himself, there is nothing he can reasonably do to stop the futility.

I don't know what the Habs need to do to get out of this.  Martin finally went for the bag skate this morning, but I'm still not sure that's the answer, or, if it was at some point (say, after the Boston game), it certainly isn't anymore.

Maybe it is some form of collective PTSD (as discussed in my morning email chain with GG11) following all of the bullshit both on and off the ice following Patches' injury.  All I know is that this isn't the team that I thought we had. These aren't the Montreal Canadiens that fought tooth and nail to get through some rough shit last year through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

They do, however, resemble the Habs that looked as though they had nothing left in the tank after game 3 vs. Philly.

Maybe, due to the shit luck they've had with injuries, the tank was emptied early this year.

I would be worried, but not panicked if there were more than 6 friggin' games left in the regular season.  Fact is that there aren't.  And that's the problem with psychological trouble and other shit that gets in your head and gives you a rising case of panic-induced-paralysis.  Time is the only thing that can ever truly heal that feeling, and when you feel like time is running out... well... I think we've all been there at some point, so we know that it only makes things worse.  Especially with the fact that they get to have 21,273 people booing them, yelling at them to get their shit together, and fast.  While I don't blame the fans for booing, right now, that has got to be the least helpful thing we can do for our team.

This is the time when teams are supposed to be tuning up for the playoffs.  Habs can't do that right now, because they're trying to shake a gorilla off their collective backs - one that is getting heavier by the second.

If they do manage to shake it off, there's a chance that they'll be stronger than ever and potentially even be in a good position for the playoffs.  Kind of a "We've been down before - what you're giving us Philly/Boston/Whoever is NUTHIN' compared to that."

But, that's a pretty big if.

Until then, I can only imagine that the panic level among both players, coaches and staff is light years beyond anything that I feel right now.

And that, my friends? Scares the shit out of me way more than a 3rd consecutive shutout, because it doesn't bode well for avoiding a fourth...  Or a fifth... Or a sixth...


Saturday, March 26, 2011

We need leadership ~ Canadiens vs. Capitals - Game Day Preview and Open election debate thread

We are Habs fans. We love our team. We are passionate. We are reasonable. We want CHange. We want goals. We want to win. My FHF colleagues and a lot of our blog's commentors voted with their words this week. Logical, reasoned, intelligent, emotional, funny, conscientious, well-adjusted, visionary, extraverted, open and maybe even a bit controversial. Lets join forces with our voices and CHeer our boys towards a great finish and even better playoff performances beyond May 2nd.

National Mission Statement ~ The game is offered in both official languages. RDS and CBC. 7PM EDT puck drop. Intermission puppet show befalls the country.
Just watCH me ~ All-Star, Vezina and Hart potential candidate TFS™ leads his team (5-5-0) vs. Washington's (8-2-0) Holtby (thx N31).

Cool CHreative CHriticism ~ "Nevertheless, what can I do. I am a child of the Trudeau era, when the elites had a public conscience and art and creativity were seen as virtues in themselves and not just creative industry." ~ Der BaruCH

CHild labour ~ The kids are playing hard, they've got the lungs to go deep. Time to give some vets the shaft.
Time to hear from a CHarismatic leader ~ LeCH Walesa said he "belonged to a nation which over the past centuries had experienced many hardships and reverses". Jean Beliveau said "talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work". Aragorn is quoted with "I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail." Brian Gionta once said “We've just got to keep plugging away. We're trying to be too fancy at times, passing up some shots that we should be taking.” So the message is work hard, reverse the hardship, form a CHoalition and don't fucking fail!
A CHicken in every pot ~ I'd settle for a goal from the recently scoreless Habs.

Playboys ~ Game CHangers like Pierre and Bob were great leaders in their fields and lovers of what makes life fun, beautiful and filled with flair like the Habs boys use to play.
Penthouse ~ Like the Habs, the Caps are trying to secure 1st place in their division.

Put away the mega phony ~ Hey Boudreau, STFU!

OV ~ Worst fucking Canadian beer ever made. Also, no Caps #8 is great on this date. Habs injury list hasn't changed but VodkOV was skating and negotiating, so thats nice!

VOTE! ~ The conservative gal, the liberal minded kitten, the cute pet?
G Y F H G!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Moving On Day: Bruins 7, Habs 0

Move on.  Pack up all the Valentine's Day Beatdown, Pacioretty/Chara, Marchand's big mouth, Recchi's medical diagnosis, last night's embarrassment stuff in boxes, shove it into the back of the truck, and move on.  Because if the Habs don't, they are in serious jeopardy of free falling right out of the playoffs, let alone out of sixth place and a first-round date with the Bruins. 

This team is broken.  They battled through injuries, questions about their size, "The System", the beat down in Boston, lack of respect from the pundits and league.  They battled despite minimal contributions from high-priced Cammy and Gomez, the fits and starts of guys like Pouliot and Kostitsyn, the rookie mistakes and struggles of PK and DDD and the crippling of an entire defence corps.  But the cloud that is the Pacioretty incident has shaken this team to pieces.  They are broken.  The record since Pacioretty's injury?  Lacklustre effort the next game in St. Louis.  Shut out Pittsburgh.  Lacklustre effort versus Washington.  Barely escape in the shootout versus Tampa.  Pounded by the Rangers.  A freakshow against a horrible Wild team, and consecutive embarrassments against Buffalo and Boston.  3 wins, 5 losses.  Looking worse with each loss. 

There is only so much crap a team can take before breaking.  Three weeks ago, were any of us disappointed in how this team full of Bulldogs had fought?  Why, we were even praising the coaches for the way the myriad of call-ups performed.  The development of Lars Eller.  The resurrection of Andrei Kostitsyn as a useful player (not the scorer we all hoped, but certainly a viable option as a Canadien moving forward).  But the Pacioretty hit seems to have cast a pall over everything this team does.  Talking about it, and reading about it, and hearing the debate on all sides 24-7 was crazy enough as a fan - I can't imagine what it would be like inside the fishbowl of the Canadien's dressing room.  Every time someone else threw an elbow TSN showed Chara smashing Pacioretty into the stanchion.  Every week there was more anticipation for last night's game (will the Habs go after Chara?  will there be a gang war at centre ice?). Then Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi opened the barely healing wounds again with their idiotic comments.  Getting this game in the rear view mirror couldn't come fast enough. 

But is it enough?  There were moments in last night's game that it looked like there were thirty Bruins on the ice.  Take nothing away from Boston; they looked like a terrific combo of speed and size and skill at times.  But the Habs looked beaten before the puck even dropped and save for some spurts, never once did I think they were coming back to make a game of it.  Not once.  The fact that the game only ended 7-0 is a testament to Carey Price, who must have felt like shit for all of his 45 minutes of action.  The Bruins broke the Canadiens spirit early and often last night.  All the fight this team normally displays disappeared.

The pollyannas aren't going to want to hear it, but here it comes:  This is not a very good hockey team as it is presently constituted.  They take a ridiculous amount of penalties.  Do you know how bad you have to be to be 30th in the league in penalties?  They are too small.  They have very little offensive push.  The talent that should be leading that charge is disinterested, injured, or just not good enough to do it on a consistent basis.  They are unable to, or unwilling to adapt to change their game when things aren't working.  Shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic won't fix the massive hole in the hull any more than flipping Halpern and Darche around on the wings will stop the Bruins train from smashing you to pieces.  This team misses Max Pacioretty's combo of size, speed and skill far more than I ever thought they would, but it's true.  In hindsight, he might be the second most important forward on this roster, because everything has fallen apart since he went down and it can't all be attributed to the mental aspect of his injury. 

There is something very wrong with Michael Cammalleri.  I don't know if he's hurt, or too wrapped up in "being Michael Cammalleri" or what, but he looks terrible.  The defence without Markov, Gorges and Spacek is too slow and offers very little offensive support.  The fact that the Habs can't even find two pairs of defencemen to man a powerplay speaks volumes.  Too many players are wildly inconsistent, from Pouliot and PK to Cammy and the captain.  I love much of what Brian Gionta brings to this team, but he is paid to lead and score goals.  I don't need him to be a shutdown defender or penalty killer.  I don't need him to fight, or lay big hits, or even be good in the community.  I need him to score when we need a goal.

Scott Gomez needs to go.  This is not news.  But the reality is very different this morning than it has been in the past.  I've been on Gomez for years because I thought he was better.  That he was lazy, or didn't compete, or didn't care enough, and that infuriated me.  Last night was different.  For all his faults last night, Scott Gomez was working his ass off.  If he didn't care, he would have packed it in after getting his nose broken.  He didn't.  He got pissed off and went back out there.  Admirable.  But here's the rub:  Scott Gomez appeared to be busting his ass last night and he still was an ineffective albatross.  And it hit me:  Scott Gomez has regressed so far as a hockey player that it doesn't matter if he tries or not.  He's just not good enough to do what he's supposed to.  There is no cure for this.  Gomez is finished as a viable first or second line centre unless, at age 31, he can totally reinvent himself.  I don't believe he can.

This team has done a fantastic job of keeping its head above water with all its injuries.  The emergence of Lars Eller is a great thing to watch.  Ryan White is rapidly becoming one of my favourite players - there was a moment late in last night's game before a face-off where the camera focused on White, who had the look of a man who wanted to murder anyone in black and gold.  He, among precious few others last night, did not quit. David Desharnais continues to defy the odds.  Carey Price might be the best goaltender in hockey already and has probably kept this team alive for far longer than it deserved.  Tomas Plekanec is worth every penny when healthy.  When healthy and clicking, this team can give anyone in the league a run for their money, and I would feel confident taking them versus the Bruins in the first round if that were the case.  There is a faint glimmer of hope that people will get healthy for the playoffs and things will improve, and that's what I'm hoping for.  But will it be enough to push away the cloud this team is under?  Unless they have reserves they can call on, this is not the year.  Not without Markov, Gorges, Pacioretty, Spacek, the Cammy they thought they were paying for, and Price standing on his head.  That is fact.  This is not their year.  They are broken.

The Morning Sexy Friday Skate for March 25th

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of Alessandra Ambrosio in GQ Brazil...
  • Ugh. Well that was. um, pathetic? Embarrassing? Hell? Thank goodness we could switch to our awesome Gators winning in OT and forget about that crap. More later today;
  • The Rangers only managed a point from the Sens, but that's enough to get them to 2 points behind the Habs for 6th;
  • Tronna is planning the parade after their 4-3 win over the Avs;
  • Somehow Pittsburgh could still finish first in the East after beating the Flyers in a shootout;
  • Atlanta still with a shot at the playoffs, maybe, a long one, after a 2-1 win over the Isles;
  • Your token West game has the Preds solidifying their position with a 5-4 win over the Ducks.
Id' like to say let's forget about last night and get on with Sexy Friday, but that's gonna be a tough one to forget. But Sexy Friday goes on dammit. In our continuing quest to bring you all the best Megan Fox Armani underwear news, we've got the behind the scenes video of the ad we've showed you twice already. Happy (as much as that's possible) Sexy Friday everyone.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ten things we LOVE about... the Boston Bruins ~ Preview and Open Thread

REVENGE. BLOOD. WAR. THE BATTLE FOR PATCHES AND THE SOUL OF HOCKEY. These are the themes that are swirling around the sixth and final meeting of the regular season between the Habs and Bruins tonight. At least if you're watching TSN. Blood lust is very exciting! But then we read yesterday that Chara has tried to reach out to PatCHes. What a lovely gesture! Who cares that he has yet to apologize or anything. I'm sure that's exactly what he was trying to do! You always apologize to the guy you almost maimed privately before you do it in public. That's just good manners! And any Canadian loves good manners. So that got us to thinking - a nice gesture, some good manners, maybe there are some things to love about the Bruins. Ten things even! Sure, anyone can list 10 things they hate about a rival, or even 20, but can we find ten things to love? Of course we can! We're drunk and / or high. Anton, drumroll please...

10. Delightful Bruin fan visitors to FHF! Like Cornelius! And Cornelius! And, uh, that other guy! Come back Cornelius.

9. The rise of former Bruins coaches Don Cherry and Mike Milbury to prominent positions at the CBC has granted us precious time to eat and masturbate during intermissions because we have to turn them off.

8. Bruins futility and skinflint ownership long ago forced The Sports Guy to abandon his Bruins fandom. Can you imagine if we had to deal with his pompous ass talking about the Bruins and hockey all the time? Ugh. We've been saved! We love you for that Bs!

7. They've got the second or third best jersey in the league. Sure, their old 3rd jersey was an abomination to mankind, but the original black and gold is solid. And black is always classy, like a tuxedo. Just look at the Raiders!

6. Ice Girls! We love ice girls. Ok maybe they're not Atlanta southern belles or anything, but it takes something special to be one of only two original six teams with ice girls.

5. The TD Garden provides valuable marketing exposure for our Canadian corporations.

4. Mark Recchi! Always nice to see players I loved in a Habs uni remembering to bring up their old club in interviews.

3. Their coach used to be our coach. That counts for something, right?

2. This Bruins Commercial. A giant bear beating the shit out of a Bruins fan and a cute CHick wearing a Habs jersey. What's not to love?

And the number one thing we love about the Bruins...

1. Without them, who we gonna hate?

7:00 PM start from Boston, on the regular blood lust-y TSN. There's nothing to preview, you know as well as I do what's happening, who's good and who's bad and who's injured and who's a game-time decision. Go read a real preview or use the Google if you want actual information. I would just love to see the fucking puck drop already. And for no one to get hurt.

Bring your own drunken-high passive-aggressive love-hate in the comments

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vindication for LG! Sabres 2, Habs 0

At the risk of giving ammunition to fuckface anonymous commentors,.. you know what, fuck it. I will openly taunt fuckface anonymous commentors who for some inexplicable reason insist on hanging around a blog they think is crap. Where nobody wants them. And for some reason, insist on attacking LG77 at every turn. Well, fuckface anonymous commentors, in case you didn't notice, LG77's  post that started this week of nastiness thanks to you was 100% correct. To the quote!

"One game they're flying, the next, they need to be relegated to the trash heap.  One day they're kicking ass, the next, they're getting their asses kicked. One night they're the windshield, the other night they're the bug."

In the wake of Buffalo's domination of us last night (yes, you can be dominated in a 2-0 game where one goal was into an empty net), LG77 delivered a playful "I told you so" in the comments. Amen, sister. You tried to tell us, you really did. Let's turn to some other childish taunts (not that I'm calling LG childish, you understand) to try and sort this one out.

My dad's better than your dad - All credit to Lindy Ruff who came up with some sort of perfect road game plan that gave the Habs maybe one legitimate scoring chance all night. It was based on tight 5-man D and limiting the opposition's good chances and taking advantage of your opponent's mistakes. Just like The System! And it worked. CHokula's game plan consisted of, uh, hmm, trying not to make a mistake? I kept expecting the Habs to come out of the dressing room with some sort of change in the plan to get the offense going. Aside from a line change in the 3rd to the reappearance of the Giant Mexican Squid, nada. In-between period strategic adjustment is not CHokula's forte.

Liar, liar pants on fire - statistics LIE. Habs outshot the Sabres 31-24 in this game. That was no indication whatsoever of the play. Every shot the Habs had was from the outside, was seen by Miller and produced no second or third chances. I don't care what the shots say, Sabres owned this game. They had energy and desperation on their side. Habs had lethargy and complacency on their side. The one stat that didn't lie was penalties. Habs had 6, all by defensemen getting beat in their own zone and needing to trip, hook, or interfere to try and catch up. Sure they killed them all, but they ruined any chance of getting into some kind of flow.

I know you are, but what am I? No way you can insult Carey, who kept us in the game throughout and once again shone while all those around him were meh-ing it up. You can't insult DDD either, who is doing his best to try to fill in for PleXXXe.

I'm rubber and you're glue. Anything you say bounces off me and sticks to you. - No matter how much we insult the Mexican's play, he doesn't seem to care. So here's a new tactic. You're playing great Gomez! Keep it up!

Nyaah nyaah nyaah nah nah nah (sp?) - my last childish dig at Anonymous because I am childish and I hereby declare this Don't Feed the Troll Day.

Am not! Are too! Habs suck! No they don't! Habs suck! No they don't! Let's hope this back and forth Jekyll and Hyde business gets us a win tomorrow night in Boston.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

OMG PONIES!!!!1!!11!!! Habs vs. Sabres Game Preview and Open Thread of Happiness, Rainbows, and Sunshiney things

OMG, OMG YOU GUYS!!! SQUEEEEE!!!!  The Bestest. Hockey. Team. EVAH is playing tonight!!!  And they're playing this team from Buffalo - OMG, it's like the worst. city. ever. And no one can ever beat our super duper amazing team because they're, like, sooooo AMAZING!!!!1!!!!  I mean, it's a known fact, everyone loooooooves the Habs, no one ever hates on them!!!  So it's, like, totally NOT cool to question anything they ever do, because, you know, everyone involved with the team is like, some kind of genius, especially the coaching staff.  I hear that they're even members of this, like, totally cool clique called Messna or something.  Weird name, I KNOW!!!

And OH. MY. GOD. Can these guys ever put the puck in the net!!!!!!!  I, mean, like, they won their last game 8-1 against a team from, like Minnesota.  That team must have been good - I mean, it's like, colder there than it is here, amirite?  So, like, it's totally a sign of how the Habs are gonna win the Stanley Cup, like, totally for sure now!!!!!!  THIS IS THE BESTEST TEAM EVAH!!!!1!!!!!! EVEN BETTER THAN THE TEAMS IN THE 70'S!!! WOOO HOOO - HERE COMES THE NEW DYNASTY, YOU GUYS!!!1!!!1!!

OMG YOU GUYS THE GAME IS GOING TO BE TOTALLY AWESOME: The game is in Montreal, so, like, for sure the Habs are gonna win. DUH. The puck drops right at 7:30 on the dot (because it ALWAYS drops exactly on time).  The game will be on RDS, which has, like the most insightful commentators ever.  Especially that Benoit Brunet!!!  He's dreamy!!!  He's got this face that looks just like my Cabbage Patch Kid doll, so I just think he's amazing!!!  OMG - the game is gonna be on TSN, too???  SQUEEEEE!!!1!!!!1!! That bald guy who can say mean things about the Habs is totally gonna change his mind tonight and proclaim them the BESTEST TEAM EVAH too!!!!  I mean, he's always screaming, so he's gotta be right, right??!!!

OMG YOU GUYS THIS IS THE BEST HABS TEAM EVER: So, like PK Subban is the bestest rookie ever and a shoo-in for rookie of the year!!!! Everyone loves him so much because he's soooooooooooooooo talented.  And Benoit Pouliot is seriously amazing too.  OMG and Andrei Kostitysn?? I <3 HIM SO MUCH!!! HE'S SO DREAMY!!! My big brother says that he's at my intelligence level, so that must make him, like, the SMARTEST guy on the team. And there's a cute guy who says he's from Alaska, but, really he's from Mexico.... PFFT - AS IF!!! He's just trying to trick us into thinking he sucks, because he's so good that he has to hide it from, like everyone, including his teammates.  I'm telling you, you guys, he's just waiting to EXPLODE like the Mexican Tiger he is!1!!!!!  Charlie Sheen says that people with tiger blood are amazing, and, like, he's so funny on that show that doesn't seem to be on the air anymore, so, like whatever he says is totally right, even with all of the slurred words and the fact that he keeps sniffing funny whenever he's giving an interview.  Poor thing must be sick!!! OH NO!!!

OMG YOU GUYS EVERYONE IS AWESOME, EXCEPT FOR THAT OTHER TEAM: Did you ever notice that Buffalo seems to have these weird shaggy cows and like, totally lame old fashioned swords on their jerseys?  Yeah, I know, right? LAME!!!!  Anyway, they totally choked on a two goal-lead and lost in OT in their last game to these weird sabretoothed thingies from a place that never even gets snow. HAHAHAHAHAHA THEY SUCK!!!  The Habs would, like NEVER EVER DO THAT.  OMG, 2 goal leads are like the best thing to happen to this team because of how awesome the system is!!!11!!  RESPECT!!!

OMG YOU GUYS WE'RE AWESOME IN SPITE OF HOW MANY SICKIES WE HAVE:  So, like, a whole bunch of our defencemen are off getting bionic knees or something, so they're going to come back in time for the playoffs and be like Iron Man or Wolverine or something.  And I hear that Pleky, Halpern, DarCHe and Sopel were at practice this morning so, like, they're going to play tonight and get a hat trick each!!!!  STAMPED IT NO ERASIES!!!1!1!  Although, I just heard that OMG THE HOTTEST GUY EVER Carey Price just left practice with a problem with his right leg.  Pfft - he's, like, totally only doing that to mess with the other team's heads.  It's some kind of native voodoo thing.  NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT CAREY IS TEH BOMB!!!!

OMG YOU GUYS I TOTALLY PITY THESE POOR UNFORTUNATE SOULS WITH NO ONE ELSE TO TURN TO:  The people over at Die By the Blade seem pretty nice, although I don't like how violent their name is.  I mean, like, violence has no place in hockey, you guys!!!!  I mean, they just totally suspended Matt Cooke for, like, ever, which means that the next person who will be a total Meanie Pants and do something dirty and ugly is totally gonna get the same suspension!! Like, DUH!!!!  The NHL is like, totally consistent with things like that!!!

OMG YOU GUYS WE'RE TOTALLY GONNA HAVE SO MUCH FUN AFTER THE HABS WIN TONIGHT: So, like, I keep getting emails from this girl, Syndi.  She sent me her picture too:

She says that she only just turned 18 and that she totally wants to play with me and, like, hang out and stuff.  My uncle Larry says that's she totally interested in being his special friend too, even though he has back hair and looks like a bald Santa Claus with bad teeth. He says that he would be totally willing to have a play date, just the three of us!!  SQUEEEE!!! OMG we're totally gonna hang out all together and be best friends 4 EVAH!!!!!!111!!!!!

*reaching for the bleach for mind's eye* Comments? Questions? Are you getting emails from Syndi too? Are you about ready to vomit after reading that? Yeah, me too.... BRING IT in the comments.

The Game Day Skate for Tuesday, March 22nd

Bullet points for what you missed while having nightmares of Charlie Sheen back on Two and a Half Men...
  • Scoreboardwatcher thinks the Wings suck. They come back from 4-0 down to the Pens only to lose in OT;
  • Flames lose out on a precious point with an SO loss to the Kings. The win jumped the Kings twelve spots in the West clusterfuck;
  • That's it for games? Isn't this supposed to be the busiest time of year?
  • PFK is the third star of the week;
  • The promotion of sCHrabble to the Habs and the demotion to Hamilton of, um, the other sCHrabble;
  • Oh Matt Cooke. Oh NHL. Cooke suspended 10 games plus one round of the playoffs (the 4-5 matchup with the Habs);
  • Manny Malhotra's season is over;
  • Today's Phoneix / Glendale news is not good for the Coyotes. It's good for Winnipeg;
  • Ovie is taking a little vacation, likely through the game with the Habs this Saturday;
  • Your weekly power rankings roundup has the Habs in 8th (ESPN), 8th (THN) and 11th (TSN, sigh).
Buffalo comes a-callin' tonight. Here's the view from Buffalo, in a new Game Day Skate feature called, uh, "View from the other city." We're still working on that part.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What's up with all this Jekyll and Hyde stuff? Habs 8 - Wild 1

Dr. Gio and Mr. Gomer a.k.a. GG11 really is a friggin' GENIUS!! 


*smacks herself*

Forgive me if I act a little bit like a Debbie Downer this morning... I'm increasingly worried about the fact that the Habs' season is looking like one "en dents de scie" - that is, up and down.  Every time I think that they've kicked this habit, it comes roaring back.  One game they're flying, the next, they need to be relegated to the trash heap.  One day they're kicking ass, the next, they're getting their asses kicked. One night they're the windshield, the other night they're the bug.  One night they're the Louiville slugger...

... Okay, you get my drift.

I'm not smart enough/enough of a hockey analyst/delusional enough explain the Habs' Jekyll and Hyde routine.  I just see the pattern and it worries me because the one thing I do know is that inconsistent hockey kills teams in the playoffs.

That used to be my biggest gripe about Carey Price - his lack of consistency.  Funny that he became consistent (I don't count Friday night's performance as anything other than a sign that the kid needs to rest fer chrissakes) right at the same time many of his teammates began to falter in that regard.

Call me a consummate worrier (I am, thanks to my father who has elevated it to an art form), but the fact that, in a free-for-all game in which goals seemed to come at will, the (backup) goaltender had the same number of points as Gomer and Gio is cause for pause for me. 

I'm not blaming Gio for this.  I am looking squarely in another direction... Gomer has been the Acme Anvil around his linemates' neck for almost every single Habs game this season.  His points production-per-minute is laughable, his work ethic questionable.  Although what little I know about the guy leads me to think he's a good guy and well liked in the locker room, (unlike some of the Habs' previous Anvils), I think that the time has come for him to watch a few games from the pressbox.  

Yes, I know he's a pro athlete and should be able to figure it out on the ice. Yes, I agree, his speed and playmaking ability are amazing.  Yes, I know it's not his fault that he got offered a crazy contract. All of these things may be true, but, while he's searching for his game, far too frequently he's dragging his linemates, and sometimes even the team, down with him.  

I really hope that we get the Gomer we saw in the playoffs back in time for this year's run at the Cup.  That would be a Jekyll and Hyde story with which I could live - Dr. Jekyll eradicates his demons once and for all in time to save the day etc. etc. 

I'm not counting on it anymore, though.

But, in order to leave you on an appropriately happy note after a thoroughly enjoyable win, behold (from Squid's Twitter feed):

No, seriously - ain't he the cutest? I just wanna pinch his cheeks... 
This ebullient and nattily dressed young man, with a grin going from ear to friggin' ear is the future of the franchise peeps.  Fuck the antiquated haters who think that joyful exuberance and a cocky attitude have no place in pro sports. Your lineup for extinction starts to the left behind PJ Stock - I'd say Don Cherry, but he's too short to act as a point of directional reference.

Besides, it's clear that his teammates are always willing to cut him down to size:

Squid sez: "Boys didn't [sic - fucking iPhone autocorrect] Luke his tie though"
The future of the franchise is in good hands. I just hope that it doesn't get buried beneath a lack of consistency.

The Morning Skate for Monday, March 21st

Bullet points for what you missed while dreaming of the first full day of spring...
  • ??? 8 goals? Apparently. Habs 8, Wild 1.So much to love. A PFK hat trick. A Gordie Howe hat trick for BlanCHe Dubois. A solid backup goalie performance. Hell, even CHicken played well. 40 wins (more than all last year) with 9 games still to play. Nipping at Boston's heels (again. sigh.) A significant bounce back from the Rangers game, we'd have to say, even if it was just the Wild. More later;
  • Matt Cooke! Cheap shot! To the head! We know that's hard to believe. It wasn't enough to beat the Rangers tho who get a 5-2 win over the Pens;
  • The Sabres get a precious point (or lost a precious point, depending on if you're a half full or half empty type) in the fight for 8th with a 4-3(OT) loss to the Preds thanks to Boom Boom's grandson's hat trick;
  • Brodeur with a shutout as the Devils now sniffing the Leaf's derriere in the standings;
  • In the Deathmatch for 8th in the West, The Ducks beat the Flames in OT 5-4;
  • Something happening in Phoenix / Glendale that smells fishy somehow;
  • Jack Todd puts the Cooke hit in the broader context.
Normally I'd be stoked to post long-form video highlights after an 8-1 win, but Bob Cold is a fucking embarrassment here. He's more excited for the penalty shot goal that breaks the shutout than all the Habs goals combined. And he must have been literally asleep during PFK's highlight reeler. Still, a kick ass start to the week.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Go Far? You betCHa! ~ Habs start Spring vs. Wild Game Preview and Opening scene thread

Welcome to the new post super moon season FHF dudes and dudettes. In the wood CHipper which is this Spring's playoff race, our Montréal Canadiens (7-3-0) aren't playing at full strength but maintain and even keel as they take a shot at reaching the top divisional spot by playing a late afternoon game vs. the Wild of Minnesota (2-6-2), heckya. Helped along with the mischievousness of the hated leaf beating down the B-movie Bruins and the ingenuity of the young rebuilding Senators, who were more than the Lightning could handle, 1st place is still in view, keeping the guess work of our first round opponent a mystery. Action!

The Man Who Still Wasn't There ~ Too many men to mention and the list still includes PleXXXe and CHallah, oh, ya and Gu:( son-of-a-Latendresse, giving rds time to compare his acid flashback of a career stats with CHicken's acid flashback of a season.

Intolerable CHruelty ~ RDS vs cbc/hnic, 6PM EDT, take a walk, get some sun, bang a young Tara Reid-looking hooker, fire up the BBQ and watch  some white russians. Ah, Hon, ya got Arby's all over my ovenmitts. What, that's not Arby's?!
All Hail, The Ladykillers ~ Going to use this space to give femmage to Canadian skiing killer lady Jennifer Heil who races for the final time today and what a run she's had. An Olympic gold medal. An Olympic silver medal. In all, 57 World Cup medals in 94 career events in moguls skiing.
Burn After Reading the comments ~ Or just don't read Pfuck Daddy and his hnicwannabe-Habs-hating hacks. Pfuckers.

Gord PhlegMiller's Crossing ~ the line with his constant negative garbage retro stats. Time for a walk in the forest with Whitaker.

Bloody Simple ~ Gio!, Lego, Tits, DDD, MOEmaN, PFK! are playing great.

Ah, why so Serious Man? ~ Nice suit, CHeck, nice tie, CHeck, nice hair, CHeck, nice demeanour, CHeck. CHocula, show some fucking emotion.

No CHountry for Old Men? ~ meh, we need all that Hamr, Gill (he's in!) and Mara can give and then some. Need a boost?
The Studnotsucker Proxy ~ The still caged CHeeze Whiz replacing Gorjosh and Vodkov's game has proven to be the Goat's hulahoop.

The Big CHill Lebowski ~ Dude!, Bauld Auld is back in fucking net. (last minute edit) Minny is playing José Tan Ciera, who can't even stop a bowling ball.
MikO's Brother, Where Art Thou? ~ Big, hot and expensive centre Koivu (we'll take his salary and skill for Mex's) has a sibling we miss and fuck sympathy we still love that little Captain.

Raising AHLrizona ~ Habs have a crib full of baby Bulldogs lined up.
Barton FHFink ~ Hey Anon, I just found you a name, use it and quit trying to burn down our blog.

Go Far Go! ~ Fucking little weasel! Fuck you! You fucking motherfucker son of a bitch! Fucking cock! Jesus Christ! You fucking shitbag motherfucker! Benoit, Shut the fuck up! Or I'll throw you back in Panger's trunk, you know?

"it's a very social sport where you can sit around and drink and smoke while engaging in inane conversation" ~ Ethan Coen, talking about FHF.

Sing-a-long, then start the inanities in the comments ...
~ ~ ~
Back on the CHain Gang

I found a picture of Tits, oh oh oh oh
AK46 hijacked my world that night
To a place in the past
You've been CHast out of? oh oh oh oh
Now you're back in the fight
You're back on the train
Oh, you're back on the CHain gang

A CHircumstance beyond our control, oh oh oh oh
The iPhone, the tv and the hockey news of the world
Got in our house like a gorilla from hell, oh oh oh oh
Threw stanchion in PatCHes eyes and he descended oh my
But Max is back on the train
Oh, back on the CHain gang

The web powers that be
That force us to blog like we do
Bring me to my knees!
When I see ice cream and meth too
But I'll die as I sing here today
Knowing that deep in my Pants!
They'll fall to the floor one day
iRiRi's video arrived iHooray!

I found a picture of PFK!, oh oh oh oh
Those were the happiest days of his life
Like a break in the action was our part, oh oh oh oh
In the wretCHed life of a lonely FHF heart
Now we're back on the thread train
Oh, back on the comment CHain gang
G Y F H G !
Bonus Tara pic for 29's lapsed memory.