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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Habs Make Leafs Look Like Cup Contenders

Embarrassing performance by Canadiens at home against Leafs leaves team looking for answers


Wha happen?


Err... is this the Mongolian bar-b-q!?

Last night's game in Montreal against the Leafs -- was it one big "wake up and find Bobby in the shower" type dream!?

No. Unfortunately not.

But was it reality? Not entirely...

The Habs were looking to bounce back after two disappointing losses this week and maybe get some revenge for their opening night loss against the Leafs; instead they laid one very large egg in front of their hometown supporters, losing 6-0, their worst home loss since 1996.

Embarrassing is one way of looking at it. But it isn't the time just yet to push the panic button.

The Habs came out flat and lost faceoffs, puck battles -- you name it. And the Leafs to their credit came out with a lot of speed and pounced on Montreal's errors right off the bat.

Are the Habs that bad!? No sir.

Are the Leafs that good. Definitely not.

As always, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

In this lockout-shortened season, weird things are going to happen. Last night was definitely weird. The Canadiens couldn't establish any flow or net presence and made Leafs starter James Reimer look like Ken Dryden. Or maybe his brother Dave. Whatever, Reimer didn't have to work that hard to get his shutout, even if he stopped 20 shots in the second frame alone. He might have been tested five times all night.

Then the weird stuff happened in the third. The game was out of reach and Prust et al tried to at least send some messages for the next time. But when Colton Orr ran viciously towards Tomas Plekanec's knee, or when Mikhail Grabovski apparently bit Max Pacioretty's forearm in a scrum, things downright turned from the surreal to the nasty. Grabovski is set to have an NHL hearing Sunday afternoon.

But I'll tell you something. That was a major mistake by the Leafs moving forward against the Habs. You know why? Because the classic rivalry between the Habs/Leafs just hasn't been as strong from Montreal's perspective for a long time now. That's why for the last 10-15 years the Leafs seem to better the Canadiens, no matter how bad the buds are. They just get up for these games much more than the Canadiens, like they do for the Bruins.

But next time might be different. Next time the Habs have something to fight for, to get up for, to play for...

And that's all what Habs nation has right now after a loss like last night. Next time...


24CH -- Entertaining but a bit soff

Like pretty much all of Habs nation I've seen the first two episodes of the HBO 24/7 type series 24CH which gives us an insider's view of the Montreal Canadiens like never before. This would've never happened under Pierre Gauthier's watch, that's for sure.

And it is entertaining, though a bit on the superficial side. Unlike the HBO series, the show doesn't seem to build on any storylines except that the Canadiens as a franchise are moving forward from last year's disaster. Maybe it's still a bit early, or maybe it's because it's only focused on one team, whereas the HBO had two teams to play off of. For me as in the HBO series it's the locker room stuff that I really enjoy. And probably the most evocative image -- for me at least -- was that of a Molson Centre staffer removing a picture of Scott Gomez from a wall.

The French version on RDS is also just a bit different than it's English counterpart on TSN, so I recommend watching both. Obviously the language of the players is English, so there's more footage of the players shown in the English version. And the music is different. The French version's soundtrack really was pretty cheesy. Glad to see they toned that down in the second installment which unfortunately only ran for a half hour. Doesn't seem long enough. In any case, 24CH is worth watching if you're a diehard Habs fan but as a show it doesn't bring as much of that sports documentary feel that HBO does so well. Maybe it needs Liev Schreiber narrating.

Follow me on Twitter: @HabsFanLeafLand


  1. Habs are acting like Hab-nots. To play hockey is human, to win (esp. vs. the Maple Laffs) would have been diving. Hopefully, revenge will be forthcoming, sweet and timely.

  2. Diving should have been "divine"!