I guess everyone’s back on the proverbial bandwagon. The Habs, winners on Saturday versus the lowly Maple Leafs, ending their 3-game losing skid by blanking Toronto 3-0. The Bruins, losers in back-to-back games (6-1, 4-2) against their Original 6 rival Detroit Red Wings made everyone in Montreal laugh like Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop.
(WARNING: Strong Language)
Thankfully, the Montreal Canadiens wagon has reinforced shocks. Following Wednesday night’s blood bath against the Bruins and Thursday night’s snooze fest versus the Islanders, the Habs needed a strong showing Saturday night against The Maple Leafs in front of the hometown faithful, or plunge into the St. Lawrence River, cradle and all.
Just like that, the Montreal Canadiens whipped the Maple Leafs like a giggling Homer J. Simpson chasing down a half-naked Uter in the locker-room during that ‘Simpsons’ Hockey episode.
The Canadiens and their fans are breathing a sigh of relief Monday morning. Worried solely about digging their cars from an icy, snow covered tomb (Current ‘Hot Topic’ on Twitter: #blamesubban). Alas, still keeping warm upon viewing the current Eastern Conference standings. As of today, Valentine’s Day (the holiest of all days) 2011, the Canadiens sit tied in 5th place with the Washington Capitals (Caps have 1-game in hand) and 1-point back of the Northeast division-leading Bruins.
After defeating the Habs back on December 10th, 2010, you couldn’t help but feel like the Red Wings owed the Canadiens, right? I mean, the Habs DID give Detroit a run for their money 2 months ago. The Red Wings HAVE been the most successful franchise over the last twenty years. Furthermore, the Red Wings WERE responsible for chasing Patrick Roy out of Montreal…even though that was over a decade and a half ago.
The point is, with so much bad luck befalling the Habs this year (injuries, horror stories involving team cohesion, PK Subban being to ‘cocky’ according to outside media officials, we call him ‘talented’ here), they needed a break from having their head in the noose. And, with the Red Wings playing the part of the Lone Ranger over the weekend, the Habs may have assured themselves some extra playing time come mid-April.
Meat and Potatoes (Mmmmmm):
It’s back to business for Le bleu, blanc et rouge. Valentine’s Day, pffffffffff, who cares when you’re hosting another divisional rival at the Centre Bell the following day, right? The Buffalo Sabres, coming off a Green Bay Packers/ Chicago Bears-like loss (7-6 F/OT) against the suddenly scorching New York Islanders team, will be looking to get back into the win column Tuesday.
The Sabres sit 10th place in the Conference, 4-points back of 8th place Carolina. This game will mark the 5th time these two teams lock horns this season with the Habs holding a 3-1 series lead. Buffalo won the last meeting, 2-1 F/OT in January.
Hopefully the Habs will give an update on the status of Max Pacioretty. The New Haven, Connecticut native was drilled hard into the boards by Maple Leafs defenceman, Luke Schenn during Saturday’s game. The injury has not been confirmed, but it looks like a left arm/hand injury, more details to follow.
Mathieu Darche is currently skating on the ice in Brossard. Taking some shots on Habs backup, Alex Auld. It has been confirmed that Darche, along with Mike Cammalleri, and MaxPac will participate in Monday’s practice. Hal Gill is skating alone which signifies he may miss some extended time.
So it’s Valentine’s Day, if you’re sans partner, I can’t help you. I’m pretty sure there’s a watering hole right around the corner where some person will give you all the attention you desire, at a nominal fee.
Guys, don’t get suckered in to all the hoopla, just show your woman you give a damn, cook her dinner, light some stupid candles, embrace her and make her feel special.
Girls, don’t put too much stock into this day, it’s Monday, it’s sh%#&y outside, the Habs aren’t playing and chances are, your man had to take public transportation to get to work today. Give him a break, know that he cares and just curl up together and tag-team that bottle of vino!
So, another Super Bowl is in the books. It could very well be the last NFL game we see for some while, but that’s another story for another time. Aaron Rodgers is America’s new sweetheart, much deserved. Brett Favre’s Packer legacy has taken a backseat. Just like Steve Young in Superbowl XXIX, Aaron Rogers got the ‘monkey off his back”. Unlike Young, Rodgers has more than enough time to add to his growing legacy.
The reigning Super Bowl Most Valuable Player’s meteoric ascension into Packer lore is the feel good story of the year. A-Rodg along with Clay Matthews, who bears a striking resemblance to Theocles from Spartacus: Blood and Sand, have taken their rightful place among the NFL’s elite with their recent conquest. Charles Woodson, who FINALLY received his Superbowl ring and will no doubt be the first Packer rapping on the White House door, Lombardi trophy in hand, to greet the President is the most deserving after so many years.
The Woodson collarbone injury almost proved costly to the green and gold. Much credit to Green Bay’s Defensive Coordinator, Dom Capers, making the necessary adjustments. Converting his defense to a 4-4 with 3 DB’s changed the style and pace of the game. Big Ben found success but it was the Green Bay D coming up big when it mattered.
As much as I was entertained by Super Bowl XLV (and the 30-or-so Season Finale commercials of Flashpoint, thanks to stupid CRTC regulations…whoops…still on), I couldn’t help but think, this is exactly what the NFL wanted. A younger version of the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers on the grandest stage of them all.
Let’s be frank, this wasn’t an easy year for the Steelers. Off-field distractions, the Holmes trade, Big Ben’s 4-game suspension to start the season, James Harrison’s fines and so forth placed the team under the microscope and provided a lot of unwanted attention.
The Rooneys were upset and many feared that changes would be on the horizon. To their credit, the team fought through the controversy and made it to the big dance… where they came up just a bit short.
If the Steelers had hoisted their 7th Super Bowl championship Sunday, in the eyes of the NFL, Roger Goodell and the other 31 owners, it would have resulted in the unraveling of everything the Commssioner and the league had done to change the course of the game and its culture.
The Pittsburgh Steelers resemble everything the league is trying to distance itself from.
Think Stone Cold Steve Austin (The Steelers) winning the WWE Championship and Vince McMahon (Goodell) trying anything and everything to get the Rattlesnake to conform, to no avail, resulting in McMahon (Goodell) creating the Corporation (The Packers) to do his bidding and thus eventually “screwing” Stone Cold out of the title.
I know, a little far-fetched but still, it makes you think, right? In a nut shell, congrats to Green Bay, hopefully we’ll have NFL Football next year. Here’s a list of Superbowl commercials (http://www.adweek.com/aw/custom-reports/superbowl/videos/video_index_2011_new.jsp) you probably missed because Canada doesn’t have a sense of humor, and if you’re wondering, no, I’m absolutely not interested in watching “Cowboys and Aliens”.
Has our civilization really advanced to the point where we are force-fed this…undignified cow sh!t!?!?! I mean, James Bond teaming up with Indiana Jones going “Independence Day” on some Aliens in the Wild West?!?!? Where’s Will Smith with the opening score? Here’s a clip from one of the most underrated cartoons ever to hit the airwaves, The Critic, with Jon Lovitz providing the voice of Jay Sherman, his rant titled, “The Sad State of Films Today” at the 2:16 mark sums up my point perfectly…Enjoy!