3-2 heartbreaker

What do the Canadiens have to do to beat these guys?

“They play us tough,” Christopher Higgins said of the Leafs, who have beaten the Canadiens in their two meetings this season. “I don’t know why they don’t play that way against the rest of the league.”

Matt Stajan broke a 2-2 tie with 94 seconds left in a game that could have gone either way … but didn’t.
Outshot 34-31, Toronto scored their first and last goals on long shots that eluded Cristobal Huet.

“It was frustrating to lose at the end of the game that way,” said the Canadiens goaltender. The winner, he added, was “definitely not a great goal … I’d like to see the shot again.”

His coach agreed.
“They got a lucky bounce on the second goal,” Guy Carbonneau said of a Mats Sundin shot that ticked in off Mathieu Dandenault’s stick.
“The other two, I’m sure Cristobal would like to see them back.”

Carbonneau highlighted Toronto’s 39-23 edge in faceoff as a factor that had the Canadiens “chasing the puck all night.” He was satisfied, however, with his team’s overall effort and said it was a positive to build on for Monday’s visit by the Sabres.

“It was a tough one to swallow,” said Higgins. “I thought we were working really hard.
“We had some good looks, and (Vesa) Toskala made some nice saves.”

“Every time we lose, it’s a tough one,”” said Saku Koivu. “It doesn’t matter how we lose or when they score the winner.”

• • •

Woo-hoo!
648 Comments and counting!
My dog gets to eat for another few days.
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!
(Visualize Boone blowing big wet ones out of the Bell Centre pressbox.)

• • •

Third Period 0:11 Mad scrambles, but no chances. And Carbo takes a timeout.

Third Period 1:34 Huet!!!!
Matt Stajan.
3-2

Third Period 2:31 This is looking llike OT … says tthe old Jinxmeister.

Third Period 4:20 Latendresse is getting feisty.

Third Period 4:49 Get up Antropov, you slug!

Third Period 6:09 Canadiens have 32 shots, but a lot fewer bona fide chances.

Third Period 7:00 Ryder back on the top line. Maybe they’ll complete thhree passes. And maybe not.

Third Period 8:53 Tight period. Shots are 4-4 through 11 minutes.

Third Period 9:58 Two idiots just got thhrown out of seats three rows up for throwing a flag on the ice.

Third Period 10:10 10 minutes to go, 448 comments. Uh-oh, phone call from my boss.
I’m not answering.

Third Period 10:31 Sundin looks dangerous on every shift.

Third Period 12:06 The ones scored from behind, under thhe net don’t count.

Third Period 13:52 How is that ccross-check from behind on Kostopoulos NOT a penalty?

Third Period 15:30 Ryder on the fourth line. Kostopoulos on the first.
And what a glove save by Huet.
I take it all back.

Third Period 16:30 Should Pleks have maybe dished off on that 2-on-1?

Third Period 18:39 Too many men.

Third Period 20:00 Well, this should be some fun.

• • •

Brisebois and Mark Streit have four shots each.
Jason Blake has six.

Comment on the second Toronto goal: “That’s what Dandenault gets for backchecking. You wouldn’t catch Kovalev doing that.”

• • •

This just in, via e-mail:
Dear Mike:
I am 8 years old. I have been following your blog, here in the hospital.
Doctors say I will make a full recovery if you reach 600 Comments, but I see you’re at 379 after two periods.
Do you think you’ll hit your target before I hhave to go to bed?
Your friend,
Timmy

Second Period 00:00 End of the period had Leafs surging. Shots are 24-24

Second Period 4:14 I think Pleks is in a bit of funk.

Second Period 6:08 Shots this period: 16-4 Toskala’s on fire.

Second Period 6:42 I haven’t much noticed him. Is that kid Tlusty, the one-man Toronto youth movement, any good?

Second Period 7:19 Leafs slow and ponderous? Not tonight. Real good game. End to end, great scoring chances.

Second Period 10:46 Toskala, on the other hand …

Second Period 12:08 Let me be the 500,000th to suggest it: Get Ryder off the first line.

Second Period 13:48 Let me be the fiirst to suggest it: Nov. 13, ACC: Carey Price.

Second Period 13:56 We’re stumped on how that went in.
2-2

Second Period 14:40 Close. Huet juggles a shot by Hal Gill.

Second Period 16:01 The thing about a derisive “VE-SA!” chant is it sounds like a middle-European “We suck!”

Second Period 16:41 Shots are now 12-12. That PP is something to behold.

Second Period 17:27 Sheldon Who? Higgins cashes the rebound of a Markov point blast.
2-1

Second Period 18:23 Latendresse hits the post annd Boyd Devereaux goes for a slash.

Second Period 19:21 Sundin for hooking.

Second Period 20:00 I’m sure Carbo unburdened himself of several words of one syllable … in both languages.

• • •

Unlike our beloved hockey team, bloggers were ready for this game.
258 Comments … and counting.
Looking good for 600 … but just in case, I’ve got Jerry Lewis to do a PSA late in the third period.

Chris Higgins had three of Canadiens’ seven shots.

Someone forgot to tell the Canadiens Saturday games start at 7:05.

The home team showed up late in the first period and Mike Komisarek brought the crowd back into the game with a seeing-eye shot from the blue line, after Tomas Kaberle bagged his 765th career goal against the Canadiens to open the scoring.

First Period 00:00 TOTAL domination by the Koivu line. Canadiens seem to have finally shown up for the game

First Period 1:59 No goal? Sequence is being reviewed. Net came off its moorings.
No goal.

First Period 3:14 Off some banging by the third line, Komisarek snakes one through a crowd.
1-1
Fifth SoG.
Komisarek’s first of the season.

First Period 5:28 Oscar for the best portrayal of Patrice Brisebois, circa 2001: Mark Streit. And MMichael Ryder is officially snakebit.

First Period 5:53 First PP.

First Period 6:52 21,273 … of whom 20,500 are getting more pissed off by the minute.

First Period 8:30 Which of thse teams played, lost and traveled last night?

First Period 11:00 It’s Atlanta redux. Shots are 10-1 (a Breezer 56-footer) for the team in white. Si la tendance se mantient, 60-6 on the game.

First Period 14:00 Why does Chad Kilger always look like the high first-round draftt choice he was against thhe Canadiens?

First Period 15:20 When Hal Gill pinches to pick off your Globbetrotters pass, you’re in trouble.

First Period 17:47 Worst start of a game this season? Gets my vote.

First Period 18:42 Weird one. Kaberle the Hab Killer takes a pass of the boards and beats Huet with one he should have stopped.
1-0

First Period 19:16 Dandenault for tripping.

• • •

Smolinski line – with Dandenault and Bégin instead of Kostitsyn – to start against Sundin, Blake and Ponikarovsky.

• • •

Canadiens.
Leafs.
Saturday night.
Salle comble.
One national anthem.
Hockey madness, a mari usque ad mare

Does it get any better than this?
No.

I’m so nervous I left my laptop’s power cord at home and will have to power share with my pal Dave Stubbs, the Energizer Buddy.

Hope the Canadiens are better prepared than Blog Boy.

WiFi isssues at the Bell Centre will make it hard for me to get to Comments during the game.
You’re on your own. kids.
No running with scissors.

• • •

Pre-game videos: Cristobal Huet and Yvan Cournoyer.

• • •

Competing chants of Go Habs/Leafs Go in the cheap(er) seats already.

• • •

Good 5-on-5 team?
Pavel Kubina and Nik Antropov are plus-9, Mats Sundin is plus-8, Matt Stajan is plus-7.
Saku Koivu tops the Canadiens at plus-6. Roman Hamrlik is plus-5.
Thank heaven for that PP.

• • •

Guys who watched the Leafs game on TV last night said the announced crowd of 16,00 in New Jersey’s new arena was a joke.
“Maybe 12,000,” said one pressbox sage. “I don’t know whhaat possessed them to build a hockey rink in Newark, where no white person has gone of his own volition since 1967. Maybe there’ve been a couple kidnappings …”

• • •

The Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes are the only teams that have shut out the Canadiens PP, which has scored in 10 of 12 games this season.

• • •
Francis Bouillon skatted this morning but didn’t try to shoot.
He was on CKAC this afternoon decrying the number of hits from behind we’ve seen this season, including the one Sergei Gonchar laid on him.

Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!

Now listen up:
I want 60 minutes of effort tonight. No lapses. Any let-up and you’ll be watching this blog from the bench.
Our goal: 600 Comments.
It’s do-able, if we all pull our weight … starting with me.
Of course, I have special incentive. If the Comment count starts to slip, I could be sent to the Hamilton Spectator … or taken out to the back 40 to be Old Yellered.

So let’s have a fun-filled evening, shall we?
And let’s hope the Leafs had a laugh-filled late night at Buona Notte after their flight got in from New Jersey.


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