And the Academy Award, for best performance duplicating the Ottawa Senators, goes to your delightfully undead Montreal Canadiens.
They are alive – and Martin F. Brodeur is playing golf.
Speaking of goaltenders, no one – least of all Jaro Halak – knows where he’ll be playing next season.
But if the indomitable netminder – check his response to Ovie – is traded, he’ll leave behind great memories – and a positive ledger entry.
To the surprise of everyone – including, to be sure, the arrogant Washington Capitals – there will be a third playoff game at the Bell Centre on Monday night.
Estimates vary because the numbers are private, but a conservative estimate would be profit of $1.5 million to $2 million for each home playoff game.
Jaro Halak – who got the playoffs into the playoffs and kept them alive in Game 5 – made $800,000 this season.
Pretty good deal for the beer barons, eh?
Here are two more bargains:
Josh Gorges, making $1 million, played a team high 27:45. He had a couple hits, blocked a couple shots, played against Alex Ovechkin and was on for the winning goal.
Ryan O’Byrne, making $725,000, had three hits, blocked three shots and played a solid, physical 16:53.
I don’t know Jacques Martin’s salary. But he earned it in Game 5.
Starting Halak was a quasi-no-brainer. Jaro has saved his coach’s as all season.
In his two wins in washington, Jaro has faced 85 shots and allowed three goals. His save percentage is a sizzling 96.4.
If he’s that hot back at the Bell, we’ve got a very interesting series.
Martin’s really astute move was moving Travis Moen to the Scott Gomez line, with Brian Gionta. Finally displaying the kind of sand the Canadiens got him for, Moen banged, worked the corners and dug out pucks for his sniper linemates.
Bonus: Moen scored the winning goal on a nifty backhander.
Martin’s other wining strategem was shortening his bench. Nursing a lead for a nerve-shredding 53 minutes and playing against the most dangerous third-period in the league, Martin played three lines and five defencemen.
Marc-André Bergeron played 10:54 – only 4:34 at even strength.
Sergei Kostitsyn played four shifts, 3:13 ToI. Martin can’t stand the kid. He’s SO outta here.
Benoit Pouliot has played himself into the coach’s doghouse: A neutral-zone penalty while the Canadiens led 2-1 earned Benny a comfortable seat at the end of the bench: nine shifts, 4;35 in the game.
The shuffling meant more ice time for Dominic Moore, Tom Pyatt and Max lapierre. They responded with an outstanding effort, pestering the Washington D and maintaining possession in the Caps’ zone for critical minutes.
Props to Perry Pearn, who handles the Canadiens’ D. Roman Hamrlik, who’s look tired and possibly injured in the series, played a manageable 12:10 – a season low for the Hammer.
Andrei Markov’s ice time was 27:39, and heroic Hal Gill played 25:01 – including a team high 5:57 on the PK, which was a perfect 5-for-5.
What will they do if Jaro Spacek is ready to go Monday? I like Jaro and he helps the PP, but do you mess with a D that held the Caps to one goal in their own barn?
• • •
In his imitable Ontario français, Martin said “On a gardé note composure.”
The Canadiens did keep their cool – for 60 minutes.
There were anxious moments, to be sure. In addition to 38 shots, the Capitals had 11 misses and the Canadiens blocked 19. That’s 68 opportunities to score.
But the Canadiens pushed back, especially after Ovechkin’s goal cut the lead to one. There was never an extended, shift-after-shift period of Washington dominance.
The Caps were held to 12 shots in the third period. With 1:07 to go, they lost their composure, taking a brain dead penalty for too many men.
There’s more hockey to be played in Montreal.
And a seed of doubt has been planted in the clover patch of the conference chamops.
• • •
Mike Cammalleri, who scored the first goal of the series, has points in every game and got the Canadiens on the board after all of 90 seconds last night.
Cammalleri has been brilliant. He’s in constant motion, bedeviling the lead-footed Washington D and keeping the puck alive for his linemates.
Andrei Kostitsyn had an impressive Game 5. Four shots on goal, three blocked shots and some right wing rushes that displayed the size, speed and skill that made him a first-round draft choice.
• • •
There have been 18 Too many men penalties in 37 playoff games.
Last season, there were 17 in 87.
Wassup with that?
The fast changes?
• • •
Refs conspiring against the Canadiens?
Remember that slash they signaled going into the commercial break in the second period?
Then they came back and called the Canadiens for too many men.
What hapened to the slash?
They forgot to assess it.
Hey zebras, get your heads out of your butts!
It’s the playoffs.