Saturday nights in March in the hockey world
are different than in other months. Each Saturday
left in the season can either determine a spot in the playoffs or play the “what if” game after the last game is played. For the Montreal Canadiens, not to worry, there will be a playoffs (I guarantee it). Where we finish and who we play is what I still have yet to wonder.
I ended up wandering on the St Laurent strip this past Saturday, where everywhere I passed the game was being shown. From small restaurants to coffee shops, from popular bars to watering holes, I saw the Montreal Canadiens playing the Tampa Bay Lighting. Some dubbed this as a playoff preview. When I heard this, I wondered “Tampa Bay is no hotbed of hockey, yep, exciting playoff matchup.”
Tampa does hold the top scorer and potential most valuable player in Steve Stamkos, along with a solid supporting staff in Martin St Louis and Vincent Lecavalier. Montreal always seems to be weak when it comes to Florida based teams, must be because of the snowbirds flocking down for Canadiens games come winter. We’re in luck however, a two goal night for Max Pacioretty, some poking around from Carey Price and yes, Hal Gill has been on a scoring tear (a goal the last two games, he’s not a notorious scorer but it’s a big deal).
It is that time of year where anyone can be playing some miracle based hockey, it doesn’t even matter where you end up watching. A pizza place showed the game as well as a magazine shop, so literally the game had been following me the same way I follow the Habs.
The trading deadline had past and what you see is what you get. The addition of Brent Sopel helps ease pressure on the young defensemen playing extra time due to key players with injury. Add Jaroslav Spacek to the company of injured defensemen Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges. Sopel has been a great addition so far and to anyone new following, he won the Stanley Cup last year with the Chicago Blackhawks.
So all we can really do is watch. That’s all I can really say. Glad that Andrei Kostitsyn has found his scoring touch, stunned that Hal Gill has one. Things can either come together or fall apart but I know one thing: we’re all watching.
Shout outs of the week: NHL players on Twitter. Couple weeks ago Jofrey Lupul of the Maple Leafs lost his iphone in a cab and sent a message via Twitter for help (he did find it but with many responses). Our new Hab Brent Sopel was in search for a notary and other things in his first couple days in Montreal. He and fellow teammate Mike Cammalleri have twitter accounts. You can follow them at @BrentSopel and @MCammalleri13.
Shout out to minor league team the Bakersfield Condors capitalizing on the Charlie Sheen phenomena with a Charlie Sheen night on March 12th. There will be some “winning” indeed.
One more shout out: in the Quebec junior league there is a big game Wednesday March 9th where it’s more about the coaches matchup than the players. The Quebec Rempants are playing the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, both coached and owned by former Montreal Canadiens Patrick Roy and Guy Carboneau. It’s a heated rivalry, like Montreal VS Boston this Tuesday.