The holidays can bring out the good in most of us, or sometimes the bad. As of late, the Canadiens have been playing some ugly hockey. First there was the beating in Philly, followed by a playoff style win against Boston which gave us hope for the 7 game road trip we were about to embark on.
However, two games in it hasn’t been good or bad. Just plain ugly.
The eye infection from the last entry has cleared up and these eyes have now seen a Cammalleri fight, a brilliant PK hit, and Gionta bringing the spirit of the season with his leadership and his production. And of course, our cowboy goalie Carey Price playing solid. Well, that is until we hit the road.
My trek to the bar wasn’t too far, unlike the Habs who were playing Dallas in the 2nd and final part of the Western portion of the road trip. I originally wanted to go to Spurs, a cowboy bar in the west neck of the city. But due to lack of interest and safety concerns, I trekked over to Bar Helm Brasseur (273, Rue Bernard Ouest) which happens to be across the street from bar Romolo (a bar I reviewed earlier this season). Let’s see what Helm has in store for the hockey crowd.
At first I saw only a small TV over an island style bar and was thinking: is this all they have to offer in hockey watching? But my mind was changed when I saw the back room, and yes! Big screen TV.
The crowd mainly consisted of what happens when hipsters grow up, they become another brand of cool: the employable kind. I was with a friend who had been working knee deep in holiday retail; food and drinks were very much required. Helm is a micro-brewery which adds a twist its simple pub food. It was the best bacon cheeseburger with homemade chips ever! I would also recommend giving the chicken wings in a Jack Daniels BBQ sauce a go. And for the Saturday night crowd, the kitchen is open late until 1am.
As of late the Habs have been out-shooting their opponents but making errors, it was an ugly loss against Colorado and there was no need to make fun of Ryan O’Byrne. (He was on the winning side for Colorado). I was hoping that Dallas would be the turnaround, but… The Western conference style of hockey is always harder to beat it seems (note: West teams have won more Stanley Cups than the East).
Price let in a questionable goal on Adam Burish and started losing his cool. Our calm cool cowboy is slowly showing signs that he’s losing patience when things aren’t going his way. It was another example of the learning curve for PK, the rookie got into a scrap with Brandon Segal and well… the kid has a lot to learn about using his fists.
The Cammalleri 1st goal streak had ended, not a good sign. Also not a good sign is Andrei Kostitsyn being a healthy scratch, he was on good pace but is in a mist of a slump. I sense if this keeps up I may have to recycle the jokes I used to make about his brother Sergei.
When Darche and Gionta scored, myself and half the bar got excited. This could be our holiday miracle. Nope. The assists from ex-Hab Stephane Robidas and a goal by Mike Richards didn’t do the team any justice. This game was a suck and a half. Not our best outing. Our penalty killing pissed off assistant coach (and awesome ex Hab) Kirk Muller who’s normally an easygoing guy. Not this week.
I’m getting pissed myself, the long road trip determines the direction of the team for the rest of the season and so far it’s not a good sign. However in the mist of some solid Price saves, we managed to sway the guy who was waiting for Price to suck to actually like the cowboy goalie.
However it’s going to take more than good beer, good burgers and a goalie who has to save the game to keep me watching this painful road trip.
As this is holiday time it’s time for best wishes from the Hockey Blog. In time of team spirit and giving thanks, take the time to enjoy snowy walks in the park, to take in good company (whether if it’s friends or family).
Do share your beer to all, sharpen those skates and hit an outdoor rink for a hockey game (or watch one from the boards). It’s the best experience to see rosy cheeks and chippy stick work. For some amazing hockey, check out the World Junior hockey tournament and see Habs prospect Louis Leblanc and the rest of the kids try to win gold in Buffalo. Other than that, eat, drink, be merry and cheer for your team good times or bad. Support is the best gift of them all.
Happy holidays from Cindy’s Hockey Blog!