Centennial Slaughter

by
Montreal Canadiens Celebrate Their Centennial

Claude Lemieux and Lyle Odelein returned just to laugh at the Bruins.

This wasn’t Bruins – Canadiens.

I don’t know what it was, mind you, but it wasn’t Bruins – Canadiens in any way that would make sense to anyone familiar with the age old rivalry. No, it was more like some sort of Twilight Zone, Bizarro World Freak Show Nightmare than it was any sort of Old Time Hockey between two of the oldest and most bitter enemies the Original Six has to offer.

For one thing, there wasn’t a single fight.

I know. Deplorable. Disgusting. A total abomination of all that is good.

I’m glad you agree.

I really thought there would be, though. The way they lined up at the beginning the tension in the air was palpable. The B’s 4th line of Steve Begin, Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille lines up against Maxim Lapierre, Georges Laraque and Marc-Andre Bergeron. Everyone seems to be yapping. Begin is yammering at Lapierre, perhaps discussing how he is now the Face of the New NHL Pussy. Thornton is chatting away with 7th defenseman turned left wing Bergeron which prompts BGL to switch wings before the face-off, essentially signaling to every living soul watching that “It’s on.” There is more discussion. Of a nature that we can all surely guess. The puck drops.

Then nothing.

No scraps, no payoff to the tense lead in. Absolutely nothing. Not a sausage. Unbelievable. Did Thornton turn down Laraque, as he did Cam Janssen at the opening draw of that St. Louis game last week? If so, I have to say it’s a disturbing trend. I mean, just for old times sake, for the spirit of the thing. Drop ’em at center and square off. Give everyone a little something for their hard earned money, guys. Sheesh.

The game, as you may know, went downhill from there, at least from the visiting Bruins perspective. The Habs, buoyed by all the historical celebration and the ghosts of so many great legends in attendance, came out flying and destroyed the hapless, clumsy B’s, who couldn’t seem to get out of their own way all night. Carey Price was spectacular early on and Mike Cammalleri had a hat trick in the second period and it was officially no contest. Though it seemed the Habs had scored 100 goals to celebrate their Centennial, the end result was n equally resounding 5-1 whuppin’ of their Black and Gold rivals.

Boston was given numerous chances to get into the game through the officials who, oddly enough, did not get the Ghosts of the Forum memo and awarded the Bruins not one but two 5 on 3 man advantages, one of which was for a full 2 minutes. At one point the B’s actually were skating 6 on 3 for an extended shift as Tukka Rask (replacing the hapless Tim Thomas for the third) went off the ice for an extra attacker as yet another minor penalty was called on the Canadiens. The Habs killed all the penalties, providing a major momentum boost.

I know. I said it was a strange game. At one point the penalty boxes were overflowing, four Habs stuffed into one. And there hadn’t been a single fight.

In the end, it was an embarrassing game for the Bruins. Blown out of the Molson Centre to the ringing sounds of the Montreal crowd singing their favorite homoerotic tune, ‘Ole-Ole_Ole-Ole, and kissing one another on the cheeks in the stands, gloriously enjoying the victory that brings them to within a game of the coveted .500 mark and vaults them out of 13th place in the conference. For this Habs team, it’s a significant achievement.

For the Bruins and their fans, there is a bit of head scratching and hope that on a night when Jean Beliveau and Guy LaFleur and Patrick Roy are not in attendance to shame the Habs into playing a decent game, the outcome might be bit more realistic. There’s also the hope they might decide to show some balls, as well, and actually accept a challenge or two to inspire the team.

Meanwhile, lets send this one back to the Parallel Universe that it came from.

P.S. Is it time to discuss what exactly the fuck Byron Bitz is still doing skating on Marc Savard’s line? I mean, I love Bitzy for his guts and work ethic and relentless grinding but your team leading world class set up man might need a little more firepower on his wing if you actually want him to be effective.

Just saying.

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One Response to “Centennial Slaughter”

  1. KofC Says:

    I expected the Canadiens to play better than their other horrid games last week, but not THAT much better. I was expecting more along the lines of 4-3…I was too distracted by watching the also-embarrassing Hawks-Predators game that started during this one to notice all the goals and the many penalties…too bad that crowd of Habs got everything they could want but a fight.

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