Wow. Just...wow. Way back in October (my Naive Period if you will), I made the mistake of dismissing the Habs as a serious threat to our birthright, otherwise known as the Northeast Division title. And sure enough, the season began, we rolled to the best start in league history (dispatching Montreal along the way with memorable consequences) and were generally feeling rather good about ourselves. We were hot! We were masters of all we surveyed! Accusations of hubris flooded in!
Er...okay, I got one email from a friend of mine accusing me of being a little on the arrogant side (this from a guy who is the self proclaimed Chair of the Bill Belichick Friendship and Mutual Admiration Society). But something was going on right under our noses. Down in the trenches where the plebes were rolling around in the mud for the right to call themselves Best of the Rest, Les Habitants had quietly, imperceptibly, crept to our gates. Yesterday, they tried to bust down the doors. And they almost made it. We managed to repel them this time, but in the future, this little rebellion bears watching. Carefully.
- Many rubber chickens will lose their lives for this: Whatever deity you happen to worship, be it God, Allah, Yaweh, Nicole Kidman, whatever...pray to that Devine Being, making whatever sacrifices that He/She/It deems necessary to ensure that these two teams hook up in the playoffs. This game was too exciting, too damn entertaining, to have been played with nothing more than two points on the line.
- Now witness the firepower of this FULLY OPERATIONAL Daniel Alfredsson: With six minutes left in the third, the legion of Hab fans in attendance (seriously, guys. We have to get a handle on invading fan bases) were up and doing that quaint little "Olay!" thing they do. Five and a half minutes later, they were skulking, stunned, toward the exits, flags and banners limp in their hands. The Captain had decided that he doesn't much care for that song, you see. And so the command went forth to do something about it. The rest is history. Let this be a lesson to the rest of you. You do NOT step on Superman's cape.
- That's it. We're declaring war on France: While Swiss Pastry played surprisingly well for the good guys, Huet was positively out-of-his-mind, batshit crazy fantastic. He stopped 34 shots. He pitched 56 minutes of shut-out hockey. He stopped the Captain on a gift penalty shot. And Randy Robitaille will require intensive therapy and faces many sleepless nights coming to grips with the absolute sodomizing Huet layed on him in the third period. Not bad for a cheese eating surrender monkey.
- Those big novelty cheques apparently weigh more than we thought: This was the sixth game our $7 million wunderkid missed with his groin pull. Look, Jason. I understand. As a single guy you want to take special care of that area. No problem. We get it. But...um...two weeks? Some people, not I mind you, but some people may interpret that as being a little...oh, I don't know...soft. But on the flip side, we keep winning without you, so take all the time you need.
- Playing the part of Darcy Tucker for this matinee, understudy Mike Komisarek: Pssst...Mikey. I have a pretty good hunch that Coach P will dress #16 for the next game. How do I know this? Why, you told me. Right after you took repeated runs at Heater and the Captain and then went to great pains to avoid any discussion of the matter with a certain Mr. Neil. 19th of November. Circle it. And sleep well.
Up Next: The magic carpet ride through the division continues next Thursday with Buffalo coming to town. Lindy Ruff gets another chance to yell at the referees about his team's propensity to fall down and get hurt. Meanwhile, Ray Emery is working the speed bag with extra enthusiasm.