Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning -- Sir Winston Churchill
- My CPU is a neural net processor, a learning computer. The more contact I have with humans, the more I learn: He is coldly efficient. He is emotionless. He is implacable. While not flawless, the search for those flaws will drive mortal men mad. He has been sent from
Cold Lake, Albertaa strange and distant place to save us. He is...The Auldinator.
- Reunited and it feels so...um...less sucky: Kudos to Coach Craig for finally coming to grips with a reality that had forever eluded John Paddock. Namely, no matter how much you might wish it weren't so, sometimes putting all of your eggs in one big, bad-ass basket, isn't so bad after all. At the very least, putting the Big Line back together might allow we fans to actually cheer a goal every once in a while.
- Not bad, Brendan. Now go stand over there and don't touch anything: I have to say, based on what I saw in training camp, I had zero confidence in your ability to do anything but totally crater an already abysmal defence. Now, I'm man enough to admit when I've made a mistake, so I'll state it here, and for the record: I was only half-wrong. Keep not screwing anything up too badly, and maybe figure out how to get a pass onto a stick blade rather than into somebody's skates or five feet wide, and we can reassess. Oh, and #9? Really? Well, I'll give you points for your ambition, if not for your self-awareness.
- So...any chance you've figured it out yet?: Easily the hardest we've seen you boys work since the second game of the season. That funny tingling sensation you may be feeling this morning is called "an epiphany". Embrace it. Do what it tells you to do. Follow it unto death, for it will lead you to the Promised Land. In other words, and I reiterate for those of you who may have some difficulty with subtlety...WORK YOUR ASSES OFF! Not sure if you've grasped this little factoid, but it's the only way we're making the playoffs.
- Dammit! What did I just say?: Seven minutes, by my count. They took seven minutes off in the third. During those seven minutes, the Rangers beat us to every loose puck, drilled everything in white, and pretty much set up a camp site in our zone, complete with binder twine kitchen, Kum-Bay-Ya and a latrine. The result was as inevitable as it was lexically impossible...Sjostrom's tying goal. Here's hoping his grateful teammates thought to give him that missing vowel.
- So, Coach. About that shootout...: Giggles. Roto Ruutu. Verms. Jarks, I can almost understand. He's surprisingly good at this kind of thing. But Jason? The same Jason whose last goal came before a black man was elected President? Or Antoine, who, you may have noticed, had already been stoned on a breakaway not twenty minutes before? Just a thought, but you might want to try somebody else in such circumstances. Here's a hint. He wears #11.
That single point was well and truly earned. But more important were the small...incredibly small signs of hope. The hard work (those Nixonian missing seven minutes notwithstanding). The passes that actually went tape-to-tape instead of tape-to-zamboni driver. And if Coach can resist the itch to over engineer the lines and keeps HeatZzaSson together, the second and third lines may actually build on the infinitesimal iota of chemistry they've started to create (I'm looking at you numbers 20, 22 and 18). As my fellow OBC and co-Scarlett Ice scribbler DHS posits, there may indeed be a dim light at the end of the tunnel. If we're lucky, it isn't an oncoming train.
Pithy Observation of Questionable Importance:
As Gary Galley reminded us (early and often), it's tradition for a player, when facing a former team for the first time, to "pin some cash to the bulletin board" to serve as some kind of reminder to his teammates that this particular game is of special importance. Putting aside how cute Gary looks in his onion festooned belt, I couldn't help but wonder how Reds' fellow Rangers felt as Tom Renney stapled Wade's lazy, stick-checking ass to the bench for most of the third period. My cash-on-the-bulletin-board says it was something like "Holy crap. No wonder they didn't try to re-sign him."
Maxim "Ow! My pretty, pretty face!" Lapierre and his fellow (and suddenly shaky...2-1 Canes final as I type this) Montreal Canadiens roll into the Bank two nights hence, attempting, as is their wont, to exact perverse revenge on Roto Ruutu's elbow (7:30pm, SportsNet East). Far be it for me to tell The Bryan how to do his job, but with Fish and Neiler both doubtful, and Carbo's minions no doubt feeling a tad ornery, it might be a good time to call up a certain Mr. Bass. Seriously Bryan. Do it. If not for me, then for shirtless children all over the Third World.
Behind Enemy Lines:
FHF for the game thread (...oh, HF29, why can't I quit you?!?) and stripper pics (of course), but I'd also like to introduce you to The Notwithstanding Clause, a relatively new and totally worthy addition to the Habs corner of the interwebs. Anyone who consistently calls out the troglodytes who troll the message boards, is definitely a friend of mine.