November 26, and Movember is finally winding down. We see Alex Galchenyuk at some kind of photo shoot wearing hockey tape where his moustache should be and looking like Charlie Chaplin and get no kinda explanation. He didn't want to grow a moustache? He can't grow one? He is, after all, nineteen. Anyway, our Habs have raised the most money for the cause of prostate cancer of any of the NHL teams, to the tune of $44,624, which is nothing to sniff at.
The team travels to snowy Buffalo and gets set up at their hotel. The coaching staff goes to the Anchor Bar to get their "best chicken wings ever", and apparently a must-do in Buffalo. The coaches always do it, eat wings, drink beer and watch games; then venture back out into the snow to get back to the hotel. Worth noting here that coach Michel Therrien is in a decidedly convivial mood with the camera crew which is likely totally gonna change in next week's episode but anyway. Today, he's happy.
Next day, Therrien gives a great pep-talk in the dressing room to the team consisting of Brian Gionta chewing on his hoodie collar like my thirteen-year-old and Douglas Murray's Flock of Seagulls haircut. "Leaders are competing, leaders are working hard, leaders take the decision, leaders are disciplined, this is what leader is all about. Whether it's your first year in the league or fifteen years in the league."
In the game against Buffalo, Galchenyuk high-sticks Steve Ott in the face and the refs send Lars Eller to the penalty box. Brian Gionta chirps to the linesman, "Did you say 81?! At least get the right guy." Assistant coach Gerard Gallant reiterates the point and eventually the penalty is corrected and Eller leaves the box to be replaced by Galchenyuk. All the rigamarole was for nothing however as Buffalo does nothing on their power play and Galchenyuk eventually scores the first goal of the game assisted by Andrei Markov and Eller.
In the second period, George Parros rides the bicycle in the training room while watching the game on the big monitor to be warmed up and ready should the coach need him. Desharnais gets a goal from a rocket by P.K. Subban to make the score 2-0 for the good guys. Ryan White gets an injury during play and we see him trying to tough it out, looking like something to the groin area. The bad guys score to make the score 2-1, and at intermission White gets a little therapy (where is Mr. Miyagi when you need him) on his injury and he convinces himself he's good to go. P.S. Remember how White shaved his head not long ago? He's got good growth happening. Splendid genes.
In the third, Carey Price shines and helps the team hold onto their lead. The whole team throws themselves on super-brave 6''8" John Scott after he goes after 5'7" (on skates) Gionta, and Murray winds up finishing the job ... ish, ending up with a bloody temple and kudos from his teammates. "Bloody temple" means he ends up with the dripping blood like he was prepared for some slasher flick. After getting stitches, he goes to get dressed, and Habs' staff rushes to clean up the blood to his pads, but it still seeps through to his jersey in later film. After Douglas' return, Brendan Gallagher scores a pretty goal and makes the score 3-1, the winning score in the fourth consecutive win for the Habs. Mustachioed Carey Price celebrates after the game with chicken wings, even though they didn't score five goals.
November 29, and the team warms up in Washington before their early game against the Capitals. Tomas Plekanec takes shots solo on Carey Price, and Eller and Travis Moen do a little dance and "waltz" - which is presumably hockey-speak for shoving around and cuffing each other with their gloves. Eller later assures us he gave Moen a lesson and that he now knows how to fight.
Later in the dressing room, JJ Daigneault gives the team a pep talk on dictating, setting the pace, being proactive, staying out of the penalty box, all the coach lingo. With Peter Budaj in nets, the game against the Capitals kicks off. The Habs have a scoring chance or two, and receive two penalties, and we have the Michel Therrien close-up with a pause in the dramatic music soundtrack, which you always know means Michel is pas heureux. Daniel Briere gets a goal which is one of those things you don't see ever, then Andrei Markov accidentally snags line mate Subban in the face with his stick getting off the bench, which he clearly feels terrible/stupid for. (I hate using the words stupid and Markov in the same sentence, you really have no idea how much.)
In the second, we get about 13 seconds of both Gallagher and Francis Bouillon chit-chatting amiably to each other, at the same time. Meaning both are speaking on top of each other, neither listen to each other and both speak at the same time, but it's all good since the culmination of the conversation is whole-hearted agreement. Though they'll probably have to watch the tape back to see what they agreed to, exactly.
In the next period, Budaj is caught out of the net and the bad guys get on the scoreboard. The Habs however make right a minute later with Plekanec scoring to make it 2-1. During play the Capitals press to no avail.
Therrien pumps the troops in second intermission and the boys come back out with Subban on fire, making up his own mind about line changes and Emelin following suit. Eventually goddamned Mikhail Grabovski makes the score 2-2, and Carey Price tries to bolster Budaj's spirits. The game eventually makes it to yet another shootout after an uneventful overtime period, with goddamned Grabovski scoring the game winner for the bad guys. Later, we see old pals Alexander Ovechkin and Markov chatting in towels in the hallway and Therrien walking by to congratulate Ovechkin on a good game. See, everyone's a grownup. Also, I want to know where Ovechkin got that enormous red towel that he wears like a cape. Red is my favourite.
The following day and the final day of the month of November, we get to road-trip with Toronto fans of both teams making their way to Montreal on the bus for another much-anticipated Habs/Leafs matchup. The bus emcee plays a little trivia game with the passengers, which of course ends up in the Habs' fans favour, because, you know. 24 cups. One passenger, Eric Buhr "Maple Leafs Fan" talks about the rivalry of the ages and talks about the love story of meeting his beloved after advertising hockey tickets on Kijiji and her responding. I hope he's not referring to the extremely disinterested blonde staring out the window sitting next to him. Another fellow, a Habs fan by the name of Roger Ross, tells us he makes the road trips with his son to Montreal for the games. Mr. Ross also tells us he predicts Max Pacioretty will score two goals in the game and that Montreal will win the game 4-2. I hate to give anything away even though this was in the past, but all I have to say is, HOLY FORESHADOWING.
Back at the Bell Centre, we see the wee little wee ones getting ready to be the adorable pre-game flag-bearers. They're between 7-8 years old, little Louis-Philippe and Liam, who could absolutely not look more delighted and excited for what they're about to do. They have a dress rehearsal skating around, and Vanessa Harrison, Coordinator of Promotions, explains to us how the young kids from the Canadiens Fan Club are chosen and called in for duty, and how these kids are the Canadiens of the future, all while watching video of the two boys skating around and enjoying themselves on the ice. The boys' parents are interviewed and are equally excited as their boys. Angelo Ruffalo, Business Development Coordinator for the Bell Centre explains to us the intricacies of planning the boys' routes and timing them, and what's glaringly apparent here is that NOTHING, at least as far as ceremony is concerned, goes without planning at the Bell Centre.
It's game night at the Bell Centre and cameras have abandoned the Kijiji Leafs fan of the disinterested (was that his girlfriend?) girlfriend but are still following good ol' Roger Ross around. Louis-Philippe and Liam are waving their flags "backstage" with Youppi encouraging them, then taking their proud skate for their huge moment before a capacity crowd at the Bell. We get their perspective from their little helmet cameras. The boys then end up at either side of the benches, and the Habs file out onto the ice. After seeing this, I have a personal peeve with whichever player doesn't come out and tap both kids in this enormous moment for them. I'm talking to you, the couple of you I saw come out too fast to tell for sure who you were.
During the actual game, and a minute in, Patch gets the first goal his fourth shot in the powerplay in less than three seconds. Life is good, and gets better when P.K. pots another to make it 2-0 a couple of minutes later. On the bench, Gerard Gallant talks to Brandon Prust about how he has to keep on Kessel, the Leafs' answer for everything. The Leafs get a goal waved off after messing with Price. The Leafs do nothing on their powerplay. The Leafs suck.
At intermission, the coaches meet and act as distressed as if they are losing. Gallant then confers with Prust in the dressing room stressing Kessel, Kessel again.
In the second, George Parros and Colton Orr square off again in a rematch of the first game of the season, and wind up crashing to the ice again, in Orr's apparent style of pulling his opponents down by the sweater. However, it also is apparent that in the millisecond that the two fall down, Orr tries to cradle Parros' head so it doesn't connect with the ice. Not that he's a good guy or anything. No one gets knocked out, and it's a good day at the office.
Bourque takes a "shot" at the net and metaphors about sides of barns come to mind. At the bench, Prust chirps him and says, "You only missed by five feet, like, you almost had it," but then Briere and Plekanec combine to score another goal so it's all good. Patch then scores his second goal of the game to make the score a whopping 4-0, then "sheathes" his stick under his arm in the celebratory move that would make soundbites for the following week after Toronto coach Randy Carlyle goofily complains that Patch's "sashaying" of the sword only served to fire his team up to ... lose anyway. Well, they did score twice in the following couple of minutes but whatever.
At intermission, "Desharnais and Briere recall fond memories." Desharnais talks about the 2009 Flyers/ Habs playoffs round and how he didn't start with the Habs until January 2011, after being called up on December 31 from Hamilton and resolving for the new year that he would never go back. Hmmm.
In the third, tensions are pretty high between the two teams but there is no more scoring, and the final score remains at 4-2 for the good guys. In the dressing room, Gallant lets them know they have the next day off but not to forget there are four games in the next week. P.K. yells, "See you at the bar, Ger!" Ger seems alarmed and asks them to keep their common sense.
Cut to the bathroom, where that one guy on the coaching staff whose name I don't know is furiously getting rid of his Movember facial hair. The final frame of this episode is of the beautiful, freshly-shaved Marc Bergevin peeking into the bathroom to smile that he couldn't wait, either.
- Pacioretty's sword sheathing celebration. Is it too much?
- EOTP makes a free agent signing
- Game Recap: Is this the beginning of a turnaround?
- Habs vs Coyotes: Scoring chances
- Top Six Minutes: Coyotes dumped, Coyotes chased.
- Bulldogs Player of the Week: Louis Leblanc
- The problems with the Habs' are on the blueline
- Montreal Canadiens ups and downs: Week 11
- Catching the Torch: Dec. 9 to Dec. 15
- Wednesday Habs Links: Another day, another head injury