December 29, 2013. The Montreal Canadiens are still in Florida, now awaiting their meeting with the Florida Panthers after beating the Tampa Bay Lightning. The equipment managers are still working hard past 1 AM and I finally learn the name of that one guy I keep asking about, Pierre Gervais. Pierre stays up and does a bunch of laundry that isn't his. I'm very familiar with that emotion.
Many hours later, the team meets to discuss tactics. Gerard Gallant gives the pep talk and we see a lot of blank faces around the room. I can't describe it any other way.
The boys warm up and get ready for their game, and Therrien walks into the dressing room before the puck drop, all natty in a light grey suit and the usual air of seriousness about him. Game time, Peter Budaj is in nets, and Florida scores the first goal. Rene Bourque scores next for the Habs but it is waved off, to much argument by the Habs' bench and Brian Gionta.
At second intermission, down 1-0, Gallant provides further verbal input to the troops, and all I can concentrate on is Daniel Briere and the weird grey swimming cap he's wearing, WTF. Therrien marches in to give more finger-wagging pump-em-up talk.
In the second, Montreal comes out flying and Brandon Prust ties the game at 1. Florida scores again two minutes later and gets another to increase the lead by two.
In the third, Daniel Briere scores but it is another that gets waved off. After Budaj leaves his net for the extra man, Florida seals the deal by scoring in the empty net. The Habs lose 4-1. And the Canadiens get into a plane headed straight to Carolina.
December 30, and the now-famous Pierre Gervais explains the science of blade-sharpening to the 24CH cameras, describing how he adjusts the blades to each different ice in the league. And how they always have to be perfect for P.K. Subban. On account of he's so f*cking fast.
Gervais started his career as a junior water boy, begging the question of what is a senior water boy. Anyway, he worked his way up through the ranks, juniors (oh, okay, I get it) and the AHL and now the big leagues. He never imagined it. And now he'll be working with Team Canada, and hopes he'll get a gold medal. As do we all.
The players arrive to the arena. Stitch-lipped new dad Max Pacioretty distributes cigars to the team and coaches, and tells the cameras that his new baby boy's name is Lorenzo, or "Enzo", though he has a hard time pronouncing it with his temporary speech impediment due to his mouth injury.
In the locker room, the guys are watching the World Junior hockey game although Boods is not cheering along because of his nationality.
Therrien comes into the room and introduces a new game plan: baseball. He draws up a diamond on the game board and I don't really get it but it looks like a winning plan and it's super good for TV.
At practice, the team's bought in to the baseball theory and has fun with it. And has fun in general, including the coach. P.K. speaks later to the cameras about the great day for their team and how they're going to celebrate with manicures and pedicures and I can't decide if he's serious or he's joking. What he does say for sure is that the team is going into this next game with confidence.
New Year's Eve. The Habs are getting ready for their game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. There's a big bowling pin in front of Josh Gorges locker. Yes, a bowling pin. Patch thinks Subban did it. The pin gets dressed up with Gorges' jersey, he comes in unflapped and undresses the pin and makes nothing of it. They have a jovial team meeting that ends with Budaj talking all nice to Moen's hockey stick, getting it ready for the game.
90 seconds into the game, Lars Eller scores. Moen gets a chance but Budaj's spell didn't work. Pacioretty makes the score 2-0 and the period ends with Gervais getting yet more camera time walking off the ice.
Pacioretty scores again in the second and the Habs now have a three-goal lead going into the third. At second intermission, Therrien implores the troops to get NO MORE PENALTIES.
In the third, the Hurricanes score three quick goals and poof goes the lead. And then guess what? They score another. And I hate life. P.K. evens the score with a snipe, but it's hard to be happy because I'm still bitter about the blown lead. There is overtime, and the Hurricanes complete the comeback to win. Back in the room, we get another shot of Gervais. It's the Gervais hour!
On the plane to Dallas, the team toasts the new year with champagne. I'm glad they get to toast something.
It's January 2, and Max Pacioretty finds out that he made team U.S.A. He has a hard time speaking with his fat lip but he is excited, as excited as Max gets with his monotone baritone. Mr. Cool.
Team meeting, Therrien reminds them that, "Our last game, discipline f**king cost us the f **king game ... we're gonna make sure that we f**king come out f**king hard." Yes, please. And then, er ... stay hard.
The Dallas Stars score first on Price, but Mr. U.S.A. Patch ties it up. Price discusses the game with Budaj, who looks like he's chewing a whole pack of Bubbilicious. Boods is supportive.
In the second, Subban sets David Desharnais up beautifully for a goal. Moen gets into a hell of a fight with Roussel, then Nichuskin or whoever goes flying into Carey's net, sending Price's helmet flying, and is awarded a penalty shot. Budaj disputes it with the ref, "I'm just asking, I'm just asking." The shot ends up tying the game, but then P.K. goes top-shelf to regain the lead.
In the third, Brendan Gallagher doubles the lead and Patch gets congratulated on the bench by a ref for making Team U.S.A. Gallant chirps, "Yeah, he don't care about us!"
The Stars come back with two quick ones, however Lars Eller scores to make it 5-4. Dallas pulls their goalie in a last-ditch attempt to tie it again but Patch scores on the empty net for the 6-4 win. During the celebration, Gally tells Boods with relief, "Thank god Larry scored!" Later, in the room, Price remarks that, "I felt like I was in a pinball machine out there," prompting my son to ask, "What's a pinball machine?" And, the suffix to every scene, Gervais walks by with a slice of pizza.
January 4, back at home and in the video room prior to their meeting against the Ottawa Senators. Therrien shows video of Patch tripping on the ice and everybody thinks it's funny, including Patch.
That night, with a BAT flying around the Bell Centre, the Senators score 13 seconds into the game. Rene Bourque then scores, but it is immediately waved off and Therrien loses his mind. Closed captioning here indicates 'indistinct shouting' but I see that vein on his forehead that's about to burst.
The Habs keep up the pressure, hit a post, and then Daniel Briere scores to even it up. It takes all of two minutes for the Sens to regain the lead, then score again to make it 3-1. In the second, Prust is raring for a fight and tempers are flaring. There is no more scoring.
And in the third, Briere scores another and Brian Gionta puts in one of his own and we have a new ball game. 3-3. Then in the final seconds of the final period in a tie game, P.K. Subban gets a make-believe hooking call that sends him to the penalty box and the call is such an enormous f**king joke that even P.K. is shaking his head and laughing. The penalty carries over into overtime and the Senators win.
In the dressing room, with the sad music playing and Carey hanging his head, I practically want to cry. The room debates whether it was actually a penalty. P.K. mentions how the play was over, the goalie had the puck. Therrien, in the press room, says, "We all saw the ... penalty. One thing is certain, it's not P.K.'s fault. I'm on his side."
P.K. watches the play once more in the video room. And walks out, going, "Oh, my, gawd." Because, honestly. Bastards.
** P.S. I desperately wanted to find a way to mention how P.K. wears his lycra shorts in the last scene, but I didn't because I'm a lady.
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