The Montreal Canadiens are still on their western road trip; this episode opens with goalie coach Stephane Waite, who won a Stanley Cup (his second) last year when he was with the Chicago Blackhawks, expecting a visit at his Winnipeg hotel from Al MacIsaac, VP of that club. Al brings Stephane his Stanley Cup ring. It is blingy. And it is HUGE.
The club has Thanksgiving dinner in their hotel banquet room, and over dinner will play a Habs' history trivia quiz. Michel Therrien explains, "I don't like to play for nothing, I like to play for something. The winner will get a gift certificate." Brandon Prust points out he would have preferred to "play for powerplay time," and there is laughter in the room, but Andrei Markov doesn't smile. Markov never smiles. The only time he will is when he doesn't realize a camera's on him.
One of the questions asks to name five out of the 10 NHL teams defensive coach J.J. Daigneault played his 899-game career with ... although he himself can "only remember three!" Lars Eller's team ends up taking home the honours, and Boods is playfully unimpressed. Peter Budaj, who appears to love the camera, is Markov's total opposite.
Later, we see Waite showing his ring to the other coaches -- as Waite is heard saying that winning in Montreal would be "les top des top" though. Wouldn't it just.
Before the Winnipeg Jets game, Therrien gives a short pep talk about how to end this road trip: "Good trip, we got a chance to make it a great trip." Incidentally, I think you could auto-tune just about every one of Therrien's quotes. Whether he wants to be or not, Therrien is super entertaining, to me.
Speaking of making it a great trip, the game opens to goals by Prust and P.K. Subban -- then we see in super slo-mo Patch falling awkwardly on the ice, his right leg splaying out at an unfortunate angle. He screams like a lion toward the heavens. The game must go on however, and Carey Price is un-solveable.
First intermission, J.J. talks to the defensive corps, not content to praise a two-goal lead. We've played okay, we can be better. The Habs go on to win the game 3-0, earning Price his first shutout of the season after Briere finally has his first Habs goal -- on an empty net. Hey, a goal is a goal.
Incidentally, only a Habs' fan would use the word 'finally' five games into the season.
Everyone files into the dressing room greeted by Patch, who's now in a shirt and tie and on crutches, after we saw footage of him bleeping in agony from his injury. The players each stop to ask how he's doing. We don't hear what he's saying, but we know by now that the injury is not as bad as we initially feared. Then we see Patch taking forever to climb the airplane stairs to get back home.
Cut to Chez Josh, where Brendan Gallagher hangs his hat during the hockey season and Josh Gorges and his wife live with their adorable bulldog. Gorges tells us how at first after he was asked to "have one of the young guys stay" with him, he wondered if it was the greatest idea, new wife and all. But everyone gets along great, better than he thought. Gallagher's not exactly sure what he brings to the relationship, but they "keep him around." Gorges laughs and says that Gally will eventually want his own place but that he's welcome there until then.
Gorges and Gally go to practice at Brossard, and stop to sign autographs for a fan outside, whom Gorges tells to, "Say hi, you're on 24CH, too." To which the fan responds, "Thank you very much." Which wasn't what Gorges told him to do, but if I were meeting Gorges and he told me to say hi, I'd likely say, "You too!" or something else stupid. Parros is at practice, greeting Therrien and looking good. Francis Bouillon turns 38 that day. Therrien goes to him, "38? Caline, bonne fete," according to closed captioning, which I quickly google and means "Cuddly, bonne fete." Um, hi, even I know that bonne fete is happy birthday, Google. And second, I in a million years would never believe Therrien uses the word 'cuddly'. So help me out with this one, friends.
At practice, Rene Bourque is battling the flu and is officially "doubtful" for the Columbus game, so Hamilton Bulldogs' yo-yo Beaulieu (remember how we talked about feelings, and being Beaulieu, getting called up and sent back down all the time?) dresses for practice, "just in case."
Cue the sad music ... "One thing is for sure, Max won't play." We see, with the melancholy music, Max hobbling down a hallway on his crutches, aaaaall alone. Oh, the closed captioning here says, "Il a le cafard de joeur sur la touche." My French is all right but this is another saying I have to look up to get right. Google Translate says it's, "It to the blues player button." Well, it to the blues player button me, too. The visual of a forlorn and injured Patch hobbling alone down a hall on game day it to the blues player button to me very much.
Game time, Bourque still doesn't look great but will play, meaning Beaulieu will once again have to "wait his turn." Ah, feelings. On the ice, Gally gets a stick to the face and is mightily annoyed, calling f(beep)cking bullish(beep)t (the beeping leaves the best parts in), and going to the back to get stitched up. While there, Borky (flu, eh?) scores. Gally is under the needle and thread and asks who scored ... "Borky" ... and he lifts a wee fist bump. He shouldn't be moving while getting sewn up, but can't help it. Once they're done with him, he can't run fast enough to get back out to the ice. How much do we love Gally?
Back into the game, Michael Bournival scores his first real-life and not just pre-season NHL goal, as a Montreal Canadien, to boot. The crowd goes wild and the bench couldn't be happier for him. Bournival obviously sports an enormous smile. Intermission, and Therrien pumps the troops to "win the second period." Said second period starts with a B.S. elbowing call on Subban that incenses Therrien -- Markov scores short-handed in that penalty kill, but Therrien is still complaining, "What the f(beep)ck is that f(beep)cking call." Unfortunately Columbus' Boone Jenner also scores in that same penalty kill, and later goes on to tie the game at 3-3 after the Habs had enjoyed a two-goal lead. F(beep)cking two-goal leads. Amazingly, all is saved after Plekanec scores the go-ahead goal, followed by another thereafter, in the final 70 seconds of the game. Price can't contain his relief (GIF that when you see it) down at his net.
Post-game, Bournival poses for the cameras with the puck from his first NHL goal. He's frozen, with that smile like my kids used to have when asked to smile for the camera: show those teeth and freeze! He tells us, "It's an incredible feeling," along with about 25 seconds of other stuff I couldn't keep up with. But the kid is pretty happy.
It's team picture day for the Habs, and after getting a great shot (teeth! freeze!), Galchenyuk and Prust horse around play-fighting for the cameras. Chucky calls for the "crowd" to cheer what he thinks is his victory, only to have Prust come back at him and pull his jersey over his head. Galchenyuk still brags to the cameras and gestures towards his face, "Clean face, zero punches," and then goes to pose with a fan and Prust, then the two continue shoving around.
Geoff Molson meets the team before practice and says that next week, French classes for everyone on the team will begin. It's important for the club to offer it because these guys are playing in a unique city that speaks another language, and will be totally voluntary, but it would be great if they could be able to even just learn a few things to say to the media and to the francophone fanbase. I do get the point he makes, of if they went to play in Russia, it would be good to learn Russian things, for example.
The team files in to the video room and Therrien shows them video of Jarred Tinordi giving up the goal in his own end in a previous game; Therrien's not being tough, he's almost joking about it. He asks Tinordi, "There are 30 places in the defensive zone you can't make turnovers, do you know where?" He's even chuckling as he asks it, but Tinordi says, "No."
"Somebody knows?" And Ryan White starts listing, "Montreal, Toronto, Pittsburgh..." Therrien suffixing "Pittsburgh, you can't do that," "Phoenix ..." "Phoenix, you can't do that ... Colorado, you can't turn the puck over in the back end, your own end ..." By this point, the whole room is laughing, Therrien made his point, and no one is getting yelled at. As the guys file out, Tinordi says, "I didn't understand the question!"
On to the Nashville Predators, who "score" off Gorges while White is sitting in the penalty box, who does not look pleased. First intermission, and Therrien just marches to the coaches' room with his hands in his pockets. I don't know about you guys, but I was always sure that I was about to get yelled at the quieter my mom got. Anyway, Therrien comes into the dressing room and sits right down on the bench with the players like a kindly father from a 50s sitcom. "Are we having fun? Playing that kind of game? What are we gonna do?" Various good answers from the room, then we have a, "We got the commitment from everyone? That we're gonna change our f(beep)cking mindset? Are we f(beep)cking ready now? Let's f(beep)cking go."
We then see the un-called headshot that put Briere out of commission with a concussion; but then Gally scores to tie the game. Price works hard to keep them in it , and then a Habs goal called on the ice that would have given them the lead gets called off after video review; and to make matters even worse, Prusty gets injured after flying head-first into the boards. He's in pain, and we have another sad-music scene where Prust is now bandaged up and alone in the dressing room, moving about painfully. Seth Jones eventually scores the game winner for the Predators. The narrator here says, "After the game, it's the long silence of defeat." Seriously - showing the guys in the room where you can hear a pin drop, and then Therrien and Daigneault reviewing video silently and slumped down, like they just lost the Stanley Cup. Which is about right, every Habs loss is serious and depressing and soul-crushing and everything-ruining. Every loss.
The English version of this episode airs on TSN2 and TSN on Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30 PM ET, and Thursday, October 31 at 2:30 PM ET, respectively.
More from Eyes On The Prize:
- Louis Leblanc called up to the Canadiens
- Greg Pateryn recalled from Hamilton by the Montreal Canadiens
- Patrick Holland's trip to Hamilton has been canceled
- Bulldogs topple Comets and claim first place
- Breaking Down Film - Defending 2-on-1 rushes