Well kids, DC has joined your Habs for their tilt against the Predators tomorrow night. He texted me last last night after Gorges potted the OT winner against the Yotes: "Fuck it, this is too cool, I'm going to Tennessee and you can't stop me".
Radiohead said it best: This one's optimistic.
As you all know, I have a small child. I want to protect his identity so let's just call him Ichael.
Ichael is now 7 months old. And I personnally think the comparisons we can draw between Ichael and the Habs are striking. They're both in the early stages of a developping process and they're both feeling the pain of it.
For instance Ichael is teething. He's drooling all over the place and grimacing in pain as he tries to find room in his little mouth to shove any stuffed animal, napkin, finger or remote control he can to soothe the pain of his erupting teeth. It's a sight to behold. In this quest Ichael will not be denied. No matter the size of the object that lies in the boy's path, it will end up in his baby jaws.
The mounting injuries on this team, Cammalleri, Gomez, Kostitsyn, Campoli, Markov all gone for various lengths of time, have brought to the fore some kids we were not really supposed to make household names of. Palushaj, Engqvist, Blunden, Emelin, Diaz. That's a full line up front and one third of your defensive tandems.
I'm told that you can throw any bag of tricks at the teething problem, nothing really works. Ice cold teethers, maybe a drop of Tempra, numbing gel, celery sticks, paprika, caviar. Nothing's going to help. The child will suffer and it's all part of the process of growing up. Well the same applies here, nothing coach Vanillableh tries will curb the fact that:
- Emelin is learning what it's like to play on a small sheet of ice with skaters that in a far more mature and skilled league;
- Blunden should think about being a wicket keeper for Pakistan's national cricket team and abandon the notion that he can play hockey;
- Engqvist is less noticeable on the ice than a flea fart in a hurricane;
- Diaz is really a Mexican restaurater and not a Swiss professional hockey player;
- Palushaj will always live in the shadow of the other silent "j' on the team, Budaj.
These young kids will drool and there's nothing you can do but watch as their proverbial teeth begin to protrude. We've gotta be patient because the real solution for these not ready for prime time players is the return of the big boys and the tragic trapping of Scott Gomez in carbonite.
But every now and then the kids surprise even themselves and rise to the occasion. Last night in Phoenix was a good indication that the teething ones can still make life interesting. Engqvist and Shout did well and probably played his best game in the pros. Physically implicated, offensively aware, Engqvist and Shout got my attention. The kids played an honest game, they kept it simple and avoided Blundens in their own end - and the vets took over.
Captain Gionta had his best game of the year and added a few more pages to the chapter in his biography entitled It's About Fucking Time. Cole played a smart and powerful 60 minutes and drove to the net with purpose, the purpose of making life miserable for Mike Smith, he with the ordinary names. Pacioretty also read the Coles notes.
And what can we say about Gorges. Took a rattling, bouncing puck and slapped it past a helpless Mike Smith, he with the ordinary names.
It was a nice evening, made more enjoyable by the fact that Plekanec's back wasn't shredded to the bewildered proportions of the Greek economy.
Last night, you sat back and watched your kids learn a bit. Yes the drooling and shoving of your new iPhone in their mouth resumes tomorrow but for a few moments there, it felt nice to let go and watch them grow. We've spent the last 19 games, including pre-season, watching him learn how to be Andreas Engqvist, the terribly shitty hockey player. Now it's time he learn to be just Andreas, the shitty hockey player.