The three memories that stuck with me from last night's game three were totally visual.
Eric Staal: The Ovechkin-like joy he showed after scoring the game-winner. Eric's not played with a lot of joy lately. Like a lot of the league's coaches, Gainey has singled him out for shut-down, and that's made Staal kind of surly. The result-bad penalties, chippy play, and an ever-present glower on the mug that is the face of the franchise (and no Jeff, Roddy is not the face of this franchise, just the heart).
Oh, and that stuff I said the other day about it being a "mistake" to put Staalsy on the point...I really wasn't wrong. It all depends on what your definition of "mistake" is.
Lavvy: As he left the ice last night, I didn't see Staal-like exuberance. I saw the face of a boxer who knew he'd won the round and was already looking forward to the next. The knitted brow, the smile of the cat that just ate the canary. Where Bob Gainey appears stoic and turtle-eyed, Lavvy reminds me of the old cartoon of the two buzzards where one says, "Patience my ass! I'm gonna kill something!"
Cam Ward: At the end of the game, Wardo didn't sit back in his crease, rattle the pipes and wait for the obligatory receiving line of soft head butts. He jetted out to near center ice and was surrounded by the crew who went to him right after mobbing Staal. He looks more like the kind of kid who rides his bicycle around town trying to turn folks on to the Lord, than he does a hockey goalie. Goalies are supposed to be a little out there, aren't they? They are the iconoclasts, the rugged individualists. He doesn't have Ryan Miller's grunge rocker scraggly hair or Henrik Lundqvist's Hollywood good looks, but I think we might have a star emerging in goal. Staal did GQ. Ward will probably do, "Got Milk?"
I think the 'Canes believe their star is rising. Napoleon was said to have remarked that he prefered lucky generals to brave or brilliant ones. Sometimes, through force of will, you can manufacture your luck. The 'Canes did that last night. The abysmal 4 minute PP, was followed in OT by a crisp and aggressive one. The 'Canes could have folded. They didn't. They came out in OT and played like they expected to win. That's been the key ingredient in good Hurricanes mojo this season.
Let the Habs now feel the pressure of letting down their homeboys (cue the Jaws theme music).
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Posted by M15D at 4/27/2006