Missed the Canadiens barn-burner, b/c I was busy being a bougy Californian with Noodles, visiting a charming little bed & breakfast, hanging out on a beach, watching three hermit crabs eat and kill--in that order--a larger crab, eating my first, vast bowl of cioppino, smelling goats and eating their cheese, just generally doing very nicely for myself thank you very much, bros an' sis.
Game 5 6-5 @ Montreal Canadiens
DISTURBING TO GIVE UP 2 GOALS IN 21 SECONDS
DISTURBING TO GIVE UP 43 SHOTS
BUT DUCHENE + HEJDUK + SHOOTOUT = I LIKE OUR CHANCES
I'd been getting kind of worried about Stastny, too: while I think he's all-'round our best player, he's a sensitive guy prone to funks when things aren't going well, and he'd had a raft of bad breaks those first few games. So it's an excellent sign that Anyone but Detroit notes that his line rolled against Montreal.
Maybe this is a little too video game player of me, but the lines the first game or two worried me: we had
Mueller - Duchene - Hejduk
which is a little too skilled, not quite physical enough. Duchene between Lindstrom & Hejduk is a little tougher--and a lot more productive. I always like a scoring line with (1) some finish, either with the wrist or a big slapper, (2) at least one guy with real speed, (3) at least one grind type/physical player. The original Duchene line didn't have that third element, and I think Lindstrom is bringing that a little bit more, which frees up Duchene to make plays, and carves out room for Hejduk to snipe.
Dater followed up the Montreal game with another classic rumination about being on the road--easily my favorite post of his so far this year.
Game 6 3-2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs
J-S GIGUERE PROVES HIMSELF A RELIABLE BACKUP TO LORD VARLAMOV HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-SCORED-ON OUTSHOT AGAIN IN A WIN AND THE ADVANCED STAT WEENIES CAN EAT IT
CONTINUING TO CRUSH ALL OPPOSITION FACEOFFWISE
OT GAMEWINNER FROM DAVID 'NICKNAME' JONES
AVS STEALING GAMES, BANKING POINTS, THRILLING ME
It's a nervous-making kind of winning streak, this five in a row on the road. Getting outshot every night, going to OT & shootouts all over the place, it smells a lot like the other shoe's just gotta start dropping any time now. But the best players have been the best players--no surprises on the scoring list, & nothing but relief when it comes to the goaltending. Giguere's been solid in his two starts, Lord Varlmamov He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Scored-On has alternated between reliable and spectacular, and Coach Sacco has pleasantly surprised us by trotting out his backup twice in the first six games. I think the Sacco of the past two years would have started Giguere only in the second night of the back-to-back: he may be figuring out a workable goalie rotation that keeps both as fresh and as sharp as possible. 'Tis, anyways, a consummation devoutly to be desired.
--Collision, flat-out caught up in the excitement (and, yes, I know it's not going to be like this all year--but 10 points in October count the same as any other 10 points you can get, and the losses the other teams have won't come off the books until the season ends, so!