Recently in Hockey Category

Vos Billets

Eh ben, ça ressemble à ceci. Pas mal moins impressionant, car on pourrait bien facilement les falsifier dans le but de les vendre (mais pourquoi vendre des billets si chèrement acquis?). De plus, ça serait con de racheter des billets électroniques.

For the record, the Canadiens lost that game, match #4 against the Bruins and concluded their season with it. There was no happy celebration, but it was a nice moment booing and cheering the Habs in a same game.

Stanley Cup: not tonight!

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Ducksie hoisting the Stanley Cup

It was by chance that I started watching the game. Thinking that the Penguins would fold like the Senators did against the Ducks last year (I am reusing pictures here) in Game 5, I was surprised to see that after one period, the Pens had a 2-0 lead! So, I watched the rest of the game. The Red Wings scored three straight, looked like they would be hoisting the Stanley Cup tonight in Detroit, but Maxime Talbot got the equalizer with 35 seconds to go. Marc-André Fleury blocked the rest during the almost-three periods of overtime (and most of the time, it seemed like a matter of time before the Wings would score), and the Penguins finally got the last one on the power play in to setup the matchup for Game 6 in Pittsburgh.

See, that is exactly why I am really a Canadian! (And Quebecer, given their particular contribution to this game.)

Bruins vs Canadiens

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Canadiens' Goal #2 - 3 of 4

9th in a row for the Habs, against the poor Bruins... This picture shows the second of eight goals (Ryder - Koivu and Streit) by the Canadiens tonight in what would be a scoring fest.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smurfmatic/sets/72157603781627501/

Don't politicize my hockey

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If you check out the replays of tonight's edition of La Zone, you will notice that they're spending half the show arguing about the Canadiens' captain (a Finn) not being able to speak French! Omg, the reasonable accommodation debate boils over in the entire society.

Ducks win the Cup!

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Ducksie posing with the Stanley Cup

Well, at least the Habs' farm team could win a championship tomorrow!

You are not welcome in Ottawa.

Ducksie

NSFW (if you live in Canada, that is): 1 | 2

Met up with Alex at Magic Idea near Concordia after my calligraphy activity in Chinatown, and late lunch / early dinner at Kam Fung. Bars in the area being full at that point, I thought that one's best option remained bubble tea places, as they have relatively cheap food/drinks, and tellies (namely 6 or 7 of them at Magic Idea alone). The first Higgins goal was met with loud "Yessss" from our table, but we were soon joined by others as the goals on the Montreal side started to pour come second period. The late Toronto goals were met by equally loud "tabarnac" (to make it perhaps the Canadian-Chinese experience in both official languages, and now, national identities). The party on Ste-Catherine we were expecting never materialized.

My own interest in hockey stemmed from the 2001-02 run of two rounds, when the Habs upset the top-seeded Boston Bruins in six, then losing an emotional battle to the Carolina Hurricanes (the same who would break our hearts in 05-06), dropping the last two with large margins, following a bench penalty assessed to Michel Therrien, then Habs coach, and current one for the surprising Penguins. Toronto may've missed the playoffs last year, but they went to the conference finals in 01-02, whereas the Habs have never gotten there since their last cup in 1993 (also the last one by a Canadian team).

A playoff run by a Canadian team really absolutely changes a city. Habs flags were already starting to float above minivans in one's neighborhood, and people were preparing to wear their Saku Koivu jerseys to work. Quickly as it appeared did the excitement disappear. It's amazing how the Calgary Flames are now squandering their 12-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche and bringing upon themselves their own ultimate game, to be played away, tomorrow in Denver. We decided that we'd root for Vancouver and Ottawa.

(Ow man, I was just told that the Avalanche squandered a 1-goal lead into the third, such that the Flames qualify per the other team's incompetency!)

Death match, it is

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Rk Team Pts Sat Sun
8. Montreal 90 @ TOR -
9. Toronto 89 v MON -
10. NY Islanders 88 @ PHI @ NJD

If we win, we get in. If we lose in OT, we get in if the Islanders lose one game, or two in OT. If we lose in regulation, then we lose.

It is the most exciting race for the playoffs for at least the past five seasons. Three spots, 6-7-8, and five teams (although the fifth team, the NY Islanders, is a longshot).

Rk Team Pts Thu Fri Sat Sun
6. Tampa Bay 92 - v FLA @ ATL -
7. NY Rangers 92 v MON - @ PIT -
8. Montreal 90 @ NYR - @ TOR -
9. Toronto 89 @ NYI - v MON -
10. NY Islanders 86 v TOR - @ PHI @ NJD

For Montreal and Toronto to get in...

  • Toronto must win both games. If not, then they would not have either more points (92+) or wins (41+) than TB (92/44) or NYR (92/41), if either lost their two last.
  • Montreal must beat the Rangers, if TO wins on Saturday, because they cannot finish ahead of TB unless they have three points (and if TB lost its last two). The TO win on Saturday must then be an OT win, because Montreal lose the tie-breaker (nb of wins) to TB (44 vs 43).
  • If NYR loses its last two in regulation, then Montreal can afford to lose Saturday versus TO in regulation. If NYR were to win just a point from its two last games, then an OT win for TO on MTL would do it, as MTL wins the tie breaker with NYR (43 vs 41 wins), and TO also wins its tie breaker (2-1-1 versus NYR this season), with all three teams at 93 points.
  • If TB loses its last two in regulation, then an OT win by Toronto does it.

Montreal is in the playoffs on Thursday...

  • If it wins against the Rangers, and Toronto doesn't win (one point or less), or loses in overtime and Toronto loses.

We have a Montreal at Toronto deathmatch on Saturday, and...

  • If Montreal is still ahead by one point after Thursday's game, then Toronto must win in regulation. Montreal must hope for a tie at end of regulation or better.
  • If both teams have the same number of points, then obviously the winner takes all.
  • If Toronto is now ahead by a point, then the same situation applies, as an OT win by Montreal places both equal in points, but Montreal ahead in the tie-breaker (43 vs 40 wins).

We don't care about the Islanders, but...

  • Montreal must still win one game to eliminate them for good.
  • Or eliminate themselves by losing a game in regulation, or two in OT.

And then I'll know whether I'll be watching the Sens / Canucks / Flames this Spring, or go line up at the Bell Centre for ticks next week...

*ded*

Shoyu ramen

I cooked ingredients in separate batches of water, to insure the best taste possible, and indirectly, the best presentation I can afford. First, the vegetable; then the noodles and seafood; and finally the soup base in a smaller volume of water to maximize the taste, and not fill over your bowl (which happened on the first two tries). The picture doesn't pay respect to the relative quality in presentation I was able to achieve, which is probably the most refined it gets for me when it comes to noodles (I employ the mix and dump tactic, usually).

Nonetheless, gulped it in the time it took to say it, between two goals by the Habs in that magnificent, Stanley Cup hopes-boosting victory against the Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo Sabres. Seriously, we won four in a row now, and are five points within the top spot in the East!

Food trip, part one

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Hmm, I am out of luck. Of the 2000 bracelets that have been drawn, I am in the last 100 to getting my turn. Just in case I'd need to wait, I already brought with me that empty bottle I got when I took home spruce beer at Emile Bertrand snack bar, down the slope from Bell Centre, past the rows of condos. Alas, the place was closed, either for vacation, or simply b/c it was the weekend.

In the homemade spruce beer, I recognize the "Marco" spruce beer brand from various places, so I suspect it could be available at select places.

I am now at the McLennan Library, buying hockey tickets online, instead. Much more efficient that way. From the conversations overheard, it would seem that people are still obsessed about Sidney Crosby, and are willing to fork out many Lizzies to see the miserable Penguins (we hope they stay that way for a few more years - otherwise, who's going to crumble in the cellar of the Eastern Conf?). I want to see all three Canadian teams from the West, b/c they come only once every three years now, b/c of the new NHL. So far, so good. I got two for Calgary (mid-October), and have locked on to two more for Edmonton (start of November). I'm getting ticks from the cheapest section possible, and if "A" is the frontmost row, then I far overestimated the interest people would have for these tickets, b/c Admission just assigned A1 and A2 to me. *g*

Now off for the Plateau, where I'll be picking up something quick. Later, will be meeting my parents at the Jean-Talon market, after they eat at generic Vietnamese restaurant, Beaubien/St-Denis. There are nice cafes over there. Will need to indulge in a espresso w/ Italian pastry.

Hockey hockey hockey

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The rookie camp's starting on Sept 8th, but I won't give more damn than the usual alright fan. Except that I caught news that my homophone (at least the first name) Cédrick Desjardins, who won the Memorial Cup with the Remparts last year, and who went undrafted, got an AHL contract with the Bulldogs, the Habs' farm team. There were no news whatsoever, not the least of fanfare. That he went undrafted is already very surprising (perhaps because the draft has been reduced by two or three rounds a few years ago?). I would want to wonder how a young man can evolve when his junior coach was probably the best goalie of his time... And while all people around praised his performance during the final (where he stopped 46 of 48 shots, but also gave up two quick goals in the third with a lead of four goals), no one seemed to wonder that he went undrafted or why he went undrafted. I'd guess there's a question of size, character, and comparable talent in the draft. Anyways, I'm not a scout, but I gotta cheer for homophones wherever I find them (and the dude is, what, sixth or seventh goalie in the organization? ... besides, does an AHL contract even mean that he's attached to the team, somehow?).

Free agenct waltz

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I've never exactly followed free agents signings in the NHL during past seasons. I'm not sure why. But it seems impossible for our Canadiens to land anyone. Sure-to-be-with-Montreal Jason Arnott (big centre we need) was not signed, and we did not pull a huge transaction to get some Quebecois player making dough in the States (Gagne w/ Philly, or St-Louis/Lecavalier w/ TB - seriously, we don't have anything to give for them).

Re: Oilers

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Final article about the Oilers, as the Hurricanes prepare to "celebrate" their conquest of the Cup (which I think would be rather reminiscent of when the New Jersey Devils were winning and celebrated with a parade in the parking lot of their home arena, for lack of a real downtown). The Oilers' loss adds to a long list of underdogs losing in the final, which includes the Panthers (1996), the Capitals (1998), the Sabres (1999), the Hurricanes (2002), the Mighty Ducks (2003) and the Flames (2004).

Oh the cute beaver.

From the Canadian Press article:

University of Alberta sports psychologist Billy Strean said fans can be forgiven for suffering some short-term effects from the absence of their regular doses of Oilermania.

"For most people there's a period of mourning," said Strean. "People should allow themselves that. For some people they'll move on 30 minutes after the game, but for those who have been waiting 16 years it's a big disappointment."

(Yeah, it went away overnight.)

Strean tried to put things in perspective.

"If your biggest problem is that your favourite hockey team lost, you're living a good life," he said.

(w0rd, that was what I was trying to say.)

And now that it's done...

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Bleh, they lost, and I spent at least 30 mins seeing the opponent team parading with the Cup. At least, I guess that one good thing is that the Habs almost eliminated the Canes, and are probably going to be next year's cinderella. Being a NHL cinderella team really sucks, b/c they consistently lost over the past fifteen years or so. Alright, no more hockey posts - it's summer after all.

Game notes: I cut myself while shaving as the only Edmonton goal was being scored (it wasn't because of the goal, mind you - I didn't even hear it announced, until my brother told me, as the TV was left on in my room across the hall).

(Of course, there are worse things in this world, like your mother dying, dying of hunger, war, sitting on an ant nest whilst covered in honey, etc. It just realigns my belief that this world is not fair, and that it's up to you to go for what's up for grabs. We're lucky enough to have parents providing us with their love, their self-sacrifice.)

Before the game begins...

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Just to get this off my chest... I think that Erik Cole will have a big game, looking at how he played last time, and while he got his neck broken three months ago, he's prolly not as bruised up at other places.

I predict a 3-1 Oilers win. Winning goal by Mike Peca.

Edit #1 (8:07PM): The intro of HNIC is the best you can get. The Pisani goal, Weight sandwiched, shots of Erik Cole back in the lineup. Haha, currently, there's a McLean/Hrudey pre-show talk, and Oilers fans, like, peeking right behind their shoulders, yelling *into* the mic. And they, being pros, ignore them completely. So, as the CBC HNIC blog points out, it was a Nickelback song. Now they're fuckin' playing the long version of the Tim Hortons' ad with the Cantonese Chinese. >_>

Edit #2 (9:58PM): It's fuckin' 2-0 for the Canes. Blargh.

Seventh Heaven

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Edmonton convincingly defeated the Carolina Hurricanes. For the third consecutive Stanley Cup final, it's going to Game Seven, and for the first time after a team is trailing by 3-1 since the 1994 series between the Rangers and the Canucks (where NY led 3-1 - and eventually won what was a close call in NYC, ironically with current Oil coach MacTavish on the Rangers' lineup). No team rallied from 3-1 in 64 years (the last time, being the Toronto Maple Leafs in the midst of WWII). Unbelievable.

Also, for the past ten years or so, underdogs/cinderella teams reaching the finals always lost. Carolina is a classy favourite (after missing the playoffs and navigating well below .500 last season), but I state the obvious that it would really be a boost for the Canadian economy happiness level of Canadians if the Oil could win.

The Prime Minister of Canada, who's not a lightweight in hockey (he's writing a book on the history of the sport), even came on the CBC during the first intermission (it was still 0-0) to say that "they have to keep shooting the puck and going to the net to have a chance to win". He knows his hockey, but I'm still not going voting for him. :D

Re: What a game

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I think that Cam Ward is a Patrick Roy type of sore loser. Does not like losing, but is so young and immature about it that whenever he gets scored an important goal on, he actually tries to hit the other player with his stick in a very obvious way (but always misses his shot, or maybe the other player who gets hit does not pay attention to not generate some infinite brawl). You can see it after the overtime Pisani goal, when one of the ecstasic player coming from the bench almost bumps into Ward. I forgot whether it was on NHL.com's highlights or CBC's feed posted on the Edmonton Oilers site.

It happened during, I think, Game 1, when the Oilers scored its 2nd or 3rd goal to make it two or three nil, if it wasn't Game 3. Pretty obvious from replays... And I remember during the Habs series that it happened. Sort of sketchy info, but I shall verify with fact, when I have time. >_> (Anyways, it's all video-archived somewhere - thanks teh internets.)

What a game

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Ugh, the end.

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On top of losing on a fluke giveaway by one of the backup goalies (interchangeably bad), MacT just announced that Roloson won't be back in the series. :/

Some commentator (Kelly Hrudey) was saying how the Oilers were going to win the series b/c they aren't a no-name crew, unless one of Roloson or Pronger were going down on an injury or something. _O_

OTOH, the whole situation adds a dramatic value to the unfolding of the series. Are the Oilers going to survive w/o Roloson? If they do, this sounds like the Simpsons episode where Burns invites MLB all-stars to replace regular nuclear plant workers on the amateur softball team (and where, the all-stars fall to various freak accidents or ailments). Anyways, losing after taking a 3-0 lead makes this loss all so bleh. Millions of Canadian hockey fans will agree with me.

Unlike the TB Lightning, who won the Cup in 2003-04, the Hurricanes don't have a core of French-Canadian players. Had the Buffalo Sabres won the Eastern Final, I'm sure a good portion, if not a majority, of hockey fans in the province of Quebec would've taken for the Sabres. Another political statement that Quebec != Canada.

Another Cup to a team in the American Southwest? omfg, no.

Oilers-mania

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In other news, the Oilers won! And are now leading the Best of Seven 3-0!

I didn't watch Game One of Sens-Sabres (7-6, in overtime, with both teams never trailing the other by more than one goal), but this Game Three of the Oilers-Ducks series is by far the most cold sweat inducing game of the fantasmagoric Edmonton run for the Stanley Cup. Fights and serious roughing in the first period (at least forty minutes of penalty!), a fluke goal given up by a slumbering Bryzgalov, Roloson stopping everything during the first two periods, and then a great finale, with three more Oilers goals scored in like three minutes time, followed by a monstrous awakening of the Ducks team (circling in the Oilers zone for about the rest of the game) who scored three to make it 4-3, until the Pisani goal made it 5-3, but not until the second Selanne goal made it 5-4 with about two minutes left. And basically for the remaining time, not only did the Ducks continue to pass the puck in the Oil's zone, but are also creating massive players pile-ups in front of faceoff circles and goalie's crest.

It's not as exciting as if Montreal were still in the series (b/c there are no street celebrations on Ste-Cath after each game), but it's passionating enough if a Canadian team were to win the Cup for the first time since... 1993. If one doesn't know hockey, one should know that there are 15 Canadians on the Oilers team, and also 15 on the Ducks' team - basically, the large majority of NHL players are Canadian.

♥ Habs

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That is pretty bold a statement.

Playoffs make for interesting, but ultimately pointless, relations between actors of a series. The Edmonton vs San Jose series: Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov, both former Boston players traded during the regular season, whose former team didn't make the playoffs, are now facing each other in the second round. A few years ago, it was the Anaheim-New Jersey Stanley Cup finals, which saw the Niedermayer brothers going head-on (they are now aligning themselves with Anaheim - and both their current team and NJ are still alive). I also hope that Colorado and NJ get elminated quickly, so that the eventual winner of this year's Stanley Cup will be at least either a Canadian team or a team that has never won it before; and neither of those, besides Ottawa, would even have made it into most lists of Cup contenders at the beginning of the year, let alone on list of playoffs-qualifying teams.

Hockey monkey

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My last dream portion consisted of a junior hockey game where some pranksters dressed up monkeys as players. The chimps were hard-hitting and gritty, sending more than one human kid bottom on the ice. I'm not sure if it has a relation with my lack of interest for the second round of playoffs (I only watched the Ottawa-Buffalo game behind my shoulder, which finished with a baseball score - 7-6 - and none of teams with a lead of more than one goal).

Also, I realize that sleep, b/c of renovations (always someone at least talking loud nextdoor, if not hammer-banging or electric sawing), has been extremely bad for four weeks, and most probably another three weeks. Not bad to the point of falling asleep on days I actually need to wake up, but just an accumulation of slightly bads that makes everyone in this house greatly appreciate that day every two weeks when noone is working.

Let's be a good sport

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Ottawa b. Buffalo in 7 (even if the Sabres have dominated the Flyers so convincingly)
New Jersey b. Carolina in 6 (NJ, just an outstanding team since the Olympics break)

Edmonton b. San Jose in 6 (just like how people in this city could pick the Habs in 6)
Colorado b. Anaheim in 7 (Avalanche has a much more potent and seasoned offense than the Flames)

My picks for the conference quarter-finals ended up 5/8 in terms of teams that won, and 2/8 right on (Ottawa/TB and Buffalo/Philly). NJ and NYR was much less of a contest with Jagr out in the first round. Anaheim and Niedermayer were too much to handle for the Flames. And Dallas' Turco just proved he's not playoff material.

Hmm. At least we didn't lose 7-1 on home ice. Four games lost by a margin of a goal. Both goalies making their first appearances in playoffs, and playing the hockey of their lives. Habs captain out-of-competition b/c a chance incident.

I finally made the couscous, but added way too much water. It also had a very suspicious aroma (after all, I bought that bag of couscous more than four years ago...). The lamb stew was great. Photos later, now I've got to ride the low in happy chemicals. :/

Is, for the next two weeks or so, will I be hating the Senators or not?

In other news, the most improbable partner of a Battle of Alberta got through, and Detroit is playing golf. Calgary versus Anaheim is going into a nail-biting seventh game tomorrow.

The Battle of Whatever

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On a much lighter note, I've been slightly obsessed with the idea of having 1- the Canadiens advance and play the Senators in a Battle of the Outaouais River (or Battle of highway 417, named after the Ontarian portion of the automotive link between Mtl and Ott), and 2- that the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames simulataneously advance (and, if Colorado doesn't collapse after taking the lead 3-0 -now 3-1- in its series against Dallas) and play a Battle of Alberta in the conference semi-finals.

If a series between Montreal and a team nobody cares (the Hurricanes) draws so much emotion out in this city, I can't imagine what it would be against a team people actually cares for (and which has numerous fans in this city, and throughout the province - especially in the Outaouais, duh). It's the sort of alignment of planets that drives me nuts, you know.

Upon looking up the Battle of Alberta, I found a blog freshly created for the purpose (top Google hit, no less), to prove that this country is simply crack-pot for its national winter sport (what, we have a national summer sport?).

I also found, linked from that page, an NHL playoff odds calculation site, which, as of April 29th, hands Montreal the top probability of winning the cup of all the teams still alive. A whooping 15.7%! rofl!

Habless

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Habless (adj):

1. Luckless; unfortunate.

2. Team captain gets hit in the eye by opponent's stick during game 3 of a best-of-seven series and is out for at least the series (potentially career-threatening). Team goes on to lose that game, and the next, such that that the series is now tied after winning two first games away.

3. :(

Re: Food cravings

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I found some cheap lamb meat (so, mutton meat is inexistent, but cheap lamb is cheap enough :D) at Adonis, on Des Sources, that UFO-like supermarket in the middle of West Island. I'll be making couscous during the week, and I've figured that turmeric was one of the key spices to add (too expensive in bottle format, and sold-out/inexistent in other formats at regular supermarkets, as I still haven't listed it down prior to visit to Adonis), and that the stew part should include carrots, an eggplant, onions and chick pea (despite being a hater of the latter - I try it in the name of change; so I'm also wearing blue jeans today?).

I was going to make the lamb tonight (four leg parts), but my mother "convinced" me to make the French rack of pork. We usually cook it with any given type of squash or autumn fruits, but this time went for random assortment of what's-in-the-fridge (she obsesses about emptying the fridge before buying new food - no half measures), which was not even in the fridge as originally thought and had to be bought (russet potato). Hum. So, a frenched rack of pork, soaked in red wine, ceres vinegar, onions, garlic, olive oil and the remainder of fresh thyme from making last week's beef stew à la boring. Turned out fine, but way too much food. The problem with pork is that it is dry - reason why my brother hates it, and why I would usually hate it, if dry didn't mean that it is also (maybe) healthier. In any case, that pork cut is not dry at all. The meat closest to the bone is wet, juicy and greasy (that's what they use to make baby pork ribs after all), and the rest, well, is not dry unless you overcook it.

The thyme, I think, gave the nice taste to the potatoes (cooked along the pork rack, along with juice). Gave me a nice food coma (half-dead-looking, as I'm assured that I look like my father when passing out on couch) during the second period of the Calgary-Anaheim game, waking up right on time for Iginla's short-handed goal. But that Canadian team lost, so did Ottawa. The good thing is that Edmonton won. Also looking forward to tomorrow's Habs game.

I'll be laying tiles, and fixing gyproc tomorrow. Wuzzah.

[music: Yoko Kanno - Gotta knock a little harder]

Hung out downtown for most of the afternoon. Got a different haircut from this winter's trend of going longer. Walked from McGill to Concordia, and in circles until I bussed to Chinatown to get some siu lap for dinner tonight (one of those perfect cantonese meal: siu yok, char siu, oil/garlic sauteed bok choy quarters, and white rice).

Part of the second-floor hallway has been taken up by our new bathroom, but has overall been enlarged. I can now walk straight to the toilet w/o having to make a turn! Anyways - for now, looking out from my room, all there is to see are the house's frame, naked floors, and trash, in a way somewhat reminiscent of Labyrinth. But soon, I'm going to learn how to lay ceramic tiles, and stick new carpet (so I can do it myself, for my potential room renovation).

Allergies have started, soon after Wee mentionned he was currently being incapacitated by pollen & dust. It doesn't usually start before mid-May, but the weather in Mtl has been exceptionally warm (usually we even expect it to snow at this time of the year!).

Real hockey has also started. Exciting games all over the league, and I've predictably been glued to the TV screen all evening (the emotionally important series only starts tomorrow). What a shame that the Oilers lost that way after Roloson's performance. The Ducks-Flames game is tied, and will probably last all night for overtime (as we remember Anaheim's 2003 run to the Cup finals).

Been exercising, reading, and have felt very relaxed for the past month or so. The university pool has been closed for repairs during the finals stretch (until end of the month, that is), and looking forward to extend those arms into cool clear chlorinated water. Got to work on not dying after a single pool length. :\

Playoffs, etc

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Yeah, ok. We're in the playoffs. Rabid hockey fan ritual:

Ottawa b. Tampa Bay in 5 (Sean Burke is no Khabibulin)
Montreal b. Carolina in 6 (Whatever)
New Jersey b. New York in 7 (NY has Jagr, but NJ has Deviled Egg)
Buffalo b. Philadelphia in 6 (Buffalo hasn't finished 4th in East for nothing)

Edmonton b. Detroit in 7 (from my dream partition)
Dallas b. Colorado in 6 (Theo sucks)
Calgary b. Anaheim in 5 (Kiprusoff rules :D)
San Jose b Nashville in 4 (Thornton-Cheechoo == bulldozer)

I'm getting 6 for Game 3. And then 6 other for Game 6 (with someone else's card). Details here.

(Edit: I don't know what sort of wild luck I had to get *four* of the cheapest tickets at 4PM, but this time, the ticks were sold out at 1:30. >_>)

Tragedy averted

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There will be a many lot of hockey-related post in the next few weeks.

The Thrashers have lost, and the Canadiens have qualified (un-glamourously) for the playoffs. Yay.

I'm going to buy some of the cheapest tickets available (if I obtain the same luck as 2004), which come to about 40-45$ with all taxes, service charges.

F****** HABS STILL NEED ONE POINT TO QUALIFY FOR PLAYOFFS OR BE ELIMINATED BY TWO TEAMS PLAYING SOUTH OF THE MASON-DIXON LINE.

Edit: Ok, I've calmed down. Even the news people are neurotic (see scenarios). And, man, I love the Instigator.

Surely, I hope we don't have to resort to this after Tuesday.

I made lasagna

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So I made a four-layer lasagna. The bottommost was tomato meat sauce sprinkled with parmesan cheese. The next one was ricotta cheese exclusively (I ought to replace it with a bechamel before the end of this life). Then the top two layers were sauce with a three cheese cheese mix. All of it, topped with a thick layer of the latter cheese.

I don't know whether the Three Cheese was a good choice of topping, because it gave a strange smell during broil, and didn't brown as much as I would expect a cheese to do. Perhaps pure mozzarella would've been better.

I selected leaner ingredients: ricotta with 50% the normal fat contents (didn't notice the taste diff) and extra lean ground beef - I bet the thick layer of Three Cheese cancelled the effect. Before I forget, I saw a news story about cottage cheese on L'Épicerie, probably the best "reporting-style" show about food that there is on Canadian TV (I now also get the science of cooking potatoes). The result was judged to be "better than usual", by the non-lasagna-lovers of this household, and could've been helped with adding even more salt, and perhaps a variety of veggies, like mushrooms, or black olives (still leftover from the Spanish-style chicken).

The science of gratin... Surely has to do with the contents in carbohydrates, lipids or proteins, but which is it?

As I write this, the Canucks have eliminated themselves from the race to the playoffs. Last week, everyone would've thought instead that the race in the West would be settled only on the last game - now that the eight teams are known (so it's Edmonton, not Vancouver), all that remains to be seen is what position they'll be in. In the East, the Habs can still be out of it, if they lose all, and Atlanta and Tampa Bay win all, but they're playing ok-to-well against good teams, or at least better as a team than the Canucks. Toronto can still make it, and play, ha-ha, the Sens in first round. And then, we pray for both the Leafs and Habs to win their series and meet in the East Conference finals. :D

And btw, there's quite a bit of lasagna left over, because my brother skipped from coming home after work. :O I ate a food-coma-inducing third of the lasagna plate (covering about the surface of a legal-size sheet, and a good 10cm of depth). So, yeah, I know I am mostly conversing with myself ...but still making a realistic offer here!

The Joe Thornton who single-handedly eliminated the Canucks is not the same Joe Thornton the Habs buried under the ice during the 2004 playoffs (0P, -5, 7GP). "Moments before setting up Carle's game-winner, Thornton nearly scored a short-handed goal in the third period with two Vancouver defenders hanging on his arms." Woaw man. My Vancouverite cousin at McGill is now cursing the Canucks live on MSN. The World Cup experience, etc, etc, did good to the man, and now I can even start cheering for him, since he isn't playing in our division anymore.

EAST (qualified teams only)
1. Ottawa
2. Carolina
3. NY Rangers
4. Buffalo
5. New Jersey
6. Philadelphia
7. Montreal
8. Tampa Bay

WEST (qualified teams only)
1. Detroit
2. Dallas
3. Calgary
4. Anaheim
5. Nashville
6. Colorado
7. San Jose
8. Vancouver

Frankly, I would much prefer if Edmonton and Toronto could make it as well, but if it's not Tampa Bay, it would be Atlanta. I cheer for Canadian teams, b/c whole cities are moved by their teams making the playoffs. Seriously, when the Habs make the playoffs, every most non-hockey person starts inquiring about last night's game scores.

It will be either Edmonton or Vancouver, preferably both, but realistically just one of the two. Edmonton lost to Detroit tonight, and Vancouver was stopped by an outlandish goalie yesterday evening. I wish Colorado didn't make it, just b/c they've always made the playoffs, despite mid-season slumps in past years. In the east, New Jersey just came out of nowhere to secure a playoff spot tonight. The Habs need 3 points (either by winning them, or having the 9th position team to lose 'em) to clinch a playoff berth. Again, I wish the worse for Tampa Bay, b/c I am curious to see how, potentially either a high-octane offense in Atlanta, or a Toronto team revived by the addition of a goalie-not-Belfour-or-Tellqvist would do.

I would like it that the Habs make it to the 6th or even, hah, 5th position in the East, but that seems nearly impossible with four games remaining, and New Jersey now 4 points ahead (three games remaining), and Philly, 6 points ahead (four games remaining), and each team playing each other (so that the Habs would need to win their four last, and expect either Philly to win one or none versus New Jersey). Man, I can't wait for playoffs to start.

omg, lol, playoffs!

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The Habs are 87 points in the east. The team in 9th are 77 points. 7-8 games remaining for most teams. The joy of PLAYOFFS SEASON in hockey country! (Haha, die, Vancouver) Man, I'm going to start babbling like every other Habs fan in this city - don't freakin' finish in 7th because we'd play against the Hurricanes in first round (b/c we've been owned 9-25 in goals for/against!). A series against the Rangers or Senators would be epic stuff to remember, like the two last Bruins series.

Because it seems as if three teams of the southeast division are going to make the playoffs while the Habs and Leafs will be left out. It's a catastrophe scenario - although it isn't as bad as in Vancouver, where a star-studded (star-stuffed) team has less games remaining, compared with rivals, and in a currently precarious situation in the standings. It's time Marc Crawford leaves, which is exactly what will happen if the Canucks don't make it into the postseason. In a perfect world, ice hockey would belong to where ice grows freely outdoor, and not where it's usually almost exclusively the stuff you find in your freezer.

R.I.P. Boom-Boom

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I'm the typical big Habs fan, but haven't commented on either the Theo trade or whatever other trades at the deadline. I spent part of my day Thursday listening to the NHL trade deadline coverage, zapping between TSN and RDS - it's equivalent-ish to my anime-addicted friends discussion on fannish crack. All those surprises that are bound to happen - exchanges you expect, many that you don't... with the slow clock ticking at the bottom of your screen; recent former coaches and players - Claude Julien and Dave Andreychuk - doing "instant analysis".

Boom-Boom Geoffrion, former Habs hero in the 50s-60s era (second NHLer after Maurice Richard to have scored 50 goals in a season), passes away of a stomach cancer. On the morning of the day he gets his jersey number retired.

Canada, omfg!

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Les yeux dans la graisse de bines

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(An expression from the lands up here, basically translating to "eyes in beans fat", and referring to the state you're in when waking up from a very long slumber - or appearing slumbering to the people around you.)

I probably slept a good 10 hours, with the final dream portion where I'd be practicing field hockey drills in a gym (a mixture of all the school gyms I've used in my life) for a whole boring 5 to 10 minutes (taking shots, going around, taking more shots, looking at my opponents sitting over at the bench, looking towards the door - ouh, isn't that a certain girl?..., keep running from one end to the other believing I'm Kovalev, and finally realizing there's a way -technique- to keep the ball on one's stick, despite having short arms and a short stick - so freudian.

In any cases, after a few moments semi-waked up, my brother bursts into my room to tell me that the Habs' coach has been fired. And GM Bob Gainey brings back to Montreal formerly disgraced Habs teammate-come-ass'coach Guy Carbonneau from Dallas, where both of them won the Stanley Cup. That's the shit - when are we going to see Larry Robinson too?

I forgot to mention to the world that I went to see the Habs game on Tuesday. Bought tickets well in advance, b/c we know they're sold out for the rest of the year, gave my ticket away for my cousin returning from Vietnam for the holidays, and eventually got it back b/c my brother's friend couldn't come (and I wonder what so important could make you miss the unmissable Ottawa vs Montreal classic). It was a special game, with the return of Alex Kovalev, who took a 6-week break to recover from an operation, a period of 13 games during which the Habs only won 4, but when he was there at the start of the season, the Habs only lost 3 times in regulation time in 19 games (while standing at the top of the Eastern Conference for like a month)!

The Habs were trailing 3-0 by the middle of the second period (one goal scored by Spezza during the second minute of play b/c the Canadiens player passed from behind his net *on the tape* of the other team's player's stick). Few people mentionned it, but Spezza was out of the game right after the first intermission (and hasn't played yesterday versus the Flyers). And Kovalev stepped up, banked in a 700th assist, got a standing ovation for over a minute, before making another marvelous pass for the second goal, and then scoring the tying goal. The goalie (a French citizen - who could've told a Frenchman would goal for the Habs?) saved the day in third period (with the help of his goal posts) and eventually, the Habs were to win 4-3 in shootout, with the finishing touch by Kovalev, after Dagenais scored and the two Senators, Heatley and Alfredsson were unable to respond. For every un-exciting Canadiens vs a team of the Southeast division, there is a Game 3 of Habs-Bruins series, a Saturday Night versus the Toronto Maple Leafs and a celebration for comeback kid against the single best team in the league.

Not like Canadian Senators

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The Ottawa Senators should be given the Stanley Cup right now, so we can all look forward to season 2006-07... They continually crush the opposition. 8-0 against Toronto. 10-4 against Buffalo last week, and 6-1 again tonight...

Montreal dominates the East! And it looks much less pretty when you merge the two conferences. Speedy team, new rules: everyone seems to agree on that to explain how well our usually-mediocre Habs have been doing this past three weeks. 1/10th of all games played, so, alright, we will calm down. Our base are belong to you (or the other way around?). Oh yeah, all games except the defeat vs Ottawa, and the shutout vs Atlanta were won/lost by a single goal.

Habs-Leafs (Sept 15th, 2005)

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There were a lot of Leafs fan, and each of their goals was greeted by loud cheers. I was seated in the "Family Zone" behind the net against the wall of the Bell Centre, but had the chance to sneak in the Red's, and get near the ice during the warm-up.

leafs.fan.with.mccabe.shirt.jpg

And as I walked around the building, I also encountered Ron MacLean, host of HNIC, starting the intro on the live coverage of this Toronto-Montreal classic on national television.

ron.mclean.at.bell.centre.jpg

The Canadiens lost 3-2.

Glory

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It's still a pretty sight (If you don't know what you're looking at, then the answer is: Montreal Canadiens are in first place of the whole freakin' league! OMG, the Habs' fandom is blowing blood vessels everywhere...)

Good News

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The NHL is back and the Habs won. And I now really officially have a relatively "real" job. :D

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