Sunday, October 13, 2013

Therrien pushing all the right buttons

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien takes a lot of fan and media grief - some of it good-natured, some more visceral - for his forward lines and defence pairings and how he distributes ice time.  While some of his past tendencies have been puzzling, Therrien's personnel changes in the wake of a 3-2 loss to Calgary last Wednesday provided the Habs with a spark in every phase of the game.  Splitting up the team's best line seemed dubious at the time, but putting Tomas Plekanec between Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher got Plekanec out of his early season funk, and moving Lars Eller with Max Pacioretty and Daniel Briere roused Pacioretty (though not Briere) from his slumber.  On the blue line, pairing Andrei Markov with PK Subban has reinvigorated Markov, who looks less like the leadfooted liability of last season and more like the former All Star of previous years.  Saving Carey Price for a Vancouver homecoming and giving Peter Budaj the start in goal in Edmonton was a no-brainer, but Therrien still deserves a nod for not out-thinking himself.  It's only October and slumps and injuries will necessitate more adjustments on the fly as the season progresses, but for one week, at least, Therrien made all the right moves.

It was great to be behind the mic again as host of the Merson Drive/Week in Review on Montreal Hockey Talk.  Don Scary seemed to enjoy being freed from the shackles of mainstream corporate radio, and I even got to use my favorite John Malkovich clip from "Burn After Reading" in the show intro.

Nice to see Opie from Sons of Anarchy get some at bats for the Red Sox in the ALCS.  Not bad for a guy who was beaten to death in prison last season.

With the New York Giants suffering from stage 4 incompetence, I need to find a secondary team to cheer for to keep my NFL interest alive.  My son, Sam, developed an affinity for the Chiefs a couple of seasons ago and his loyalty has been rewarded with a 6-0 start. but I'm loathe to be a bandwagon jumper.  I've always had a soft spot for long-suffering also-rans, so I've got it narrowed down to the Cardinals, Lions and Browns, which is a bit like deciding whether to take my own life by clorox poisoning, self-immolation or giving Mom Boucher a wedgie in the exercise yard at Ste-Anne-des-Plaines

Rob Ryan is what Jesus would have looked like if he were middle-aged, overweight and out of miracles.

No comments:

Post a Comment