The Mooseheads took on the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at the Halifax Metro Centre last night for the home opener. The game began after a lengthy ceremony to honour long time broadcaster Pat Connolly. I was drunk and pumped up before I even hit the MC. Oh the faces, the smells, that energy in the air, the annoying voices of 'fatty' and 'peg legs' who sit behind me. It felt like home.
Before the game even began, boyfriend and I were trying to decide which defenceman 'Fatty' and 'Peg Legs' would hate this year. We were no longer going to be subjected to the phrase "God Damn Moooonast", or "Geeeeeze Boooona". We guessed the target of their vitriol would be now be Alex MacDonald.
At some point the puck went into MacDonald's skates and he fumbled to get it out and then safely made the pass out of our zone. Sure enough, as the puck was tied up in his skates we heard "way to goooooo MacDoooonald". I then had to tolerate repeated mumblings about my precious new defenceman boyfriend throughout the night. If the losing does not make this a long-ass year, then having to listen to the irrational bitching of the boys who sit behind me will.
Both Mathieu Corbeil and Joel Grondin had shiny new painted helmets. The team brass are finally being nice to goalies. It only took Mathieu 1 year to get his bucket painted. There are no cookies on it.
New goalies always seem to have to wait awhile to get a fancy helmet so I was very shocked that Grondin was already all dressed up in his head region.
All the boys now wear green pants but goalies just look like they are wearing green wind pants over their regular black goalie pants. The extra layer of wind pants did not stop Mathieu from having delightfully kicky legs. Those kicky legs will come in useful for things other than the pre-period warm-up goalie mating dance. Yes, they even stopped a couple of pucks.
I did not mean to be stalking my new goalie boyfriend, Joel Grondin, with my camera - he just magically appeared on it. I was just trying to read Corbeil's helmet with my Camera's super zoom function when suddenly a fight broke out while Clarke was playing ghosties under his jersey *boo*; so I snapped a few fight pictures...and there was Grondin getting all up in my lens. He was basically throwing himself at my camera. This is going to be a sweet, sweet affair.
As per usual, Jessyko Bernard was the first intermission interviewee. Shannon Slaughter knows what the people like (FYI, The people like Jessyko). He informed us that his favorite colour is green (same as Yeti, apparently I have a type), that he prefers country music to rock and then he sang Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. He did a damn good job.
I am just going to forget that he prefers country music though - because that shit is normally an atrocity to my ears.
I thought the beginning was going to be dull because of the pre-game ceremonies but in fact the boys came out like gangbusters, dominating the game in the first 15 minutes of play and not letting the Titan get a single shot on net. Everybody was hitting and nasty and full of Pirate tendencies. They be pilfering yer puck arrrg.
I decided in the first period that Alex Lemieux should get the cookies because he was a little wrecking ball to start the game. Then he got injured and was all a little absent after that...as were the Mooseheads.
Garrett Clarke had the first and only Mooseheads goal by using a nice little drag and lift move to get the puck up and over Champion. He also had a fight (see picture above) and was making fancy moves in the third which got him pretty damn close to getting a second goal. Alex Lemieux should share his cookies with Clarke.
The PP was pitiful. The Mooseheads had a tonne of shots (38 to be precise) on net but most were from weird places. When I was paying attention to the PP in the first period it seemed like the whole thing relied on passing the puck to back to Abeltshauser at the blue line for a slapshot, and not about trying to get it near the net. 1/7 pfffft! ...and even then it was a defenceman (Clarke) who got the goal with an assist from another defenceman (Abeltshauser).
Where were the forwards? Yuri Cheremetiev was held to one shot on net. ONE. Charles Bety was trying, Gabe Desjardins was trying, Tomas Knotek was trying (not fond of that one handed shot on net though - lazy). So the Moose had 38 shots but only 11 were dangerous. They have to make more of their shots.
As Wuest pointed out in his recent blog post - no more 'shoot birds'. Please. This is also one of my pet peeves. All this team does is shoot...and rather uselessly from funny angles. As a bonus there is rarely anybody in front of the net to get the rebound. If some player does manage to find his way to the front of the net it is usually a guy with dead hands.
The game got dull in the second period. Even my pre-game beer buzz was gone. We were all basically just going through the motions. Sure it picked up again in the third but by then it was too late. The Moose were down 3-1 with about 5 minutes left in the game and just never recovered.
So yeah. The Mooseheads lost. As you can tell from my new little 'Eastern Division Status' tracker on the right, the Mooseheads are pointless - the only team in the Eastern Division without a win, or even an OT loss. Sadness!
The whole thing could have been much better for the Moose had it not been for the excellent goaltending of Nicholas Champion. I sooo want to pull a Tonya Harding on his hands.
But gosh you gotta love 'em:
So by now you are probably asking yourself "if this team can't win why should I continue to follow them? Why should I give them my heart?"
You do this because they are good, sweet boys who give back to the community (and because some of them are cute).
Face of the franchise, Gabriel Desjardins, has started a charity whereby $21.00 (his number is 21) will be donated to the Salvation Army for every point he gets this year. Now all he has to do is start getting points. Defenceman Pascal Amyot is also being a sweetie by donating his season tickets to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters association, and has agreed to meet with his special guests after every game.
Yes, everyone is so sweet. Well, everyone but Chuckie Schembri - but Sydney will do that to a boy. It is like the 7th circle of hell. It has to be. At the edge of the 6th circle there is a disgusting stench which arises from the circle below - totally Sydney. Have you walked by the tar ponds in the summer?
Schembri sent packing by Herd
Schembri acknowledges 'mistake,' accepts punishment
Click here for Jenn's take on the Shembri incident