Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Game Three - EC Semi Final: Habs vs. Lightning


FINAL SCORE: TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 2, MONTREAL CANADIENS 1

Yeah. That's how I feel about it. That's how a lot of us feel right now.


THIRD PERIOD:


- Habs have 67% possession through 40 minutes. They trail 1-0. I ... can't explain it. There is no understanding it except that this team simply isn't capable of finishing scoring opportunities. You combine that with a poorly organized offense, and it's a perfect storm of nothing.

- 1 for 28. Season is slipping away. 

- Pacioretty gets nailed for a soft trip. Amazing how easily these Tampa forwards fall. Lightning to the powerplay. 13 minutes left.

- Why Emelin is consistently used on first line PK is totally baffling to me.

- The birthday boy scores. They actually scored. A greasy, go to the net, shove it past Bishop, honest to God goal. Tie game.

- Another dominative period for the Habs. Perplexing effort by Tampa, who've played two consecutive extremely flat 40 minutes of hockey. The Lightning, as they were throughout the 2nd, are ripe for the picking.

- Johnson. With no time on the clock. Unbelievable. Season is over. Just ... unbelievable.

- Season-killing goal was a comedy of errors. Mainly Plekanec failing to do a simple dump in, and then his line basically not skating with 10 seconds left. Markov off in Emelin-la-la land, really, it was for the last few seconds, five Tampa Bay Lightning skaters against Carey Price.

- Habs had 65% possession for the game. Habs got Habbed tonight, perhaps more so than any other game this season. That's hockey for you. Cups are won with bounces, and making the most out of opportunities.

- Well, I'm out. One more game tomorrow night. The Habs won't win it. You can't rebound from anything this devastating. A sweep, and then we collectively turn the spotlight towards team coaching heading into the summer.


SECOND PERIOD:

- Good first shift by Plekanec line. Then Therrien sends out Prust, and the momentum is quashed.

- Emelin shoots into about 12 legs, somehow expecting the puck to make it to Bishop? There's puck luck, and then there's just plain foolishness.

- Horribly listless period by Tampa, they are just ripe for the picking, but the Habs continue to hit goal posts. Frustration mounting.

- Habs pushing defense forward, trying to somehow score. They will - they have to, unless Tampa scores a backbreaker off an odd man rush.

- More than 16 minutes played before Tampa can register a shot on goal. But the Habs are still blowing their opportunity, just six shots on Bishop in the period. Beyond maddening.

- Well, I'm fit to be tied. Tampa just played a near complete dud of a period, and it doesn't matter one little bit because the Habs are utterly incapable of scoring. Shots aren't getting through, or are missing. Posts are being hit, nobody seems able to push home a loose puck around Bishop, who, witness the Petry point shot (off the goal post) is more than beatable. The Habs have 30 minutes to salvage this game and their season. That's the bottom line.


FIRST PERIOD:

- So Desharnais gets inserted right back into the top 6. No accountability. No burden of having to prove his worth. Eller saddled back on the 3rd line.

- Tom Gilbert. Awful check on Filppula. Price forced to make three straight enormous saves.

Habs defense has been a comedy of flubs so far. Adjustments!! Biggest flubbers so far: Markov and Gilbert. 

- Plekanec gives Bishop a little tap, and he goes down like he was shot. Refs get suckered into calling a penalty.

- Looks like Habs are reverting to their rope-a-dope, out it all on Price "strategy" that helped bring them 50 wins this season. 

- An okay road game start by the Habs. Still, their offensive is so systematically dysfunctional, they'll need lucky bounces to score more than a couple of goals on Bishop.

- Markov continues his brutal post season play. Horrid sloppy turnover from his corner, Tampa waltzes to the net with Killorn receiving a pass wide open from Stamkos, and it's 1-0. What has happened to Markov is beyond me, but he's killing this team's already suspect defense. 

- Smells like another blowout is in store tonight. Isn't helping that Emelin just takes a dumb interference penalty. Habs back to the PK.

- Gallagher cross checked to the face by Coburn right in front of the referee. Not called.

- Unimpressed. Habs defense was sloppy, forecheck, which is critical if they want to generate any kind of sustained pressure on Bishop, was almost non-existent. Shots continue to come from along the board. Point shots are being blocked. Whatever is getting through to Bishop that results in a rebound is being easily cleared by Tampa's defense because Habs forwards aren't winning puck battles. I see another long night ahead.



GAME THREE: HEY LOOK WHO'S BACK FROM HANGOVER THE FLU!!

Our savior! Our night in shining armor! It's DAVID FREAKIN' DESHARNAIS! THANK YOU JEEBUZ. WE CAN'T LOSE NOW!

So it's come to this. After falling miserably at home in a can't-lose game at the hands of the GODDAMN TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING WHO WE CAN NEVER BEAT (that felt good), the Canadiens are now faced with a no-messing-around-this-is-totally-a-must-win-game-and-we-totally-mean-it-this-time game tonight.

So Desharnais is back. Which means poor Brian Flynn, who we think played on Sunday night (?), will have to sit out. It also means there are still lots of questions surrounding line combinations, specifically, where will Lars Eller play, and who will he have to carry around the ice? Where will Alex Galchenyuk play, and will he actually skate towards Tampa's goal? What about Brandon Prust? Will the referees continue to be awful to him, and send him the box for lookin' so good?

Will the Habs score a powerplay goal? Ever?

Anyway, this series is likely already over, the stake, I believe has already been driven through the heart - it's just a matter of shoveling dirt on the carcass at this point, with or without the totally underwhelming and post-season useless Desharnias in the lineup.

But yeah. David is back. If the Habs actually win tonight, no more nightcaps, okay Dave?

Puck drops at 7:10 EST.