Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Game Five: Sabres v. Habs

- After a very rough start against the Avs, Carey Price looks to regain some of last year's form. We'll know pretty soon after the puck whether he's fighting the puck like he did three nights ago.

- Martin reportedly put the boys though a fairly intense practice on Monday to "send a message." The coach is clearly unhappy with what he's seen thus far and there may be a resultant short leash used tonight.

- Quite the applause for a quarterback. Now can we play some hockey?

First Period:

- Desharnais starts, almost instantly creates a good chance. Easily the Habs best line right now.

- Just got this feeling that Eller is on the cusp of breaking out. The effort is there, just need some follow through.

- Relatively cautious period, each team refusing to surrender high percentage chances. Got the feeling this could be one of those 2-1 type of games.

- Habs D certainly looks more focused and disciplined tonight. Zone coverage appears more inclined toward protecting Price and reducing turnovers. Much more the Martin style of hockey.

- Pacioretty ... so many chances this period. If he converted on more he'd be leading the League in scoring.

Period Two:

- Miller keeping the Habs off the board. Goals are going to be few and far between, methinks.

Relentless pressure leads finally to a Habs goal, Diaz with nice patience via a pretty pass from Pacioretty. How long will it hold?

- The answer is a resounding "not long." Following an unnecessary icing with 7 seconds left in the period, the Sabres score with 2 seconds left on the clock. These are game killers. Be interesting to see how the team responds in the third.

Third Period:

- Habs not with the same jump as they had in the first and second period. The late goals, as I wrote, just kill the life out of you.

- Miller just so square to the shoots and shooters. Appears nearly unbeatable.

- 11 minutes left, d line being more aggressive playing the puck. Either they score soon or Price will be facing some difficult chances.

- Gomez has been a one-man turnover machine. Killing precious PP momentum.

- Don't see Miller being beaten again tonight. Just too good.

- Canadiens have really dominated, outshooting Buffalo 41-19 with 7 minutes left in the third. This will be a bitter defeat if the score holds.

- No "great" chances for Habs in the period, really. Sabres in shut down mode right now, hoping to hold out for a steal road win.

- And there you have it. A 3-1 loss in a game where the Habs outshot their opponent 41-23. The team continues to struggle finishing its scoring chances.

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