Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Game Nine: Flyers v. Habs

It's never a dull day in Habs land, is it? Pearn gets fired an hour before game time. A strange, strange move which I'll write more about during the intermission. Meantime, Price is back in net to face the feared Flyers. Will fortunes change starting tonight?

First Period:

- An early power play and lo and behold, two defense at the point! Makes you wonder if Pearn was behind that futile strategy?

- Speaking of futile, not much to show for that two minutes. One weak shot reached target, and now Philadelphia goes to the man advantage.

- Flyers hit two posts during their PP. Habs very lucky to escape unscathed.

- How Pacioretty is out there playing with a torn up wrist is beyond me. The reports (totally incorrect?) I'd read is 90% ligament tear. How can he even hold a stick?

- Very, very cautious start by Habs defense, almost playing not to lose. Inevitably the Flyers take advantage courtesy some sloppy back checking, and score the game's first. Molson Arena dead silent.

- If Pacioretty can't shoot a puck he has no business playing tonight.

- Habs simply lacking energy. Getting beat to the puck, getting out hit, getting out muscled. Fans are booing and we've not even finished the first. This is bad, bad, bad.

- The way everything is going, Price will have to be superhuman tonight if the Habs are to have a ghost of a chance.

- Hah. Habs score! On the PP! With two seconds on the clock. The game makes no sense. Totally did not deserve to come out of that period tied.

- Now, about the Pearn firing. About an hour ago, Gauthier gave a short Q&A in which he said the dismissal was part of an attempt by management to "think outside the box", which one could interpret as a decision was made to do something that didn't make a whole lot of sense.

Pearn, by all accounts, was a very competent assistant. His record certainly backs that up - the Habs have had one of the League's better power plays since he began in 2009. In 15 straight years, he's never been behind the bench of a team that's missed the playoffs. This pretty much speaks for itself.

And yet, he's gone. Maybe PG is trying to send out a message that the season isn't what he was hoping for, and that no one's job is safe.

If matters become even worse, in so much as the loses piling up, if Pearn is next, who might be the next a go? A key player, or another coach further up the ladder?

Second Period:

- A spirited start for Habs offense, that late goal clearly gave the team a huge boost. Philly (smartly) calls a time out in a quest to take the momentum out of Montreal's sails.

- If Eller converted more of his close chances, he might be leading the League in scoring.

- Wow. Flyers hit another post. Are the luck gods favoring the Habs tonight?

- Aside from all these posts, Price doing everything he can (and needs to) keeping his team in the game.

- Mad scramble and Kostitsyn scores! Flyers looked very chaotic (Hab-like) in collapsing around their net.

- How was Jagr not called for hauling down Cole in front of the Flyers net?

- With torn wrist Pacioretty scores! Amazing. Habs have not lead by two since Winnipeg.

- Price looking as solid as any start this season #Maybeitwasthepinkpads

- How the heck did Eller miss that wide open net courtesy Cole's beauty pass?

- Bad strategies never die. Plekanec still playing the point, Darche fruitlessly on the ice.

- Maybe it was the pink pads? Price frustrating the Flyers jamming the crease.

Third Period:

- Habs holding their own well so far.

- Crazy. Pacioretty, he of the gimpy wrist, scores another. Much courtesy the Flyers defense which has seemingly gone on vacation from the second period forward, but we'll take it.

- Flyers very frustrated, starting to get really rough. Habs would be wise to play safe and not get trolled by the trolls.

- Pretty boring period. Safe to say nobody in the stands minds one bit.

- Flyers just standing around. Cammi with icing on the cake (and great efforts by Cole).

- Halfway through the first if you had bet me the Habs would be up by four with three minutes left in the third, I would have placed the wife and kid on the lot. Good thing I'm not a gambling man.

- And there you have it. Canadiens pick up their first home win on October 26th. All is well again. Matin can breath a sigh of relief. Start planning the parade.

- Oh I nearly forgot. Bruins in less than 24 hours. In Boston. Gulp.

- Grats to Price for finally picking up his 100th NHL win, one of the youngest ever to do so.

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