Monday, 14 November 2011

Game Seventeen: Sabres v. Habs

Sooo ... I guess sweet revenge on Miller will have to wait another day, in light of his concussion from Saturday night, courtesy the (very) illegal contact made by Milan Lucic, who somehow managed to escape disciplinary action from the League. Bruins and suspensions. Anyone notice a trend of inactivity?

Cammalleri is reportedly scratched from the lineup - clearly whatever injury he's got is of the nagging variety, as this is the second sitout since his knee was cut. Engqvist will get a start, although let us all hope that part of his responsibilities tonight don't incur taking faceoffs.

Speaking of centres, following a pretty strong return, should be interesting to see if Martin rotates Gomez into more top line shifts, or if he keeps him on mainly fourth line duty. I suppose Gomez is at least due a chance to prove his worthy by getting some 2nd line opportunities, although he did seem to adjust nicely to a checking role, and even helped the fourth to create a few offensive chances against Nashville.

- Par Arpon Basu's tweet, official starting lines tonight are Moen-Pleks-Gionta; Pacioretty-DD-Cole; Gomez-Eller-Palushaj; Nokelainen-Enqvist-Darche.

First Period:

- Scary slash by Regehr on Cole, obviously aiming to break his stick in two. Viciously hard, those are the slashes that break wrists and arms.

- In the first five minutes three Habs tossed out of faceoff circle. Pretty danged sure we're dubiously leading the League for that.

- Quite certain Diaz kept that puck inside the Sabres zone, yet the linesman, standing no more than 12 feet away, blows the call.

- If Enroth does tonight what Miller did to us a month ago, I'm gonna scream.

- When was the last time the Habs started 6 centers like they are tonight? Was it in my lifetime? Ever?

- Erik Cole robbed by Enroth point blank, after the faceoff that followed a 2-on-1 break where Enroth made a fine save on ... Cole.

- Moen threading a perfect pass to a streaking Gionta, who somehow failed to make contact with the puck.

- Somewhat uneventful period, slight edge to Habs who outshoot Buffalo 10-6. Enroth being the difference.

Second Period:

- Utter chaos in Sabres zone after Weber makes nice play to keep the puck in at the line, and Cole one-time rips the puck into the Buffalo net, no chance for Enroth.

- Lots of offensive pressure generated last shift by Habs fourth line, Darche gets a clear-cut breakaway. Darche being, of course, the last guy you want on a breakaway. Routine save for Enroth.

- Sabres lots of gusto after the whistle, looking for a fight where none exists. Where were they after Lucic's head shot on Miller Saturday night? Oh, that's right. Hiding.

- Price tremendous on the two minute 4-on-3 Sabres PP. Several sparkling saves and terrific positioning.

- Spacek getting fair amount of attention from training staff at the bench. Not sure what the injury is or when it occurred.

- Sabres just one effective PP so far, rest have been easily muted by Habs PK.

- Pacioretty piling up the points, Sabres defense way too passive on that rush. 2-0.

- Ruff has seen enough to conclude the game is on the cusp of getting out hand. Calls a time out.

- Habs fourth line buzzing again, they just can't finish the play.

- Clumsy turnover at the blue line gives Sabers easy 2 on 1 break, Gorges with great shot block to possibly save a goal. That's why they pay him the big bucks.

- Although Buffalo outshot Habs 13-9 in the period, Canadiens largely controlled the play, with Price facing little challenge except during the two minute 4-on-3.

Third Period:

- Diaz a clumsy turnover behind his net, quick pass to Pominville with an unstoppable one-timer high slot, 2-1.

- Sabres smelling some blood, Price could have a very busy third period.

- Habs ice the puck. Don't fear the icing, especially if you want to stutter the other guy's momentum.

- Almost all Buffalo so far. Not sure how much longer the lead can be maintained.

- Spacek officially gone for the night, unknown injury. Same for Engqvist. Ouch.

- With Engqvist done, Gomez has been moved back to the fourth line.

- Casual dump in by Plekanec and another passive reaction by Sabres defense frees Gionta all alone in front of Enroth who makes game-saving poke check. Ruff can't be pleased about this.

- Gomez on first line PP. When was the last time he scored a regular season goal? February?

- Absolute confusion in Habs zone following a wretched line change, Roy ties the game.

- Given how much the game was in control after 40 minutes, anything less than two points from this one will come as a bitter disappointment.

- Sabres mauling Habs in Montreal's zone, but Gaustad just took a very foolish cross checking penalty.

- It took nearly 15 minutes, but Habs just registered their first shot of the period.

- Habs way too cute on that PP, and Subban's shot very Spacek-like in accuracy.

- Without Cammalleri, and Gill, and Spacek, and Cammalleri's replacement Engqvist, I suppose the Habs have held up pretty well. Just didn't have the horses for the third period.

- Lock down and play for the point and OT. Salvage something from this.

- Buffalo owned that period, will feel very good about their chances in OT. Habs have to be kicking themselves for letting this one slip away, in large part due to sloppiness in their own zone.


- 3-peat! And will PK finally get one????

- Oh gawd. What was Cole doing with the hit on Enroth?? Glorious opportunity for Sabres, Price will have to flip a few cartwheels to save this.

- Wow. What a kill. And Patioretty draws a Sabres penalty!! Crazy!!

- Last time there were two two minute penalty kills in an OT? Has there ever been such a thing?

- Price looking to make his first *save* in a shootout this season.

- Price beaten under the bar. But Patioretty responds to even it up.

- Oh wow. Price looked bad on second shot. Still hasn't made a save in a shootout this season, and the Habs lose a tough one.

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