Friday, 4 November 2011

Game Twelve: Habs v. Senators

- Crazy long layoff between games, there was speculation this week that Gomez might return tonight, however that's apparently not going to happen until next week. Whenever it happens, Martin will have a bit of a puzzling situation on how to juggle the lineup. Too many bodies, not enough spots (a scenario that no coach would refuse, but nonetheless it is problematic if only because the team really hasn't missed his absence).

First Period:

- 38 seconds played, three whistles. This game had better improve.

- Excellent penalty kill. The Sens got nada on Price.

- Really strong presence of Habs fans in the stands tonight. Wonder how many of them are comprised of individuals who normally can't afford the outlandish cost of a ticket to the Bell Centre?

- Pretty cautious start. Habs with the edge on tempo and puck control. Basically the kind of game that pleases Martin.

- Finally a great chance for Montreal, Desharnais line rush creates scramble and resultant

- No goals scored, but good consistent and lengthy pressure applied. Coach will like that.

- Dependable Gorges with a great checking dive to prevent point blank chance for Spezza.

- Anyone enduring a hard day at work might have had a tough time staying awake during that very uneventful period. But that's the Jacques Martin game. Habs have set the table, can they convert over the next 40 minutes?

Second Period:

- Shots on goal currently 14-5 Habs, if this continues Ottawa can only hope to steal 2 points.

- Habs doing an excellent job bottling up the neutral zone, totally befuddling the Ottawa transition. All Canadiens (at the moment).

- Spacek may have done a stellar job shot blocking since his return, but he's soooo slow chasing the puck. Much slower than I recall.

- Sens have held the fort. Invariably the pendulum will swing their direction.

- Cole finishes, but that goal was ALL Cammalleri. Brilliant forechecking and dogged determination. Just brilliant.

- Oh my. Wretched turnover by Ottawa defense and brilliant setup by Eller to AK46. Two-zip.

- PK Subban in 2010 probably would get the bench for that silly slash.

- Ridiculous save by Price backswatting a floating puck in midair. Wouldn't have counted because there was a delayed call on Ottawa, but still impressive.

- Sens actually outshot Canadiens 14-10 in that frame, but the Habs still dominated tempo, checking and puck possession. Net two goal lead is an accurate reflection of how the game has gone so far.

Third Period:

- It only takes a momentary lapse, doesn't it? Diaz with a completely unnecessary pinch creates an odd man break and goal for Ottawa. The lead is one.

- Senators definitely turning the tables in the third. Winning races for pucks, outhitting, outchecking. Price will be tested to maintain this lead.

- Habs seem to be flirting with just sitting on the lead. Big mistake IMO.

- Pushback by Habs, here. Need to stifle Ottawa's momentum.

- Great awareness and pass by Gill to Eller all alone in front of Anderson (Ottawa defense in siesta mode). In Eller-style, he misses the net.

- Just 8 minutes left, the temptation to sit on the lead must be tantalizing (but shouldn't be taken!).

- Spacek caught in no man's land creates great chance for Ottawa. Habs on their heals as Sens push for tie.

- Habs definitely in hold-on-for-dear-life mode right now.

- Holding call on Gorges. Really? Wow. Just, wow.

- Heart stopping finish via that preposterous penalty, but a win nonetheless. The drive for five continues tomorrow night in Manhattan.

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