Friday, 25 November 2011

Game Twenty-Three: Habs v. Flyers

First Period:

- So here we go again. The Habs take the most avoidable penalty in the game, too many man, *again*. Why, oh why, oh why does this happen so often? (hint: bench management, but whatever).

- And ... another PK kill. The Habs just keep rollin' along.

- Habs offense really having trouble getting organized. Zero chances so far through 13 minutes. Flyers haven't been much better.

- Flagrant trip on Darche at the blue line that would have resulted in a clean 2-on-1 break. No call.

- Really tight first period for Habs. Playing an excellent road game, keeping home team scoring chances to bear minimum, and taking advantage of our own chances when they present themselves. So far, so good.

- Gorges is a scoring machine. Helping to set up yet another goal with a head's up cross-ice pass from the line to set up Nokelainen. I'd say use him on first line PP, if he wasn't already eating up all the PK shifts. 1-0.

Second Period:

- Plekanec with a brain-cramp slash two seconds after the puck is dropped to open the period. Flyers go to the PP.

- Hah. Oh wow. Mad scramble in front of Price, puck loose near the line for a good three or four seconds. Somehow it stayed out. Habs PK streak really grabbing hold to lucky charms.

- 38 for 38. Now seriously flirting with the NHL record of 53.

-  Prince stellar. Laperriere with a clean break, no go. Then Weber awful choking up the puck at the line on the PP, another clean Flyers break (Giroux), another Price Save. How many times must Weber fumble and Price bail before he's given the hook?

- Price is in the zone. Flyers will need to work very hard to beat him today. A fortunate bounce or two will probably be required.

- And there it is. Puck takes a weird bounce behind Price as it's shot in around the boards, Giroux standing in right place, right time, wide open net. 1-1.

- Habs PP utterly muted today. Zip fer six.

- Big-time breakdown in defensive zone. Diaz overplays the puck behind the net. Weber standing around in front of his net (gotta keep those feet moving, kiddo). Pacioretty releases his man (Voracek). Price hung out to dry. Martin is fuming behind the bench. Margin for error is very thin against a team like Philadelphia. Mistakes, especially the big ones, kill you.

- Oy. Price's big mistake. Juicy rebound on routine shot right to Giroux for his second of the period (in another wide open net). With just 6 agonizing seconds left on the clock. Price slams his stick on the boards as he exits for intermission. Disastrous period for Habs, and Flyers pelt Price for 19 shots, most of them second half of the period.

Third Period:

- So tough to get into the game when everything is so seemingly out of reach. Miraculous effort will be required, which includes having the powerplay actually score a goal. It's zero for the last fifteen.

- 12 minutes left in the 3rd. Shots are 23-7 Flyers since start of 2nd period.

- Habs defense has really done an awful job today forwarding the puck. Markov can't come back fast enough.

- Flyers now 5 on 3 for 1:41. Um, goodbye streak. Goodbye.

- Well, managed to survive first 37 seconds. Insane crazy if the Habs can somehow survive this.

-  Gill is just a monster creating a gate in front of Price. You shall not pass. And Price a *brilliant* glove save to keep Philly from scoring. Incredible. Habs kill the penalties. Surely that'll give them some mo'.

- Cole the first good scoring chance for Habs since ... the first period? It really has been that bad today.

- Pierre LeBrun tweet: "Claude Giroux reminding Habs yet again today they might have been better off drafting him at 20th overall in 2006 instead of David Fischer. Giroux, a Habs fan growing up, of course went 22nd overall to Philadelphia that year." Yup. Flyers just haunt this team like crazy.

- Subban/St-Denis can't tell each other's left hand from their right. Goalpost keeps it 3-1.

- Habs offense showing a little life, but way to late to make any difference. Excluding the first period, their clocks were cleaned today.

- Powerplay has reverted to being a mess. The defense is making glaring mistakes and costly turnovers that good teams like the Flyers will often take advantage of. The offense, save the Cole line, was pretty quiet today. Just no spark, no jump, no energy. And it gets even more difficult tomorrow night facing Crosby and the Pens. If today's Habs play the same tomorrow night, it could get ugly fast.

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