Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Game Twenty-Two: Habs v. 'Canes

A reprieve tonight? What with two brutal games heading this way, Philadelphia on Friday and Crosby and the Pens on Saturday, the Habs would be well advised to make short work on the same team they easily handled a week ago.

First Period:

- Ha. Oh wow. A routine shoot-in towards Price somehow gets behind him. Price panics, flops, and knocks the puck into the net. Possibly deflected. Matters not, that shouldn't happen in the NHL.

- If it helps, this isn't the first time Price has let in a very weak/freak goal early, but usually he bounces back with a strong game. Perhaps he bears down to make up for his error. He'll need to now.

- Very weak checking behind the net by Subban, Plekanec comes back to "help", leaving his man (Stewart) unchecked in front, 2-0. Price reeling.

- Habs complain that the play should have been blown dead seconds before the 'Canes second goal, as the puck was resting on the top of the net. Not sure if he rulebook specifies that the play should immediately be blown dead. Gotta look that one up.

- Suppose it's all moot. Bottom line Subban, Gorges and Plekanec were standing around, out of position, not doing their job.

- Game has settled down a bit. Cam Ward is giving up some pretty juicy rebounds (as usual), so there is opportunity to be had.

- Gionta/Moen/Gomez line playing strongest so far.

- Would be nice if Habs forwards were a bit bigger and stronger to take advantage of all these Ward rebounds.

- Apart from the two atrocious goals scored by Carolina, pretty even period. 'Canes just 5 measly shots.

Second Period:

- Over/under when the Habs PK streak is finally broken? I'm thinking Saturday night.

- Pacioretty with break down left side, ideal spot for any sharpshooter, Ward routine pad save. Blah.

- Gill VERY routine shot from the line, and Ward surrenders the juiciest of juicy rebounds. No Habs forwards nearby to cash in. Com'on guys.

- Subban looked like Gill skating back to cover a rush, Gorges forced to take a penalty.

- Carolina ALL messed up in their zone on the PP, mass confusion and turnovers eventually lead to easy Eller shorthanded goal (off a juicy rebound!!) ... and it's 2-1.

- Considering that the 2nd goal wasn't his fault, Price has been very steady since giving up that weird first goal. The Habs maintain a very good chance of pulling this one out of the fire if he can maintain the focus.

- Nice tripping call on Skinner who tripped up Emelin to spring a 'Canes break. Kudos to the officials when they do their job well.

- Weber on the left point PP just ain't working for me. Hasn't for close to a month. He's just too careless handling the puck or taking a shot.

- 'Canes PP. Streak end here? Hope not, that would be a dagger through the heart.

- Price incredible toe save off deflected shot from the point. He makes it look so easy.

- Habs win the period, although their defense was rather soft at times covering in front of Price. Game still very winnable.

Third Period:

- And there it is. Just 27 seconds into the period, and Cammalleri tips in a point shot to tie the game up. Yup. Very winnable now.

- Ward really struggling to handle the puck around his crease. 'Canes D also playing the slot very soft. The iron is hot.

- Habs defense AWOL on Brandon Sutter goal deflected off his right skate. Not a banner night for the blue line. 3-2 'Canes.

- Yikes. They're coming fast and furious. Moen with yet another deflected point shot - unstoppable. 3-3.

- Gorges hits the post, his second within the past three minutes of play.

- Gomez has not been seen this period. Speculation is he's injured again.

- RDS guys just mentioned Gomez is done for the night. The obvious question is whether he's aggravated his previous shoulder injury.

- Eller promoted to fill Gomez' spot on the Gionta line.

- By the way, Palushaj is in the lineup tonight, he played one shift, seemingly did something awful, and has been benched since. How bad could it have been to shorten your bench so early in a game?

- Really, with Gomez done, and the Palushaj benching, you have Nokelainen sitting unable to be paired with anyone. Ergo, you've cornered yourself down to three lines. It doesn't need to be that way.

- Wayyyyyyy too early writing this, but if this goes to a shootout, do you want Price in net?

- Ut-oh. Moen draws an interference. Can we please wait 48 hours for the streak to end? Please?

- Nokelainnen gets a shift .. on the PK.

- Subban with lots of stumbles, slow skating, poor passes, soft coverage tonight. Best this just be filed under 'O' for 'off night'.

- Habs count is now 36-for-36. Getting ridiculous.

- 3:27 from grinding at least a point out of this one. Gladly will take that.

- Gorges/Subban running around in their zone *again*. Price bails them out.

- Gorges sent out, but this time paired with Gill.

- Last minute Martin sends out Emelin/Diaz. That's giving the kids a nice vote of confidence.

- We'll take the point. Coming away with two would be major bonus.


- Reminder: Price hasn't stopped a shot in the shootout this season. Ergo, Habs have 5 minutes to win this.

- Subban zero confidence with his shot. Been set up on a tee three times tonight and each time he hesitated and coughed up the puck.

- Heckova pace in OT. And Ward absolutely saved the game robbing Gionta on beauty pass from Cole with 20 seconds left.

- Oh dear. Shootout. Pull Price. Pull Price. Ahhh. Who am I kidding, it'd never happen.

- On the whole, Price has been pretty solid tonight. Surely he'll do better this time.

- Price: 1-for-1. Whew.

- Price: 2-for- 2. Barely.

- Gionta!!!!!!

- Price: 3-for-3! Attaboy.

- We'll take the win, thank you. Less than 48 hours for a tough Friday afternoon game in Philly. Now I have to figure out how to slip away from the office. Hmmmm.

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