Monday, 21 November 2011

Game Twenty-One: Bruins v. Habs

Well, hrumph. If it wasn't for the return of a certain centre who plays for a certain team from Pittsburgh, most eyes would be on Montreal tonight for the clash between two of the best playing teams in the League. Oh well, I'm staying focused on this one ... Oooh Crosby scores! Wow second shift, you see that!?!

Oh right. Anyway, What's not to like about tonight? Bruins have won 8 in a row, against the Habs who've won 8 of their last 11. Habs are 2-0-0 against the Bruuns, with Price now holding a shutout streak now past 132 minutes. Not to mention the Habs PK which is 31 for it's past 31, and hasn't surrendered a 5 on 4 goal since October 24 against the Penguins.

Oh yeah. The Penguins. Must. Not. Switch. Over.

With the Leafs coming back to earth (as expected), it's shaping up more and more to it being a three team race for first in the Division. Sabres, Bruins and Habs. It should be a great one tonight!

First Period:

- Chara pelted with boos. I've never understood the rationale behind this - what are the fans hoping for? That Chara's feelings will get hurt and he'll go home?

- Emelin with thunderous check on Lucic. Very nice.

- Plekanec brilliant deflection on point shot, puck floats over Thomas' right shoulder and just past the post.

- Bruins early PP opportunity. Habs streak put to the early test.

- Best chance to score on Bruins PP was by ... Moen, on lovely pass from Plekanec, just missed. Otherwise, another routine PK.

- Weber stick shattered into many pieces on that attempted shot from the line. Needs to look into another brand or model or something, this is happening too often.

- Habs far quicker, more aggressive team through first 12 minutes. Thomas keeping the fort up, but for how long?

- Passing amongst Habs forwards very sharp, tape to tape. Will be difficult to defend if they can maintain this accuracy.

- Gomez strong start, Martin has moved him up with Patioretty/Cole.

- Price overplays a shot by Ference from near the point, and poof goes the shutout streak. 1-0 Bruuuuns.

- Gomez doing everything you're supposed to do to score a goal - any goal - even a dirty goal, but it just ain't happening.

- Habs outplayed Boston in the period, but trail on the board. It happens.

Second Period:

- Cammalleri with a partial break, cupped the puck and was in the motion of releasing one of his usual dangerous wristers, from nowhere Chara flicks his stick and takes the puck away. He's not just big - he's good.

- Bit surprised with the speed advantage that the Habs forwards have failed to draw a penalty this far into the game.

- Gotta say the Eller/Gomez combo is working for me. But can either actually score?

- Officials steadfastly refusing to call interference tonight, even though there's been plenty around the Boston net.

- Price gonna give me cardiac arrest handling pucks with Bruins forwards literally 3 feet away.

- Habs PP. Finally. Martin sends Gomez out first line.

- Oh my. Gomez robbed deflecting shot by Cammalleri.

- No goals but plenty of quality chances. Lots of open nets hampered by bouncing puck. Luck not on Habs side yet.

- Bruins taking a couple of goon-esque penalties this period, the latest a cross check on Subban by Pouliot. Remember him?

- Oh man, Thomas unbeatable tonight, stoning Cammalleri point-blank. Are the Habs going to get Ryan Millered again?

Third Period:

- Is it irony or coincidence? Price's shutout streak ended at 132 minutes. If Thomas secures a shutout this period, his streak will stand at 133 minutes.

- Habs can't score on the 5 minute PP. At this point they need to just garbage one in. Don't think Thomas can be beaten any other way.

- Habs offense overthinking this one - Thomas getting in their heads. Beautiful cross ice pass spring Pacioretty all alone on Thomas. He doesn't pull the trigger looking to make one more pass.

- Thomas is inclined to give up rebounds. Just take the shots when you're presented opportunity, guys. Something's gotta give.

- Somebody's listening. Offense now taking their jabs at Thomas, no more pretty passes or perfect plays. The time for that has long passed.

- Emelin with an atrocious turnover at the Boston line leading to a Bruins breakaway. Still think he may be the odd guy out upon Markov's return.

- It hasn't been the fiercest Bruins/Habs battle ever, but losing this one will still be a bitter pill for Canadiens. They really have dominated, but Thomas just unbeatable.

- High drama. Bruins penalized with 1:39 left in 3rd.

- Thomas. Wow. Just. Wow.

- Habs end with a whimper. 6 on 4 PP totally disorganized.

- Shots on goal Habs 32, Bruins 18. The better team lost, but the winning team had Tim Thomas at the top of his game. Habs got Millered tonight.

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