Thursday, 1 December 2011

Game Twenty-Six: Habs v. Sharks

Habs continue their west coast road trip in San Jose fresh off today's rampant speculation that Markov has somehow reinjured his leg, and the timeline for his return has been set back. Would be wretched news for Habs Land if there was basis to the speculation.

Otherwise, after a rather unimpressively listless loss to the Ducks, tonight's game registers high on the importance scale. The Habs must maintain shouting distance of 8th place while it sorts through injury and personnel challenges.

First Period:

- Flight was a bit delayed in its landing so I'm a bit behind on the posts. Rather conservative first half of first period with both team defenses bring very cautious around the slot.

- Excellent awareness by Subban as he spots a wide open Cammalleri in front of the Sharks net for a tip in. 1-0 Habs.

- Another let-down give up goal by Habs (happening way too often this year), with Gill chasing the puck carrier behind the net, and Weber caught completely flat-footed in front of Price. McGinn an easy one. Game tied.

- Emelin with a brilliant open ice hit on Pavelski. Quite possibly the hardest check thrown by anyone wearing a CH this season.

- Canadiens with a excellent PP, had the Sharks on the ropes, but simply couldn't find a finish. Heard that story enough?

Second Period:

- Gionta very slow to get up after blocking a shot near the faceoff circle to the left of Price.

- Habs really doing a fine job tonight (as they have much of the season) shot blocking. Gionta back on the ice.

- Desharnais finally hits the scoresheet again (seems like forever) off a pretty feed from Cole. Really, the supposed producers need to emerge if this team is to remain competitive in it's Division, or it'll be tough stay in the race.

- And here we go again, just as soon as this team scores, it suffers yet another defensive breakdown, this time Emelin leaving his position via a puck chase he ought not have taken, and Couture is left all alone to snap one past Price. Weber now -2.

- Price pretty much stole he Sharks 3rd goal, this time from Thornton. Canadiens defense really coming apart in the period.

- Gill/Diaz caught flat-footed, Marleau nearly putting Sharks ahead. I know Martin is trying to find effective combinations at the line, but the switcheroos with Gill are going nowhere.

- Full marks with Eller for effort tonight. Had the Sharks D chasing the wind on his last shift.

Third Period:

- Seems like it doesn't matter who he's paired with, when you're on a line with Erik Cole good things happen. Tonight's recipient is Desharnais, who makes a nice pass to Cole who, like any proven goal scorer, is in an excellent scoring position around the net. This time he flips it home and gives Habs the lead. But for how long will they hold it?

- Habs badly lacking that killer instinct this year. They really need to find it now to finish off a top flight team like San Jose.

- I strongly suggest Martin shorten Habs blue line to four for the last 6 minutes. At the very least, no Weber, please.

- Diaz came off the bench on a change way too early, the crowd howled for a call, none came.

- Sharks really pushing hard for the game tying goal. Habs basically hanging on here.

- Cole demolished by huge clean hit near centre ice. He looks dazed and confused on the bench.

- Two minutes left. Can they hold on?

- Nope. With 86 seconds left, Price gives up the juicy rebound on a relatively routine shot by Couture, Clowe cashes in, and the killer instinct fail burns the Habs yet again.

- Sharks relentless. Now looking for the win, applying lots of pressure. This is what we need, but clearly do not have. Simply lack depth on offense, what else is there to say?


- It appears my wish was granted. Weber hasn't sniffed a shift since past halfway mark of 3rd.

- Gorges getting double shifted. Martin playing a hunch?

- Price doing cartwheels in OT. I'm sure he's just as mad at himself as anyone for the game tying goal.

- Wow. Cole to Emelin of all players, and he launched an absolute missile that Niemi just barely got a piece of. So close.

- Habs were Keystone Cops last 30 seconds in their own zone. Extremely lucky to get to a shootout.

- Leblanc has played strong tonight for Habs. Let him take a shot!! I kid.

- Clowe trying to go 3 for 3 this year. And he ... fails. Oh well.

- Cammi square off the iron. Sigh.

- Havlet a beauty hesitation move paralyzed Price to set up Sharks lead. But Gionta keeps Habs alive.

- Safe to say the shootout isn't Price's thing?

- Wow. Gut check time. Now Desharnais keeps Habs alive.

- OMG. Moen in a shootout? No, no, no. Had the chance to win, and you go with Moen? Another point slips away. Double sigh.

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