Friday, 6 January 2012

Game Forty-One: Lightening v. Habs

Oh wow, is it the halfway mark already? Seems like only recently that dreams were had by many in Habs Land of our beloved Canadiens challenging the Bruins for a Division title.

So yeah ... 9-0 last night. Is there any point in playing the other 41 games? Just print the Bruins their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final, and be done with it.


First Period:

- Eller and Kostitsyn picking up where they left off, the former setting the later up nicely in front of the Bolts' net.

- Old Habs (granted there are so many on Tampa) come back to haunt as Moore shoots from an impossible angle and it somehow squeaks past Price (deflected?). 1-0.

- Just a horrible turnover by Kaberle passing it up the middle from behind his net. Very fortunate that Tampa failed to convert.

- Now it's Subban's turn to make a careless turnover, this time to Stamkos. Gorges with some big hustle to check the puck away.

- Cammalleri strong period, skating well, creating chances. What few we've seen from the Habs this period.

- Eller/Kostitsyn/Moen line continues to click, a sweet tic-tac-toe passing play, Moen deflecting a great pass from Kostitsyn off the post.

- Cammalleri denied a near certain scoring chance via a hold. Habs head to the PP.

- Habs offense showing signs of life last 5 minutes of the first, but Tampa the better team.

Second Period:

- Eller is flying. Generates a fine chance shorthanded carrying from his own zone.

- 4th line scoring! Gill a shot from the line and Blunden cashes in the rebound for his first of the year. Game tied.

- Price with a spectacular save on St Louis, and moments later Pacioretty snaps one past Garon to end a month long scoring drought, to give the Habs the lead. Tampa calls time.

- Emelin tossing St Louis into the corner, rag doll style, with a hit. He's made so many great strides since the start of the year, including his physical game.

- Canadiens outhitting, outchecking, outhustling and covertly, outscoring the Bolts in the 2nd.

Third Period:

- Oh my gosh, Kostitsyn with the puck on a sting with some dazzling moves and nearly scoring goal of the year. What's gotten into him lately? He's looked like Pavel Bure the past two games.

- They haven't hit the scoresheet yet but the Eller line causing all kinds of headaches for Tampa's defense.

- Habs continuing to work hard into the third, a stark difference from most of this year where the tendency has been to shell up and hope for the best.

- Wonder if Campoli/Gill will get a shift in the final 10 minutes of the period?

- Another strong shift for the Eller line. That's about 14 in a row for them.

- Habs continuing to force the play. Let's see how the one goal lead in the third plays out? I'm of the mind this is the kind of hockey the team ought to have been playing all those games earlier this year where the lead was surrendered late. 12 minutes left, but Habs are very much in control.

- Don't want to do the broken record thing, but Emelin is a hitting monster. Habs best D tonight.

- If Tampa loses it won't be because of Garon, who's kept his outworked team in this.

- Pyatt misses on a great opportunity all alone in front of Price. Some things never change!

- Gill/Campoli indeed get a shift with less than 8 minutes left.

- Don't think Cunneyworth is matching his lines, just rotating top three in order, 4th has virtually zero time this period.

- 5 minutes left, like before Habs still have this under control, even with the one goal lead.

- Cammalleri nearly took Gionta's face off with a shot in.

- Cunneyworth now double shifting Eller line, who've again been the best tonight (even without scoring).

- Less than two minutes left, Diaz/Emelin sent out.

- 1:26 left, Tampa has no time out as they burned it attempting to curb Habs onslaught in the second.

- Gorges/Subban out to finish, no surprise.

- Eek, and Gorges makes a mistake by icing the puck.

- Tampa coaches making a desperate attempt to send out instructions, don't think the players heard.

- Pacioretty hauled down trying to shoot into the empty net. That should do it.

- Yup. That's it. Desharnais seals it with a nice backhander, Cole mops up.

- Now THAT is how you win a close game. Do you think this team is finally "getting" it? Impressive win tonight.

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