Friday, 24 February 2012

Game Sixty-Two: Habs v Caps

Happy game day!! Did you know if the draft were held today, we'd probably pick 3rd overall! Isn't that great? It's been an incredible season in Montreal. Even when we lose, we win. Everyone happy!

Well, I guess not everyone's happy. The Caps' Roman Hamrlik has a sad :o( ... poor Roman got benched by the League's craziest temporary coach Dale Hunter for taking a questionable penalty last week (relatively meaningless as the Caps were already well headed towards ANOTHER loss), and in response, the Hammer kinda threw his supervisor under the team bus.

OH ROMAN. A few months ago you probably thought you'd just signed yourself up for a sure-fire Stanley Cup ring, didn't you?

I just LOVE that page. Let's link it again, shall we?

ANDREI MARKOV GETTING CLOSE: So right now I'm watching the Habs do their morning skate in Washington, and guess who I see out there practicing with the boys? One Andrei Markov.

Markov was doing some pretty intense stops and starts, so that's a pretty good sign that he's ... getting ... close to a return?

TRADE SPECULATIONS: So the latest banter around the "insiders" is that the Habs have made significant inquiries about the Jackets' centre Derick Brassard. He'd fit the bill - local boy from Hull done good. Get that francophone quota up to an "acceptable" level. If you're going to be a losing team in Montreal, at least be a losing team with plenty of french speaking players! Then it doesn't matter, see?

But yeah ... if you're thinking Brassard is the heir apparent to Martin St. Louis ... welll ... er ... that's not likely.

But it's worth asking, I guess. Not sure what the Jackets are demanding or how difficult they are at the negotiating table (although they DID get fleeced yesterday by the Kings in the Carter trade ... so ... maybe?)

- Habs just wrapping up their morning skate - Markov was the 5th last guy to leave the ice, did some intense stretching at the bench just before exiting to the dressing room.

First Period:

- So Ovi returns tonight, which two years ago would have struck fear into the hearts of most Habs fans. How tines have changed.

- So Kostitsyn gets a "promotion" to the Plekanec line. Whether it's Cunneyworth's attempt to get him scoring, or the organization's attempt to showcase his abilities is anyone's guess.

- Um, yeah, Rene - you can't bodycheck the other guy's goaltender.

- Diaz lucky to not get an interference call on that Caps PP rush.

- Even with Gill's departure the Habs PK still looks very good.

- Caps' forwards making many attempts to carry the puck to the slot, Habs defense so far having little trouble swatting them away.

- Price with outstanding lateral motion keeping Washington off the scoreboard.

- Kaberle. Just. So. Ridiculously. Soft. In front of his net. Easy goal for Perreault. 1-0 Washington.

- Even if Kaberle were making no more than $1M a year, the Habs still probably wouldn't find a taker. He's our next "Gomez" as far as problems are concerned.

- Kostitsyn-related news: Just announced that Hemsky has resigned with Edmonton, which takes another potential forward off the trade market.

- Hemsky gets $5 million per, which is kind of crazy high. Can't blame him for grabbing that offer.

- Subban made the commitment to block that rush. If he misses, it's a 3-0 break for the Caps.

- Quite maddening to watch this team's offense flail around like a carp in a boat against a mediocre team like the Caps. How to explain it?

- Emelin's checks are fearsome. His shots ... not so much.

- Subban with an interception at his line, turns puck up ice and would have been part of a 3 on 2 break if he didn't peel away and retreat.

- Laugh or cry? It's now 235+ minutes and counting since Habs have scored on Washington.

Second Period:

- An NHL forward of average skill and ability would have easily put that puck in the back of that open net. Scott Gomez on the other hand ...

- Emelin called for a trip. The reply clearly shows he merely made body contact on Ovechkin. Bad call.

- Price with some superb goaltending on this Caps PP.

- Most of the play on Habs half of the ice. Second Caps goal seems inevitable.

- Shots are 4-4 in the period? The shot keeper must be dozing off.

- Eller with a bad giveaway, Emelin and Diaz completely asleep at the line, and the Caps Chimera scores.

- And now Ovechkin. Habs, all of them, standing around. Price with a total reaction of disgust. For good reason. He kept his team in this game and nobody responded.

- Unacceptable turn of events here. First the errors that lead to Chimera's goal - that kind of thing happens, but the response, which was a total team meltdown - simply not acceptable. Cunneyworth must start benching.

- White having maybe one of worst NHL games ever, -3 tonight. Also, Eller -2, Emelin -2, Gomez -2.

- Cole called for a pick. Looked incidental, but at this point, doesn't really matter.

- Habs chances of drafting as high as second overall taking a major step forward tonight.

- Kostitsyn with Desharnais and Pacioretty. Doubt that'll do much to light a fire.

- Over/under on Habs scoring ... I mean, actually scoring once on the Caps? I'm taking under.

Third Period:

- What is there to say, really? Game was over at 3-0. Actually 2-0. Habs did manage to score one goal (yay?) while shorthanded no less (I swear this team is more dangerous a man down than it is a man up) but otherwise Caps shot down an incompetent team. Fish in a barrel.

As stated before, team takes major step towards clinching #2 pick in the draft. 

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