Friday, 23 March 2012

Game Seventy-Five: Sens v Habs

HAPPY FRIDAY. HAPPIER GAME DAY! So the Oilers managed to pick up a point last night, moving them ever-so-closer to 28th, and us to 29th. Life is good! Can't hardly wait for Partrick Roy, or Brisebois, or Mcguire, or any of the growing list of mainly unqualified (but french speaking!) candidates who are being pegged to be the club's next General Manager. Assuming of course, that Gauthier is fired, or steps down.

Patrick Roy ... General Manager. Can I just take the next three years off and cry while curled up in a ball in the corner of that white padded room?

But seriously, there really is only one prize in this year's draft, and it's Nail Yakupov. The dropoff between Yakupov and everyone else is pretty darned steep. So assuming that the Habs aren't so fortunate as to move up the ladder via the lottery, there really isn't going to be a whole lot gained from finishing 29th, or 28th, or 26th. There is no "big" number 2 this year. Either you win Yakupov, or you're getting somebody else.

Finishing ahead of the Leafs would be a pretty decent consolation prize, no? It can happen. It could be done!

ANYWAY ... tonight ... it's Friday! And the Habs are playing ... at home? On Friday? For only the 2nd time in some 40 years. It's true! Don't believe me? Well according to TEAM 990 ... that almost un-listenable assault on the ears that passes for a radio station, the Habs (this is actually from them) "host a rare Friday night regular season game tonight as they take on the Ottawa Senators. The last time that happened was December of 2004, the night of the teams centennial."

Thing is, the Habs didn't actually exist in 1904. But that's a fact! Sport talk stations don't deal in that FACT stuff, you know. Sheesh!

Carey Price will start tonight.

First Period:

- Barely time to tweet the blog and Cole beats Anderson with a weakish wrister glove side. Cole now just two away from 30.

- And Cole makes it 29 cleaning up a misplayed point shot. Anderson not looking very sharp. Habs on their way.

- Anderson gets the hook.

- Oh my god. Erik Cole.

- And barely 8 minutes in Nokelanien joins the parade. It's already a route. Senators simply terrible in the transition, and protecting their crease. You'd think they'd be motivated tonight.

- Cole was an eyelash away from scoring his 4th in the period.

- Bourque is constantly fed passes by his linemates in front of the net and he constantly fails to have his stick on the ice to receive or redirect the puck in.

- White tried to bank on off of Bishop's foot from behind the net. White is now claiming the puck crossed the line.

- Showing replay. White has a good argument. This may count.

- Nope. White chuckles sarcastically. I think Sens caught a break there.

- Classic example there of Weber's ongoing troubles with speedy forwards, as he takes down Spezza.

- Subban shaken up by rough play by Greening in the corner.

- Cole have a career period here. Ought to have five by now.

- Spezza gets the Sens in the board late, and the comeback is on.

- What is Neil's problem? He's going nuts trying to get at White? Leblanc?

Second Period:

- How big is that White goal waived off going to be? Looks like Alfredsson's deflection won't count but really ... could easily see this one slipping away.

- Heh. Cole maybe feeling it a bit too much, attempting to beat Anderson (back in goal) from behind the line. One in a thousand odds.

- Sens are kinda all over the Habs in the 2nd. Forechecking is more aggressive, winning battles for most pucks. They really only need one more before the end of this frame to get back into it. Heaven knows we won't be tallying much more against Anderson - not playing like this.

- Not sure what happened to Weber there. Just went down in a heap sans any sort of contact.

- Pretty sure now it's White that's caught the ire of the Sens. He seems to be the target with his every shift. Ottawa in danger of taking dumb penalties here.

- White gets sent to the box - for what violation is a mystery. However Habs do pick up a PP.

- Markov beautiful slap pass to Campoli, who is about the last guy you want out there to finish that kind of play.

- Pacioretty with some blazing speed down the wing. Cole again coming within a eyelash of getting his 4th.

- Rough shift for the linesman - feet broke up a Habs rush and then missed an icing call.

- Staubitz with how NOT to carry a 3-on-2 break.

- Cunneyworth was just begging to get burned sending Staubitz out there with a little more than a minute left in the frame against the Spezza line.

- Pretty lopsided period for the Sens - Habs extremely fortunate to have not allowed a goal. Largely due to Price (as usual).

Third Period:

- Sens picking up where they left off - almost all the play so far in the Canadiens' zone.

- Not sure how the heck Eller shot that in from such a terrible angle, but he did. Habs can breath easy now.

- Sens have visibly downshifted since the Eller goal. They know the jig is up.

- I know Neil is the Sens' tough guy, but he sure plays a dumb enforcement game. The reactionary stuff keeps setting the Sens back.

- And Neil gets the boot. Not that it really matters at this stage. The point being Neil goes off his rocker in response to clean hard checks, this time by Blunden. This won't help Ottawa much in a playoff game situation.

- Sens going off the rails. They're probably just as mad at themselves for blowing off a great chance for two easy points.

- I think it's fair to speculate that if it wasn't for his terrible shot, Subban could easily be a 20 goal scoring defenseman.

- Safe to say the hopes for 29th are virtually now extinct. Fine then. Let's at least finish ahead of the Leafs.

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