Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Game Seventy-Four: Habs v Sabres

So let's make this fast. LEAFS ARE TERRIBLE. But we already knew that. Still, so much fun to watch 'em self destruct towards a ninth straight year with naught a playoff game in sight.

So yay that! What's the other big thing ... something about Patrick Roy being our next coach or GM or Executive Vice President of Player Personnel something or the other ... or maybe all three. Whatever. That's a recipe for disaster. I can't believe that the Canadiens' brass would even entertain giving a loose cannon so much firm control over what we think is still the most esteemed franchise in hockey history.

Don't do it Mr. Molson. Step away from the crazy machine, and don't push that button.

TONIGHT it's our boys against the Sabres. It's a big game for Buffalo - a win tonight will move them into a tie for 8th place in the East. It's even bigger for us. A win tonight will move us into ... a ... tie ... for .. uh ... 14th place. Woot?

Actually a win will move us to within a point of leapfrogging the Leafs for (maybe last?) place! LET'S DO THIS.

First Period:

- Not surprisingly the Sabres come out fast - they want this one bad.

- Staubitz does basically all he's capable of - picks a fight his first shift against McCormick, and will probably sit on a bench the rest of the night. And so it goes.

- Is it too much to dream that Bourque might actually be showing up for this game? Decent first shift there.

- Palushaj looked bad/slow there, and Price surrenders a rare wrap-around goal to Hodgson. Sabres score first.

- If the knock on Desharnais is that he passes too much, the knock on Bourque (among others) must surely be he shoots too much. But then passing was never one of his strengths (among others).

- Heckova check by Desharnais there - not a hook, just stick on stick.

- Habs in tough tonight. Sabres are hell bent on getting to 8th spot.

Second Period:

- Sloppy defensive coverage, Campoli wanders far away from the crease, and Weber way too soft as the Sabres swarm the crease. 2-0. This could get really ugly.

- Making the mission even more unpossible, Miller is on his game tonight. Eeek.

- Habs just totally outgunned. Offense incapable of getting anything moving. I'll be shocked if one gets past Miller tonight.

- Good penalty to take there by Roy there with a hook on Campoli. Probably saved a goal.

- Remember how I noted that Bourque had a strong first shift? Well, that was it. Show up, skate hard for a minute, rest for the night, collect your check the next day. Pretty sweet deal.

- Lackluster period, Sabres more or less on cruise control at this point. Habs no real threat to score. Might as well file this in the L slot.

Third Period:

- For the bazillionth time Lars Eller takes an undisciplined hooking call in the offensive zone, right in front of the official. Eller's next big step is a hockey IQ improvement. Don't matter how good your skating and skills might be - if you play dumb you'll never improve.

- Price being the consummate professional here holding the Sabres at bay. Would be very easy (and forgivable) to just toss the towel in.

- Really don't see the point of playing Staubitz at this stage of the game, and yet there he is, taking a very bad interference penalty.

- Price one of the few who showed up tonight for the Habs. He had no chance tonight. Not behind this team.

- Sabres score to salt this away. Funny how the stupidest penalties seem to lead to a goal for the other guys.

- Habs record since the coaching change drops to 15-21-6. That pace works out to a 71 point season ("good" or bad enough to be positioned for the 2nd draft pick). Habs still have a good shot - just 3 points ahead of Edmonton, the Oilers have a game in hand.

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