Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Game Seventy-Seven: Panthers v Habs

What's to say? Habs can take a huge step towards securing that 29th spot (and a 19% chance of moving up to the number 1 spot) with a loss tonight.

Conversely, Habs can pull just behind the Leafs in the standings with a win.

Meh. I'm torn.

Carey Price will start.

First Period:

- Amazes me how they still pack 'em the arena for a season gone so terribly wrong.

- Panthers' transition already visibly better - which doesn't say much when you consider how badly ours performs on any given night.

- Plekanec buzzing around, but his linemates ... he's got nothing to work with.

- Price wearing that awesome mask tonight. I'd say he best throw the others away and just play with that one for the rest of his career.

- Sleep-inducing action so far. Puck very bouncy, ice conditions don't look very good.

- Price is an NHL goaltender. He's gotta stop that.

- Cole with his 31st - they won't come much easier than that.

- With that goal Cole sets a career high for goals in a season. Too bad it's been wasted on a losing team.

- Is there anyone in the NHL that moves faster laterally than Price? I think not.

- Forgettable period. As anticipated.

Second Period:

- Should be interesting to see if St-Denis and Weber fight it out this September for that 6-7 spot.

- Like the Sens game, I'm surprised by the opposition effort. The Panthers are fighting for a playoff spot, but I just don't see a lot of urgency in their play.

- Palushaj doesn't lack effort, but his approach is so bull-in-a-china-shop that he fails to convert opportunities into quality setups and shots. It's youth, I know, but it's his most glaring weakness. No top 6 future unless and until his decision making improves.

- Just 3 shots this period. Seems about right. Lineup is just so thin right now, it's a credit that the game is even tied.

- Maddening for the Panthers. St-Denis with a sweet pass to Leblanc who makes an outrageous move on Clemmensen, and the Habs take an undeserved lead.

Third Period:

- If I'm a Panthers fan I'm definitely miffed by the score and my team's effort, especially considering how precious and important a win is tonight against the 2nd worst team in the League.

- That said, will Florida storm the gates in this period?

- They're looking for deflections, but Panthers taking way too many 60 foot shots on Price.

- White lost his balance in that tilt, and Gudbranson could have easily delivered a KO punch, but held back. Credit to him.

- Low percentage tries on Price, Florida needs to do better than that - and fast.

- To the Habs credit they're really covering the zone nicely, basically surrendering Florida long range tries, but not much else.

- Very quiet, almost uninvolved night for Markov.

- Florida hasn't opened up much - a surprising strategy given that the Habs really only have one scoring line going right now.

- Opening up not required. A 60 footer by Samuelsson which Price either was screened by, or just plain missed high glove side. That's two tonight. Caps shaking their fists in spite.

- Panthers now gunning for the W.

- Yet another poor clearance by Habs resulting in a delay of game call.

- Should I be cheering for one more Florida goal? Another loss would get us really close to clamping down 29th.

- Oh well. We move to within 3 of the Leafs (at least).


- Wow. Florida has an even worse record than us. Just one win during the 5 minute period in 15 extras this year for the Panthers.

- One goalpost for Florida. So close.

- Subban and then Pacioretty with world-class rushes. Can't quite convert on Clemmensen.

- Panthers netminder coming up big and keeping them in this.

- Shootout. My least favorite part of hockey.

- Cunneyworth once again with questionable shootout choices (Leblanc?). Soooo ... yay we lose! (?)

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