Saturday, 24 March 2012

Game Seventy-Six: Habs v Flyers

Not a whole lot of pre-game stuff to cover - looks like Weber is out for awhile following last night's strange injury, so St-Denis will get his chance to demonstrate his fill-in capabilities.

Budaj the start. Not much riding on the game, really. Playing in Philadelphia has long been a losing proposition - so a win tonight we be just for satisfaction.

First Period:

- Relatively good start for the Habs - they're playing pretty loose and relaxed, Budaj has benefited from pretty good zone protection limiting Philadelphia from shots mainly from 40+ feet. Flyers also looking a bit sluggish. So far, so good.

- Hmm okay. That works? Hartnell makes an appeal to the official and only then is Plekanec penalized for a high stick (that I couldn't see).

- Accordingly, Flyers score off the draw.

- Correction. Plekanec called for a slash. Now White enters the box. If the Philly powerplay is on, this game could be over pretty quickly.

- Another empty net chance missed by Bourque. Losing count on season total.

- Just announced and showed Chris Pronger in the stands, crowd gives him loud and emotional standing ovation.

- First could have been worse - Habs giving it the college try, but can't see how the undermatched Flyers don't start to pull and put this one away next period.

Second Period:

- That was a beautiful move by Plekanec, but an even sweeter pass by Eller to spring him free.

- Flyers defense getting a little complacent here, Cole sprung for a break, can't beat Bryzgalov.

- Habs completely disorganized and overwhelmed by Flyers top line, Emelin finally takes a trip.

- Plekanec's second break in Bryzgalov not nearly as pretty. Flyers REALLY sloppy and very lucky they're not behind on the scoreboard.

- Bah. Funny that. They score the other way, another point shot eludes Budaj, Campoli (why is he on the PK?) way too soft as two Flyer forwards were behind him and in front of Budaj creating a screen.

- Still don't think the Flyers have the netminder required to go far in the playoffs, but that's a very old story.

- Flyers for too many men.

- Maybe it's just an instinctual reaction, but I've noticed Markov lifting and tucking his leg when opposing players wind up in front of him to take a shot. It must be just a protective reaction, but it also worries me that maybe he's not 100% down there.

- Flyers put three across the line on the PK, yet Plekanec tries to carry the zone. No, no.

- Totally listless PP there.

- Erik Cole's impeccable work ethic draws a Flyers penalty. Let's see if this one is any better (surely can't be worse).

- Giroux making Bourque look ridiculous with that backcheck. Bourque just plain didn't fight, didn't try to protect the puck.

- And the answer is yes, it could be worse.

- That's what a good transition can do. Bourque took his sweet time getting off the ice for a change, and Bryzgalov fed the open wing springing Briere who beats Budaj top corner. All three Flyers goals scored on the powerplay.

- I know I sound like a broken record singling out Bourque for all of his sloppy mistakes and generally half-hearted efforts, but it's just so glaringly apparent, not to mention totally unacceptable, that I can't help it. The guy is a basketcase and an anchor on this team. Most clubs wouldn't put up with this nonsense. The leash must be short next year.

- Classy Philadelphia. That goal was scored well after the period buzzer sounded AND clearly waived off by the ref, but the sound guy still couldn't resist blowing that annoying goal horn. This is why I hate losing to this city and this team.

- Coaching switches gone very, very right. RDS just put up a graphic, the Blues have lost just 13 regulation games in the 62 games since Hitchcock took over. Wow.

Third Period:

- Subban with a silly roughing penalty, totally undisciplined.

- Habs PK box all out of wack tonight - one big reason why the Flyers have feasted with the man advantage.

- Can't fault Budaj thought. No bad goals surrendered, he's also made some pretty tough saves, especially so far in this third.

-Simmonds called for a trip but I think the Habs have thrown that away with retaliation.

- Oh I see why. Simmonds delivered a slash after he got called. White came in to settle matters. Hans ought to get a PP from this.

- Yup. Simmonds with the extra two for the slash.

- Now Bryzgolav with a trip and Habs get two man advantage. Let's see what they can do with a pretty big opportunity.

- Cunneyworth should call time to keep his best out there. Instead the Flyers call for time.

- Subban really making bad decisions on this two-maner.

- Pretty much a disaster for Markov/Subban team there. Neither really took command of the situation, and Subban's shooting was atrocious. Even more than usual. Opportunity blown.

- Just can't beat Bryzgolav. Still don't think he'll get the Flyers far in the playoffs.

- I think this has been Budaj's best start of the year. He's deserving more than the L headed his way.

- Flyers fans with mock Ole cheers at the Habs' expense. I really truly dislike Philadelphia and thief fans. Really do.

- Cherry on top, White blows coverage, and Read tips a nice cross-crease pass in.

- Never had a chance. Not this year's team against the Flyers. So it's just a loss. Can't lose sleep over this. Drive for 29 still alive.

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