Sunday, 27 January 2013

Game Four: Devils vs. Habs

Soooooo Martin Brodeur. We meet again one more time. All of those times we've faced off - all of the times we've sent you home in miserable defeat. Like that one time in 2008. And I think one other in 1997. Uh. That's all I got.

Oh well. Game on! The Devils, who are supposed to be terrible this season, haven't lost! Huh? The Habs, who are doing their best to totally ruin their relationship with their star young defenceman, have won two straight!

Something's gotta give.

First Period:

- Ryan White opens the scoring. A productive muscle line is such an enormous offensive boost for this team - I'd go so far to say as the White line goes, so too does this team.

- Price really has been outstanding so far - not a single weak shot has escaped him. At what point does he enter Vezina consideration? It's gonna happen one of these short years.

- Oh wow. Gallagher with his very first NHL off a beautiful cross-ice feed from Galchenyuk. The future is bright. Damn bright.

- Habs pp is currently ranked League 5th, which is about 25 spots better than this point last season. Most are (fairly) giving credit to #79, but I think Gionta also deserves a good portion of praise for the Habs resurgent specialty unit. Seems to have an extra step in his stride, and he's been fearless hovering around the crease.

- And with that extra step, Gionta draws yet another penalty. Habs go back to PP which has looked very sharp so far tonight.

- Diaz, who so far has been an excellent partner with Markov at the line, commits a clumsy turnover on the PP and gets a hook. Can't be perfect, I guess.

- Excellent first period. Could easily be 4-0 if it wasn't for Brodeur. Habs fine play, sparked by aggressive forechecking and pinpoint passing continues.

Second Period:

- Nifty deflection by Elias. Whatareyagonnado? 2-1.

- Devils with the jump so far in this period, and Habs, flat-footed, are getting penalties.

- Probably wayyyy to early to bring this up, but while Gionta turns a few heads, at what point do we start to query Eric Cole? Been harmless so far, shot not nearly as dangerous.

- Given that the kid has scored on the same kind of play, and he was facing Brodeur, Boullion probably should have passed off to Gallagher on that 2-on-1.

- Wretched Habs line change springs Kovalchuk into the open for easy breakaway. Price bails his mates out yet again.

- Gionta is a penalty-drawing machine. It's that extra step, I tells ya.

- Habs first PP looked fantastic. It has since rapidly returned to earth.

- Habs too cautious in that period, Devils had the initiative and were justly rewarded. One goal lead ain't gonna hold for 60 minutes. Habs must find some insurance in the 3rd.

Third Period:

- Oh Prust. You're already a fan favourite, and now a beaut mid air redirection past Brodeur, Galchenyuk *another* point. There's that insurance goal. Now let's play smart.

- Pacioretty's medical misfortune opens the door of redemption for Lars Eller, who seemingly tonight hasn't been able to locate the knob.

- Two errant high sticks second apart puts Devils on 5-3 for two whole minutes. Yikes.

- Gorges ain't no Hal Gill when it comes to shielding those cross crease passes. There goes the insurance goal. 3-2.

- Armstrong looking every bit a Maple Leaf on the PK. Easy zone clearance goes nowhere.

- Every time Galchenyuk carries the puck you sense that something special could happen. Just like the guy who used to wear his number.

- If Habs do hold on to win this, credit their neutral zone dominance tonight for playing a big role.

- Brodeur hasn't been very busy since the first period, but he is making quality saves giving his team a shot of pulling this one out of the fire.

- There it is. Shades of last year rear its ugly head again. Gorges is slow retrieving the puck behind his net, then fails to cover the crease, and Zubrus ties it up. Not a stellar night for the guy who is supposed to be the Habs most dependable defenceman.

- Rene Bourque. On a silver platter. Zero shot on net. Sigh.

- One point in the bag. Really shoulda been two.


- Andrei Markov. What else to say? He's magic. Also very early Norris trophy candidate. Habs win third straight.

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