Saturday, 2 February 2013

Game Seven: Sabres vs. Habs

More in a bit, but P.K. has just been announced as a starter today. Yay.

Ryan White gets a scratch. Hopefully next time he'll think twice before mouthing off at the net. Carey Price will start between the pipes. Duh.

More in a bit.

First Period:

- Habs get early PP, Markov and Diaz paired, Subban remains on the bench.

- Desharnais very unnecessary hold there. When will the funk end?

- Tenuous, close-checking start first 6 minutes, Habs shots all from the parameter, easy shots for Miller.

- Diaz isn't particularly mobile at the line, as least keeping the pucks inside the zone.

- If Habs PP continues to sputter, will Therrien match P.K. With Andrei?

- Still baffled how Bourque, 5 feet from the goal, can miss the shot by six feet.

- Habs buzzing around Miller, but still haven't been able to muster a quality challenging shot on the Sabres' netminder.

- Took 11 minutes, but Sabres finally register a shot.

- Jeebs, let's hope the next 45 minutes are more uptempo. Almost unbearably tight checking hockey so far.

- Eller was put out Habs 2nd shift. Don't think he's been out until now, with 4:30 left.

- Habs doing an exceptional job blocking Buffalo's shots. Price never had it so easy.

- Too soon to call Desharnais/Cole/Eller combo the Lost Line? 'Cause that's what they look like.

- Bourque another fine effort, just can't seem to finish.

- And finally Bourque delivers going hard to the net. Entirely deserved. 1-0.

- Habs owned the period, Sabres pathetically registered one one shot. Key to finally put one past Miller to come away with a clear period win. Sabres will almost certainly come out with a response in the 2nd, Habs must anticipate and defend accordingly.

Second Period:

- As expected Sabres come out strong, but struggling to complete passes. Canadiens bring very aggressive in their zone, not allowing Buffalo forwards much room or time to wind for a shot.

- Gallagher to Galchenyuk to Gallagher to Galchenyuk. But it hits a defender's leg and trickles in and Galchenyuk gets his 3rd. Nifty goal by two very young and dynamic wingers. 2-0.

- Armstrong a little too casual on the PK and nearly costs a goal. Be interesting to see if he gets any more specialty unit time today.

- Sabres may not have scored on the man advantage but it's given their offense some wings. Next goal will be critical in determining the final outcome of the game.

- Plekanec exasperated with the linesmen at the faceoff circle who have tossed him out three times so far in the game.

- Subban's penalty is all on Kaberle, not to mention the difficult save required by Price. Kaberle's main argument for making the lineup card is that he benefits the PP. Not helping his cause much.

- Sabres definitely have responded, but Price remains razor sharp.

- Goalpost hit by Buffalo one end, Sabres caught flat footed on the transition, and finally, finally, Desharnais cracks the scoring list.

- Speaking of, welcome to the club Lars Eller. The Sabres defense is waving the flag as the gate is opened wide on the wing, and Habs are threatening to make this a blowout. 4-0.

- Buffalo in total zone chaos. Really should be 5-0 now.

- Habs blue line super aggressive with the pinch, even up by four goals. Odd approach, certainly not necessary at this stage.

- Eller with a phantom tripping penalty. Gotta make this somewhat interesting, I guess.

- Sabres just taking their sweet time moving the puck around. Easily defended.

- Eller really solid shift to end the period, grinding hard for puck possession. Therrien is inclined to reward that effort with more time.

- Habs hard work and seemingly fresh legs paid dividends in the 2nd. Sabres looked a lot like we did Wednesday night in Ottawa.

Third Period:

- Logical move by Buffalo to start the 3rd, Miller out, Enroth in.

- Bourque right place again, picks up his 2nd of the night. Buffalo just terrible handling checks and giving away pucks today. 5-0.

- Insult to injury, Prust creams Steve Ott in a fight. Sums up the day, really.

- Pretty goal by Vanek on a shorthanded break as Price gambles with a poke and loses his shutout bid. 5-1.

- With nothing to lose, Sabres pelting Price with shots in the 3rd. Creating breaks and odd man rushes for Canadiens' forwards.

- Subban absolutely clangs the post with a cannon shot. So close.

- Gotta say that minute of 3 on 3 was great fun. League really must have this for their overtime format. Can't imagine a goal not being scored within 5 minutes.

- Brilliant puck control by powerplay, Habs 6th goal courtesy point blast by Subban, Desharnais with easy rebound for his 2nd of the day. All Montreal today.

- Sabres totally dominated today. So many of these games in a compressed schedule seem to be determined by whomever has the fresher legs. Tomorrow another difficult test as Habs, with less than 24 hours rest, will face the more rested Sens. A win will go a long way towards solidifying the emerging belief that this Habs team might be a whole lot better than many had given them credit for heading into the season.

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