Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Game Thirty-Three: Habs vs. Bruins

First Period:

- Alright, Habs need to start producing now offensively. Leadership starts with Plekanec, so it needs to start with him.

- Plekanec great feed to Ryder after a Chara turnover. Rask with fine shoulder save,

- Brilliant puck control by Plekanec who finds Ryder totally free in the circle, and this time, he finally delivers. Habs 1-0.

- Habs totally dominating pace, Bruins losing patience and discipline. Now Canadiens to the powerplay.

- Don't wanna hex this, but Price is razor sharp tonight.

- Speaking of fine performances, Subban's been a rock so far, especially providing Price plenty of protection in the slot.

- Excellent period for the Habs, they commanded the tempo, were the more aggressive forechecking team, had more energy, even though they played just 24 hours earlier in Pittsburgh.

Second Period:

- Lots of talk tonight that Habs are aggressively pursuing Ryan Clowe, who would most certainly fill the void I wrote about last night. I just don't see Bergevin giving up what the Sharks are probably asking (1st + high prospect).

- Wow what a blast by Subban from the line. Rask screened, that shot was totally unstoppable. Habs 2-0.

- Hamilton quickly responds, crossbar hit, Bruins swarm, Habs defense and forwards in total meltdown mode. 2-1. Habs need to slow this thing down quickly.

- Price giving up juicy rebounds, fortunately well covered by his defense, but still, far too generous.

- This game now way too wide open. Just ice the puck. Slow this down NOW.

- Wow, what a rush by Subban, who's playing out of mind tonight. That had goal of the year potential if Rusk doesn't sprawl out the left pad.

- A tepid first period, very well played by the Canadiens, is now unravelling into a barn-burner. The pace certainly has gone into another gear.

- How was Marchand that wide open. Emelin and Markov off in lala land. Oy.

- If Tinordi feels the wrath for positional errors, Emelin justly should see more pine for the rest of the night.

- If Lucic doesn't look up a split second before the Subban express arrived, he'd probably still be on the ice.

- Marchand all alone AGAIN on a breakaway, but Price makes the kind of glove save you dream about. Only elite goaltenders need apply. That save was masterful.

- Eller gets called for the trip/hook on Thornton, my first reaction was to look for an embellishment call. Didn't happen. Should have happened.

- And Bergeron converts off a juicy rebound in front. Price had no idea where the puck was, and when he did, it was too late. Bruins simply too much to handle in the 2nd.

- Horton now. Emelin and Markov on the ice for three of Boston's goals tonight. That one was Andrei's fault. Game out of control now simply because the Habs couldn't or wouldn't slow the pace after the Bruins' first goal.

- Bruins totally dominated the 2nd. The tempo, which was in the Habs' grasp, was totally ripped away after Subban scored to give the Canadiens a 2 goal lead. Now they're down 2, and hopes are dim, very dim, for recovery, unless they can somehow reclaim the game on their terms. Awfully tough when your down this far with just 20 minutes left.

Third Period:

- Price pulled for Budaj, which is an interesting move. Lets hope it's not signifying an injury?

- Unbelievably, the Bruins get caught on a Habs change, creating a 2-on-1, Plekanec a sweet feed to Ryder, and it's a one goal game. Plekanec and Subban bringing their "A" effort tonight.

- Habs with terrific initiative this period, definitely have wrangled back some momentum, and it's generating powerplays. Here's hoping.

- Budaj has made two excellent saves to keep his team in the game. He might earn himself a start on Saturday night, if Price is feeling exhaustion.

- Segin. And again Emelin and Markov were on the ice. That's four tonight. Why Therrien didn't split them up earlier, I hope he's asked during the post-mortem presser, 'cause folks, this one is done.

- Hold that phone. Lucky bounce and Gallagher slips it past Rask. 5-4. Could they actually pull this one out of the fire?

- Shades of last game in Boston! Chara, for whatever reason, just had a meltdown and has been sent to the box. Habs now with huge powerplay opportunity.

- Of course the Bruins never embellish, right?

- Two minutes left. Do we have a hero?

- Wow. Delay of game. One last powerplay chance, with an empty net. 6-on-4. Hold on to your hats.


- They're saying the Markov shot went off Chara, but thought for sure Gallaher redeflected it in. No matter, an incredible, gutsy comeback.


- Incredible pace to this OT. Game of the year.

- Emelin. Tripping. Ugh.

- 80 seconds of agony. That's what's left to kill.

- Budaj, with the clock expiring. GREAT save. What an incredible game.


- This heavily favours the Bruins. Heavily.

- Deshairnas ... Is it? Controversy.

- No goal. Ugh.

- Budaj goes 3-for-3 and Eller for win.

- Nope. Extras now.

- Marchand no. Ryder now.

- Oh dear. Wasted opportunities.

- Budaj. Wow. Does he look great. One more chance to win.

- Plekanec, nope.

- ANOTHER chance.



Gameday Game Preview: 

Is it time to freak out yet? I really don't quite see the reason why we need to worry about OMG OMG FOUR GAMES JUST ONE WIN?!?! OMG OMG THE WORLD IS ENDING.  IGJSGO()$#UUH*#($&H iF)(&&H S%&#&H %##%Y#%H %&#%@& U*FWWG(%&#&# NFGISJVU)&!GUW\\ GLAARRAAAAAARPHHHHH GLUBBBBBBB.

But yeah, so we've kinda hit a little "dip" in the road, haven't we? Ugh, that loss last night to the Pens. It still burns. That's two straight losses where the Habs clearly outplayed their opponent, shots, fenwick, Corsi, but for the lack of offense, simply could not convert.

That is the problem right now. We aren't quite scoring. We're doing what you're supposed to do in order to generate offense, but it isn't happening. Stoned by Miller on Saturday, and stoned by ourselves and a couple of crossbars against the Penguins, they just aren't going in. Sometimes things seem to just go your way, sometimes, as in the entire 2011-12 season, things seem to never go your way.

But there are a few culprits worth examining. Shall we do a role call?

David Desharnais - 3 points last 10 games.
Brendan Gallagher - 2 points last 5 games.
Brain Gionta - 1 point last 5 games.
Lars Eller - 2 points last 8 games.
Alex Galchenyuk - 1 point last 5 games.

These are the players this team leans on heavily to produce since this team is based on shared production. No massive point producers, but no laggers either. So when we experience lag by three or four key forwards, winning suddenly becomes very difficult.

So tonight! Production please from the above mentioned. We need it. First place on the Division continues to be in play, and in case you hadn't noticed lately, the Bruins haven't been setting the world on fire. They've lost 3 of their past 5, basically surrendering the games in hand advantage they held over the Habs two weeks ago. So they're beatable.

The Bruins, as per usual, come at you from all directions with three very balanced lines, fronted by the Krejci and Bergeron lines. So while checking assignments become more challenging, the Habs have played an excellent possession game through this current "slump", resulting in losses even while they've dominated the shot clock.

Which just goes to show, you can hold the puck all night, but if you can't put it over the line, it don't mean nothin'.

Tuukka Rask will start for Boston. Carey Price for the Habs. Puck drops at precisely 7:40 EST. First place on the line.

MEANWHILE ... just to brigten your day a little, check out this wonderful clip from last night's intermission in Chicago. I'd pity you if you didn't. ENJOY TONIGHT'S GAME:

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