Sunday, 10 March 2013

Game Twenty-Five: Habs vs. Bolts

No pregame preview tonight, just to mention Ryan White out, Dumont in, and Tampa starting a relative unknown with Cedrick Dejardins. Should be interesting.

First Period

- Figures that Ryder would hit a goal scoring drought the moment he's traded to us, but he's doing his level best out there, creating turnovers and two quality chances. Tampa sloppy in their own zone early.

- Ryder with fine puck control, taking shot, he's following the Pacioretty formula - just get something in, and the gates should open. Dejardins has been pretty steady so far.

- Tampa leads 6-5 shots first half of 1st, but Habs have defined edge in puck control.

- All Habs here, Ryder buzzing, great puck control, but no shots on Dejardins.

- Habs really controlled the flow, had most of the puck, a few solid chances, but nothing sparkling. Tampa outshooting 10-7, but Price was only really tested once.

Second Period

- Habs have been a most excellent first period team this season, the 2nd period not so much so.

- Tampa is terrible with puck control in their zone. Like playing with fire, disaster usually catches up with you. Habs need to capitalize quickly.

- Stamkos relatively quiet night - so far. But that's the way he likes it, he's so stealth and then suddenly he'll strike.

- Oh man, there we go. St. Louis feeding stealth Stamkos with a pretty pass to the slot and quick shot over Price's shoulder. Plekanec lost his check (Stamkos), everyone else nearly as flat-footed. 1-0 Tampa.

- Markov with beauty feed to unmarked Plekanec in the slot, quick release bests Dejardins. Ryder with the original turnover, Tampa's zone sloppiness catches up to them. Game tied.

- Well that didn't last long. Tampa wins draw deep, and fortuitous pass redeflect springs Salo with a free path to Price, hard shot nearly unstoppable. Tampa back in front.

- Ryder has been a monster tonight forechecking deep in the Bolts' zone, causing many defensive giveaways. If he can keep that going, I don't care how many goals he scores (or doesn't).

- Habs need to win more of these defensive zone faceoffs, and quickly. They're getting slaughtered in the circle.

- There we go. Ugh. Another faceoff loss, and shot from the line redeflected twice past Price. Unstoppable. Tampa taking control, 3-1.

- Eller doesn't know you can't pass the puck back with your glove on the faceoff? He's gotta know that. Dumb, dumb penalty.

- If Tampa scores on this man advantage, might as well say goodnight and go to bed.

- PK doing a great job on the PK. Problem is, it's our powerplay.

- Well that wasn't good. Another 2nd period mini-meltdown by the Habs. At a loss to explain these mid-game meltdowns. Tampa did a nice job on their PK nullifying Habs opportunities, and converted on their opportunities. Habs have been the better forechecking team, but it hasn't resulted in offense. Dejardins fairly solid. Frustrating to watch.

Third Period

- Jesus, Markov and Subban on the point. Back and forth, back and forth. Net result: nothing. Not even a shot. STOP IT NOW, or separate them entirely.

- Woah. How was that puck not covered and called? Off harmless shot and resulting scramble, Gionta puts it in, and Habs powerplay trim the lead to one. Bizarre goal.

- Watched the replay. That puck wasn't covered, Dejardins a significant goaltending error.

- This 3rd has been all Habs. They're going all out, Tampa no response.

- Lecavalier has been very nicely nullified for much of the game, which of course frightens me to death. He's overdue.

- Nice! Gionta with the forecheck, more sloppy Tampa puck control in their own zone, and Emelin with a not-so-hot slapper that beats Dejardins. That one certainly should have been stopped. Tie game!

- Tampa has zero going right now. They're being outskated all over the ice. Habs looking for the lead.

- Prust. Ouch. Went in awkwardly into the boards on an icing chase. Looks bad.

- Left shoulder clearly injured. I hope it's not a separation because then you're looking at 4-6 automatically. Prust simply isn't a guy who's replaceable.

- Oh wow. Gallagher. He simply willed that goal in through sheer determination. Fantastic. Just fantastic. They're reviewing this but I think it's good.

- Yup. It's good. Habs lead! Wowza.

- Tampa's offense has generated zero chances in the 3rd. Absolutely nothing. It's been totally dominated at both ends by the Canadiens. The Bolts just got run over by a monster truck.

- Habs defense nicely containing Tampa, preventing the Bolts from structuring a quality shot on Price. They still haven't generated a chance, with only 5 minutes left.

- Shots are 11-0 in the period. Ouch.

- Gallagher, he's money. Nothing stops this guy from anything. He just barrels through anything that stands in his way.

- Devastating loss for the Lightening. It's the kind of loss that spurns the scribes to question the authority, if not the job security of the coaching staff. Boucher might wants to look behind because the knives might be coming out soon.

- Guys, empty net. Hit it already.

- Astonishing. Tampa didn't get one single chance in the entire 3rd period. Not one. Habs win with a perfectly played final 20 minutes.

- Great feisty come from behind win for the Habs. The difference between this year's team and last year's team is ridiculous. Now the big question is, how hurt is Prust? Habs will almost definitely struggle to replace someone as irreplaceable as Prust. Hopefully we'll know more by tomorrow, hopefully it's not bad news.

Habs will go for the Florida season sweep tomorrow in Miami. This southern swing has been death for the Habs organization in recent years, but this year it's been a feast.

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