Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Game Twenty-Nine: Habs vs. Devils


- So Schneider isn't very good at these shootouts. Hmmm can we dream of a possible Habs victory??

- Holy cow, really?? Devils are 0 for their last 20 shoutout attempts?? I really like the Habs chances here - somebody is even worse at this than us.

- Boucher. Scores. Because, of course. Good grief.

- Eller. What a shot. Top corner. Beautiful.

- Zajac, nopes. Opening for Habs.

- Desharnais, hero so far. Can he do it one more timeeeeeee ..... YES!!!

- What the heck has happened to Desharnais??? Remarkable turnaround in his fortunes in the span of 10 days.

- Elias. NO!! Great save by Budaj, and Habs find a way of winning. Wow. Just wow.


- Completely wild so far, Pacioretty sprung on a clear cut break and his stick snaps in two as he releases the shot. Good grief. Devils barely miss on the return rush, and then Gallagher clangs the post coming back the other direction. 

- Le sigh. Shootout. My least favourite part of hockey.

Third Period:

- Loktionov with relatively harmless snap shot catches Budaj off guard and ties the game. I suppose that's the difference between he and Price - Carey is far less likely to have those mental lapses.

- Oy, Briere particularly brutal with his defensive assignments tonight. Budaj has bailed him out at least three times with fine point blank saves on unchecked wingers.

- Incredible shot by Ryder, after Gallagher fails to clear the zone, and the a Devils, outplayed tonight, take the lead. Hockey gods evening the score tonight.

- Gallagher not having one of his better nights, constantly getting outmuscled tonight, very unlike him.

- Habs PK just won't surrender a thing, another penalty killed and it gives the Habs a little boost generating a PP opportunity.

- Habs need some urgency here, aren't displaying any.

- When in doubt, send out the Eller line, who display that urgency and push the crease, generating a rebound finished by Eller. Tie game with less than 4 minutes left.

- Horrible giveaway by Subban who turns the puck over right in front of Budaj, Elias pots what appears to be the winner. Hoo boy. What a way to lose a game.

- Sigh. Let the "should P.K. play on the Olympic team?" nattering continue. That won't help in shutting up the stupid debate.

- Road points are so hard to earn - losing one like that is maddening.

- Gionta!!! With the shot from the line!! Game tied! 

- Desharnais may have tipped that shot, they're reviewing it to see if it's legal.

- Habs are looking at this anxiously. I wonder if this will count.

- It counts. Crazy third period. 

- Looking at the replay, Subban played a key role by interfering with Elias, bringing him to the ice, which left Desharnais uncovered to go at the net. Subban not called though (he could have been).

Second Period:

- At what point can Michael Ryder start being thought of as a free agent bust?

- Devis offense looks a lot like the Habs' during their slide a month ago - they can't finish.

- Pace picks up, long time between whitles, Devils draw their first PP of the game.

- White with a tremendous goal saving shorthanded backcheck - simply hasn't received enough credit for his play this season.

- Budaj excellent so far, positioning has been nearly perfect, Devils few good chances frustrated. 

First Period:

- Looks like there's about 3,000 in the seats to start the game at the Meadowlands. Tops.

- Prust didn't like Janseen's hit on Galchenyuk along the boards, mainly clean, and drops the gloves. They exchange punches for about 90 seconds. Exhausting.

- Budaj continues to look so much like a chip off the Carey Price block, so cool and calm in net. Really has made tremendous progress in the span of a season.

- Schneider hella lucky to have that Markov point shot which redeflected twice, into his glove.

- Horseshoes ringing both ends of the rink, Budaj cleanly beaten by a wrister glove side, post hit.

- Daniel Briere with fantastic carry and perfect feed to Gionta, who finally .... finally scores for the first time since October. 1-0. Briere continues his fine form of late.

- Beyond the first line, Devils got nothng working right now. They look far more sluggish tonight than Monday. Way more.

- Pleks line really hummin' in the period. Looking for more scoring from that unit tonight.

- Fairly close checking period, pretty dull hockey. Devils had a couple of decent chances but nothing overtly dangerous. Habs look like they have a step on New Jersey.

Gameday Game Preview

Alright, couple of important game-day notes to clear out of the way. AS WE PREDICTED on Monday night, Frankie Bouillon will get the start tonight, pushing Doug Murray off the lineup sheet. Okay, fine.

Secondly, Peter Budaj, who was eeeeeeh .. okay, in his last start, a shootout loss to the Caps, will get the call, which was entirely predictable since the Habs (if they don't have to) won't play Carey Price back-to-back. He'll start tomorrow night in the biggie game of the week, when the Candiens take on the Bruins - POSSIBLY ... just possibly, with first place on the line.

Okay, tonight. The Habs have to be better than Monday - way, way better than Monday, because let's face it, they stole two points from the much better Devils team, who were passing the puck around with remarkable efficiency for most of the game. So that means, so slouching out of the gate, no lazy backchecks (hello Briere?), no shoddy positional coverage (hello Murray ... oh wait .. you're scratched tonight), and having something further north than a 2% Fenwick.

Also, Martin Brodeur didn't have one of his better nights, but he's eight hundred and seven years old. So what else could Jersey have expected? SO ... Cory Schneider tonight, right? It's gotta be.

Setting aside the not-so-great effort on Monday, hot Habs are stayin' hawt. Mad Max scored another one, P.K. Subban played his mind out, and also showed Carey Price a thing or two about goaltending. Good grief, TSN has A POLL UP about whether Subban should be on Team Canada?!? The insanity ... Subban is the BEST DEFENSEMAN IN THE GAME OF HOCKEY. Just, enough already. He'll be playing is Sochi, and he'll be great. Please find another dead dog to kick around, guys.

Okay, word of warning. Tonight's blogging will be tape-delayed, NOT LIVE. Sorry guys (all three of you that read this site), I have a life.

Puck drops at 7:10 EST. I'm counting on a Habs win to set up an epic showdown Thursday night at the Bell Centre. Anyone got a spare ticket?

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