Thursday, 2 January 2014

Game Forty-Two: Habs vs. Stars

Third Period:

- Habs PP looked pretty decent in their 2nd period attempt. Let's see if the unit can get an insurance marker.

- Habs need to win a damn faceoff on the powerplays.

- There it is - Gallagher finally finds the scoresheet, lucky puck bounce for Habs off the backboards to give Habs 2 goal lead. More importantly, Gallagher scores.

- Don't know how bad this team's collective memory is, but now is not the time to sit on the lead.

- Good grief. Habs sit and Stars swarm the net, puck somewhere around Price, they're reviewing to see if it went in (officially originally waved his arms).

- Nonetheless, Stars generate a powerplay from the Habs' retreat and scramble.

- Lost count number of missed empty nets for Dallas tonight. 

- Seigun, under the crossbar from the blue line. One goal game. Here we go ... 

- ... and Dylan, his first goal in nearly two months, slapper from the blue line. Tie game. Sure didn't see that coming.

- 5-4 Dallas in 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

- Scratch that. Eller with a brilliant shot side wrister that had no business getting past Lehtonen. 5-4 Habs.

- Game is now end to end, which is not how you want to play a one goal lead.

- Habs are gonna need one more to cinch this, and Desharnais missed two golden opportunities to salt it.

- If there's one guy who I'd bet money on tying this, it would be Cole.

- Habs 33% in the faceoff circle tonight. #terrible

- Pacioretty into the empty net. Subban has 4 points tonight.

- Longest road trip of the year mercifully is OVER. Habs get home with 52 points. We'll take it.

Second Period:

- Desharnais. Subban doing incredible work wiling the puck to the Dallas slot, while Gallagher was creating chaos with two Stars players in front of the net. Gallagher sprung Desharnais free, Subban did the heavy lifting. 2-1 Habs.

- Stating the obvious but Subbban is on fire tonight. Erik Cole had a terrific first, robbed twice by Price. We'll see what either has to contribute to the second half of the game.

- Moen is a pretty good argument why George Parros was completely unjustified.

- Have no idea why that was called a penalty shot, as Nichushkin wasn't clear when checked by Gorges. He converts, of course. Tie game.

- P.K. Subban answers my question from earlier in the period. My goodness. 3-2 Habs.

- 10 minute mark: Gionta 9:53. Bourque: 8:57. Bournival: 2:50. Sorry, but no way you'll convince me Bounival is playing any worse than the others.

- Habs PP - Desharnas, Gallagher and Pacioretty had Stars on the ropes. Couldn't bury.

- Habs have significantly intensified their forecheck this period, and it's helped create many Dallas turnovers. Canadiens with good possession numbers this frame.

- Bournival stapled to the bench, still at 2:54. Galchenyuk barely 6 minutes. I'd throw up my hands but I've done that far too many times this season.

- Habs blue line, notably Markov, struggling to get fairly clear shots on net tonight. Another chronic Habs-related challenge this season.

- Josh Gorges showin' Carey Price how that goaltending thing is done. Stars totally robbed late in the frame.

- Good period for the Habs - they competed, and did well in the circle. P.K. doing what P.K. does so well - he, unlike any other Habs player in more than a generation, has the capacity to dominate a game. Tonight - he's dominating, and it's having positive spin-off effects on the rest of his teammates - at least the ones Therrien is willing to play.

First Period:

- Having tremendous trouble receiving a feed tonight, but a couple of troubling indicators - one being the Stars dominated most of the period, outshooting the Habs 11-6, but the ridiculous manner in how Dallas completely dominated the Canadiens in the faceoff circle, winning 15 out of the 17 drops.

Now, I'm not sure why the Canadiens struggle so much in the circle, but it has been hurting the team this season, especially in faceoffs deep in their zone. The Stars' opening goal in the first? Scored after winning the draw deep in the Habs' zone.

Who is responsible, I'm not sure, but if there's guy on the Habs' coaching staff who's responsible for faceoffs, I'd either have him reassigned or fired.

Canadiens are fortunate to be even through 20 minutes.

Pregame Goo:

Happy gameday. Happy New Year!

A few little notes about tonight's game.

- Grats to Max Pacioretty for his selection to the U.S. Olympic team. Way to go Max! We hope you'll have a grand time playing for the 5th or 6th place finishers in this year's tournament!

- Danny Briere is a healthy scratch again. 

- Here's a biggie - Doug Murray will start tonight - in place of (gulp!) Alexei Emelin, who's already made Bergevin look like quite the fool since signing his four year extension last month.

- Emelin being scratched means that Frankie Bouillon will also get a start. He'll play along side P.K. Subban, because Michel Therrien has no idea what he's doing.

- George Parros is seeing a concussion specialist - the speculation being he's still feeling the effects of his opening night injury, I guess.

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