Monday, 3 February 2014

Game Fifty-Seven: Flames vs. Habs

Third Period:

- Broken record, Carey Price carrying to load with almost no goal support. Habs holding on so far.

- Over the last 20 periods and 8 minutes, The Habs' offense has scored 7 goals in front of Price. Seven.

- Emelin is simply incapable of consistently moving the puck out of his zone. That's probably his biggest, among numerous, failings this season.

- Flames pressing, Habs very much on the defensive hanging on for dear life. Don't know if Price can hold this for the 5 remaining minutes.

- Flames aren't going away. Doing everything possible to keep the puck and pressure on in the Habs zone. You'd have to figure Price needs to make one more big save to out this away.

- Habs have won two clean draws, electing to ice the puck each time. Dumb, dumb.

- Cammalleri gets nailed for a borderline hook with 30 seconds left. Wow.

- Deshaenais. Goodnight. Another shutout for Price. Same story - Habs muster out a win but their fundamental problems remain. 

Second Period:

- Puck under Price, I think it came within 2 inches of crossing. Flames with early control in the second, they're playing an ideal road game so far. Close checking, patiently awaiting opportunities as they present themselves.

- Holy moly, Lars Eller called for handling the puck from the faceoff circle for the second time this season. What was he thinking???

- Briliant two minute long 5-on-3 kill by the Habs. That's a PK just about at its very best.

- That might have been the best penalty kill by this franchise in years. It really was that good.

- Plekanec unit easily the most dangerous out there. Agonizingly close a few times changing the circle into a straight line.

- Bourque just can't quite do it. It's the epitomy of a career. Just. Not. Quite. Able.

- Bourque rushes, splits the D, can't get a shot on goal. It's just not gonna happen.

- The Doug Murray suckage not nearly as bad as Sunday vs. the Jets. But he's still slow and soft in the crease. That will and can never change.

- The gods have tossed Rene Bourque a bone. Finally. 1-0 Habs.

- P.K. can't bury an open net. It's been that way for him since his Olympic selection.

- Habs marginally more effective transition team - their possession not the usual disaster tonight. It's been good enough to provide them a slender 40 minute lead. But it won't be nearly enough to carry them to the finish line. Hoping the White line gets more shifts during the final frame. 

First Period:

- Ryan White returns to action tonight, which is a pleasent surprise.

- Solid first shift for the White/Wiese/Moen line, creating a couple of decent scoring chances, and generating precious energy for a team that's had very little going since early December.

- Habs definately the stronger starting team first 4 minutes.

- White line 2/2 for good shifts.

- I think we've got something cooking here. Habs 4th line 3 shifts, each very strong. White flying out there.

- Both teams blocking shots like crazy, unsurprisingly. We may not reach 10 combined total before this period is done.

- Price guilty of too many sloppy giveaways the past couple of games. Explanation? Who knows.

- Excellent (exceptionally boring) road period for the Habs. 9 total shots for both teams. Ugh. I'm sure the Flames are quite happy with that result.


- Ryan White joined the team at practice this morning, playing along side Bournival and Weise - Moen taking an optional. One assumes that when White is 100%, that he, Moen and Weise will comprise the Habs' new 4th line unit.

Practice lines:

Line 1: Brière/Plekanec/Gionta
Line 2: Pacioretty/Desharnais/Gallagher
Line 3: Bourque/Eller/Prust
Line 4: Bournival/White/Weise



Flames Lines:

Line 1: Hudler/Backlund/Stempniak
Line 2: Cammalleri/Marahan/Colborne
Line 3: Bouma/Stajan/Jones
Line 4: Westgarth/Galiardi/McGrattan


- Christian Thomas was sent back to Hamilton today, to clear the way for Weise, who'll start tomorrow against Calgary.


Habs have shipped Raphel Diaz to Vancouver in return for Dale Weise.

Diaz has been a healthy scratch for nearly a month, so the deal isn't a surprise. Weise is a bigger winger who's been a chronic scoring underachiever. Call Weise Rene Bourque light, if you like. But my initial reaction is that Weise is just about the last thing this team needed to add. I'd have taken a draft pick.

Actually, the Diaz trade was completely unnecessary to begin with. For two months Therrien subjected him to numerous visits to the pressbox in favor of playing guys like Francis Bouillon and Doug Murray. The net result was not only a far weaker Habs blue line, but the complete depletion of Diaz' market value.

Bottom line - this was asset mismanagement, and the Canadiens' organization walks away from the deal a weaker organization.

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