Sunday, 2 February 2014

Game Fifty-Six: Jets vs. Habs

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you NHL officiating at its finest. We may hear more about this later today or tomorrow. But clearly, something very, very wrong took place with not a single interference call made. The League may wish that this play blows over, but the Habs are collectively furious this afternoon, and are demanding some kind of an official explanation.

The deep zone official, by the way, was Wes McCauley, who's been at NHL-level since 2007.

Meanwhile ...

Third Period:

- Soul-sucking error by Price there misplacing the puck behind the net. Jets lead. Now seriously wondering if Price really ought never play these back to backs.

- Losing track of the number of odd man breaks created today via poor Murray pinches. 5? 6?

- Subban just doesn't look right. Isn't slapping the puck, seems inclined to wrist it toward the net. 

- Jets more or less sitting on this. Fair bit of time left on the clock.

- Desharnais really struggled with the basics today. Puck handling, passing, not shooting. Etc.

- Gallagher not allowed to clear the zone. At least four clear cut interference calls. Nothing called. Inexcusable.

- Habs loss today indicative of this team's inability to execute fundamentals. The team continues to be broken. I see little reason to believe this team will eventually finish the season north of 90 points.

Second Period:

- Markov sent off for interference 18 seconds in on what might be the most marginal call I've seen all season. It's as if the decision was previously made that the Jets turn was next on the powerplay.

- Sweet Jesus Murray has terrible decision making abilities in his zone. Chases after pucks he has no hope of retrieving, creating numerous odd man Jets chances.

- He might not be much of a scoring threat any more, but Gionta has been passing out of his mind the past few games. 

- Puck passing is, by the way, a no-no under the current Habs "system". If you're passing it means you aren't dumping.

- Murray is a complete train wreck today. He needs to be removed before any more damage occurs.

- Gionta. Crossbar. Montoya brought extra horseshoes today.

- If every Hab was Gallagher this team would probably never lose. 

- Gionta hits the crossbar. Again. But this time it goes in. Montoya's luck runs out. Tie game.

- We have an on ice official with an itchy trigger finger today. More marginal holding calls, this time Gallagher.

- Entertaining period - Price surrendering a pretty iffy goal but still, good duel happening here. Doug Murray has been absolutely brutal this afternoon - his performance so poor it's parody. How Therrien continues to give him regular shifts is just astounding. The Jets are getting quality scoring chances nearly every time Murray steps on the ice, and will continue to do so in the 3rd. If they do score or win, it'll likely be because of his incompetence.

First Period:

- Hah. Jets of all teams start their backup. How far we've fallen.

- Habs totally flat footed to start the game. Bushels of defensive giveaways, soft slot coverage, faceoff losses, icings. Michel Therrien hockey.

- Nearly no skate marks on the Jets' side of the ice. Just dismal.

- Habs chasing the puck, fruitlessly. Legs aren't moving, nobody seems capable of even completing a pass. 

- Habs in ├╝ber dump the puck mode today. Gonna be a long, tortuous afternoon. Michel Therrien hockey.

- Jets early Corsi right now is 75%. Numbers don't lie. It's been that bad.

-  Montoya making a great save off the rebound. Helped that Mr. No-Finish took the shot.

- Speed is a good thing. Beaulieu draws a penalty. If this team would only utilize its strengths and assets properly.

- Pretty good powerplay for the Habs. Simplified, as I've been nattering on for weeks asking them to do. Montoya with key saves to keep it scoreless.

- powerplay has helped Habs to get their legs moving. Game far more even now.

- Montoya doing a pretty good 2013-14 Carey Price impersonation today.

- Lars Eller has zero going his way right now. Luck, confidence and arguably, smarts. Passing to nowhere in particular, not taking the shot. Zero.

- Jets had 7-0 lead on the shot clock to start. Habs 12-3 since then. So, significant rebound there, impressive, even. Beaulieu drawing a powerplay seemed to spark the team. So consider that period salvaged.


Yeah, who cares.

It's Sunday morning. It's way too early. So this pregame post is admittedly tossed together. So ... very ... sleepy ....

Anyway, here's a nice little line from yesterday:

G. ParrosR00001400000-0:000:001:43

Barely 90 seconds. What's the freakin' point? Are you telling me that 90 seconds of this guy against one of the less penalized teams in the League is a better use of resources than, say ... ANYONE else? Louis Leblanc? Charles Hudon??


So today, the Jets. Yay! We always beat them. Sorry, what's that?  They've won 7 of their last 10? Ah, crap.

Habs can't mess around much longer, losing games they ought to have been owning. Looking down the road with games against Vancouver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix ... the hill to climb is only getting steeper.

Today, it's another very winnable game. Even though they've been on a role of late, the Jets still have a thin bench, still have questionable netminding, are on the road.

But these are the Habs, who looked so fine against the Bruins, and for the most part, looked pretty terrible yesterday against Tampa Bay - the final score as usual, masked by the ridiculously good goaltending provided by Carey Price.

Speaking of, Price will play today, in his first back-to-back games in quite awhile. Jets will probably go with Ondrej Pavelec, who also happens to have a .900 SV%, which ranks him 2nd worst in the League amongst goaltenders who've played 30 or more games (the Oilers' Devan Dubnyk is worst).

Habs players to watch out for - Rene Bourque, believe it or not, has looked pretty good since it became a public spectacle that the Habs were desperately trying to trade him to someone, anyone who'd be willing.

Also, watch for a P.K. rebound game. Yesterday was not one of his finer outings. Lots of defensive lapses, turnovers, muffed up passes on the powerplay, etc.

Puck drops at 1:10 EST. Superbowl Sunday. Yawn. Who cares.

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