Thursday, 27 February 2014

Game Sixty-One: Habs vs. Pens


- Therrien making some abysmal and reckless OT decisions and Desharnais goes and bails him out in the SO. Therrien is living a charmed life. That said, I'm not forgetting how petty the coach acted tonight. How could Bergevin possibly not do the same?


- Last night I was at peace with the OT loss, because it was so roundly deserved. Tonight though, I want 2.

- So Galchenyuk sits on the OT bench and Murray gets a shift. Got it.

- Therrien apparently is benching P.K. for overtime. This is insanity.

- Yup. Subban was benched. Galchenyuk also didn't get a shift. Therrien has no clue. Not a single clue. Habs deserve the loss now. 

Third Period:

- Murray committs a silly and unecessary interference, again giving the Pens PP another opportunity to take control of this game.

- Habs survive, but barely. Tinordi getting some tough minutes here as second unit PK. Doesn't seem comfortable with the task.

- Pens dominating first 5 minutes, Habs just holding on here, chipping/dumping like crazy.

- Oh P.K., now we know what Babcock was worried about. With the powerplay, no less. Horrorshow.

- And Emelin, of all people, bails P.K. out. Fleury is officially stinking out the joint. We are tied.

- Murray trades penalties with Crosby. Habs win that deal by a gazillioon dollars.

- So apparently the refs have decided that hitting is now illegal. The penalty on Emelin - I don't know what the heck is going on. Huge opportunity for Pens here.

- And they convert. Crosby, assist to Murray, of course. Officials now involved in the outcome. What a shame.

- Wow. Glass gets five for an elbow. 

- And Briere ties it up - Habs still with more than 3 minutes of PP left. Ridiculous.

- So does this suddenly make Briere an attractive trading commodity? 

- Fleury is a bad rebound machine tonight. He's been terri-bad, even by his standards.

- Less than 2 minutes and Murray is sent out. So so so unwise.

- Yeah. We'll take the point. Getting two out of four on back to back nights ain't bad.

Second Period:

- Habs had 56% Fenwick in the first, but poor goaltending did them in. It's only righteous I suppose, considering how many games this team has won because of goaltending carrying them through sub 45% nights.

- Pens on the powerplay, Budaj continuing to flail all over the place. I know Tokarski has limited experience, but Therrien is just begging for trouble keeping Budaj in there.

- Even though maddeningly a dump and chase team, Habs have done a decent job still so far winning puck possession. But because of the dump and chase mentality, quality scoring chances on Fleury has been limited.

- Just shoot it on net - Briere sprung free in the slot, and top corner ties this game. Puck possession matters ... so very, very much.

- Lars Eller requires an intervention. He's just totally lost. Nearly forgone. It's getting that bad.

- Seems crazy to put Murray out there against Pens top rated PP with their first line played. Budaj bails out Murray's chronic slot softness and puck indifference.

- Maatta from the line. Redeflect? Who knows. Bottom line - you can't take penalties against this Pittsburgh powerplay unit. 3-2.

- Pacioretty, sweet feed to Desharnais and then to Pacioretty, and we be ties. Fleury was pretty positionally slow. We have hope.

- Pens are really doing a poor job protecting their slot. Habs gaining some decent scoring chances as a result. Good see the red light a few more times each end before this one is done.

- Thought the Habs played a stronger first, but they end up out scoring the opponent. Lars Eller now appears to be officially in Therrien's doghouse - but then again, so was Desharnais two months ago. 

First Period:

- Poor rebound control by Fleury, and Gallagher cashes it in. This is the Habs faint hope tonight - Fleury stinks up the joint. It's possible he might. We'll see. 1-0.

- Neal. Budaj looking very much like a backup on that one. Tie game.

- Budaj completely misplays a routine 60 foot wrist shot by Neal, but it hits the post. Um ... who's on the bench?

- Engelland. Budaj somewhere else. He's been terrible, converting two routine shots into opposition gift goals. Should be 3-1 really. I smell a switch on the horizon. Calling Tokarski.

- Relatively decent period by the Habs - certainly much better than last night's first against Detroit - all thrown away by a very poor period by Budaj. Now trailing, Habs have limited options the final 40 minutes, save Fluery returning the favor.


Hoo boy, cover your eyes, cover your eyes. This stuff is about to get real.

One of the worst one-goal losses I've seen in perhaps my life, the Habs fresh off their 35% Fenwick "performance" last night, roll into Pittsburgh tonight where they'll face a drawing and quartering, courtesy Sid Crosby and the rest of the Pens. At least it'll be quick. Painless? Well ... sorry, the Habs aren't getting off that easy.

So, let's roll out a few bullet points.

- Ryan White is sick with the flu. I think I had that last week, and the week before that, and the week before that. What I'm saying here is that I watched the whole damn Winter Olympics sprawled out on a couch, wishing I was dead. Anyway, White won't play tonight. Great.

- David Desharnais, who was mostly invisible last night when he wasn't gift wrapping pucks to the Wing's defense, got more than 23 minutes of playing time last night, because insanity. Meanwhile, Alex Galchenyuk, who looked pretty good, and was actually one of the few Habs forwards on the ice that was making any Detroit defenders break an actual sweat, sat on the bench during the two minute 3-on-3 OT session, because insanity.

- So Tinordi looked pretty good, huh? Beaulieu ... we already know he's NHL-ready. So when can we start digging Doug Murray's playin'-days grave? Like, can we do it now? Now?? HOW ABOUT NOW?!?!

- I thought Peter Budaj did another solid job last night, although the OT goal came courtesy a pretty juicy rebound. It didn't help that Gorges was all dazed and confused, choosing instead to check P.K. Subban instead of one of the guys wearing White and Red.

- Mike Babcock's contract is going to run out in the not-too-distant-future. He'd look great behind that Habs bench, no? McGill graduate, surely he knows a word or two of french? Right? Gah ... if we could only get him to change his last name to Babcockesque ... or Babcockdeau ... or Babcockpoutine.

More later. Well, no. More when the puck drops tonight, and the slaughter begins.

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