Thursday, 20 March 2014

Game Seventy-One: Blue Jackets vs. Habs

Third Period:

- Really careless high stick by Subban. Habs D not having a banner night.

- Carey Price - at what point does he start getting in Columbus' heads?

- Really, guys. Now Plekanec with an even sloppier high stick, this one a 4 minute. Disaster looms.

- Eller with a clutch interception and board bank and then earns a penalty shot. Great play.

- Eller projected the fake, Bobrovsky wasn't going to be fooled. Bah.

- Weaver doing some fine work on the PK tonight. That unit as a whole has kept the Habs in this game - barely.

- Wow. Perfect cross ice pass Pacioretty to Vanek's wheelhouse, and ties the game. No way it should be tied, but here we are.

- Oh man, another undisciplined penalty. This time the bench screws up a change. Oy.

- Gallagher's skate just imploded. Wonder how long it'll delay his return to the bench. He's been motering this period.

- Columbus is going to crack 40 SOG tonight, and might still end up without a win. I'd be miffed. Very miffed.

- Tinordi is right now thinking about bus rides in Hamilton. Bad turnover probably costs the Habs this game.

- Tough but deserved loss. Habs took too many penalties, and got worn into the ground. Wouldn't want to be the team that faces the Blue Jackets in the first round, assuming they qualify.

Second Period

- 5v5 Fenwick 55% Jackets. Not good, but not as bad as I thought it might have been.

- Jackets aren't letting up - Dubinsky 2-1. Bouillon puck chasing - again. Anyway, Columbus is not going to leave this night without two points. Habs won't be able to do anything to stop it.

- Columbus totally dominating here. This game could, again, spin out of control very quickly. It already is.

- Price holding the fort. Barely. Therrien owe him a coaching career the number if times his goaltender has saved his team from total decimation. Habs are being decimated tonight, just not on the scoreboard. Yet.

- No idea what Vanek was thinking there. Columbus to the powerplay. Betcha they score.

- More sloppy Habs D forces White to take a holding penalty. 5-on-3. Here we go ....

- All world PK play by Markov to kill one penalty. One to go.

- Until the final 15 seconds Jackets were far too indecisive on the PP and blew their big chance. If they lose tonight they're gonna look back at that PP and kick themselves.

- Habs PP. If they tie this, the game will officially be totally illogical.

- Desharnais, Pacioretty and Vanek are having a relatively brutal night. Collective -30 Fenwick.

- Jackets pretty much owned just about every facet of that period, but only have a one goal lead, which from the Habs perspective, is a damned miracle. Unless the Habs find something extraordinary, they have no chance in the third. No chance.

First Period:

- It took precisely 3 seconds for Bouillon to make a big defensive mistake giving the Jackets a break on Price. 3 seconds.

- Bovrovsky - you just never know what you're going to get. Habs might score a bunch or get totally goal slammed tonight.  

- Nifty goaltending by Markov covering up for Price who was wildly out of his crease. Jackets can't cash in on an empty net.

- Jenner is playing out of his mind, robbed twice by Price. 

- Jackets are simply taking it to the Habs early on with relentless speed, hitting and checking. Habs with little response. This could spiral out of control quickly.

- Ryan White, as we predicted, doing a fine job filling in for Prust.

- Habs Fenwick has been pretty good past two weeks. First intermission numbers tonight, however, are gonna be ugly.

- Columbus the better team but Habs strike first via their suddenly hot powerplay. Really good puck movement and Gallagher knocks the puck off Bovrovsky for 1-0 lead.

- Carey Price is on. That knee? Don't see any issues now.

- Jackets are making some stupid checking decisions along the boards, it's cost them one goal and it might soon cost them another.

- Uh, nevermind. What the eff was that? Bizarre shorthanded goal off a draw ties the game.

- Pacioretty, like Vanek was during his recent goal scoring slump, is doing all the right things. Eventually the scoring will come. Eventually.

- And ... Pacioretty and Johannsen drop gloves? That's just stupid. Pacioretty with the knockdown, but still ... dumb, dumb.

- Pretty much Columbus' period, Price very strong to earn a scoreboard tie, Blue Jackets with significantly more energy, maybe desire tonight? They need this game a whole lot more than do the Habs.


SPRING HATH ARRIVED. It's one of those dates in the calendar you swear might never come. So I'm in a good mood, and it's not only because this Habs team appears to be rockin' again. Three straight wins, the latest done in very impressive fashion against a relatively tough Avs team. Jeez ... I wonder what common denominator we could find with regards to the team suddenly playing well again. What certain player who plays a certain position on a certain blue line has been a healthy scratch the past two games where this team won in very convincing fashion. Hmmmm ... I WONDER.

Okay, news and notes for this gameday.

- Doug Murray out tonight? YAY!!!!!

- Anyone remember Rene Bourque? Yeah .. me too.

- Brandon Prust. Injured. Again. Sigh. He tried to practice this morning, it was a no-go. His body is broken, folks. Prust strongly denied to the media a couple of days ago, that the injury is with his gimpy shoulder. All we know is that it's upper body. UPDATE: TVA says it's his ribs. Which (it true) would probably mean he'll be back, but it won't be anytime soon (7-10 days?).

- Ryan White will start tonight, which as far as a Prust replacement is concerned, is pretty darned good.

- Habs killer R.J. Umberger is a no-go tonight (injury) nope he's a healthy scratch. Weird, that.

- Oh, did we mention that tonight's game is pretty huge as far as the playoff race is concerned? A Habs win will push them to an almost uncatchable playoff position, while a Blue Jackets win will move them even closer to catching the Leafs for a wildcard berth. SO EITHER WAY IT'S A WIN-WIN RESULT TONIGHT. WOOT!

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