Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Game Sixty-Seven: Bruins vs. Habs

Third Period:

- So perfect opportunity for Habs to take stock in Tokarski, with this game out of reach, but nope, Therrien stays with Budaj, and another softie is surrendered to start the 3rd. 4-0.

- Seems to me if Tokarski is deemed backup capable, Budaj immediately becomes a draft pick commodity this summer.

- Desharnais. At least Rask won't get the shutout.

- Bruins really have played a sloppy game, PDO saving their day (and hurting the Habs). No way Boston will go far in the post season if this is all they've got at the table.

- Dump, chase, dump, chase. The madness never ends.

- Habs have made zero adjustments during this game. They almost never do because they are incapable of doing so. This team decides its course before the puck drops and just keeps plugging away, even if they're headed over a cliff. There is no way this team has any hope of competing the first round (assuming playoffs are even reached). Just no way.

- Bruins adjusted after 20, Habs didn't (or more accurately, can't). That's your game story. 

Second Period:

- In addition to outshooting, Habs 5v5 Fenwick was 80%. Dominance.

- And just like that, it's all rendered meaningless as Tinordi and Murray team up to leave Budaj high and dry. 1-0.

- Habs have three breaks and counting so far because the Bruins are getting their clocks cleaned in the neutral zone. But Habs haven't converted, and they probably won't get many more great chances like that.

- Markov just plain falls down at the bruins blue line and gives Boston a 3-on-1, finished by Bergeron. 2-0.

- Story of the game, it really doesn't matter how well Habs have played, they haven't converted, the Bruins have. No finish, no chance.

- So Prust is out for nearly enough with a shoulder injury and he picks a fight? Uh .. kay.

- So when's this Vanek with Plekanec/Gionta experiment going to end? Because so far, it ain't been clicking.

- Great shift by Plekanec line, Vanek included, but can't finish.

- Lucic gets away with a board, and Budaj surrenders a weak one to him on resulting transition. You simply can't give those up against first place competition. 3-0.

- Bruins made appropriate adjustments in the 2nd, took advantage of their opportipunities, and have now won complete control of this game. An excellent example of how a very good tactical coach (Julien) can have a profound effect over a not very good tactical coach (Therrien).

First Period:

- That Prust/White/Moen 4th line might be the strongest, most well-rounded this team has had in 20 years.

- Decent first Habs PP, passing was crisp and accurate, finish - not so much. Beyond the Subban/Markov team, it's a serious drop off on that Habs man advantage. Emelin and Bouillon don't have the smarts (or shot) to be anything resembling effective. Still can't figure out why Therrien refuses to play 4 forwards and split the 2 minutes between Subban and Makrov.

- Bruins first PP, Budaj with some nice stops. No signs of early game shakiness that we saw on that western road trip.

- Thomas Vanek - this is the team you've frequently destroyed. Just a little reminder.

- Habs are bounds faster than this Boston team. If Montreal only could play a possession game, the Bruins wouldn't have much of a chance most nights.

- Habs sniffing close, Vanek included, to a PP goal, but finish still not there. Bruins really collapsing hard around their crease, converting rebounds (which Rask has been surrendering) has been near impossible.

- Vanek gets attention for his goal scoring abilities, but he's really a two-way specialist (making him all the more valuable).

- Really solid first for the Habs, clearly the harder skating and working team, and it's helped them to win the little battles. 13-6 SOG to boot. Very happy with what I've seen.


Soooooo ... let's see what's cooking today.

- Carey Price isn't playing tonight. He might not play until the post-season? WHAT?!? So Peter (sigh) Budaj is in.

- Um. Oh boy. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Therrien has scratched Mike Weaver tonight (waaa?). So guess who's starting? Emelin (oy), Bouillon (OY) ... and ... Murray (sweet merciful god, why must you mock us?!?!)

It's gonna be a clusterfu ... uh ... a terrible mess on the blue line tonight. And you have one person to thank for this impending self-inflicted wound: Michel Therrien.

- On the upside, Brandon Prust will return tonight from injury for the first time in like ... ever. Well, mid-February, to be more exact. So that's welcome news. Still, Emelin, Murray AND Bouillon ...

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