Sunday, 16 March 2014

Game Sixty-Nine: Habs vs Sabres


So, not that your life or its full meaning is dependent on this, but no live blogging tonight, as my kid is playing for his League's city peewee championship tonight. SORRY HABS you ain't THAT important to me.

I guess if there's a game to miss, it's this one. The competition? Pretty lowly. The Sabres not only blew up the building, they shipped off the rubble last month trading away just about every asset they had left for futures. This means a team, which was already pretty talent-thin to start the season, has a roster strongly resembling your average AHL team.

So the Sabres offense is by far the worst of the worst, a mere 1.88 GPG average, which puts them an amazing half goal+ behind the next worst team, the Oilers, who have a 2.44 average. Defensively the Sabres have slowly improved over the year, once ranked dead last, Buffalo enters tonight's game ranked 24th overall GA/G. So threat-wise, the Sabers pretty much have nothing going for them. This is a team that's just at the start of a complete and total rebuild.

Over in Habsland, the Canadiens are coming off one of the most incredible come-from-behind victories in their 106 years of existence. Trailing by three goals with just over 3 minutes left to play, the Habs did what no team has ever done in NHL regular season history by scoring 3 times in 3:21, and then going on to an OT victory. So the buzz from last night is, shall we say, a little high today. 

This is not to say the Habs are now on easy street. The team defense last night was particularly dreadful, marked by pathetic turnovers and ill-advised pinches by the League's worst defenseman, Doug Murray. His mistakes directly led to three Senators goals - a level of incompetence which even Michel Therrien could no longer overlook. The net result is that Murray is a scratch for tonight's game. For the sake of everything sane in this world, we all hope that last night's game was the last we'll ever see of Mr. Murray in a Habs uniform for the rest of time (it'll never happen, of course).

Also ... Carey Price stayed in Montreal, which caused a few to panic that he'd re-injured his knee. But Price was never going to play tonight, not back-to-back, and certainly not against a team like Buffalo. So Dustin Tokarski was called up from Hamilton today, and will start in the nets tonight, while Peter Budaj will ride the pine.

Puck drops at 7:05 EST. NO LIVE BLOGGING TONIGHT!! You're welcome.


There it be in all of its glory. This was approximately 0.5 seconds before the puck was pushed out to Frankie Bouillon for the game winner.

Whine all you want Sens fans, that puck wasn't covered by Lehner, who played some of the most inept goaltending over a five minute span that you'll ever see in an NHL game.

Habs/Sabres in a bit.

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