Monday, 3 March 2014

Game Sixty-Three: Habs vs. Kings

Third Period:

- Weak cross call on Carter, Habs escape the PK, now head to the PP.

- Can't figure out Therrien sending Gorges out on the powerplay. That's basically surrendering the man advantage.

- Markov has easily been the Habs most dangerous forward tonight.

- Budaj half reaction, half dumb luck, keeping the Habs in this. But only barely.

- Gorges is hurt? In the dressing room.

- Apparently hurt falling into the corner. Hasn't returned.

- Habs with spurts of pressure in this period, but nothing sustained. Kings are still owning the tempo.

- Unvelievably, Doug Murray might end the night with the most shifts of any Habs player. Yeah, that's actually a possibility.

- Lars Eller has 16 seconds in the 3rd. The doghousing is complete.

- It appears that Gorges had an equipment problem, not an injury, and has returned. Here's hoping that means less of Murray.

- Can the Habs find one more to pull out of their butts? I see little reason to believe this will occur. Habs just no mojo tonight, not being helped by some terrible bench management by Therrien.

- So with Budaj pulled, and puck in the Kings zone, Therrien has Emelin and Gorges out. Mmmkay then.

- And the Habs lose with a whimper. Seems fitting.

Second Period

- Okay, so even though he was terrible retreating to his zone for the Kings' first period goal, Emelin ended the period with nearly 10 minutes of time. Subban. 5. Normally I'd be baffled, but you know ... Therrien.

- Habs clogging up the neutral zone win great effectiveness, really hampering L.A.'s zone transition.

- Habs unable to clear their zone on the PK, exhausted, and not aided by a flip flopping Murray, Kings' Carter buries a wrister. 2-1.

- Habs powerplay,  unable to setup once in the L.A. zone. Easy kill.

- Yeah, Eller needs an intervention. We're past that point. A game off. Something. Because at this rate, he's headed nowhere. 

- Stoll head down, gets railroaded by Subban. See if that inspires his mates.

- Habs PP, let's see if this can be any worse than the previous.

- Yup, so far, so worse.

- Sweet tape pass by Markov to Galchenyuk in the slot, shot off the bar. Markov with a tremendous PP shift.

- Lars Eller given a two minute penalty for trying to score a goal. Beautiful.

- Therrien puts Emelin and Tinordi out for the PK, and chaos ensues. Minor miracle Kings didn't bury their third. Posts hit and empty nets missed. Habs, I suppose, are pleased enough to be down just one after 40 minutes. Therrien also appears to be severely limiting Subban's minutes tonight, for reasons that only he could possibly know.

First Period

- Well here we go. Breakout for Kings from their own zone, Emelin agonizingly slow skating backwards, Muzzin with a reasonably soft wrister that handcuffs Budaj. Another question all opposition goal to start a game - 1-0.

- Eller, is this a snakebite forward or someone who has confidence that's been completely destroyed? Misses a wide open net.

- Timordi shows some of that scrappiness that seemed to be missing during his previous call up, scraps with Clifford - and holds his own. Good stuff.

- Pace is pretty fast, not exactly the best model if you're the road team (with your backup in net).

- Lars Eller, badly outskated and outhustled, hauls down Kopitar. The spiral continues.

- Shoot it on net. Just shoot it on net. Subban just directing it to the net, crazy redeflects and game is tied.

- Off an icing, like how Gallagher "gets tossed" from the circle to buy time. It's a clear bend of the rules, wonder if the League might look at a rule adjustment that only starting centres can take the draw first.

- Pretty good pace to the period, Kings had possession edge - in particular the early part of the frame, but the Habs seemed to gather momentum and control the later half. More or less a wash - for a road team! you'll gladly take it.

Game Day News 'n' Notes:

Ho, boy. Here we go. L.A., Anaheim, Phoenix, San Jose. All on the road. All in five days. This could be a very, very ugly week.

Anyway, first stop is Los Angeles. And the Habs lineup tonight is such:

Line 1: Galchenyuk/Plekanec/Gionta; Line 2: Pacioretty/Desharnais/Gallagher; Line 3: Bourque/Eller/Brière; Line 4: Moen/White/Weise Annnnnnnnd ... on the line: Markov/Emelin Gorges/Subban Murray/Tinordi Annnnnnnd between the posts:

Peter Budaj.

Meanwhile, Carey Price didn't practice today and was put on injury reserve, which is a pretty good indicator that he's unlikely to play any of these games on this western road trip.

It's gonna be a rough week.

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