Thursday, 10 April 2014

Game Eighty-One: Islanders vs. Habs


- Sundstrom in the hospital, that too will weigh against Murray if he's called into a hearing. 5 games? Can we hope?

- Habs first full powerplay pretty much a zero. Puck possession means little if no shots are attempted.

- Islanders are clogging up neutral zone. Habs have no answers, except to cough up the puck. Game going nowhere, time running out.

- Habs intensifying their forecheck and utilizing their speed more effectively which has helped give them bulk of zone possession past 10 minutes, but not much finish anywhere. Just not enough.

- Tampa wins tonight. Therrien inexplicably played a weak hand tonight, electing to play Parros and Murray, and the team came up snake eyes. Habs no longer control their destiny for second place. Tonight was a big huge greasy blown opportunity.


- This contest reminding a lot of last night's game. Except for one thing. This game isterrible.

- Ya know, if Parros can't even fight well, what is the point anymore?

- Well ... at least Carey showed up tonight for this snoozefest.
- Both clubs putting on quite a clinic on how not to finish a scoring opportunity. Don't be shocked if we head to a shootout tied at zero.

- Murray with a brutal board on Sundstrum behind the Habs net. That also might result in an NHL hearing. Murray gone for the night. Deservedly so.

- Subban stapled to the bench during a 2 minute 4-on-3. Because ... ??

- Price with an awesome single handed clear on the PK, assisted by some pretty terrible Islanders puck pursuit.

- Strome with a point shot that banks off two posts and enters the net. 1-0. Blame Murray.

- This team is impossible to figure out. Looked so fine last night in Chicago, and tonight an abomination. Nelson off the wing with a shot that Price probably needs to stop. 2-0.

- Horrible 2nd period for the Habs. Inexcusably horrible. This team is getting its clock cleaned by a last place hockey team that can barely muster a 20 man lineup.


- 4th line's first shift an adventure, as Parros and company get pinned in their zone and get stuck on a 2 minute shift. Price able to hold the Islanders off. 

- Bourque totally telegraphed that pass to Briere on a 2-on-1. Easily defended away. 

- The weakest part of Murray's game, if one can actually agree on one, might be his inherent inability and poor decision making when it comes to feeding the forwards from his zone. Most of his passes are prayers.

- Carey "the wanderer" Price. Stop that, please.

- This period isn't so much the Islanders' "kids" outhustling the Habs, it's the Habs just going through the motions. Roster adjustments from last night haven't made this team any better.

- Bourque settling back into his bad old "ehhh close enough" ways this period.

- Islanders started awfully strong, Habs started without a lot of energy. Weaver doesn't seem to be meshing well with Murray, but how can we blame him. New York significant outpossesed Habs, who like the first period last night in Chicago, are fortunate to come out of the period with no score on the clock. Not a good period at all.


- Ahhh ... it was too good to last, I suppose. Doug Murray will make his inglorious return to the lineup tonight. Markov and Emelin will also start, as will Carey Price. Oh yeah. And George Parros, becauLars Eller is apparently down with the flu.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program of terrible Habs defense.

Anyway, here's the full lineup. Read 'em and weep.

Line 1: Pacioretty/Desharnais/Vanek
Line 2: Gionta/Plekanec/Gallagher (reunited because of Galchenyuk injury)
Line 3: Bourque/Brière/Weise
Line 4: Bournival/White/Parros (Weise not here because of Parros, I'd reckon).

Back End:




So yeah, the loss last night to the Hawks was a bummer, but it can definitely be placed into the "good loss" file. To go into tough territory while resting three regulars including your star goaltender, and still come within mere seconds of winning outright, ain't too bad. Very impressive performances by the B's, Bournival, Beaulieu and yes, believe it or not, Bourque.

Bad news? Alex Galchenyuk. He took an awkward hit along the boards, he knee seemingly taking the brunt of the impact. His condition, both short and long term, is unknown.

Anyway, it's gameday again! Tonight, it's the Islanders, who last year were pesky and dangerous ... and this year, are back to being the bad ol' Islanders again. Here's New York's practice lines from this morning:

Line 1: Lee/Neilson/Bailey
Line 2: Persson/Nelson/Strome
Line 3:  Martin/Cizikas/McDonald
Line 4: Gallant/Sundstrom/Halmo

Not exactly forward sets that instills fear into opponent's eyes, is it?. This organization is a permafrost rebuild. 

Habs news, as we receive it, in a bit.

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