Saturday, 5 April 2014

Game Seventy-Nine: Wings vs. Habs

Third Period:

- So yeah, hard to be critical of Bourque tonight. The effort, which has been so inconsistent most of the season, has been there tonight.

- Too many powerplay opportunities for the Wings, they finally hit the board. Really no good reason for Habs to be taking any kind of penalty at this point.

- Ut oh. Here come the wings. Horrible pinch by Tinordi creates odd man break for the Wings. 3-2.

- Since the start of the second there have been 26 shots on goal. 21 have been by the Wings. 

- Detroit is skating the Habs into the ice. It's not even close out there. And they've drawn another powerplay.

- Kronwall. We saw that coming straight down St. Catherine's from two miles away. Tie game.

- Bourque. No more almost. Justly rewarded. Habs take the lead. 

- Galchenyuk. We think?? 

- Man, that's borderline. Think it should count ... but with officiating these days, who knows.

- Been a long time for Galley, and it's officially 5-3. Really just deserts for the Wings whose defense has been soft around their crease.

- Oh Max. So close. Game has totally opened up - it's a free for all now.

- Hate to endorse TherrienHockey, but Habs need to focus hard on chipping and dumping now. 

- Emelin has gone insane this shift. Taking numbers and now getting penalized. 

- Habs beat the curve tonight. Blowing a three goal lead, getting outplayed for most of the last two periods, but still finding a way of winning. Now four points ahead of Tampa, the Habs are a single victory away from claiming 2nd place. We'll take it.

Second Period:

- Habs have scored first in a game 42 of the 79 games they've played this season. They've won 35 of those 42 games.

- Markov with a bad giveaway on the powerplay. That's a benchin', right?

- Wings' rushes just haven't been clicking tonight - making the Habs defense look for better than they actually have been.

- Wings had delayed possession of the puck for more then a minute. And it's Bourque with the usual dumb and unecessary penalty. Sigh.

- Another weak tripping call by the officials against the Habs - Plekanec the latest victim.

- 8 minutes in, Habs have zero shots. There goes that possession positive game.

- One shot. Pacioretty. And he scores. Crazy. Number 39.

- Rene Bourque with some fine effort working the puck to Tinordi who banks the puck to Gionta for the easy goal. 3-0. Habs, who were awful the first half of the second, rolling the second half.

- That said, Habs may finish the period with 3 shots.

- Nyquist guys, Nyquist. Not a bright idea at the best of times to lose track of him.

First Period:

- Tinordi gets paired with Subban. Beaulieu again doesn't make the lineup, for some ridiculous reason. Weaver with Bouillon - the later who really ought not be starting, period.

- It's incredible. We're handed the marvellous gift of not having Doug Murray for three straight games and Therrien still can't get his defensive priorities in order.

- Briere called for a trip on Smith, although no contact was made with any part of Smith's legs. A blown call.

- Desharnais line picking up right where they left off last night. That line continues to hum along.

- So phantom trip on Smith as he tumbles into he boards = penalty. Gallagher being rammed head first into the boards = no penalty. Got it. Gallagher now in the dressing room.

- Tim Bozan is in the house. That's wonderful to see.

- Nice drive by White to carry the puck deep and make a perfect feed to he streaking Bournival for the easy tip in. Habs 4th line, as usual, so much better when White is playing and Parros is not.

- There is simply no way to contain Vanek and the Desharnais line. They cannot be stopped, just stunted by hooks and grabs. Habs overnight have one of the most potent lines in the League.

- Kudos to Bourque for the effort and drawing a powerplay. At least he's contributing something.

- Pretty efficient period of hockey by the Habs, did a decent job checking the Wings' most dangerous scoring threats. Net result, a possession positive period and an early lead. Satisfied so far.


So here's the deal. P.K. Subban isn't allowed to make any mistakes. EVER.

Miss a check?

That's a benchin'.

Fall down?

That's a benchin'

High fivin' your goaltender?

Ooooh you'd better believe that's a benchin'.

Michel Therrien, coach extraordinaire. How many times will he humiliate the best defenseman this organization has had in nearly 30 years, before his spirit is totally broken?

Tonight, Heir Therrien leads his troops back on home ice against the Wings. Both teams kinda need this game, although the Wings, almost-but-still-not-quite out of the playoff woods, probably need this game a little bit more.

The Habs, meanwhile, can take a pretty big step towards clinching home advantage with a win tonight. They hold the tie-breaking advantage over Tampa, so the current two point advantage they hold is, in reality, a 3 point lead.

Rene Bourque ... yeah ... you remember him ... sort of, gets a start tonight in place of the utterly useless George Parros. So I guess that's ... good?

Max Pacioretty, coming off a hat trick night against the incredibly incompetent Ottawa Senators, needs just two more goals to reach the magic 40 goal mark for the Habs, which will be a milestone not seen in this city for exactly 20 years.

Habs defense best keep an eye on March phenom Gustav Nyquist, who's taken the League by storm in March, and has played a key role in the Wings late season surge which has, for all practical purposes, secured them a 23rd consecutive berth into the post-season. 23 times in a row. That's insane.

What else? Jimmy Howard will start in nets for the Wings, Carey Price, of course, will start for the Habs.

Puck drops at 7:15 EST.

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