Friday, 18 April 2014

Game Two - EC Quarter Finals: Habs vs. Bolts

- Price picking right up where he left off. If he sees it, he will be stopping it.

- Emelin has made a couple of devastating bodychecks tonight, but he still is by far making the poorest defensive decisions tonight, masked by many fine Price bailing saves. 

- I have to say, I expected more from Tampa this period. Seem to be playing very cautuious, as though the score were actually tied.

- Crowd breaks out in a USA! USA! chant because ... ???

- Habs powerplay, three golden scoring opportunities missed .., a third goal would be the death nail. Let's hope that doesn't haunt us later.

- Gallagher with the death blow. Lindback has to stop that. And he gets yanked. Wow. 

- Rene Bourque. A monster game. Icing on the cake. Might be his best game ever in a Habs uniform. Rest assured, Rene won't be a healthy scratch for the rest of he year.

- Habs have too much depth. They're overwhelming Tampa. Four rolling lines, the Bolts have no answers. There are no answers. 

- Bah. No shutout. Too bad, Price deserved that.

- Bourque ... Bourque ... Soooo close.

- Dominating win. Stranglehold series lead coming home. Habs looked amazing this week. Habsland ought to be getting excited about what might be ....


- Habs powerplay finally comes to life. Set play Subban shot pass redeflected in nicely by Desharnais. 1-0.

- How the heck does Prust draw a rough on that scrum??? Tim Peel, that's how.

- Tampa forwards are simply going around Emelin at will. One of these times, they're going to score because of that. 

- Pacioretty went down awkwardly off a hit, as in right on his tailbone. He's sitting on the bench in great  discomfort.

- Gorges with a terrible shift - giveaways and soft slot coverage galore. Yikes.

- Tim Peel with an absolutely brutal trip call on Desharnais. Amature officiating at its best (or worst).

- Rene Bourque. Almost no more. That was one of the best Habs goals seen all season. That might have been the best by any Hab this year.  Amazing score. 2-0.

- Weaver and Bouillon a mess, and Price with an incredible left pad save on Pauquette to keep Tampa off the board. Not sure who's the weaker link, but Weaver has not been meshing well with Frankie this series. 

- Habs bench looks really uptempo very energized, very positive. Tampa bench very quiet, subdued, pretty much the exact opposite.

- Habs controlled much of the 2nd - neutral zone checking has really been a significant differing factor in this series. It's giving Tampa's speedier forwards fits in trying to organize any kind of transition, and helping the Habs to gain a defined possession edge. Also, Carey Price. When he's on, this team becomes exceptionally difficult to beat. 20 minutes left and the Bolts are now faced with a desperate situation. Expect them to come out full flung to start the 3rd. They've got nothing left to lose.


- Palat is out, Tampa going with 11 forwards and 7 D. 

- Tampa comes out stormin, no surprise. Price steady.

- Lindback doing a decent job so far with rebound control.

- Bourque with an excellent backcheck to possibly stop a goal. Continues to play a strong series.

- Sweet breakaway save by Lindback on Gionta. And even better pass by Bourque to spring the Captain, who was completely and absurdly free.

- Eller line by far the Habs best so far - driving the Bolts nutty with aggressive forecheck, and generating quality chances. 

- Lindback looking far more relaxed and confident tonight. 

- 4 minute high stick to Stamkos. Habs PP can now be doubly inept.

- Too many men. On a four minute man advantage. We have just reached PP rock bottom.

- Putting Weaver on the man advantage with a minute left won't help much.

- Pretty even first, Tampa coming out much harder than game one, and Lindback looks good. This one is stacking up to be a close final score. 


Happy game day!! Anyone else still doing their happy dance from Wednesday night? Oh, poor Steve Yzerman! Awe. Keep your chin up Steve. It'll be okay Steve.
Actually, maybe it won't. Couple of injury notes out since Game 1, none of them particularly encouraging for Tampa. First, Ben Bishop won't play for Game 2, and while he "hasn't been ruled out" for later games in the series, whenever you hear a team say "maybe he'll be back!!", it almost always means he ain't coming back.
The other bit of bad news is rookie star Ondrej Palat, who was injured in game one, is probable no tonight ... we think? Jon Cooper made that announcement after practice this morning, and after quizzing a reporter as to whether he tweeted the information out, he (humorously?) then did a 180, and said "okay, Palat's in".
We're pretty sure Palat's out. Which is huge, because he comprises a significant portion of the Lightening's offense this year.
So less offense, and no starting goaltender. It's a rough situation for Steve and his troops.
- The Lightening have placed white t-shirts on every seat in their arena for a "White Out" tonight. That'll go just great because nothing instills fear into the eyes of an opponent than the intimidating colour of ... white. Amiright?
- Habs scratches for tonight. Doug Murray, George Parros, Ryan White, Jarred Tinordi, Travis Moen.

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