Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Game Seven - EC Semi Finals: Habs vs. Bruins


Montreal 3, Boston 1:


- Habs have been here before. They know what they must do to finish this out. Now, they must execute.

- According to Extra Skater, Habs win expectancy is 71%. Those are good odds, if not totally irrelevant. But still, good.

- Can we have some powerplay production?? Now would be a pretty much a perfect time.

- Passing lanes pretty open for Bruins - getting long range shots away, but those are always dangerous against this bigger Boston team.

- Bruins shortening their bench, and pinching defense agressively. Could tie the game or give Habs lots of odd man breaks.

- Price on Iginla. Was that the save that wins the series?

- Game mired a bit right now, in a slogging battle for the puck. Habs not entirely sitting on this, but are being very, very cautious when they have possession. Too cautions. Not many pucks are being directed towards Rask, which I think is a mistake. There's a bad goal there just begging to be scored.

- Game very slow

- Habs have to forecheck now as if their lives depend on it. Actually, their lives, at least this season, depends on it.

- Boychuck with a massively large interference call on Bournival. Boychuck did it because he knew he was beat. With four and a half minutes left in the third, the Habs with a huge opportunity to strike a dagger into the Bruins' heart. Here we go.

- Briere. Unbelievable. Off Chara. A bad goal. The dagger through the Bruins heart.

- An amazing game by a team that's astounding the hockey world. With the Rangers the next opponent, the Habs are automatically the odds on favorite to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Incredible. Overjoyed.


- Fair to assume that first period didn't go down well with the Bruins. Fair to also say they talked about it in the dressing room. Also fair to assume they'll come out with fury to start the second. Habs must buckle down and prepare for the storm building on the horizon.

- Habs first period Corsi totals, 55%. That's very, very good.

- Wow. Marchand with an incredibly dumb spray on Price, and gets nailed. 

- Habs powerplay still firing blanks, but on the upside, it's not helping the Bruins generate badly needed momentum.

- Now they're getting traction. Here come the Bruins.

- Yeah, Bruins are discovering their game here, getting most of the zone. 

- Gionta, bless him, tries so hard, but brings so little to the goal scoring table. Just doesn't have the finishing polish - more aptly, the shot, to covert his chances.

- Canadiens lost their speed game this period, wondering if they came out just a little too fast to start the game.

- Bruins roll the dice with a tired line off an icing, and don't call for time. Therrien sends out his scoring line, and exhausted Boston line can't clear. Pacioretty finishes. 2-0.

- Really good PK by Habs. Bruins couldn't set up in the Montreal zone. 

- Terrible penalty for Paciorerty to take. Opens the door for a reeling Bruins team that was on the hook.

- Habs PK can't clear, get pinned, Iginla tips the puck past Price. Unstoppable. 2-1.

- Still happy with how the Habs played in that period, powerplay goal aside. Habs are working hard to protect the passing lanes and block shots. Price looks calm and collected. If you were to offer this team a one goal lead in the deciding game against the Boston Bruins, they would have taken it. 20 minutes left. 20 long minutes for a possible berth into the Conference Final.

- Briere. How about that. Off Chara. Wow. 3-1.

- Oy. Markov with an interference. 121 seconds left. Hold on.


- No Seidenberg tonight for the Bruins, not that it's a surprise. But Julien kind of mused about it today, for whatever reason.

- Habs going with same defensive set as Monday night. No surprise there, either.

- Same forward sets in lineup. That means, no Moen tonight. So it's full steam forward, same troops, live or die with what you've got, with what worked.

- Bruins going with the same lineup tonight, including Bartkowski and Miller as the 3rd D pairing. That's a lot of inexperience to depend on, but Julien is sticking with 'em.

- Are we having fun yet? You know, win or lose, these are the games you live your whole life to watch. So enjoy it folks. Enjoy.

- Good, fast start for the Habs, transition has been crisp.

- Wow. Habs dump the punk in, Prust totally beats the slow Bruins D, and Briere with a sweet feed,to Weise. The first goal. An ideal start. Crowd is now quiet - stunned, even.

- Habs are totally outskating the Bruins just about every place on the ice. Don't know what the deal is with Boston, but they look slow, maybe even nervous?

- No goal scored on first powerplay, but Habs were winning just about every puck battle and race. 

- Period so far very similar to game 6, which was played on Habs terms. Bruins have to be worried that the game might be slipping away. We'll see how they rebound. They will rebound. 

- Habs breakouts have been incredible. Boston just plain slow. It's perplexing. I was expecting a whole lot more from them.

- Chara gets nailed for a hold. Not a marginal call. It's indicative of how the Habs are outworking the Bruins.

- Habs powerplay stumbles, but the point stands. If Montreal were told in advance tonight that the best thing going for the Bruins in game 7 was their penalty kill, they'd take that in a heartbeat.

- That period was just about as good as the Habs could hope for. They took the initiative, totally outskated the Bruins, won most of the battles along the boards. And, perhaps most critically, scored the first goal. We all know how important scoring first has been in this series. Habs have set the tone, they must continue to play the same game for the 2nd and 3rd periods - if they do, they will be in an excellent position of winning.


Do exactly what you did Monday night.

Puck drops at 7:10 EST.

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