Friday, 28 November 2014

Game Twenty-Four: Habs vs. Sabres


- Well, well, well - miracles never cease. Subban involved in a penalty call, only this time, he drew.

- And the miracles just keep on coming. Parenteau scores off a mad scramble, Enroth failing to propriety cover the puck. As greasy a goal as they come, but it's a goal. Desperate times. Desperate times.

- Therrien absolutely tearing a strip off the linesman. Can't fathom what for, or what he hopes to accomplish.

- Sans the early powerplay goal, Habs mailing in another uninspiring period of hockey. Almost as though they're playing for the tie. Against the Sabres.

- Wow. Prust was given a match penalty in the second period. That's pretty serious. Must have been something he said - to an official? 

- One of the big problems with Desharnais is he carries the puck around with no rhyme or reason. His wingers seem to have trouble figuring out what he's going to do.

- Emelin with the stupid play of the night. Really, really stupid hit on Gionta that looked intent as a headshot.

- Just desserts. Habs get burned by fluky bounce off the backboards. Emelin the root goat, though.

- Sabres win. Unbelievable. With Gilbert a healthy scratch. With Beaulieu in the minors. With Tinordi in the minors. With Emelin getting regular shifts. Just crazy, unbelievable.

- Deaharnais fails to hit the open net, and there you have it - tired Habs line can't come back to cover the always excellent Hawks transition, and Saad stabs the Habs through the heart. Also loved the way Desharnais coasted back from one end of the ice to the other. 

- Another loss. But this one had extra bite and hurt. 


- Habs first period Corsi registers in at 53%, which again, isn't bad - against an average team. But Buffalo isn't an average team.

- Habs have plenty of possession in the Sabres zone so far in this second period, but are failing to generate many good scoring chances. Plenty of puck lobs, low percentage cross ice passes into feet, but no actual productive offense.

- Habs forwards making Enroth look way better tonight than he's actually been.

- Price hasn't faced a single difficult shot this period, and yet still, the Sabres are comfortably sitting on a 1-0 lead.

- Nifty pad save by Price on Moulson, his first difficult shot faced this period, now with 8 minutes left.

- For some inexplicable rationale, Therrien has dramatically scaled back the ice time for the Eller line - the best line this team has had much of November. Net result? Sabres 1, Habs 0. Shocking.

- And so the Habs head to the dressing room after having been outplayed the first 40 minutes against one of the worst teams in NHL history. Yeah. It's just like that.


- Hooy boy, here we go. Ennis just skates around the slowfooted Emelin and makes a pretty backhand play off the rebound to put the Sabres up early

- Habs "new look" powerplay features Desharnais at centre and Gonchar at the line. Brilliant.

- Habs forwards are seemingly trying to drive the net, which against this terrible Sabres defense is quite sensible. But it's generating so far ziltch on the scoring chance ledger.

- And Emelin takes a hooking penalty for not paying attention to his fundamental responsibilities. The Horrorshow continues.

- Habs "new look" powerplay gets a second chance. This should be fun.

- Powerplay looks, in a word, atrocious. In five words, just as bad as before.

- Agaainst a good team, this first period would barely qualify as mediocre. Against this terrible Sabres team, it's more of the same from this team: a terrible first period.


Haha. We love the Sabres. Not because they're so lovably awful, but mainly because they thoroughly thrashed the Leafs last week. As you can see, it was a pretty embarassing night for all involved at the Air Canada Centre. For that, we are forever grateful to the Sabres organization.

Well, except for tonight. Tonight, you Buffalo people will twist in the wind. Or perish by drowning in seven of the 248 feet of snow you have on the ground right now. We don't care. We just want the two damn points, and you're gonna hand 'em over, see?

Well, maybe you'll hand them over. We Habs fans have a little problem right now, and it's mainly to do with the guy who stands behind our bench. See, he grasp on how a defense is put together is rather, shall we say ... rudimentary?  The coach, as we pretend to call him, was given a pretty sweet list of players to select from at the start of the year that included superstar P.K. Subban, and two up and comers by the name of Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi. He was also given the solid but sturdy Mike Weaver, and savvy veteran Andrei Markov - still one of the best of the business.

Add to that, G.M. Marc Bergevin added to the roster a pretty solid free agent signing in Tom Gilbert. He brought to the table pretty sound defensive abilities, and a little offensive punch.

So there you go. Pretty good slate to choose from. Oughtta win more than a few games with that.

So hey. Guess what? Almost none of those guys are playing. Nope. Beaulieu and Tinordi have spent much of the year in Hamilton, and Gilbert, who's played as well as many of us expected him to (i.e. pretty good) has been scratched tonight, in favor of 40 year old Sergei Gonchar, and the newly acquired, but slow and bumbling Bryan Allen.

So instead of having a 1a) (Subban), 1b) (Markov), 3 (Gilbert),  4 (Beaulieu), 5 (Weaver) 6 (Tinordi) defense, our coach has decided to run with a 1a) (Subban), 1b) (Markov), 6 (Weaver), 7 (Emelin), 8 (Gonchar) 9 (Allen) defense tonight.

It just makes you scratch your head, or run away and cry.

So yeah, Sabres fans - we love you! And in recognition of that love, we're doing everything possible to ruin our defense. Tonight, you're the lucky first recepient of this gift of a terrible defensive lineup. ENJOY.

Puck drops at 7:10 EST. The hand wringing will start around 7:15.

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