Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Game Twenty: Pens vs. Habs


- I think it's pretty simple - if Desharnais is unwilling to shoot, he simply must be kept off specialty units. It's exhasperating to watch his linemates continuously setting him up, and he continuously refusing to attempt a score.

- I'll say this, if Fleury gets the shutout, it'll be from the benefit of many lucky bounces. Anyway, the Leafs are losing 8-0 tonight, so this game really doesn't look that bad. Actually, it wasn't. The better team won, but it was no slaughter. Habs played well from halfway mark on, which is to say, as usual this season.


- Bowman got 2 minutes playing time in the first, which begs the question, why even bother? Emelin the most at 8+ minutes, which begs the question, did somebody slip something into Therrien's water bottle?

- Haha. Habs Fenwick close was 36% in the period. Did I not estimate 65% for the Pens?? So close. So very close. 

- Gallagher with a poor pass in the neutral zone, then fails to cover his man on the resulting Pens rush. Sutter makes it 3-0. Gallagher works like a horse but struggles adapting to opposition transitions. 

- Some pretty casual and soft coverage receiving the Pens rush, and it's generating some crazy good chances for Pittsburgh.

- Still think an Eller-Pacioretty-Sekac power/possession line would be worth trying. Each of those three are momentum generators, at the very least.

- No three goal lead is ever safe. Not with Fleury in net. Just sayin'.

- Habs PP, Fleury down, puck clearly loose, Tim Peel inexplicably blows it down. Yeah. Tim Terrible Peel.

- Anyway, aside from that, Habs man advantage looked terrible. No scoring threat. Same old.

- Per Arpon Basu, Desharnais registered his 20th shot in the second period. Of the season. For the supposed number one centre. Yeah. That's pretty dismal.

- Habs second powerplay a little more zip, but no dice. On well. Just not happening tonight.

- Crosby. Powerplay. That'll do it once and forevermore. Might as well start Tokarski for the third.

- Slightly second period, but that's not saying much. Pens are a far more organized and disciplined unit, they eat teams like Montreal alive. One thing's for certain, when the Habs lose, they lose big.



- Pretty low energy start by this Habs team. Very much looking like a back-to-back team tonight, as opposed to last week's two games within 27 hours.

- Ouch. Beaulieu with a cardinal sin giveaway via a bad pass through the middle, intercepted easily by Bennett, and a wrister beats Price high.

- Poor Beaulieu is going to be lucky if he sees anything north of four more shifts the rest of this game. Therrien never forgets, never forgives.

- Hoo boy. Pacioretty with a soft play in his corner, another bad turnover, and in a split second, the Pens take a 2-0 lead, Letang to Downie.

- Sekac looking fast and involved again tonight. He's also carrying the zone - he refuses to do otherwise, which makes me love him all the more.

- More good work by Prust, who's really found his game the past few days.

- Um, anyone assigned to checking Bennett tonight? Anyone??

- Price looking very scrambley in goal tonight, not that I can blame him, Pens forwards are swarming the Habs crease pretty much unopposed. Some soft defending tonight by Montreal.

- I'd estimate a good 75% of the play in this period has been on the Habs side of centre ice. A good 65% in their zone. Not a pretty sight.

- Yeah. Not a good period. Habs just not even close to competing, slow and sloppy, especially in their own zone. No real quality scoring chances generated on Fleury - it's just like pretty much every other first period we've witnessed this season. So they're gonna dominate from here on out, right? Uh, right??!


- Hey, ho ... Carey Price will play tonight. Back to back starts for the first time this season.

- Jiri Sekac may or may not play tonight. If he starts, that's cool. If he doesn't, grab the pitchforks and fire up the torches.


Okay, Habs lineup for tonight:

Line 1: Pacioretty-Desharnais-Parenteau Line 2: Galchenyuk-Plekanec-Gallagher Line 3: Prust-Eller-Sekac Line 4: Malhotra-Weise Markov-Subban Emelin-Gonchar Gilbert-Weaver Beaulieu

More in a bit!

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