Sunday, 7 December 2014

Game Thirty: Canucks vs. Habs


- Habs 2nd period possession stats, 70%, which is more or less, a total domination of the opponent. But yet we're tied. Big factor? Total lack of PP production. The needle on the scratched record hasn't moved.

- Beaulieu has been very good tonight, but for whatever reason, might not crack the 10 minute mark. It's as though Therrien is viewing this game from another galaxy. He might as well.

- They haven't scored, but the Galchenyuk line has given the Canucks defense and Miller all they can handle. This line, as long as Therrien doesn't do something else that's very stupid, could be very productive and exciting to watch.

- Galchenyuk is doing all the things you're supposed to do at centre, and doing them very well. Basically I'm saying there's no room for Desharnais upon Eller's return from injury.

- Habs powerplay. Hide.

- Welp, win or lose, we know a couple of things from tonight's game. 1) Galchenyuk can play centre, and play it well, and 2) Beaulieu has no business being sent down anymore.

- Superb, and I mean, superb pass by Andrighetto, to a wide open streaking Plekanec, and the Habs take the lead with less than four minutes left. The kid is making quite the statement for sticking around, which means the noose tightens more around Desharnais' future in this city.

- A narrow scoreboard win, but apart from that, a dominative victory over an obviously bagged Vancouver team. An emotional game, emotional night in Montreal, and an important victory. Galchenyuk's line was extremely impressive, here's hoping Therrien has the wisdom of keeping it in tact.


- To answer our previous question, the Habs were able to mess up a 5-on-3, nay, a 5-on-2 powerplay just , thank you. Got the sinking feeling this could be one of those nights where nothing goes in.

- Since no one else seems inspired by the magnitude of this evening, Gallagher opens the scoring with a smart snap shot over Miller's shoulder. Holy cow. The Habs just scored first.

The Canucks have blocked 19 shots in the first 30 minutes of this game, which is kind of insane.

- Safe to say second period possession stats are going to be pretty ugly for Vancouver. Habs with a pretty intense forecheck going which is helped them to generate plenty of zone possession and game momentum.

- Richardson with a pretty silly rough off the faceoff. Tired teams and players do stupid things. Although it IS a Habs powerplay ...

- ... and wow ... Markov takes a nap and lets two forwards behind him, Habs make a sloppy change even with the short bench, and the Canucks Dorsett scores shorthanded. Seems like this team manages to find new lows with the man advantage.

- Habs get a crazy 3-on-1 shorthanded chance, Pacioretty hits the post. I guess monumental breakdowns aren't always Montreal's forte.

- Andrighetti somehow misses a wide open net after Subban weaves magic with the puck. Habs outshoot their opponent 13-5 in the period and still find themselves not ahead on the scoreboard. Frustrating night not beating what should be a very tired and beatable opponent.


- Okay, that was quite the tribute. The moment of silence was totally silent. And Jean's widow Elise ... an incredible and special moment.

- Well that was quite the start, wasn't it? Habs defensive breakdown, Carey Price diving across the crease to stop the puck at the goalline. Just another Habs first period start.

- Canucks the faster team. By a lot. Habs content to dump and chase. Rinse and repeat. Losing formula. The story never ends.

- Powerplay looks limp. Too many long low percentage passes, not a whole lot of structure. It just never gets any better - those responsible for fixing it seem totally incapable.

- Plekanec fails to receive a fairly easy pass in he neutral zone on a three man break, turns puck over and then gets nailed for a trip. Quite a series of events there.

- The Plekanec play underlines a fundamental problem with is team. The inabilty of this team's forwards to receive pucks from the defense. It's been terribly sloppy most of the season.

- Is there a faster puck carrying forward in the League than Max Pacioretty? There aren't many.

- Habs getting legs here with six minutes left in the period - Canucks defense doing a lot of reacting and scrambling. Miller keeping the door closed - but only just.

- Welp, Habs are going to have a solid minute of 5-on-3 to start the second period. Looking forward to seeing how they mess it up.

- Not exactly a barnstorming period - the advantage the Habs carry into this game is the energy level of its opponent, who played just last night and lost a tough one late to an inferior opponent. Maybe lightening will strike twice tonight?


Okay, let's just knock this one out in point form.

- Bad news. Mike Weaver is out with a concussion. We learned that yesterday. Good news - Nathan Beaulieu has been recalled from Hamilton. Does this mean that Bryan Allen will get mothballed once and for all?

- WOW I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS FINALLY HAPPENED: Max Pacioretty, thank goodness, will no longer be playing beside the hapless David Desharnias. It only took more than 1/3rd of an entire regular season campaign for the braintrust to figure this out. Instead, Patches will be winged next to (yay!!) Alex Galchenyuk. AND NO MORE DALE WEISE. At least on the top line. 

- Here is the canukleheads lineup for tonight's game:

Line 1: D. Sedin/H. Sedin/Vrbata
Line 2: Higgins/Bonino/Burrows
Line 3: Jensen/Richardson/Vey
Line 4: Hansen/Horvat/Doresett


Annnnnd ... the Habs lineup:

Line 1; Pacioretty/Galchenyuk/Gallagher
Line 2; Sekac/Plekanec/Andrighetto
Line 3: Bournival/Desharnais/Parenteau
Line 4: Prust/Malhotra/Weise


Dang. We might even win with a lineup like that. Correctly arranged, even!

Carey Price will start in net tonight. Ryan Miller for Vancouver.

Big ceremony tonight for the dearly departed Mr. Beliveau. Puck drops ... whenever. It's time to pay our collective respects.

If this club could only choose coaches the way it holds memorials ...

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