Thursday, 18 December 2014

Game Thirty-Three: Ducks vs. Habs


The second-greatest centre in the history of the Montreal Canadiens.


First Period:

- What an incredible presentation and standing ovation for Saku. What a player. A small tragedy he didn't play his entire career in Montreal. He could have. He should have.

- Two strong shifts to start the game for the Galchenyuk line, it's the first one they've had in a very long time that could be called a power line.

- Reasonably decent start more or less wiped away by poor faceoff and slot protection, Duxks take early lead. Gilbert and Beaulieu a tad soft off the draw.

- Eller can't come back fast enough so that Desharnais isn't given any more powerplay time, which of course, Therrien would never do.

- Galchenyuk line proving that Ducks struggle when a strong forecheck is applied. They've had Anaheim pinned more than a couple of extended times in their zone this period.

- So, Galchenyuk line decided to make an appearance tonight. Subban and Markov. The rest? Pretty much traffic control from the Ducks' perspective. Habs collective effort in that period not nearly enough to compete tonight. That, and the 4th line really struggled with Bordeleau doing some savvy line matching. This Habs team really struggles against teams that are well coached. 

Second Period:

- Habs first period stats indeed pretty dismal. Poor possession, 42% Fenwick and 34% Corsi. Team got an extended visit to the woodshed.

- Prust with a clinic on how not to try to fake out an opposing goalie during a 3 on 1.

- Gallagher showing great hustle getting back into his zone to cover for AWOL Emelin. If not for that, it's probably 2-0. 

- Emelin now playing alongside Gilbert. I'm guessing this means Therrien is shortshifting Beaulieu.

- I'm counting on less than two fingers the number of tough saves Anderson has had to make the first 35 minutes of this game.

- Galchenyuk line is being dangerous, getting very close to breaking the scoresheet via some pretty intense speed and forechecking. Puck luck hasn't been on Habs side this period.

- Gallagher's been Habs best forward tonight, certainly both directions. Subban has looked awfully strong, helping Habs to gain a lot of zone possession tonight. 

- So Therrien benches Beaulieu. Two shifts, 27 seconds ice time last half of the second period.

- Much stronger 2nd period for the Habs, but bounces were firmly in Anaheim's court. This can't last all night, can it? Anyway, Montreal with as good a chance of any of evening the scoreboard if they can muster another 20 minutes like the previous. Game still very much up in the air.

Third Period:

- Strong second period has put the Habs into positive accumulative possession. 

- Anderson has surrendered more than a couple of big league rebounds off point shots tonight. Again the puck luck not quite there for Habs to capitalize.

- Another poor phantom tripping call, this time Prust is the victim. Seems like we can't have at least one of these bad penalties at least once a night.

- Nathan Stoner with an atrociously dirty board on Pacioretty with the play moving up ice. Pure intent to injure. Mission accomplished. Max is helped off the ice and into the room quite obviously badly shaken up. Stoner deserves a good suspension for that. Officials again not doing their job.

- Pacioretty really looked in bad shape headed into the room. Injury may be very serious. Just horrible.

- Desharnais one timer (yes he shot the puck) on cross ice pass ties the game. Habs clearly motivated there to even the score for the fallen Pacioretty. 

- Habs on the PK off a very silly interference call on Subban. The PK box is very tight. Too tight for my liking.

- Habs report Pacioretty won't return. Sigh.

- Beleskey. Just as Subban steps out. There's that PK issue. 2-1 Ducks.

- Stoner isn't just a dirty player, he's a lousy fighter. Prust cleans his clock.

- Seven minutes left, Therrien sends out the 4th line, which ain't exactly generating much energy tonight. 

- More 4th line shifts for a team that's registered a meager two shots on goal in 15 third period minutes. What Therrien is thinking is anyone's guess.

- Habs listlessly hobbling to the finish line here. Dismal third period. Disasterous if you consider the Pacioretty injury.

- Subban targeted for penalization. Dagger in the game heart.

- Not a night we'd care to remember. Now we wait to hear about Max's status. Player safety will probably hand out punishment on Anaheim. And Darcy Burchell, a rookie official, has given us a glimpse of the NHL's officiating future - and it is not bright.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome, even anonymously. All I ask is that you behave, and in support of good taste, avoid the use of course language, or express opinions that are just plain silly (racist, sexist, etc.)