Friday, 12 December 2014

Game Thirty-One: Kings vs. Habs


- Not like we didn't see this coming, but we saw this coming. Kings come out strong because they know darned well that three goal deficits or no, this game is winninl. Muzzin with a point shot that seemingly deflects off Markov and past Price. Another redeflected point shot for a goal. Really odd game. It's 3-1.

- Kings about to cross the 40 shot threshold. Might register 50 before this night is done. Insane.

- Clock can't tick fast enough for Montreal. Can they cling to life and stay ahead? 

- That'll help. A lot. Kings press just a little too hard, get caught in the neutral zone, and Parenteau with a pretty perfect feed to Desharnais. 4-1. Will that do the job?

- Kings now have 42 shots. 9 minutes left. I think they're going to reach that 50 mark.

- Doughty with a "holy crap" howitzer past Price. It had to be very close to 100 mph on the radar. This one ain't over. 4-2.

- Habs appear intent on trying to shutter the door. It's way too early for that. The Kings can easily overcome such an obvious defensive strategy.

- An absolutely fabulous shift by Andrightto and Bournival, with the latter's determined forechecking efforts finally producing a juicy turnover, a perfect pass to Andrighetto, and Jones can't move over fast enough to keep it out. 5-2. THAT should do it.

- Sekac. Wow. Highlight reel goal. It's just icing on the cake though. Jones having a miserable night. 6-2.

- A blowout score, with the losing team registering a blowout shot total. Just one of those weird, weird nights where everything seemed to go right for the Canadiens. Also masked by another great performance by Carey Price, I guarantee that this game played 20 times would have generated a Kings win 19 times. We will, however, take the money and run.


- Habs indeed were totally outplayed in the first, in particular Prust, Emelin and Desharnais, who each had a Corsi rating of 0%.

- Amazing. Another powerplay, another powerplay goal, another point shot that appears to have been redeflected. Markov. 2-0.

- Habs having a much better second period, at least they're getting zone possession and registering shot attempts.

 - Just crazy. Another point shot, this time Subban, another goal. But it's one that Jones should have stopped. And it's 3-0.

- Who needs a penalty killing unit? Just give it to Price and he'll fire it out. 

- Looks like one of those weird nights where the Habs can't do anything but let the good bounces happen. They haven't done anything special to earn this lead, other than using a pen to mark Price as the starter.

- Price is putting on quite the show. Habs PDO must be about three million tonight.

- Kings totally dominating last half of the second period, and it's resulting in a string of Habs penalties, all totally deserved.

- Second period not much different than the first, the Habs got more scoring attempts away. Otherwise if not for the Carey Price show, there is no way the Habs would be headed to the 3rd with the lead. Oh, about that. The three goal spread is by no means safe. Not the way the Kings are playing tonight.


- Galchenyuk line gets to start, a nice acknowledgement they were the best line out against the Canucks Tuesday night.

- Calls on Subban have been questionable this year but that boarding was fully deserved. Kings to the PP.

- Kings possess the puck like a well oiled machine. They're everything the Habs aren't and what the Habs must become if they're to compete for a cup anytime soon.

- My eyes. They surely deceive me. A powerplay goal, three seconds in? Tres manufique! Definate Habs bounce there off Subban's point shot, but we're owed a few of those. 1-0.

- Carey Price's switch appears to be set to "on" tonight. Three magnificent saves so far in the period.

- It should be noted that Price's dazzling saves as this period winds down is underscoring how the Kings, regardless of Subban's goal, are methodically taking over this game.

- If it wasn't for the scoreboard we'd already be wringing out hands over how badly the Habs are being outplayed. Well, I'm doing plenty of wringing over here - something needs to change soon or L.A. is going to run away with this.

- Parenteau, who got nailed for a marginal high stick, is badly wacked in the face after a faceoff, and somehow the refs missed the play. Terrible.

- Kings outshot the Habs 14-4. That's about right. No way the Habs can hope to win tonight unless they do something else, quickly. The dump and chase ritual plays right into L.A.'s wheelhouse, the only other realistic option for Montreal is to intensify their forecheck and put the Kings on the defensive. Otherwise, don't be surprised if this game ends up a blowout.


FRIDAY! HAPPY FRIDAY. What's this? A Habs game on a Friday night? At home? That's only happened three (3) times in twenty (20) years. For real! How do I know? Just because I know. Don't ask for facts or anything. I don't do facts. My gut says it's three times, so that's the correct answer.

Hey - guess what? No lineup changes for tonight. That means another night with Alex Galchenyuk at centre (yay!), with Brendan Gallagher on his right (yay) and Max Pacioretty on his left (yay!).

It also means another night where David Desharnais is relegated to marginalized third line duty (yay!). Now if only Michel Therrien (boo) would be willing to take Desharnais off the powerplay (yay), we'd really be going in a good direction.

Also it means another start for Nathan Beaulieu (yay) who seemingly does everything a young defenseman is supposed to do (and more), and yet can never seem to establish regular playing time mainly because his coach (boo) doesn't have confidence in his abilities. Ergo, it's meant more playing time for the likes of Alexei Emelin (boo), and Bryan Allen (barf). 

So the Kings. Hmm. Maybe tonight isn't something to look forward to. First meeting of the season between these two, last year the Kings swept the season series (two games) outscoring the Habs 8-1. Yeek. L.A. is pretty much the team we all expect them to be, a defending Stanley Cup champion that hasn't taken much if any steps backwards from last year to this. What does this mean? It means the Kings this season are (again) the best possession team in the League, the second best Fenwick %, and an offensive zone start 2nd in the League at 36%. That means the Kings are a strong forechecking team that thrives on pinning their opponent into submission in their own zone. The Habs would kind of be the perfect example of a team that just loves to keep it in their end, and let Carey Price bail them towards victory. 

The Kings have a pretty solid balance of attack, split mainly between Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter lines. It doesn't also hurt when your other centres are Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards, and for good measure, Jarret Stoll. Man, how do you defend against that?!?

Puck drops at 7:40 EST.

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