Saturday, 6 December 2014

Game Twenty-Nine: Habs vs. Stars


- Checking out - no point going through this period. The Habs are well headed towards a stomping tonight. A more or less disasterous road swing, not that we didn't see it coming. After beating the luck curve for the first quarter of the season, where this team managed to win 3 out of every 4, it was all a mirage underpinned that this team has given up more goals than its scored. That's what teams that don't make the playoffs do. And unless some fundamental changes are made, this talent-rich organization will not be playing hokey next April. The need for change must be done before everything totally unravels and the season is lost.


- Injuries starting to mount, Weaver is done for the night. This probably means more Bryan Allen Tuesday night, unless sanity sets in and somebody like Beaulieu is brought up.

- With Pacioretty in the box, Plekanec with a silly elbow on Seguin. Now down two for more than a minute. Critical juncture here.

- Therrien for whatever reason sends Markov and Ememlin out. Dumb.

- And guess who, Seguin makes it 2-0. That's a backbreaker.

- Habs PK more or less chaos tight now. Dallas with plenty of wind in their sails.

- Habs gaining plenty of open ice, but simply unable to get shots through on goal - Stars are doing good job sticking legs and sticks in the way.

- Good, hard but still slightly illegal thumping hit by Prust. Slight blindside and it puts the Habs and their disorganized PK back on the ice.

- Spezza is going to score tonight. He's playing too well not to.

- Dallas PP just going nuts, Habs PK deer in the headlights, Price seemingly the only person out there half-engaged. This has all the smells of a blowout.

- Dallas' offense has been relentless, the Habs sputtering burst of puck possession leading mainly to nothing other than shots easily blocked away by the Stars, aided by a strong two-way game by its offensive unit. It's not even close to a contest right now. The Habs are being taken to the shed.

- With Weaver done, Therrien has paired Gilbert with Emelin, and the results have not been pretty. Look for Ruff to try to exploit that weakness for all it's worth.

- Therrien's ultra conservative transition "strategy" is neutering all of Subban's greatest strengths - mobility, puck carrying, speed. It's a freakin' tragedy to see him constantly retreating and dumping the puck up the boards. What a waste and mismanagement of incredible talent.

- Numbskull and vicious crosscheck by Emelin with 8 seconds left in the period and he's sent off.

- And guess what. Seguin receives the puck off the faceoff and fires a wrister that handcuffs Price. That doesn't happen if Emelin doesn't make incredibly stupid decisions.

- An abysmal second period, more or less dominated by Dallas. A minor miracle the score is separate by only three - once again Carey Price making the bench braintrust look way better on the scoresheet than they actually are.


- Initial reports were incorrect - Gilbert will thankfully start. 

- Another night, another Initial/poor start. It's crazy how consistently bad this team is out of the gate.

- Spezza and his line are flying so far. Habs having great difficultly containing their speed. Game significantly shifts in Dallas' favour whenever they hit the ice.

- Ruff ain't no dummy. Sends Spezza line out against the Habs totally overmatched 4th line. Result? Total zone dominance. 

- Halfway through the first, zero shots on goal. It's embarrassing. 

- Emelin can't handle speed. So he's taking to just grabbing anything that sticks out, and is getting nailed for holding penalties.

- Stars take advantage. And once more, Habs get off to a terrible start and fond themselves down on the scoreboard. It's now beyond intolerable.

- Kind of incredible how this team, who came into the season ridiculously deep at the blue line have degenerated so badly in their own zone. 

- Malhotra with a breakaway, it looked very much like he'd never had one before in his life. The first shot on goal registered with little over 5 minutes left in the period.

- Another night. Another round of 51-67-22. Another game of futility.

- 12-4 first period SOG for Dallas. You know what? I'm just not even going to bother watching these first periods any more. We already know what's going to happen. Habs will get drubbed.


Finally, it ends. The western swing. As we said after the narrow and unimpressive win in Colorado (big whoop), the Habs were in deep trouble for the rest of this trip. Well here we are, at the end, and the Canadiens are looking straight down the throat of 2 out of a possible 8 points on this swing. And that still doesn't factor in the two losses before the trip to BUFFALO. Oy vey.


But there's one problem: Michel Therrien. So instead Therrien is inserting winger (??!) Sven Andrighett. Which makes exactly zero logical sense.


Carey Price will start in goal tonight, a back-to-back start for him (never good), and Tom Gilbert, who for whatever reason had been a healthy scratch, won't play because of an injury sustained during warm up.

Oh well. At least after tonight the trip will be done.

Puck drops at 7:15 EST.

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