Thursday, 29 January 2015

Game Forty-Seven: Habs vs. Rangers


- Plekanec/Pacioretty/Gallagher. Sure, it was a powerplay line, but progress!!

- Price up to his usual tricks, absolutely robbing Stepan with a marvellous sprawling pad save. St Louis now skating around in disbelief. With a mortal in net, it's 1-0. 

- Rangers really turning up the heat with 8 minutes left, but the puck luck has been firmly bouncing in the Habs' favour. 

-   I'm petty damn sure Sekac next to Plekanec and Pacioretty would be giving oppositions defenders plenty o' fits.

- Lindqvist went more than six periods without letting in a goal against this Habs team, and then he lets that in? Crazy. Crazy luck for Habs tonight. 1-0 with four minutes left.

- Here come the Rangers ...

- Habs forwards seem to be having great difficulties of late with putting pucks into goaltender-less nets.

- Carey Price, no problem. And the Habs win another maddeningly dysfunctional game. Again.


- So, how long will it take before Subban is profiled again by this crew?

- Two entirely futile powerplays for the Habs tonight. Slipping back towards the specialty unit abyss.

- Rangers a bit snakebit this period - by far the better team but passes aren't quite connecting, shots finding a way of not going in.

- Closing in on six straight periods without a goal scored on the Rangers by his Habs club. Not even Price can bail his team out of this kind of production.

- Not exactly enthralling hockey tonight. Habs slipping back into their overtly conservative ways, playing classic Therrien hockey. Surrendering the initiative. And so the Rangers were handed the period, but really didn't do a whole lot with the opportunity. I guess it'll be up to Price to steal another one. Sigh.


- Oh yeah. I'd forgotten. I guess our hopes of Emelin getting supplemental discipline after his CFB Tuesday night went out the window. The League obviously hates the Habs.

- Am I the only one who has dreams at night if Sekac playing on the first line? Am I weird? Don't answer that.

- Alexei Emelin slow and soft in front of his net. In other news, the Sun rose.

- It's just so damn obvious. Why hasn't this happened? 1. Shelve/trade Emelin. 2. Get Weise off the first line. 3. Shelve Malhotra permanently. So many addition via subtraction moves this team could make that would make them miles better in an instant. 

- Christian Thomas on 2nd powerplay unit? I'm all for playing the kids, but he's no powerplay winger.

- Subban called for embellishment, for the life of me, I can't figure out for what? And the profiling continues ...

- Pacioretty just had a shift without Dale Weise and guess what - he generates a high quality scoring chance. Shocking.

- Kreider tries to bait Subban into a fight. P.K. Laughs in Kreider's face. Kreider is as low as they get. But we already knew that, right?

- Incredible. Subban also sent to the box for having the audacity of not fighting, I guess? That's two times this period Subban has been profiled and targeted by some awful striped officials.

- Did Weise actually score? It's hard to tell for certain with the cameras they have. Why hasn't the League installed super slow-mo cameras for situations like this?


This guy. Yeah that guy above. Look at that. LOOK AT IT. I'm already angry. I just wanna give that face a good hard smackin', and that's not even considering the fact that this smug little guy completely and utterly derailed our hopes of making it to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, because of this:

Avoiding contact, my butt. Just look at that. One purposeful crash into the net, and all playoff hopes were extinguished. It still smarts today to think about it. Revenge. We want it.

Well, we had an opportunity early in the season to give the Rangers a little taste of come-uppance, and we got a taste of sorts back in October when the Habs beat the Rangers 3-1. But then in November, the Habs got, in one of their ugliest games played all season, curb stomped by the blue shirts 5-0. I hate, HATE the Rangers.

Anyway, a season on, and New York still is a pretty good team. 7th in the Conference, but it's a deceptive placing. I think the Rangers are better than their record represents - 9th rated League offense, 4th rated defense, I would not be the least bit surprised that this team will gradually climb higher up the standings as the season heads towards the stretch drive. I think the Rangers are likely to (bold prediction time) eventually overtake the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, and yes, the Canadiens, before all is said and done.

Rangers are a team that, like last year's club, thrive off speed, and spread their scoring around. Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan all have more than 30+ points - they have three competent scoring lines at their disposal. This can be a very, very tough team to play against.

Meanwhile in Habsland, the team continues to just haphazardly rumble down the road, picking up unlikely win after unlikely win, even though they get outplayed, out-possessed and outshot virtually each and every game. The only other significant consistent has been the ridiculously good play of Carey Price, whom game after game, bails his outplayed team to victory. 

Not helping the Habs cause is coach Michel Therrien's continued insistence of putting 4th liner Dale Weise on the team's top line, which, unsurprisingly, had resulted in the suffocation of that line's offensive production. It certainly has dramatically scaled back the ability of players like Max Pacioretty or Thomas Plekanec, or Brenden Gallagher, or whomever else has been saddled with Weise, to generate appropriate levels of offensive production. Yet, for reasons that continue to baffle closer followers of this team, Therrien keeps putting Weise out there, the line continues to get badly outplayed virtually ever shift, and the team as a whole, is left figuring out how to win with its hands tied behind its collective backs, courtesy the coach's terrible bench decisions.

Oh well. Again tonight it's Price in net. Which means the Habs have just as much a chance tonight of winning as any other night. They'll probably get badly outplayed, but that doesn't seem to really matter.

Puck drops at 7:10 EST.

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.)