Saturday, 31 January 2015

Game Fourty-Eight: Caps vs. Habs


- Officials miss blatant Caps too many to start the OT.

- Lars Eller appears to struggling with confidence issues again, especially carrying the puck.

- OH my goodness. What a brilliant game winning goal by Max Paxioretty, driving the net and tipping a pin-perfect backhanded pass by Plekanec. Play started after excellent stutter step by Plecks, which created space along the wing that created a very narrow passing zone. Brilliant.

- Habs just do it again. Price with 2nd straight shutout, carrying his team through two brutally bad opening periods. This team totally defies gravity, except for Carey Price. MVP.


- Habs better in the third, which feeds into the season-long pattern. Habs, I think, are a horribly prepared team for each and every game, and it takes the players a couple of periods to figure out their opponent and make the adjustments themselves. Coaches are glorified gate keepers.

- Habs powerplay back to being dreadful. Largely because they are again dumping the puck instead of carrying the zone. Net effect is that it takes this team way too long to set up their unit. Everything is systematically stunted and dysfunctional.

- Christian Thomas has arguably been the Habs best (most consistent) forward today.

- Oh man, Holtby has been great this period. Third period has indeed become a goaltenders showdown, unlike the first two when it was Price against the world. Habs will get another point, and for perhaps the umpteenth time this season, two points even though badly outplayed by their opponent.


- Habs adjusted possession in the first period was 36%. I'm not going to say they played badly in the period, but they played badly in the period.

- Ovechkin can't out-muscle Subban in the crease so it's on to plan B: take a flop.

- Manny Malhotra. I actually wonder if he could beat 60 on the shit clock with his wrist shot. 40?

Stupid, stupid play by Emelin crossing full-flight Ovechkin into a defenseless Price. The guy never observes, never learns, never thinks before "being physical". A true liability in just about every sense.

- Emelin double-downs with the stupid, gets nailed with a cross well after the whistle is blown, put Habs two short. Crazy stupid.

- Two posts hit in the span of five seconds, and Brown flops on top of Price. No interference call. Sigh.

- Ovechkin just took a 4 minute shift. That's Emelin stupid territory.

- Gee, I thought the Habs looked bad in the first period, this second period is making the first 20 minutes look like a walk in the park. Just a terrible, terrible afternoon, execution has been awful.

- The brief moments this team isn't playing on its heals, everything else is off the mark. Passes too far or too short, shots on Holtby wide of the net. It's making this an incredibly frustrating game to watch.

- Speaking of off the mark, Gallagher takes a Subban shot off the leg, and has gone to the room. In considerable pain. Oy.

- Well just a terrible period, even worse than the first. Caps outshooting 16-6. With MVP Price taking on the entire Washington team, and the Habs offense being just terrible, our early game forecast of few goals has come to fruition.


- Weise is a significant defensive liability on the first line, and if not for a brilliant last moment check by Markov, it'd be 1-0 Caps before the one minute mark.

- Caps defense blocking everything in sight. Holtby nearly unecessary so far.

- Carey Price being Carey Price again. Therrien looks on and thinks "I'm the coach of a first place team!"

- Speaking of our esteemed coach, he appears to be matching Weise against Ovechkin, which is all sorts of insane.

- More than a few Caps forwards playing with a nasty attitude today. Let's see if that results in some stupid Washington penalties.

- Price appears to be in another Price-level zone today. Goals are not going to come easy today.

- That said, with exception to one or two even strength shifts, Habs are getting their socks played off today. Caps have almost all of the initiative, Montreal in total reaction mode.

- Not a good period for the Habs, they looked ill-prepared for the Caps speed and strong forecheck. It's the regular Habs pattern this year - their game preparation has been, for at least 80% of their games, simply atrocious.


Woah, afternoon hockey! This Superbowl Habs weekend day game stuff. Whatever. We'll take it! Gets the important hockey out of the way early so the rest of us can devote the rest of our weekend to fun stuff!! Me?!? I ... uh ... will ... probably wash my floors.

Today, Habs will be going with the same lineup tonight as they did against the Rangers, which is fine as long as they play another game like they did against the Rangers, even with Weise on the top line, Emelin and Malhatra in the lineup, etc. etc. etc.

The matchup today is pretty simple. The Caps offense vs. the Habs defense ... sorry, I mean, Carey Price. Washington is playing well, beating the Pens with relative Wednesday night 4-0. They're a better possession team (which applies to just about anyone matched up against the Habs, I suppose), with a 52.5 relative. And of course, there's Ovie - who's leading the League in goals, as per usual.

Habs have been pretty good with these Superbowl weekend events, which of course, means exactly nothing. Washington last lost a regulation game in Montreal back in 2009 which means, of course, everything.

Here's hoping they can somehow overcome their self-imposed disadvantage courtesy Therrien's lineup choices, and muster up another win today. Which is to say, go Carey!

Puck drops at 1:10 EST.

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