Monday, 16 February 2015

Game Fifty-Six: Habs vs. Wings


- Looks like Price's margin for error tonight is exactly zero. Not being helped by the Wings continuing to dominate zone pressure.

- Malhotra continuing to get regular shifts, and with it, blowing any semblance of a good scoring chance. Really don't quite understand the point of utilizing him anymore, at least at this stage of the game.

- If there's one player tonight who's capable of giving the Habs an unlikely goal, it's Alex Galchenyuk.

- Habs have basically just given up wanting to control the puck. Let the icing festival begin.

You know, you just KNOW, that Therrien is happy with what he's seeing. The rest of us gouge our eyeballs out.

- Five minutes left. Fans at Joe Lewis trying to get the home team motivated. At this point, it's as though both teams are resigned to a scoreless fate. 

- Malhotra in the circle tonight. 4 wins. 12 losses. We continue see his name penciled into the card, and we wonder ... why?

- After nattering about how useless Weise has been tonight, he makes a nifty pass to Plekanec who blasts a slapper past Howard from the high slot. Unbelievably, astonishingly, the Habs now stand to win this game.

- Pacioretty scores an empty net goal (yes, that happened). What an absolutely bat-insane win. How this team continues to pile on one totally unlikely win after another is something I've never seen, at least at this level, in my 38 years of watching this team religiously. 


That seemed inevitable. Habs get nailed for a hook in their zone (Markov). Waiting for the other game shoe to drop. 

- Has anyone heard from Prust since, oh ... mid-December?

Wings actually looked better 5v5 than during their first powerplay.

- Still blows my mind Jimmy Howard has a Stanely Cup ring. Tells you how deep that roster was.

- On any other top 4 Conference team, no way Manny Malhotra would be on an active roster.

- Habs doing an awful lot of running around in their zone. Really tough to see how the Wings stay off the board for much longer. 

- Normally you'd call this a "good road game", but to be perfectly honest, it isn't even that. The Habs are playing far too much of a passive game, with fits of incompetence with the puck. It's not only unwatchable hockey, it's incredibly frustrating unwatchable hockey.

- de la Rose is just so alert, so well attuned to the formation of the play, just loads of hockey smarts, this kid.

- Hard to believe there's been 39 registered shots on goal so far in this game. Just a whole lotta nothing going on. Habs waiting for Wings to muff it up (they haven't), Wings waiting for Price to muff it up (he hasn't). Should we just fast forward this thing to overtime, already?


- So Weaver starts in place of Gonchar. Probably not a favourable lineup adjustment against a possession strong team like the Wings.

- It's been while since I've seen a game delayed that long over a pane of glass. 12 minutes.

- P.K. Subban coming straight at you full wind up has to be a frightening sight. I don't care who you are or how long you've been an NHL goaltender.

- Unsurprisingly, Habs having problems maintaining control of the puck. Seem to be doing "okay" advancing to the Detroit line, but not much more past that marker. Bodes poorly for Montreal tonight.

- These two teams have some incredibly contrasting styles, it really is remarkable. Babcock has so fewer tools at his disposal, at least in comparison to a rich roster like Montreal, but he maximizes his lineup to full affect. I've little doubt someone like Bacock behind the Habs bench would win a championship.

Helm and the Wings giving a pretty good demonstration on how you leverage speed. It ain't dumping and chasing. It's carrying the zone.

- Shots 7-6 Montreal but don't let that fool you - the Wings owned most of the period, possession and scoring chances. They owned the puck, controlled the tempo, and shut down virtually every meager Habs attack. Gonna be one of those nights.


- Jiri Sekac is a healthy scratch tonight, for no explainable reason other than Michel Therrien is just wanting to drive us totally and absolutely crazy.

- Nothing else matters, except that Sekac, in just his FIRST DAMN YEAR in the NHL, has been very, very good. Head, meet desk.

- Did you know people in Montreal actually think having Phil Kessel as a Hab would be a very bad idea, because they think Kessel can't score? Those people actually exist. With a drool cup in tow, perhaps. But they exist.

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