Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Game Fifty-Three: Flyers vs. Habs


- Habs being way too careful in this OT so far. Just finish it, guys.

- And there you have it. Desharnais a pass/shot that's completely flubbed by Emery. Follows up the rebound and backhands it in for the win. You just knew that was coming.

- Hey, are we in first place in the East yet?


- Desharnais great speed on the wing, beats the sluggish Flyers defense, zooms in on Emery and somehow ... doesn't get a shot on goal.

- Habs be stormin' early here.

- Flyers look like the Habs have looked like for most of this season. Getting slapped around, but somehow, someway, maintaining a ridiculously low scoring lead.

- More fearless Subban stopping slap shots by Flyers forwards. That's helping them hang on.

- Corsi is going to be eye-poppingly one sided at the buzzer, if this keeps up.

- Dale Weise played the entire two minutes of the Habs powerplay 6 minutes into the 3rd. What?

- Finally. Finally. Plekanec. Emery couldn't cover the loose puck. That's Emery. Tie game. Finally.

- Sekac and Galchenyuk just don't do the dump and chase Therrien hockey, do they?

- Subban has been blocked 7 times tonight. That's ridiculous.

- Ice conditions look pretty nasty in the Flyers zone, with the puck bouncing all over the place. For real, it's probably because most of the play this period has been in front of Emery.

- Overtime. Will the Flyers take another page from the Habs book and steal a game they have no business being in, in overtime?


- Joining in late tonight, but caught some of the first period without the aid of a computer nearby. In any case, the Read goal on Price is a little concerning - again Carey is beaten high glove side, which I am almost certainly convinced has become the book on Price. Really watch to see how many times opposing forwards take aim for that area of the net.

- Period itself was pretty listless, both directions. Emery, whom we made fun of earlier today, really didn't have much of any tough scoring chance to stop, and the one that came closest, a Desharnais backhander, actually beat Emery but not the post.

- I don't care what the scoreboard says, the lack of scoring opportunities is making Emery look way better than he actually is. Habs need to just keep firing on net. Something should get through.

- Full credit to anyone who throws his body in front of  Subban slapper, Flyers included.

- Puzzling play by Subban. Perfect cross-ice pass, open net, nobody to block, dishes back to the point.

- Decent late period powerplay, passes were on target, but shots just weren't registered on target. It's kind of been that kind of the night.

- Dale Weise seems to know where to go, but can't finish. Lots of work being done by his mates, but it's ... well ... we've talked about this topic endlessly.

- Decent period, Habs looked much better as the period progressed, they seemed to be clicking with zone passing, but entries are still struggling. If they can get the later figured out in combination with the former, they still have a good chance of coming back in the 3rd.


HEY. How 'bout that weekend? First, a solid thumping of the Devils (yeah, okay, it's New Jersey), and then more-or-less routine win 24 hours later over the (not very good??) Boston Bruins. All of a sudden, we're happy again!

And like those Bruins, the Habs aim to sweep another season series, tonight it's Philadelphia. Now ask yourself, when was the last time the Canadiens won every single regular season game against Philadelphia? 19 freakin' 77. For the calculator disabled, that's 38 years.

So we got some history to write tonight! Flyers are in tough - really tough, not just because the Habs are coming off two pretty impressive back-to-back wins, but because Philly lost the services of their starting netminder, Steve Mason, who was injured Sunday afternoon in a game against the Caps.

So who'll start tonight? Why it's none other than Ray Emery. Yup, that Ray Emery. He who couldn't keep his job with the Hawks last year, but somehow managed to latch on with the Flyers this season because, you know. It's Philadelphia. They have all the terrible goaltenders.

Anyway, good ol' Ray hasn't played in a month, and that start was truly atrocious, letting in 3 soft goals on 15 shots against the Canucks, before getting pulled. Emery's line rises slightly below mediocre - 2.7 GAA, .905 SV%. He's just not very good. So yay for us!

Starting lines for the Habs tonight:

Line 1: Pacioretty/Desharnais/Weise
Line 2: Glachenyuk/Plekanec/Gallagher
Line 3: Prust/Eller/Sekac
Line 4: Bournival/de la Rose/Thomas

- Markov/Subban
- Beaulieu/Gonchar
- Emelin/Gilbert

- Carey Price.

Annnnnnd ... for the Flyers:

Line 1: Schenn/Giroux/Voracek
Line 2: Read/Couturier/Simmonds
Line 3: Umberger/Laughton/White
Line 4: Vandevelde/Bellmare/Levacalier

- Streit/Schultz
- Del Zotto/Schenn
- Grossman/Macdonald

- Ray Emery

Even though Philadelphia is almost certainly not going to make the post-season, they haven't been playing half-bad of late. Undefeated in regulation their past 6, the Flyers biggest weapon is probably their powerplay, which is 3rd ranked in the League. Otherwise, they're just another organization in transition, hoping to find a way in the near future to rejoin the post-season conversation.

Meanwhile in Habsland, the Canadiens first line is producing points like crazy, and that's with Dale Weise on the left side. Even Weise has found the back of the net of late, potting 3 goals over the weekend. So ... I guess we'll take it, even though it remains a crime that Michel Therrien steadfastly refuses to put more able and dangerous wingers alongside their best forward, Max Pacioretty.

Puck drops tonight at 6:40 EST.

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