Sunday, 26 April 2015

Game Six - EC Quarter Final: Habs vs. Sens



- An ominous stat: The Sens have never been shutout this season. Nary a single time. So ... if that's the Habs plan to finish off the series, good luck, Chuck.

- Wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Sens finish the third just shy of 50 shots on Price. 

- Habs powerplay. Lots of passing. No shots on goal. Continue as you were.

- Maybe I'm too demanding, but if you've got a 2-on-0 breakaway, you should at the very, very, very least, register a shot on goal. Habs pass up a totally glorious scoring opportunity. 11 long minutes lay ahead.

- Sens really pushing their D forward looking for that tying goal. Habs have already seen two odd man chances, no shots registered. Of course.

- Five agonizing minutes left, Habs have had numerous chances finishing this thing off, but the players with those chances are incapable (Prust, Mitchell). Quite a few scoring opportunities have been generate by Eller, who's saddled with non-scoring wingers. Mystifying.

- Chris Lee with a terrible tripping call on De la Rose. Three minutes left.

- 1:20 left. Well, come this far, might as well try for the 1-0 win.

- Eller hits the empty net goalpost.

- Sens with crazy insane great chances the final minute, but Carey Price, of course, holds everything together. Seems only fitting that the Habs win the series the way they've won all year - being outplayed except for one position - goaltending.

And it's on to the second round.


 - Habs holding slight possession edge in the first, even though Ottawa had four minutes of powerplay. Even with the lead, it certainly appears that Price will have to be at the very, very top of his game if he and his team wants to close this series out. The Sens best scoring chances are surely, still to come.

- That said, Habs scoring the next goal will be huge ... monstrously huge, if Price is indeed, "on" today.

- It's an overstatement, but it seems like each Desharnais is worse than his last. 

- Sens pretty much steamrolling first half of the period, a couple of good, but not great scoring chances on Price. Habs really circling the troops around their slot.

- Here's a thought. Let's try putting out our best playing centre (Eller) with someone who's capable of scoring 40 goals a season (Pacioretty). Yeah?? 

- Habs in lock-down mode. Not even bothering to construct a decent zone exit, and when somebody does have the puck at centre, they're dumping it in. Habs are just asking for big-time trouble.

 Is it weird that the Habs are a more dangerous team offensively on the PK than 5v5 or on the powerplay? Yes. Yes, it is.

- Prototypical Habs period. Chipping pucks, with or without pressure, from their zone, dumping from centre ice. It's a sure-fire formula for losing, but this season, the Habs have somehow managed to win more than half their games following this perplexing system. Tonight is no different. It's as though the team has collectively decided that it's up to Carey Price to carry them through to the next round because, why not? He'd carried them throughout the regular season.

I'm not convinced, however, that this isn't going to end very badly for Montreal. They must find a way of scoring a second goal, or this Sens team, which rose from the dead during the regular season, will find a way of tying this game. I'm pretty sure of this.


- Well, why we're even playing a game six is kind of abysmal, but at least P.A. Paranteau is playing today, which ends the appeal we've been making over the past five games.

- Habs need to make Anderson's evening a living nightmare. Get on top of him, frusrtrate him. Do something to knock him off of his game. Oh yeah. And a damn powerplay goal wouldn't hurt either.

- That's the way Galley, give Anderson a little dig after the save. 

- Markov with poor stick control, highsticks MacArthur. Sens powerplay goes nowhere, though. Let's see if this generates any mo'.

- Habs with first six shots of the game, nine of them particularly dangerous. Anderson being let off the hook early, again.

- Gilbert/Pateryn continue to have communication issues, really struggle to clear the puck out. This has been an issue all series.

- Really dumb hold by Mitchell. Habs left with little choice but to play paranoid defensive hockey. It stifles the team's ability to create any sort of offensive momentum. This for a team that doesn't have much going offensively already.

- Habs offensive strategy hasn't changed. Harmless wrist shots from long range, hoping that somehow, Anderson will surrender a rebound. It's not going to happen. Anderson or any other NHL goaltender, won't kick out the puck from such routine shots.

- Lucky bounce for the Habs, they've been due for one. Point shot hits Gallagher as he skates towards the net, and the puck manages to land by his blade. Pacioretty with a nice play to keep the puck in the zone. Habs actually scored first. Pinch me. 1-0.

- Grade A beef save by Price on Turris. Another bad neutral zone turnover by Markov. Mystified by how many boner plays he's made in this series. Exhaustion? 

- Once again, Lars Eller is the Habs best forward. Too bad he can't get minutes which reflect that.

- Boner play by Anderson, and Prust can't finish on the open net. Another key moment where Prust fails to bury that could later haunt the Habs?

- Who would have guess that Andrei Markov (Emelin aside) would have been the Habs weakest defensive link in the series? In addition to this own goal in game one, he's been responsible for something approaching a dozen very clumsy defensive and neutral zone turnovers, two of which led directly to Ottawa goals. He sits on the bench and shakes his head. What exactly is the problem, here?

- Decent opening period for the Habs, a little luck helping to give the team their first, first period lead of the series. Lots of hard work, but still some concerns. First, the Desharnais line has been terrible in their own zone, so look for Ottawa to try to exploit the glaring defensive weakness. Secondly, the Habs continue to struggle with putting together anything resembling clean zone exits, which is really hampering their ability to formulate dangerous rushes, and thirdly, the penchant of taking long-range shots isn't working. The Habs scored not because of a long range shot, but because somebody was driving the net. Com'on, guys. Learn the lessons that are being painted right in front of you.

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