Sunday, 19 April 2015

Game Three - EC Semi Final: Habs vs. Sens


- Beaulieu didn't play the third, now wondering if that hit he took to the head from Karlsson's shoulder was worse than we thought.

- Oh Max, you don't clear the puck tossing it up the middle. They teach you that in novice.

- Habs defense dangerously soft in the slot this overtime. Sens have failed to convert two or three very good chances.

- Well, well. First powerplay to the Habs. I'd probably decline it.

- Oh-fer-half-a-dozen. If the Habs lose this game, even with 55% game possession, you can point your finger right there.

- Dale Weise. Who would have thought? Dale Weise. A legend in this series. Anderson has to stop that. Habs with stranglehold. How about that?

- Looking more and more this game will be decided by whomever has the better goaltending. You know who that favours.


- Habs with 75% possession in the second. That's dominance.

- Karlsson has definately shifted his mindset for this period. From physical to being far more offensively involved.

- Tough going so far this period. 12 minutes left. Sens are playing very tonight, giving Habs fits simply setting up in the Ottawa zone. Anderson hasn't been tested much. Need to drive more traffic to the net whenever possible.

- Habs defenders cheating in a little now. Perhaps sensing the first goal will require a mighty effort against Anderson.

- DSP's stick hacked in two off the draw, and inexplicably, Paciorerty called for a non-hold. I'm bewildered.

- Emelin makes the defensive play of the game, sliding perfectly to break up a clean Sens 2-on-1. Credit where credit's due.

- Dale Weise. Puck bouncing Habs way finally, as full court press on Anderson pays off. We have quite a finish ahead.

- Therrien's gut move pays off? Flynn was taken off the 4th for Weise. First shift, Dale scores. Crazy how often Michel's strange moves lead to goals.


- Habs first period possession was less than 30%. That's. Bad.

- Sens do a decent enough job setting up on the powerplay. It's what they do afterwards that seems disorganized and confused.

- Craig Anderson hasn't been very busy, but he's made a few decent saves, looking very calm. Not much showing, rust-wise.

- Nice effort by Gallagher off the faceoff draws an interference penalty. Habs back to a (good?) powerplay.

- Smith-Pelly on the powerplay. It's all nice he's delivering bone-crushing hits, but that's a 5v5 thing.

- Karlsson hitting everything in sight, seemingly. Which, if you're the Habs, is just fine, thank you. Karlsson more focused on hits than making good offensive plays helps Montreal.

- More than four straight minutes of action, most of it in the Sens zone. I'm sensing Ottawa fatigue, possibly?

- More signs of possible fatigue, Sens doing more hooks and holds, and it's giving Habs powerplays. Their third, however, was pretty meek. Far too much permiter passing, nothing directed towards Anderson. 

- Emelin goes AWOL, giving Sens breakaway. Another la-la land play by the esteemed man from Siberia.

- Pretty good rebound period by Montreal, their powerplay let them down, while Anderson was solid. Outshooting their opponent by a margin of 3-to-1 is a good thing, and if they can sustain this through the 3rd, they have a good chance of solving Anderson, and maybe coming out of this with a 3-0 series lead. We'll see.


- Still view starting Neil reeking of desperation. If the Sens, who've been playing for their lives since January, figure they should out hit their way to victory, that's a formula for failure. It's no coincidence the Sens have played progressively worse with each period, symbiotic of a team that's quite possibly physically and emotionally exhausted from playing nearly three months of do or die hockey. 

- That said, Craig Anderson is one of those extreme gambles. It's either going to go well, or be a total catastrophe, meaning Ottawa were wiser to keep with Hammond. We'll see.

- Petry with a zone pass out right on the tape. 20 seconds later, Emelin, same situation. Pass goes for an icing. That's (one of) the bug differences between the two.

- Firecely physical to start, Chris Neil as expected, headhunting. Habs are holding their own. Gallagher with a huge hit on Michalek, and Karlsson, who lined up Beaulieu at the blue line, is sent flying on his butt. Great stuff.

- Habs transition attempting too many low percentage long bomb passes so far, for my liking. It's generating way too many giveaways. Sens are converting them into very fast entries into the Montreal zone. No golden chances yet, but they'll arrive soon enough.

- Weircioch with a flagrant crosscheck to Subban's head that's shockingly not called, a furious Subban tries for a revenge body, and leaves his position. Clarke MacArthur converts and its 1-0. Poor officiating, but poore reaction by P.K. which costs his team a goal.

- Carey Price not quite looking his usual self. A little too scrambly for my liking. 

- Habs first powerplay looking solid, Subban with a bomb off the post, Sens catch some luck keeping Montreal off the board. Nonetheless, Habs powerplay setup miles more efficient this series than it was during the regular season.

- Sens came out with huge physical determination and hit the Habs hard - very hard. The question is, will it be enough to give them a better chance as the game progresses? That will tell the story of who wins tonight. 


So, the Sens are apparently playing Chris Neil tonight. Yup. It's come to this. Also, no more Hammer-time. Craig Anderson will start tonight.

Ottawa is now hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. Do or die tonight.

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