- Habs are collectively determined to get Flieschmann a hat trick tonight. Two great setups so far that he's bungled.
- Incredibly beautiful three line pass from Subban to spring Flynn on a break. One of the sweetest forward passes I've seen this year.
- Thorburn wrecks the shutout bid, as Beaulieu and Gilbert totally muck up a 2-on-3 Jets rush. Again, those two have zero chemistry now, as they did from the very start of the season.
- Sadly, no hatty for Flieschmann. Still, easy win. Routine win. This is what happens when you greatly out skate and out possess your opponent.
- Excellent transition by Habs from one end to the other, from defence to Desharnais, Weise to Flieschmann in two seconds, Hutchinson way too deep in his crease. 3-0. Habs cruising.
- Habs swarm off another easy rush, Hutchinson really can't be blamed - Desharnais finishing the play. Winnipeg simply skating in quicksand tonight. 4-0. Goaltender change.
- Safe to say the Desharnais line is on fire tonight, although that may be more reflective a pretty poor effort tonight by the Jets.
- Just no contest tonight. Winnipeg is most definitely Jets lagged.
- Habs putting on passing clinic during one of many powerplays in the period, maybe a bit just too much. Habs playing with lots of swagger this period.
- This Mike Condon guy, who's had limited activity, making a couple of sparkling desperation saves. Looking, again, very Price-like. Still think playing with Carey has has a profound effect on Condon. Certainly more so than on Tokarski.
- Jets finally show a little life here, the Habs - dare we say it, shifting into a coasting mode? Guys - don't you learn?
- Yay, Lars Eller scores, nice redeflect using his skate, and it's 5-0. Hopefully another step towards reestablishing regular shifts and proper ice time.
- Two periods complete - not much to say except the Habs have dominated tonight in just about every department. Cruising to an easy victory tonight.
- Fleischmann called for a pretty marginal hook, by NHL standards. And we're off.
- First six minutes, Habs offense appears to be more willing to carry the puck into the opponent zone. That's a good thing.
- Wow. Paul Byron, shorthanded monster. His speed is ridiculous - why couldn't he find a spot on the Flames' offensively starved roster? Goal came as a result of a dumb play by Byfuglien, who recklessly went for a meaningless hit instead of playing the puck at centre, which helped spring Byron free. 1-0.
- Eller's second shift is a good one. Very sprite, impressive job applying forechecking pressure in the Jets' zone.
- Another too many men call on the Habs, whose bench management has been poor the past week. Desharnais jumping off way, way too soon. Not smart.
- Winnipeg's powerplay looks an awful lot like the Habs' from earlier in the season - flat, disorganized and overly reliant on passing.
- DSP moved up to the second line, first shift produces glorious scoring chance for Galchenyuk. DSP doing nice job hacking at Hutchinson top of the crease.
- Both offenses struggling to finish - shot totals are meager - we may not have a combined total of 10 in the period.
- Great net drive to the net by a pretty soft and slow Jets defence, Fleischmann with an easy rebound deposit to give the Habs a 2-0 lead. Habs might as well keep carrying the puck in if Winnipeg continues to play this soft.
- Sloppy shift by Gilbert/Beaulieu, who've struggled since the first game to find some kind of chemistry. Still think Beaulieu would be much stronger paired with Petry.
- Byfuglien, so much talent but so little on ice intelligence. If he played smarter he could be a potential superstar. I don't think he'll ever reach those heights.
- Smith-Pelly, if this period is any indication, is far better on that second line than Flynn. By miles.
- Good period for the Habs, who's biggest adjustment from that western trip appears to be zone entries. Lots of emphasis on carrying the zone, rather than the shoot and chase. Scoreboard results are positive reinforcement.
GAME PREVIEW: CAREY PRICE IS INJURED. WHERE DO WE GO TO PANIC??!
AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. CAREY PRICE IS HURT. Oh GOD WHO WILL TAKE HIS PLACE AND CONTINUE TO MAKE HIS COACH LOOK WAY BETTER THAN HE ACTUALLY IS??!!?
You've probably heard, but in case you hadn't, Carey Price is off the roster tonight with a "lower body injury", and probably won't play until (gulp) next week. The specifics of the injury aren't clear, although it may explain a couple of sub-par (at least by Carey Price's standards) consecutive outings against the Canucks and Oilers earlier in the week, both losses.
So, out is Price, in is Condon, and up is Tokarski. Remember him?
Habs lineup tonight is exactly the same as Friday night, which means more Flynn on the 2nd line. Will Lars Eller get benched again? Who knows??
Alright, the Jets now. They're playing pretty good hockey right now, coming off recent wins over the Hawks and Wild, which ain't too bad. The Jets feature two very strong top 2 lines, and the rest is .. well .. meh. Their netminding is also ... meh. Ondrej Pavelec, who's been stomped playing against the Habs in recent history, won't play tonight. Instead, it'll be backup Micheal Hutchinson who'll get the call.
Anyway, back to those top two Jets lines. Bryan Little centring Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler, while on line two, it's Mark Scheifele centring Mathieu Perreault and Nikolaj Ehlers. Contain those two lines, and you've essentially boxed the Jets out of producing any substantive, threatening offence.
Meanwhile in Habsland, the Canadiens, after starting the season strong in puck possession, has over the past 10 days, reverted back to their bad old habits of passive hockey. The result has been two disappointing losses, mixed in with a couple of fortunate/lucky wins over Toronto, and Friday night, against Calgary.
The big question fans are asking - is Michel Therrien "getting it", or does he actually believe his team is playing quality hockey lately? His benching of Eller on Friday night, and steadfast healthy scratching of Alexander Semin, suggests the coach is struggling yet again to understand hockey fundamentals.
Oh well, tonight's another day! Jets are a quality team, so it should be an interesting game.
Puck drops at 7:10, EST.