Sunday, 22 November 2015

Game Twenty-Two: Islanders vs. Habs


- Habs and Islanders through 40 minutes:

- And Gallagher is done for the night. This is obviously the news we were not wanting to hear.

- If Gallagher is gone for any extended period of time, the gate of opportunity has now opened for George Holloway.

- Alex Galchenyuk continues to shoot pucks off target. I still think he tries too hard looking for corners, which results in a pretty poor shooting percentage.

- Islanders pressing as we near the halfway mark of the 3rd. Habs playing an increasingly passive game as the frame progresses, which means the Islanders are getting more and more scoring chances.

- Islanders with a terrible powerplay, but somehow manage to score as the man advantage ends, as Markov and Subban get all kinds of messed up in front of Price. Game tied, and Dale Weise, who took a terrible penalty, can sit on the bench and think it over.

- Another symptom from playing a passive game. Your feet stop moving. When your feet stop moving, you take more penalties. Habs with three minors this period alone - one costing them the lead.


- Habs powerplay strikes, a beautiful cross ice pass by Subban to Galchenyuk who finally, FINALLY scores. Habs take late 3-2 lead.

- Andrighetto given late game shift, with Habs leading by just one. Clearly, Therrien has been impressed.

- Islanders get nailed for too many men, with just 83 seconds left. An astounding stupid penalty at this stage in the game.

- Pacioretty. Empty net. Game. Set. Match.


- Habs and Islanders through 20 minutes:

- Man, Alex Galchenyuk. Fires puck wide on a totally wide open net. At some point, this will go beyond snakebite, and he'll start to see his time dramatically reduced. Actually, that's already starting. The Galchenyuk line got least amount of ice time in the 1st period.

- Can't figure out the deal with Price - he's having an awful time controlling the puck, resulting in numerous rebounds off relatively simple shots. It's easy enough to write this all off as rust, but it's still very unusual.

- Based from what we've seen the first half of the game, I can't fathom how Therrien wouldn't be anything other than pleased by what he's seen from Andrighetto.

- Greg Pateryn is having another excellent game. He's in the lineup because of Emelin's injury, but he's been so good since getting the call, it's going to be awfully difficult, maybe impossible, for Therrien to take him out. This could make Gilbert the odd-man out.

- Habs 2nd powerplay clicks, as Weise does a nice job moving the puck tight before dishing off to Desharnais for an easy goal. Habs puck movement while on the powerplay continues to look excellent.

- Semin making hay since getting promoted. As long as he continues to generate scoring opportunities, he will get to play. Maybe even regularly.

- Oh dear, Gallagher takes a blast off the hand from short range. Looks bad. Really bad.

- Fleischmann, shorthanded. Vicious snap shot, Greiss with little chance. What an incredible pickup for the Habs. At $750K, possibly the greatest bargain in the National Hockey League.

- Gallagher's hand after that shot. I'm no doctor, but that thing sure looks broken.

- With Gallagher done, Semin has been promoted to the Plekanec line. Started the night buried on the 4th line, had a couple of good shifts, got promoted to the 2nd line, and now on the top line. Quite a night.

- Good period for the Habs, but possibly very costly, depending on Gallagher's status, which doesn't look good. Habs continue to outperform the Islanders in transitions, which has helped them generate far more scoring chances. As we said at the end of the 1st period, Habs simply needed to continue to play the way they are. Same applies for the upcoming 3rd period.


- Rock solid first shift for Semin buried on the 4th line, good forecheck, and nearly tipped a Beaulieu point shot past Greiss.

- Habs doing a good job with zone pressure, another fine shift for Glachenyuk, who just misses off a rebound. If good scoring chances were goal, he'd probably be leading the League in scoring.

- Habs way faster than the Islanders early on. New York basically just in reaction mode, transition game sputtering so far.

- To be perfectly blunt, I don't quite understand all the hype around Hamonic - sure he's fast, yes he's young, but he's awfully sloppy with the puck at times. I don't think the Islanders are gong to nearly get the returns they're hoping for if/when he's eventually moved out west.

- Pretty good looking first Habs powerplay, puck movement was crisp, a couple of decent scoring chances - impressive considering how the Islanders PK is currently rated top of the League.

- Islanders look an awful lot like last year's Habs - lots of puck dump-and-chases, while the Habs have been almost entirely carrying the zone. Guess who's had almost all of the scoring chances so far?

- Still don't think Price is 100%. Gives up a huge rebound off a very routine shot from the line, and Tavares pokes in the loose puck. 1-0 Islanders.

- Hockey is like that. Habs controlled most of the period, but Islanders the only goal, in part because Price couldn't handle a simple shot, in part because Therrien put out the defensively weak Desharnais line against the Tavares line, which is just asking for trouble. That said, Habs just need to keep playing as they are. Eventually the bounces will start landing their way.


No detailed preview today - we're all familiar with the Islanders, having just played them a couple of days ago. That said ... here's a few points for consideration:

- Habs have a minor case of the injury bug. Torrey Mitchell and Devante Smith-Pelly are out with unspecified injuries. Sven Andrighetto, who will play alongside Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk, will get his first start of the season. Also called up for the Habs is George Holloway, a career minor-leaguer, who was a pickup from the L.A. Kings a little while ago. He'll likely not play tonight, but is up "just in case".

- Carey Price will start - will he look better than Friday? Price looked a little bit rusty at times, especially moving laterally in his crease.

- Speaking of netminders, it's unclear who'll start for the Islanders tonight. Jaroslav Halak struggled Friday, eventually getting yanked in the second period. Thomas Greiss came in on relief, and was solid.

More later, if there's anything post-worthy. Puck will drop tonight at 7:10 EST.

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