Friday, 15 January 2016

Game 45: Habs vs. Blues


- Intestinal fortitude. That's what we need, boys. One goal. A big win. Let's do this.

- Great save Elliot off Plekanec. Argh.

- Good lord. I'm speechless. Heartbreak. The season is a disaster. 

- Markov made the turnover that lost the game, but in reality, there was no way, no way, he should have been out on the ice for overtime. He'd played 26 minutes up to that point, and given how tired his legs are, it was a monumental mistake by Therrien to send him out there. A momentous, devastating loss for the Canadiens, brought on, once again, by horrid decisions behind the bench.


- Habs and Blues after 40 minutes: 

- Of note, the Plekanec line is having a tremendous game, he, Pacioretty and Gallagher pushing 80% CF 5v5. 

- Habs continue to demonstrate those December snakebit statistics, with team shooting percentage the past 5 periods at 3.8%, which is bad. NHL average is around 8-9%.

- Strong start for the Habs, doing a nice job fighting for pucks in the Blues zone, and feeding the crease. Team looks very determined to score the next goal.

- Canadiens totally hemming Blues into their zone, possession has been pretty dominative but again, again, no pucks are being put into the net. Something's gotta give.

- Habs dominating, and then ... Emelin takes a dumb dumb penalty in his own zone, putting the Blues on the powerplay. You know what's gonna happen. You can just feel the dread. 

- Habs kill the penalty very well, Blues can't register a shot. Whether that penalty will have any effect on momentum, we'll have to see.

- Question answered. Brilliant breakout by this Plekanec line which as we noted, has looked excellent tonight, with Plekanec, yes ... Plekanec, scoring off a pin-perfect cross-i

- ... and ... we have our answer. Sweet jesus. 

- That goal mostly on Condon who totally muffed the puck from behind the net, and got caught. Just about the worst way you can give up a goal after fighting so hard to take the lead. 

- This game pretty much a must-win for the Habs. A loss would wreck the team emotionally. They've done everything possible to win tonight, and if not for a bad bounce and mental breakdown by Condon, they'd have this game won.

- Sigh. Well, I guess the boys will get at least a point.


- Wow. Subban scored. Double wow. On the powerplay. 24th Habs shot finally registers a goal. Game tied.

- Habs with a much better 2nd period, breakouts are much faster and cleaner. Plekanec line getting some good looks.

- Nifty play by Pacioretty to take a feed from Plekanec off his skate and put it to his forehand. 2-1 Habs. Montreal starting to get rewards for having the lion's share of scoring chances.

- Well, that didn't last long. Not even a minute later, Parayko with a floater that somehow beats Condon. Blah. Terrible luck, but it underscores something troubling we've seen from this team all year - the tendency to have letdowns after scoring. Another example right here. 

- Oh, com'on. Gallagher bumps Elliot going to the net, and Elliot with an obvious embellishment, and we have a near line brawl as a result. The Blue totally overreacting, perhaps out of frustration of being totally outplayed so far, and they end up drawing an extra two minutes.

- Have to wonder if that brawl, which clearly the Blues were in the wrong, might give the Habs a little collective mo'. Something that fires that bench up. A win tonight will have to be one requiring great determination. 

- An incredible, but clean hit by Emelin, one of the hardest I've seen in the NHL this season, maybe the hardest, on Stastny. Blues react with fury, but the reply show it was a clean check. 

- Blues need a time out. They're overacting to every play, every hit. And now they're in significant penalty trouble. Two men down for nearly a minute.

- Blues in full meltdown now. Shattenkirk gets a 10 minute misconduct.

- Ferocious period of hockey, incredibly physical and feisty, with St. Louis reacting very badly to Habs tenacity. The game incredibly one-sided in favour of the Canadiens, but as per usual, shots on goal mean squat unless they go into the net. 3rd period should be nothing short of fascinating.


Nothing much to say about this contest in advance, except that the Blues are not unlike the Habs, in that they've been struggling mightily the past few weeks. Alexander Steen is in tonight for the Blues, while Dale Weise makes his return from the injury list. Also, Jacob De La Rose gets a start tonight, as the Habs shift their lineup towards "bigger/physical" in attempt to turn their season around. Yeah, okay. Let's see how that works out.

- Michel Therrien two days ago called out Alex Galchenyuk, for some insane reason, for not being defensively responsible, like David Desharnais. First minute, Desharnais loses the puck in the corner, then his man in the slot, and the Blues take a 1-0 lead.

- Therrien, in a desperate move, burns his challenge on interference that pretty clearly didn't happen on Condon. What a start.

- Blues look pretty focused and energized tonight. The Habs ... do not. At least, early on.

- Vladimir Tarasenko, who in a mini-goal slump, looks on fire. Habs would be advised to assign someone to shadow him (not Desharnais, duh).

- Habs first powerplay, as per usual, goes nowhere. Permitter passing, no real threatening shots on goal. Meanwhile team passing in general has been pretty awful. 

- Habs transition game is a mess. Pucks are being turned over like crazy at centre ice. Canadiens look like a team that hasn't practiced. They do, of course - so that this team plays a progressively worse game as the season ticks past, is a very bad sign of what's to come.

- David Desharnais and Dale Weise are being very defensively irresponsible in their own zone tonight. In other words, the usual.

- Well, at the very least tonight's first period isn't nearly as lopsided as their first period in Chicago, but Habs offensive threats have been pretty meek. This team really struggles to get shots away from scoring areas in the slot. Perimeter shots won't beat Elliot, but that's what he's been facing.

- Habs seem to be taking a more physical tact at this stage of the period. I'm not sure if the "wear-em-down" strategy will have payoff off against a team like St. Louis, but at this point, it's worth trying anything.

- Habs powerplay oh-fer-two, although the second did create shot attempts from the slot, Habs players though, just can't seem to hit the target. When I mean target, I mean actually shooting on goal. Sigh.

- Same old story. Habs in that period, with greater territorial advantage, puck possession, and shots on goal, but no actual goals. Shots are being made, but traffic in front of Elliot has been minimal. 


So the Habs have traded Jarred Tinordi to the Arizona Coyotes for John Scott.

So, I read about the trade via Twitter. My reaction was pretty much this:

As always, there's never a dull day in Habsland. Never.


Are you sitting down for this?

Habs sent down Sven Andrighetto and Daniel Carr, who are amongst the Habs top 6 in 5v5 goal scoring this season. They brought up Jacob De La Rose, who has managed two ... count 'em, two goals in the AHL this season.

Devante Smith-Pelly is expected back into the lineup Saturday night.

I have no explainations. Sorry.

1 comment:

  1. Hey A.J.! If you're interested in contributing to Rabid Habs Magazine (, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter @rabidhabs! Cheers. André


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