Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Game 50: Blue Jackets vs. Habs


- Max Pacioretty is done for the night, which is all you need to know that the injury he sustained is serious. Remember, this is the same guy that played 48 hours after an emergency appendectomy.

- Well, eventually something has to give - Habs on their 6th powerplay, finally strike, lots of permitter passing, which is usually bad, but Galchenyuk with a perfect shot off the pass to bring the Habs to within one. Yes, they scored - but the manner in how they scored with the man advantage is still the wrong way to produce with the man advantage.

- 5 minutes left, Habs still showing little signs of desperation. Fans getting restless in the arena (again).

- Poor pass by Subban in the neutral zone picked off by Atkinson who whiffs on his shot, but Scrivens also whiffs, and the Habs are toast. Two straight losses in two nights to the 30th overall team.

- Not even going to bother saying this really should be Therrien's last game as Habs coach, because it's pointless. Bergevin has claimed his hill, and come hell or high water, he'll die there.


- Habs and Blue Jackets after 1 terrible period of hockey:

- So, how low can the Habs go? I'm expecting this team to show some signs of life, but if Columbus scores the next goal, watch out. This game could get real, real, real ugly.

- During the intermission, it's announced that Daniel Carr is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Laugh? Cry? Scream? Pick one. They'll all work.

- Just an awful holding penalty by Galchenyuk, behind Columbus' net. The only thing that could make this work is another Jackets powerplay goal.

- Well, Smith-Pelly scores, right place, right time, benefiting from the hard work of his inmates. The fans have something to cheer about.

- Good lord. Suban hits Pacioretty in the face with a slap shot. Yeah. This whole year can get worse.

- Another, yes, another horrible turnover by a Habs defender in his own zone, this time it's Subban with the awful unforced error. Dubinsky with all day and night to tuck the puck home top corner. Killer goal. Pins can now be heard to drop in the Bell Centre. 3-1.

- Habs look like a pretty defeated group right now. On the powerplay, but no sense of urgency or even try.

- Four straight minutes of powerplay for the Habs, absolutely nothing generated. Not a scoring chance, barely a shot attempt. And here comes yet another Habs man advantage. Let's see how terrible this one is.

- Nothing, although Habs did do a good job holding the puck in. Gallagher doing his damnedest to try and carry this team forward, but most everyone else is a passenger.

- Pacioretty hurt, hasn't returned. Carr done for the season. Just Gallagher trying his best. That's about all. Habs falling deeper into the abyss. One more period of this agony left to endure before the All-Star break grants Habs fans a week vacation from the misery.


- Welp, Therrien has the blender running at 10 tonight, with Galchenyuk playing on the wing next to Plekanec, Smith-Pelly on the 2nd line next to Eller, Dale Weise on the 4th line with De La Rose, and Pacioretty with Desharnais and Flynn. Yeah. I have no idea what's going on. I guess this is just grasping at straws.

- Stilly baffling how Therrien continues to put Galchenyuk on the wing. There's more than ample simple statistical evidence (points per game) clearly illustrating that Galchenyuk is a far, far more dangerous and productive forward at centre. Yet, he gets plunked on the side. It's maddening.

- For the first time in many, many years, there are numerous empty seats at the Bell Centre tonight. While Geoff Molson has already provided his vote of confidence in Bergevin and Therrien, he can't ignore fans not coming to the games.

- Habs first powerplay, first half is spent simply trying to get the puck out of their own zone.

- Therrien puts Flynn out on the powerplay. It's as though he's determined to lose in the flames of glory.

- Soft holding call on Mitchell, Blue Jackets score on the powerplay in about, oh ... 5 seconds. Scrivens not looking good. Does it matter?

- Good lord, why is Smith-Pelly even in the lineup, never mind on the 2nd line? This is pure unadulterated insanity.

- To call the Habs powerplay a tire fire is to insult melting used rubber.

- Pacioretty just lets his stick drift out making a half-hearted attempt to make a check at centre ice, and gets nailed for a trip. The Habs leadership is pretty much doing the bare minimum. This team really has given up.

- Dear lord, it's 2-0, another Jackets powerplay goal. Habs slot coverage MIA. Habs defence again guilty of firing the puck blindly up the boards, generating a direct turnover.

- That. Was. Embarrassing. This team has given up. They're getting mauled by the Columbus freakin' Blue Jackets. Therrien standing behind the bench with his hands in his pockets. Hundreds of empty seats in the Bell Centre. Those in attendance donating boos from the rafters. Just embarrassing.


So apparently we're not good enough to beat the 30th place NHL team? So what's the next step? Relegation? Would the Ice Caps give our butts a whoopin'?

Last night - wow. Losing badly to the supposed worst team in hockey, I guess that means you take the crown? It was more of the same old story for the Habs - sloppy puck control by the backend, little in the way of a coordinated offensive attack, and almost zero push in the 3rd period with the game up for grabs. This is a Habs team totally deflated. It is a team that finds a way of losing. There is no bottom. There is no upside. All that remains is darkness. And the occasional face palm by the coach who, apparently, will never lose his job.

Is there any light in the dark? Even a glimmer? Well, there was this earlier today:

Woah. Price is in gear! Uh, well. Kind of. Oh well. It's a start.

Tonight can the Habs make it two in a row!?!?!? Strap in, 'cause there's always hope for even more Canadiens ineptitude. Both teams are going with the same lineups tonight, except for Daniel Carr, who's out with injury, giving Justin De La Rose a start, as well Ben Scrivens  in goal for the Habs.

Puck drops at 7:40 EST.

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