Sunday, 7 February 2016

Game 54: 'Canes vs. Habs


- As always, we watch with bated breath whether Therrien makes a stupid deployment mistake in the extra frame.

- Cam Ward robs Eller who, yet again, has been excellent today.

- Therrien sends out Gilbert. Yup.

- Wildly entertaining OT, Ward with some magnificent saves. He's robbed the Habd an extra point. Subban doing absolutely everything he can out there, an heroic effort by both players in OT.

- Too fancy Galchenyuk.

- Nash. Bzzzzt.

- Flynn? Huh?!? Oh gawd. Therrien.

- Both goaltenders on, even in the shootout. Sudden death now. 

- Lars Eller. Pretty meek. And Skinner is stopped. Scrivens has been remarkable. 

- Andrighetto!!!!!!

- Stalllllll ... Nope!! Habs win! HABS WIN! Second straight victory in nearly three months. Scrivens was awesome. Great game all around.


- Very tight and conservative by Habs offence first 5 minutes of the period - this team is so afraid of losing that they can't win - or at least, score to win,

- Really maddening to watch the weeks drag by which Galcheyuk being so hampered being stuck on the wing. How this current coaching staff can't see or understand how critical it is that he play centre is really quite unforgivable. He's definitely been hampered today.

- 'Canes play such a structured game - this team unlike any other in the NHL, maximizes their talent pool to full potential. Which is the exact opposite of the club they're facing today.

- Cam Ward excellent today, although the  Habs haven't done a particularly good job creating traffic in front.

- Therrien needs to shorten his bench at
this point in the game. That means no more shifts for the utterly useless 4th line.

- Scrivens again delivering the goods today. He'll almost certainly get the next start. The position of Price's replacement has slowly become his to lose.

- Therrien still giving 4th line regular shifts. With less than 10 minutes left, that's another deployment mistake.

- Late Habs powerplay aside, 'Canes really owned the last half of the 3rd period, but Scrivens came up huge to earn the Habs at least 1 point in the standings. Exceptionally strong performances by both goaltenders. Carolina by far more structured and disciplined team today, but undone by some bad puck luck. Off to OT.


- Habs and 'Canes after one period, Habs CF (5v5 adjusted) 55.6%:


- An unbelievably poor shift by the Habs 4th line, Mitchell/Flynn/Smith-Pelly, failing to make even the simplest zone clearance, and the 'Canes strike first and early. Atrocious and inexcusably bad hockey by that unit, which has been pretty terrible for three straight months running.

- Was I naive to think the Habs would have a little bounce in their step after yesterday's big win? Apparently so. Habs getting totally out skated first half of the period.

- Still inexcusable for Emelin to be getting any starts. Yesterday his performance was poor masked by very good goaltending by Scrivens, and today he's off to another stumbling start.

- Tired 'Canes unit ices the puck, good opportunity to apply zone pressure, and Therrien sends out the 4th line. I guess he wasn't paying attention.

- Habs really benefiting from some huge puck luck, as the 'Canes literally miss three wide open nets within the span of 20 seconds on the powerplay. Pacioretty and Plekanec doing a poor job cleaning the zone.

- Eller line easily the Habs best so far, Andrighetto doing excellent work attacking the puck, generating shot attempts.

- Scrivens holding his team in this game, while the 'Canes continue to enjoy favourable officiating. Habs denied at least 3 powerplays in the period.

- Habs play a pretty conservative period, which is mystifying. Strictly dump-and-chase strategies, while the 'Canes had a slight puck possession advantage. Pretty close to a draw, but Carolina clearly the team with more energy in that first period. Habs need to intensify their forecheck from this point forward, we saw a bit of that by the Eller line, but not much from anyone else.

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