Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Game 58: Habs vs. Avs

NEXT A.M. update: So, I took the evening off in order to celebrate the birthday of my S.O., and came back to witness ... "the goal" off Subban's missing an edge in the closing minutes. More importantly, I also witnessed Michel Therrien's response to a honest mistake by his franchise player, and ... well ... I think we have officially entered total disaster territory.


- Not even gonna give a word of comment about the idiotic calls for Subban being traded by the madness that is Montreal sport radio. Hey, Chris Lee tonight! Hoo boy.

- Pacioretty with Eller (and Andrighetto). Good. Galchenyuk ... still on the wing. Bad. Therrien won't budge.

- Holy moly, Habs flying out of the gate, with turbo jet engine thrusters.

- Lessio. He ... ridiculously fast. Wow.

- Markov with a 45 footer off a 3-on-2 break, and Habs actually score off the early pounce. Avs defence extremely slow covering the rush so far. 1-0.

- Avs defence roll out the red carpet for Beaulieu as he carries the puck directly to the Colorado net. They ... uh .... need to fix that, and quick.

- Is Scrivens drunk? He's all over the place, mainly while laying on his back. This does not look good.


Another day, another dollar, another dream of change in Habsland that never seems to become reality. The Montreal Canadiens, riding the start of yet another losing streak, are in Denver tonight to take on the seemingly always red-faced Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche.

The Habs, coming off quite possibly their worst and most humiliating defeat in years Monday night in Phoenix, will be making lineup changes tonight. In are Devante Smith-Pelly and the recently acquired Lucas Lessio, out are Thomas Fleischmann and Mark Barberio. Which means we get yet another game of Alexei Emelin, whose performance on Monday was about three feet short of a war crime.

Meanwhile, David Desharnais won't be playing tonight. He was spotted yesterday with his foot in a boot after taking a slap shot Monday night, courtesy teammate Tom Gilbert. With Desharnais out, Lars Eller will get the opportunity of getting top-6 time. Meanwhile, keep your eyes on Max Pacioretty, whose offensive production has gone south since coach Therrien sacked him next to the incapable Desharnais a month ago. With a new centre by his side, don't be shocked if Max produces some points tonight.

It's been quite the season in Denver. After getting off to a pretty terrible start to the season, so poor that there was speculation Roy's neck was about to be placed on the block, the Avs have turned things around nicely, and currently hold down a playoff spot in the West. Not too shabby for a team that, at least on paper, didn't look particularly competitive.

Still, the Avs are an enigma. They hold the worst Corsi percentage in the League, barely 43%, aided by the 4th biggest PDO, a shade under 101. In other words, Colorado has arguably enjoyed the most luck this season among all teams - possession (worst) and shots (ranked 26th). The Avs are unquestionably strongest defensively, surrendering just 26.1 shots per game, which is the fewest on average allowed by any team in the NHL.

Will Colorado's good fortunes hang on long enough to claim a post-season berth? Will the Habs bad fortunes and wretched management be awful enough to claim a top-ranked draft pick this summer?

Are we even going to bother watching?

Semyon Varlamov will start in goal tonight for the Avs, while Ben Scrivens gets the nod for the Canadiens.

Puck drops at 8:10 EST. Because it's my SO's birthday today, live blogging will be delayed a few hours.

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