Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Game 64: Habs vs. Ducks


- Nice first NHL shift by Ellis. Not nice first shift for Stefan Matteau who takes a bad holding penalty.

- Matteau attones coming out of the box and using his size and body w win the puck, which is eventually fed to Galcheyuk all alone in front of the net. Nearly 1-0 Habs. The gritty hockey works.

- Pretty decent energy from the Habs first 7 minutes. 2nd and 3rd lines looking especially sprite.

- On the flip side of the coin, the 4th line looks abysmal again, struggling to figure out and contain the Ducks' cycle. Really can't understand Andrighetto on that unit. It's a huge waste of offence.

- 14-67- ... 17?? That's another one that makes little sense.

- Thumping body check Pateryn in Perry. Seems to be fitting relatively well next to Emelin.

- Quite the first powerplay by the Habs, swarming the net and pelting Gibson by a half dozen hard shots. Ducks seems to wary about blocking point shots, which might give Subban a few opportunities tonight.

- Not saying it's causal, but Habs have dominated this game since the Pateryn hit on Perry.

- Pretty strong forechecking and neutral zone play by the Habs, it's helped generate lots of scoring opportunities, and kept the Ducks offence pretty much totally contained from the 10 minute mark forward.

- That was a surprisingly excellent period by Montreal, they certainly had more of a jump in their step, and did a good job driving the net. Anaheim really struggling to adjust to the aggressive forecheck, and as a result, failed to register a shot on Condon the final 12 minutes. 


- McCarron another good shift, falls into Getzlaf awkwardly, sending Ducks captain hobbling off to his bench. Possible key injury there.

- Getzlaf looks to be fine, nearly scores on his first shift back.

- Beauty pass Markov to Galchenyuk with a brilliant one timer, no chance for Gibson. Goal originated courtesy some nice work by both McCarron and Subban in the Ducks zone. 

- The inane "system" of having the defence play pucks up the boards burns Habs yet again, Barberio chips it over the glass and gets sent to the box. It's the "safe" play, but in reality, it's a stupid play. Therrien hockey.

- Ducks don't quite score on the powerplay, but they'll almost certainly reap momentum from it. 

- Subban clearly insenced by Kessler for something during a shift, going after him repeatedly. Game takes a bit of a nasty turn.

- Speaking of 76, he's been excellent tonight, perhaps making his own statement from the team Canada snub. 

- Pateryn sent to the ice, is bleeding quite badly. Habs furious because he was boarded by Cogliano. Unbelievably, only Pacioretty is sent to the penalty box. Therrien is going nuts. Can't help but agree with the coach. Horrible officiating. 

- Good lord. Officials now give Therrien two minutes. Habs now down two men. Incredible. 

- Condon standing tall on this huge PK. Also assist to Corey Perry who takes a point shot to the groin. Yeeouch.

- Habs PK making a statement here, Condon excellent with Habs down all these minutes. Ducks are doing all the things you're supposed to do on the powerplay, just can't solve the Canadiens netminder.

- Ducks pass fast and hard during the powerplay. Maybe a little too hard? Lots of broken plays and missed opportunities because forwards haven't been able to cleanly handle the puck.

- Habs kill off all the penalties unscathed. Brilliant and just.

- McGinn all alone in front of the net to tuck home the puck around a helpless Condon, looks like Subban was out of position, while Andrighetto was also losing his mark. Just a lot of little things having to do with fundamentals and discipline in their own zone that burn the Habs again. Game tied.

- Bieksa, being the lowball he's always been, takes a run and head shot on Eller. McCarron comes to the rescue and giving him a righteous licking. McCarron having a whale of a game.

- Dominative period for the Ducks, assisted by some questionable penalties and non-calls by the officials, which gave Anaheim all the momentum they needed to tie the game as the period progressed. Ducks playing dirty hockey tonight that the officials have refused to punish. Maybe that'll inspire the Habs in the 3rd. The best revenge would be to hand Anaheim their first loss in 9 games.


- Not saying McCarron at centre was the right move, but played properly on the wing, he's got some definite chemistry with Galchenyuk and Elller. I'd like to see this again tomorrow against the Kings.

- Plekanec off wing shot on the powerplay, a little underwhelming in comparison to 27.

- Ha. Off wing. Galcheyuk again with a brilliant snap shot that beats Gibson top corner. What a brilliant young player. Hard to even fathom there were murmurs last week the Habs were willing to deal him. 2-1 Habs.

- Ducks playing dumb dumb tonight, Perron a retaliation high stick. Clearly the Canadiens have gotten under Anaheim's skin. Habs back to the powerplay.

- Absolutely crazy the stuff Anaheim is getting away with - Galchenyuk clotheslined right in front of the referee. Ducks taking their liberties with dirty play, and who can blame them? Most of it is going unpunished.

- Ice conditions don't look very good, puck is bouncing a lot, and frequently taking unpredictable hops. Southern Californian hockey, I suppose.

- Bad ice tends to favour the team with the lead, for what it's worth. Still long 10 minutes left in the 3rd.

- Wow. Just wow. Ellis called for a board. So let's see. When the Ducks do that, smushing and cutting the face of Pateryn, that's fine. When Ellis does it (and a soft hit to boot) the officiating hammer is brought down. Got it.

- Of course, Ducks score. Perry. Habs burned completely by the officials doing a terrible job.

- Habs can't take this laying down. They had little chance of winning tonight. Well, the game is there for taking, be dammed the poor officiating.

- Ducks in full control, swarming Habs zone. 5 minutes left - the question seems to be right now whether the Habs can hang on for a point.

- Win or lose, Habs saw some excellent hockey tonight, most notably McCarron, Galchenyuk, Condon and even Ellis looked pretty solid in his limited time - certainly more so than what we've seen from Bartley.

- Brilliant backcheck by Galchenyuk to save a goal with just over a minute left in the clock. But, if you listen to a certain head coach, Galchenyuk needs to be more defensively responsible like Desharnais.

- Well, bravo to the Habs for earning a point tonight, against the red hot Ducks, and while dealing with some wretched officiating. Two points would be an enormous boost to this team's moral.


- Not to mention the obvious, but Galchenyuk had better get plenty of OT ice time.

- Brillaint puck control and movement by Subban and then Galchenyuk to set Eller up with a one timer into a wide open net. Eller hits the side of the post. Sigh.

- Torrey Mitchell with 90 seconds left?? Hoo boy.

- Entertaining OT, Galchenyuk given four (count 'em!!) shifts, with both teams generating great opportunities to win. Off to the coin toss that is the shootout. 

- Perry. Nice stop Condon with the glove. Condon has gotten progressively better at these things as the season has progressed. 

- Byron with a turn?? Yeah, we don't know what that's about.

- Sigh. Duxks score. Now it's in Galchenyuk. And too fancy. Habs almost done for.

- Perron misses. We still have life.

- Patches. Nope. Habs lose the toss. Tough loss.


A few news and notes about tonight's game in advance. We won't be live blogging tonight due to a life scheduling conflict.

- Morgan Ellis will get his NHL debut tonight for the Habs, taking the spot of Victor Bartley who struggled Monday night in San Jose.

- Befuddling line changes by Michel Therrien, who steadfastly continues to refuse playing Alex Galcheyuk at centre. Tonight Therrien is doubling down, putting Galchenyuk next to Mike McCarron, and the Habs *other* centre, Lars Eller, on the other wing. It's almost like the coach doesn't care any more, and spends his days thinking of lineups to irritate his critics. Mission accomplished, coach.   

- Habs have their hands full and more tonight, with the Ducks riding an 8 game winning streak, and have had the best record in the NHL since Christmas. 

- Mike Condon will start tonight for the Habs. We feel for ya Mike.

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