Monday, 14 March 2016

Game 70: Panthers vs Habs


- Hey, we're joining in a little late tonight, the kiddo had a minor league playoff game (lost ... sniffs). Looked at 1st period stats, and it was pretty well, brutal. Expectedly brutal. Habs could only muster a 42% corsi.

- Bounces aren't going Habs way - that tends to happen when you're getting stomped. Bjugstad with a nifty puck bunt with the stick shaft, off a Condon rebound, and it's 2-0 Florida.

- See that Mike Brown got into a fight, once again proving his "worth", even though it's a total hockey crime he's in any lineup. There are 12 relatively precious games left in the season which are critical in helping this organization to get good looks at kids in the system. Instead, Brown is dressed. Inexcusable.

- Lessio looks good with speed and hockey sense. So does Danault - as a checker and grinder. Those two may very well factor in the Habs 4th line next season. This season, it's been pretty much a wasteland.

- Habs look pretty AHL'ish tonight - although that's expected. Still, awfully sloppy passing, Montreal really unable to muster anything resembling an offence tonight. Meanwhile, lots of ice time is being given to Darren Dietz, which is a positive development. Still doesn't excuse Mike Brown playing, though.

3-0, Condon, as usual, slow to move from post to post as Hudler bangs it home. This is going to be one of the more uglier results we've seen come out of Habsland in quite some time. Florida, to be blunt, is mauling their opponent. No mercy.

- Galchenyuk gives the fans something to cheer about, with the team basically almost unable to register shots on goal. I expect that will be the only time the red light is activated for the home crowd tonight.

- Habs with garbage time shots on goal in a period that they were resoundingly outplayed. Panthers not really extraordinary tonight, making regular passes, transitions are relatively clean and simple. But against an opponent that's utterly disorganized and chaotically structured, it's about as easy a win for the Panthers as they'll have all season.


- Here's the two period lowdown - and it ain't very pretty.

- Wish I had something to say about this period, but there's little meaningful action. Waiting for Jagr to score, though.

- Barkov makes it 4-1, wide wide wide open in front of Condon. Emelin back to his bad old ways on that one.

- I'm watching this game from the comfort of my couch, and yet I can still feel the aura of despair from those paid in attendance. Been a long time since I've seen this organization so low (2005?).

- Who's looked good for the Habs tonight? Galchenyuk. Lassio ... yeah ... that's all I got.

- I'd boo this team if I was there at the Bell Centre, if they were worth the effort of being boo'd at. But even tonight's team and their effort - aw .. screw it. I'm going home.

- 4-1 final. Utterly dismal game. Even with Jagr in attendance. Nothing else to say - this team's rock bottom knows no end.


Habs are in tough tonight, with still a depleted lineup against a top-tier Conference opponent in the Florida Panthers. Oh well. Here are some things to keep in mind.

- Habs get to play against Jaromir Jagr, which is always awesome. Also warrants the rationalization of actually paying to see the game tonight, a process that's become damn near impossible since the new year.

- Habs (expected) lineup tonight is thusly:

-Byron/Plekanec/Mitchell (yeah, Mitchell. Oh well).
-De La Rose/Danault/Brown (the later taking up yet another precious start that could go to a young player who might have a future in the NHL).

Bartely/Beaulieu (HEY WE GOT SOMEBODY BACK!?).

Mike Condon (how many pucks will he misplay tonight? Over/under is 3).

- Panthers are fighting for top spot in the Division, which means tonight's game has plenty of meaning. Which means they won't be holding back against the hapless Habs. Which means it could be an ugly result.

- Even with Florida's somewhat surprising result in the standing this season, one area of concern is whether or not the Panthers have be riding a wave of luck. Florida's save percentage isn't sparkling - rated 13th in the League at .929. They have, however, been getting plenty of puck luck benefits, putting up a shooting percentage well above the curve at a 8.59% clip, which may not be sustainable in the tight checking post-season (which is to say, this team might be ripe for a 1st round upset).

- Puck drops at 7:40 EST. If you're in Montreal, go pick up a ticket. They're cheap, and also Jagr. I mean, com'on.


The season ends in less than four weeks.

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