Saturday, 9 April 2016

Game 82: Bolts vs. Habs


- Goaltending misplay by Vasilevskiy gives the puck away to Gallagher behind the net, who feeds Galchenyuk for his 29th of the season. One more for Alex, and Max needs two to hit that big mark. Who knows? With the Bolts 2nd stringer in net, anything is possible.

- Now we wonder if Alex might be gunning for 40 if he had been played at his proper position the entire season?

- If the first 8 minutes are any indicator, Tampa is a total no-show tonight. Habs might be having this game handed to them on a platter.

- Considerable number of Habs on the ice tonight that may very well not play next season in a Habs uniform (or for that matter, perhaps not in the League, period). Will Dietz get another shot? Hanley? Mitchell? Eller?

_ Pretty good first powerplay by the Habs, I'm betting they finally figured it out. On the last day of the season.

- Pateryn, with Johnson off balance, cross-check/slams him into the backboards, Johnson down for a considerable amount of time with an apparent shoulder injury. Pateryn given 5 and the rest of the night off.

- What a terrible defensive breakdown by the Bolts, with a brief 4-on-4 underway, they leave Plekanec totally unmarked on an Eller rush. 2-0. That's not the way you want to see your team play headed into the post-season.

- The way they're playing, and with all their injuries, this Tampa team might be a prime first round exit candidate for the upcoming playoffs.

- Galchenyuk rings the post with seconds left in the period. Pretty one-sided for the Habs, Tampa seem to be just playing very carefully, trying to avoid injury. The irony being, they may have lost Johnson, which would be devastating. In any case, Habs seem to be in the process of having this game gifted to them, which will only lower their draft spot. Doesn't seem like a worthy price for the sake of a very meaningless victory tonight.


- Habs more or less destroying Tampa tonight. Max his 29th (almost there!) and Galchenyuk with a brilliant bullet snap shot to snag him his 30th (yay!!!). 4-0. They're still pouring it on.

- Habs passing and puck control tonight begs the question, "where have you been all season?" Everything seems be tape to tape. Really remarkable.

- Speaking of passing, watch for just about everyone to be headed Pacioretty's way for the rest of the night (or until he scores #30).

- Tampa's powerplay also looks lethargic, just to pile on the problems this team has right now. I have no idea what Jon Cooper can do between tonight and Wednesday, maybe work a miracle or three, which is likely what it will take if this team is to advance very far in the post-season. Injuries considered, this is a very disorganized playing team right now.

- Byron, a (granted) ridiculously excellent pickup at the bargain basement price of zero, is the best shorthanded forward in the NHL. Sorry, but that's official.
- Habs pouring it on this period, everything seems to be going right, while Tampa just wants to get the hell out of town ASAP. One period left before we can finally bury the season, and walk away. One bit of suspense to keep us engaged for 20 more minutes - will Max get his 30th? Be certain his teammates will do everything possible to make it happen.


- Mad Max watch, Markov nifty blind pass off the rush to Pacioretty. Couldn't muster a shot, though. That's shift one. Still lots of opportunity left.

- Blunden crashes into Condon, while beating him with a shot off a juicy rebound. I think this will count, but stranger things have happened.

- Nope. Doesn't count. Goaltender interference. Everything coming up Habs tonight, they're getting the calls too.

- Even with management pretty much a catastrophe, Habs still have lots of optimism with the likes of Andrighetto, Carr and Byron taking a pretty big step forward this year. Allows the organization to clear away some of the midriff that comprises its 4th line, and maybe warrants consideration that only one winger of substance need be pursued this summer.

- Druoin scuttles the shutout, although Condon was off in a little bit of la-la-land, wandering out of his crease to cover the net while the puck was behind his net. 4-1.

- Check that, Palat with credit, Druoin picks up the assist.

- Blunden crashes Condon again, and gets nailed for interference. Pretty reckless play by the ex-Hab, nothing to prove or gain by that play, which looked like it had nothing but intent but to hurt the Canadiens' netminder.

- Drouin makes it 4-2, with the Habs defence looking pretty much like they have the whole season - slow, unstructured and disorganized. It ain't quite over ... yet.

- What's kind of nice about this mini-comeback, Tampa might actually empty their net, which means if Pacioretty is on the ice - well ... you figure it out.

- MAAAAAAAAX!!!!! 30th into the open net. Season finally ends on a nice note. Thanks for stoppin' by, folks.

Oh wait ... maybe not:
And we thought tonight would be the end of the nightmare? HA. Ain't see nothing yet.

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