Monday, 31 October 2016

Game 10: Canucks vs. Habs


- Habs/Canucks after 40 minutes. Habs CF (5v5) just 35.5%, Fenwick 36.4%. The score is Montreal 2, Vancouver 0.

- During the intermission, Habs announced that John Hanley and Andrew Carr as callups. Now the Habs finally have full roster of bodies. Elected, for whatever reason, to leave two slots unfilled for tonight's game.

- Habs being very cautious and conservative in their zone, a whole lotta chips and dumps to repress any sustained Vancouver pressure. Canucks are generating plenty of shots, now up to 37 with 8 minutes gone in the 3rd, but noting especially dangerous, and rebounds have been few and far between.

- 5v5, the Sedin twins are +15 in SA tonight. And that's not even among Vancouver's best.

- Ericsson golden chance, stoned by Price. Against a mere mortal, the game would be 2-1. But against Carey Price, whatcanyado?

- 4 minutes left, Canuaks have hit a wall, haven't generated a shot on Price the past four minutes.

- Canucks will have to start taking huge gambles here, somehow find a way of beating Price. Opportunity may be around the corner for the Habs.

- Habs get empty net goal credit after Canucks interfere with a break by Radulov. Lights out.

- Shutout for Price, an absurd win for the Habs, who were out-shot by 2-to-1 margin, the possession stats were even worse. Okay, go watch the baseball game. We'll talk more about the Habs rocky road ahead which starts after Saturday night's game, when they start playing good teams.


- Habs and Canucks after 20 minutes. Keeping in mind that Vancouver has one of the thinnest lineups in the National Hockey League, the Canadiens CF (5v5) in that period was 34.9%, fenwick 26.7%. A nightmare:

- I suppose the upside for the Habs in the 2nd period is that it couldn't possibly be any worse than the 1st. Right?

- Pretty bad night for Habs defence, Weber excluded. Canucks are being allowed to crash Price with relative ease, and little price (pun alert!!!) to pay.

- More aggressive attacks by the Canucks, Petry, who's really struggled tonight, gets nailed for a hook in front of Price. Penalties like that from defensemen a sure-fire signs that they're overwhelmed.

- One area the Canucks have not done well tonight is their powerplay. Their dump and chase setup is predictable and easily defended.

- 6 minutes into the 2nd period, the Canucks have seven, yes, SEVEN times the SOG than do the Habs. SEVEN.

- How's the baseball game tonight? At this point I'm feeling a little embarrassed spending time blogging this hockey game.

- A weak wrist shot from the point by Weber is caught by Miller. Habs register their first shot on goal in the period, with 12:28 left. Total shots are 24-4 Vancouver.

- Desharnais is ripe for demotion - right out of the hockey arena.

- Absurd. Just absurd. Habs score first. Galchenyuk with a load of speed with shot on Miller that's totally misplayed creating a huge rebound and open net for Nathan Beaulieu. Incredibly, the Habs lead 1-0.

- Habs with absurd demonstration of being totally outplayed virtually every square foot of the ice surface, except in goal, and still finding themselves ahead on the scoreboard. This cannot continue if the Canadiens hope to maintain a winning record this season.

- Canucks are bad, but they're still a mystery. To be this bad at shooting, even though we're only 10 games into the season, begs questions. Selection? Position? Setup? I have no idea - but they're horrible at it.

- Canucks defensive breakdown, Torrey Mitchell chips home a Danault pass, and it's 2-0. Just, wow.

- I can't explain it. Habs are getting out chanced nearly 2-to-1, but are winning the game. Canucks seem to make poor choices in taking shots. They have volume, but little quality. That's all I've got. Otherwise, Habs in the 2nd were much like they were in the 1st. Dominated.


- Is anyone watching hockey tonight? We are, So yeah, forget baseball (peeks over at Fox).

- Hey, Shea, that's Carey's trophy. Hands off.

- Radulov takes a very very nasty slash from 4th liner Derek Dorsett. Radulov is fuming, and rightfully so. Hopefully he's okay.

- Doresett will never amount to anything as an NHL player, so I guess he's trying to "leave his mark", on Radulov's wrist.

- Habs look pretty listless tonight, not a whole lot of energy in their legs - first powerplay was aimless. Hope this doesn't bode for the rest of the night.

- Carey Price, is per usual, sharp. Keeping his otherwise aimlessly playing team even on the scoreboard.

- Even with Dorsett's cheap shots, Canucks 4th line looking pretty effective so far. Doing good job forechecking, keeping Habs anemic period even more anemic.

- Just a horrible, horrible period of hockey by the Canadiens. Therrien, if there was ever a time to shake up your lines next period, this is it.

- Desharnais/Pacioretty/Shaw ... whatever they had going the past 2 games has completely left them tonight. Utter lack of communication and chemistry out there tonight.

- Just a wretched period of hockey for the Habs - they were outskated, out chanced, out-hit, out-everything ... except, as usual, in goaltending, where Price has done everything possible to keep his team in the game, while Ryan Miller was given a 35 minute siesta.


- Lines, lines, lines. Vancouver's lineup same as their practice lines yesterday (see below. Habs, same as below.

- Mike Condon! He's likely now the main reason why U-Haul is profitable. Mike was traded this morning from the Pens to the (haha) Sens. Too bad Mike. You were for once, a member of a good hockey team - for about 3 weeks. That's all been taken away from you.

- Alright, in anticipation of tonight's game between the Canucks (4-4-1 - 4th Pacific Division) and the Habs (8-0-1 1st Atlantic Division), let's dig into the stats:

CF (5v5): Vancouver: 46.6% (25th), Montreal: 49.5% (15th).
GF60: Vancouver 0.87 (30th), Montreal 2.97 (4th)
GA60: Vancouver 1.56 (5th), Montreal 1.25 (1st)
PP%: Vancouver 10.7 (26th), Montreal 21.9 (14th)
PK%: Vancouver 81.0 (18th), Montreal 88.6 (6th)
PDO: Vancouver 98.2 (21st), Montreal 105.7 (1st)
Sh%: Vancouver 38.2 (30th), Montreal 9.69 (8th).

These baseline stats tell you:

- Vancouver's had a dreadful time offensively, not even scoring 1 goal per game per 60, yet somehow winning 4 of its first 9 games. How is this possible? Well, mainly because the Canucks have enjoyed some very good goaltending from Jacob Markstrum (.952 SV%), and tonight's starter Ryan Miller (.939). Without those two, this Vancouver team could actually still be winless.

- Habs continue to enjoy the luck of puck, although at a slightly more sane 105.7 PDO (still way too high - much will adjust there still). Canucks relatively low PDO reflects their pathetic shooting percentages, sub-4%.

- There is no good reason for the Habs to lose tonight's game, other than the puck luck bites them squarely from behind. Then again, if this season is just a mirror of last, where the Habs bulldozed their opponents up until the end of November, losing only their first regular season game to ... taa daa - Vancouver, then a loss tonight to the Canucks would only make perfect sense.

Puck drops at 7:40 EST.


Hey, it's November! How was your Halloween? I was completely overrun by candy-starved kiddies last night - TWO big bulk boxes of chocolate I picked up at Costco GONE before 7 p.m. Some of the trick-o-treaters were suspiciously tall, if you catch my drift. Hey people who should be in College: TRICK OR TREATING IS FOR KIDS. Get a life already.

Lineups! We have practice lineups today! First, let's start with the Canucks:

D. Sedin/H. Sedin/Hansen


Ryan Miller 

That, folks, is a destined-for-last-place lineup. Still trying to figure out what Loui Eriksson's thought processes were this summer. He could have gone *anywhere* at what he's being paid for playing in Vancouver, yet he still signed on with the hopelessly-going-nowhere Canucks.

Meanstwhile over in Habsland, they're holding steady with:



Carey Price

Other newsworthy stuff:

- NHL announced their players of the month for October, and guess who's one of them? Shea Weber! Yeah, yeah ... it's still a terrible trade. Anywho, Weber was runner up, not too shabby, to Connor McDavid. Florida's Jonathan Marchessault was named the other start for October.

- The League also announced the October rookie stars, and HAHAHA Toronto, Austin Matthews didn't win!! HAHAHA .. the honours went to William Nylander of the .... oh ... hmmm. Well I'll just leave now.

To be serious for just a moment, as we noted during the live game blog Saturday night, Nylander looked faster, more agressive and more aware than did Matthews. The Leafs have got a pretty sweet thing going on right now. Except they have almost no defence. We think Toronto might end up becoming Edmonton 2.0.


This announcement at noon today:

Bonne chance, Mikhail! See you at training camp next September.

Habs are likely to recall Mark Barberio sometime before Wednesday, possibly even today.

Also, it's Halloween!! Be generous handing out the candy.

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