Saturday, 10 December 2016

Game 28: Avs vs. Habs

Montreal 10, Colorado 1:

So, in summation:


- Avs making a last minute switch in its lineup, Iginla off the top line for Comeau, Jarome bumped down to the Colburne line (hmmm). Otherwise, no other changes from what we posted earlier in the day, with one correction - Calvin Pickard will start in net.

- No changes for the Habs, which means Pacioretty/Plekanec/Radulov on first line, Lehkonen/Danault/Shaw on the 2nd.

- Flynn cashes in on a loose puck as he and Carr crash the Avs crease, the Colorado defence pretty much AWOL, and it's 1-0.

- Avs look bad. Really bad. A poor neutral zone turnover, Pacioretty snaps home the puck under the crossbar, and it's quickly 2-0. Just really poor puck possession and zone coverage by Colorado so far.

- Lehknonen. 3-0. We're not even 8 minutes into the game. Pickard yanked. Canadiens dominating the neutral zone, and basically cashing in on their chances. Avs look like molasses.

- Good lord. Pacioretty. 4-0. we just passed the 8 minute mark.

- Byron. I literally cannot keep up. 5-0. We're not even halfway through the 1st period.

- Just a crazy combination of factors - the Avs have played a pretty horrible period so far, totally outskated north to south, while every shot the Habs have taken has seeming found its way in - although credit due, they're quality goals, assisted by an indescribably slow and disorganized Colorado defence. Montreal's PDO is gonna skyrocket tonight.

- Daniel Carr. No defence. 6-0. Habs just a goal away from tying a 116 year old record for goals in a period.

- You can visibly see the Habs lines aren't even going full speed with the puck. We have an informal mercy game happening right now.

- Really can't believe how bad Colorado's defence is. They're either very very bad, or they're not even trying.  Also incredibly bad? The Avs trying to simply exit their zone. Seems like more than half the time, they're turning the puck over.

- Hey, Avs aren't allowed to score. GUYS. NOT FAIR. Anyway, Comeau makes it 6-1.

- Remarkable first period - Habs lead 6-1. And this with their top centre out of the lineup.


- First period damage, Habs CF over 70%, nobody in the lineup under 60% in the period except for Weber and Emelin:

- Even with the score currently out of sight, Gallagher clearly doing his best to put something in - maybe inspired by Pacioretty finally finding the red light, if there's any time to start turning the season around, tonight's as good a time as any.

- Nearing halfway mark of the period, Habs being maybe a little too passive about this score. You know, guys, it's not a mortal sin to score more goals.

- Avs had a couple of decent scoring chances on Price, one courtesy a bad turnover by Radulov (go figure), but that aside, both teams clearly going through the motions here. Game has devolved into more of a scrimmage.

- Meanwhile in Tampa, check this out. Wowzers.

- Radulov joins in on the fun, another bad turnover by the Avs defence, while Rene Bourque simply doesn't bother making his check. Abysmal efforts there. 7-1.

- MacKinnon line pretty much a disaster tonight, which puts them even with the Colorado blue line.

- Habs just passing the puck at will in Avs zone, Radulov an unselfish play dishing the puck off to Pacioretty so the captain can collect his hat trick. 8-1.

- Alex Radulov - there needs to be more conversation about him being a Hart nominee? Not saying he could compete against Crosby, but at the very least as a finalist.

- Petry. With one tenth of one second left in the period. At it's 9-1. Unbelievable.

- Well, what is there to say? The Avs don't care, the Habs just shooting the puck in, almost every other shot taken has entered the net. An insane night, with an insane result.


- Habs after 40 minutes, CF at 64%. 15 out of 20 players over 60%, for what it's worth.

- A little surprised and maybe even disappointed that Montoya isn't starting this period, to give Price some rest in anticipation of a challenging week ahead.

- Closing out comments for the night, because there's really no point continuing. The Habs can enjoy this for a couple of days, because they'll never have a night like this again for a long time. Much stiffer competition is around the corner, with the Bruins, Sharks, Caps and Ducks coming up next in order. Those four games will be a genuine test to this injured offence, and while today's a happy day, in a week's time, things might be very different in Habsland.


Couple of Habs roster moves, which turned into non-news. Yesterday, we had this:

Nice! After getting sent down this week, Barberio got the recall, mainly in light of Greg Pateryn's two-month prognosis with a broken foot. That, and Mike McCarron, who's having a solid season out on the rock, certainly more than deserved a call up, especially in light of the Habs recent injury woes, and that McCarron is a natural center.

All those good feelings didn't last long, because:
Which is to say, both players were told immediately upon arrival that they wouldn't play. At least, tonight against the last place Avalanche.

It's been another long season in Denver, with the Avs still trying to recover from the ravages of being coached by Patrick Roy for two seasons. Even with the elite Nathan MacKinnon, the Avs are playing through a lost season, posting a 25th League ranked CF%, a 28th ranked offence, 29th ranked GF (5v5), 25th ranked defence, 18th ranked powerplay, 24th ranked PK, 7th worst in shots allowed, well ... you get the point. Colorado isn't very good.

Here's Colorado's starting lineup, and hey, recognize the guy playing next to MacKinnon?



Semyon Varlamov

Hey, it's Bourque! Actually, credit to Rene, he's been a half-decent pickup for the Avs this season, at a bargain basement League minimum salary of 650k. So good for Rene!

No changes in the Habs lineup, which means another start for Zach Redmond, who had a solid debut Thursday night against the Devils.

Puck drops tonight at 7:10 EST.

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