Friday, April 30, 2010

Habs vs. Pens Game One: It's-a Go Time!

Notes on the third:

-Martin seems to think the magical solution to any hurting line is Moen. I don't know if lightning can strike twice in this case.

-Oh goodie! The awesome delay-of-game penalty. And of course, they go four-for-four on the PP with it. I hate this game.

-Halak just isn't as good when he doesn't get a lot of work. Weird, but true.

-The D, without Markov and Spacek, is so full of holes it could drain pasta.

-Wouldn't it be kind of funny for the 'ol goalie controversy if Price stood on his head tonight, then stole the next game?

-Gionta has a nuclear shot. It never ceases to amaze me that a guy that size can make the puck go that fast. There should be a PhD thesis in physics on the topic.

-RDS showing the replay of the Markov injury again. Somehow, I fear this isn't something they can freeze and tape so he'll be back on Sunday.

-Ha ha! Pouliot can do the splits to stay onside when he has to.

-I hate it when the team is just trying to save face by keeping it close and Martin pulls the goalie when they're down two goals. Now the score is 6-3 instead of the more respectable 5-3 and the team is embarrassed.

-It's hard to imagine the Habs coming back on Sunday and taking it. The Pens are so rested and healthy and together. But I've learned never to count the Habs out.

-Throw this one in the trash and go for the split.

Notes on the second:

-Reason #9176 to hate Don Cherry: His insistence on calling Halak "Havlat." He's such a moron.

-I've put up with him for a long time because he can tease with some great talent, but as I watched the lousy giveaway that led to the too-many men penalty, the clock struck twelve for me on Andrei Kostitsyn. Trade his lazy, floating, uncommitted ass, Gauthier.

-The Pens are deconstructing the PK by not shooting until they've got the perfect opening, and their passing is so precise it allows them to control the puck until that opening happens.

-This is what happens when a well-rested team takes on a bone-weary one.

-Subban is going to be such a good NHL player. His rushes are smooth as Valentino's pick-up lines.

-Bylsma just looks bored. RDS showed him checking his watch.

-Subban had great coverage on Crosby. He's one of the few guys who doesn't get thrown by all those quick stop/start/change direction moves Crosby makes, because he can keep up.

-Cammalleri shoots like Davy Crockett, who killed him a bear when he was only three.

-That Cammy goal seemed to remind the Habs that they can stop worrying about stopping the Pens if they're actually playing in the Pens zone instead. Forechecking! Hallelujah!

-You know what would disgust me? Ponikarovsky's name on the Cup.

-Great coaching. Subban and MAB are on for the Pens' fourth goal, looking awful. So, what does Martin do? Comes right back with them and give the Pens another chance.

-Jaro hasn't had much chance on the goals. The Habs are simply being outworked and outchanced, out-faceoffed, out-hit, out-passed and out-forechecked. They're either tired or completely outclassed.

-I wouldn't be surprised to see Price in the third. This one is firmly in the Pens control, and Halak could use a break.

Notes on the first:

-Camera on the Habs waiting in the tunnel. PK looks like an excited puppy.

-Non-hockey-loving spouse on Malkin during the anthems: That guy looks like he should always wear a helmet and be led around on a string.

-I guess they're trying to mitigate Chris Lee by pairing him with Bill McCreary.

-My mother had a dress in 1984 made of the same material as the tie Martin's sporting tonight.

-This seems to be a very careful start by both teams.

-I hate the Pittsburgh crowd already. They boo whenever Crosby's ass touches the ice and there isn't a penalty call.

-PK! Great to see the kid get his first playoff goal on a nice shot. Even better to see him celebrate like it's any old goal.

-Pens are keying on Gomez on the PP. Smart. He's the only guy who can carry the puck in, and if they press him, he'll make bad decisions.

-I hate composite sticks. How many games have those things cost a team by breaking at horrible moments?

-The General's down! The tired troops are in shock.

-MAB back on D and more minutes for Hammer. This is looking grimmer than the Reaper.

-So much for the special-teams battle. Ugh. The Habs had better hope Fleury's planning to suck out loud tonight.

-Gomez needs to keep a lid on it. He's going to get a(nother) dumbass penalty, and we've seen how well the PK is responding tonight.

-Habs look really tired, and they're a little tentative on the boards. All those shot-blocking bruises have to be hurting.

-Screw superstition. I'm getting a beer now. I think I'm going to need it.

Pre-game notes:

-Funny, I'm not nearly as nervous as I was before any of the Washington games. Maybe deep down I'm buying into the "after beating the Caps everything else is gravy" theory.

-Scientific experiment on superstitions tonight: I'm wondering if the same ones will "work" for all series, or if you have to have new ones for each new series? I'm using my Pleky shirt and the single German beer in the second that worked for the Caps series again tonight as a control.

-Speaking of superstitions, I went for a walk before the game, as I did before Games Five, Six and Seven against the Caps. Train of thought during my walk: Maybe PK Subban will turn out to be a secret weapon because the Pens don't know what to expect from him, and his potential on offence could come in handy. Wow, PK's dad must be so thrilled to see his kid play for the team he loves during the best time of the year. I guess as excited as Mr.Subban is, Chris Higgins' dad must be terribly disappointed his kid blew his chance as a Hab. Hmmm...there seem to be a lot of guys who grew up Habs fans in the organization today. Leblanc, for one. Then, of course, there's Moore and Metro. Maybe that was Gainey's plan. Maybe he was actively looking for guys who love the team because those guys give more than guys who are only there for the money. I wish I could ask Gainey about that.


Anonymous said...

If I said all the negative things I think about the brothers K, I'd be probably be sentenced to 247 years in jail. These $%?&?%$ (pardon my French)have all the talent in the world but between them, they have no balls, no guts,no heart and no brain.

Paul B. said...

I have been a CH fan for 55 years and I can't remember anyone playing such heartless hockey as AK46. John Ferguson would have caught this guy by the collar and then seriously kicked his sorry ass. Unfortunately, there are no John Ferguson in our dressing room, these days.

DKerr said...

Remember the adage you hear almost nightly - your best penalty killer is your goalie? Not tonight. I would have let Carey play the 3rd, that second game comes up quickly!

Anonymous said...

1) Just lamented the same thing to my husband as we watched JM pull the goalie. The boys and the fans will not remember that the last goal was a giveaway, they will remember the numbers 6 and 3. I despise empty nets unless the score is separated by one point and it's game 5, 6 or 7. Shit.

2) AK: I noticed in game 7 against the Craps that he is too nervous in playoff mode. He's making tons of errors and tonight was not a good night for him.

3) Metro too. Tonight, I saw at least three terrible passes. Look before you pass!!

4) Should have started the game with Price. Halak is a superstar but he's also human. He's physically and emotionally spent and deserved a rest -- he's known for needing his naps. Best to give away Game 1 knowing we can resuscitate Halak in the meantime. Bad call, but I can see how we (including management) got caught up in the glitter.

5) I need to switch to tea. Three beers in one game is not cool. Gotta bring the boys to a Mom and Sons baseball game tomorrow at AT&T park AFTER one of the boys' soccer game. I'm starting to feel like Halak, only I sit on my butt.

Anonymous said...

But wait (me, anon again -- the one with the numbered list)...

having said what I said, I still think that despite our lack of rest, our team played very, very well. If we can stay out of the penalty box, Pens 5 on 5 may not be too successful in scoring goals. As for us, it use to be a time when our 5 on 5 sucked. We scored 2 that way tonight. Not bad.

Anonymous said...

When a player of obvious skill looks lost and uninspired it is easy to blame the player. But why would a young player NOT give his best? When I see AK,SK and now Pouliot I see players not enjoying the game not having FUN. Look at PK, see the joy and exuberance. No, I blame the coaching staff for not making the game FUN and putting too much pressure on the young players to play mistake free hockey. They are so worried of making mistakes that they are frozen in their skates. I fear what PK will look like after a full season under this coaching regime.

MC said...

I am usually pretty optimistic, but losing Markov is a huge blow to the Habs' chances, and the way he was grimacing in pain reminded me of Cammalleri, which was six weeks. Markov is the key to the PP which is so important in the playoffs. But the worse effect of the injury is the fact that MAB gets a regular shift. The Habs beat Washington three in a row after they benched MAB. That was not a coincidence. If Markov is out, then they NEED Spacek back or I fear they are done.

With Spacek back, some adjustments on the PK and the Plekanc lining waking up, then game 2 could be interesting.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna quote a reliable source "This is what happens when a well-rested team takes on a bone-weary one."

Team is a pretty big word. The Canadiens formed one in Washington. I think Boudreau knows he needed one but didn't have time or group consensus, to put it together, just like last year.

Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Halak, and MAB are no different players than they were all year. Without a team around them it shows. I know it is fun to claim a goalie is unbeatable, but every goalie is very beatable. It is nice to vent and blame a player when it goes wrong, but really they all make mistakes. Halak did nothing really different, the puck just went other places. The Pens had time to get shots up and over. That means the Habs weren't on them, not just a few Habs.

The team lost that game, just as the team won in Washington. The Pens took out the Caps last year in seven, while the Habs did the same this year. What does that say about the Montreal Canadiens and the Penguins? Qui sais. It speaks a lot more than 2 volumes about the Washington Capitals, arrogance, and the myth of the star. This isn't basketball.

Crosby and Ovechkin? Both talented beyond belief. Leadership? Hey you call it as you see it.