Sunday, May 2, 2010

Habs vs. Pens Game Two: Gimme A D!

Notes on the third:

-Yay! Penalties actually killed!

-Bergeron is such a luxury item. When he plays for a team like the Habs, it's like a janitor buying a Rolls. He looks great in it, but the payments will kill him.

-Even CBC says Pens are getting all the breaks, mentioning the non-call on Moore getting dumped on the PK.

-If a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, are the Habs as strong as Bergeron or Maxwell?

-Paging Dr.Turtleneck. Aggressive treatment required in the o-zone. Paging Dr.Turtleneck!

-Lappy needs to be tougher on the boards. He rarely wins the puck, and he's not a small guy.

-Aaandd...just when I'm wondering where the heck Pleks has been, he sets up Cammy on the insurance goal.

-Kunitz should be suspended for that hit on Bergeron. If that's not a blind-side hit, I don't know what is. Then again, what are the chances that the league will review that and actually suspend a Penguin? Right.

-Wow. This is a team, all right. The crap they've fought through this post-season is deeper than space.

Notes on the second:

-I agree with the HNIC panel. I want to see Subban play with the better forwards. The fourth-liners aren't making use of his skills.

-Habs drinking game for those who want to get back on the wagon: Drink every time the Habs complete a neutral-zone pass.

-Also drink every time they win a defensive-zone faceoff or win a fight on the boards. You'll be sober enough to drive, no problem.

-Halak's very good with scrambles at his feet. It's the long, high wristers that screw him up.

-Cammalleri! The best money Gainey spent last summer. Hand-eye coordination like that is worth many goats.

-I wish Crosby would just shut up. Seriously. Does he have to yap like that on every single play? He's like one of those little lap dogs that look so precious when you first see it, but by the end of the day you want to run it over.

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote about this game a hundred and fifty years ago: "Cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, cannon in front of them, volley'd and thunder'd"

-Oh, add to the non-alcoholic drinking game, drink if Gomez ever connects on an empty net. Man...what a chance.

-Subban is playing with the poise of a high society matron.

-Of course, you can't see the period end without an even-up call against the Habs. Crap.

-I thought Price should perhaps have gotten the start today. What the hell do I know?

-Habs have to stop giving the puck away when they're not under pressure. It's going to bite them in the ass like an angry Doberman on the mailman.

Notes on the first:

-Interesting observations from Kelly Hrudy on how you can tell Halak's really tired. I hope somebody's given him a Red Bull today.

-This schedule is really stupid. Reason number 30184 why Gary Bettman is BAD for hockey.

-Oh God. Metro's shoulder must be acting up. Maxwell, with his zero points in twenty NHL games gets a start. This is horrible. I really thought the injuries were finally over and we'd see what this team can do. I guess we saw it against Washington, and that's all we'll get.

-Come on guys! You CANNOT have the puck on your stick with a clear path out of the zone and give it to Crosby instead. Ugh.

-Things that kill the Habs more than anything else: lost faceoffs and bad passes.

-I hope Perry Pearn's been holding special ed. classes in D for Bergeron since Game One.

-Ha ha...Galley on CBC thinks Gorges will get jittery if the Pens keep hitting him hard. He doesn't know Gorges is actually made of foam rubber.

-OB and MAB looked awful on the Cooke goal. Of course it all started with a lost faceoff by Maxwell and complete cluelessness by Kostitsyn. Sigh.

-Small comfort: The Habs are forcing them offside fairly often.

-I think it's kind of cruel to put the backup goalie way over across the ice by himself. Like Price doesn't already feel like an outsider.

-What the hell happened to Pouliot? Does he have only twenty hard-working, involved games a year in him?

-You know, sometimes I think Gomez just isn't the smartest player. He's got great skills, but doesn't think enough.

-Gionta though, he's quick as a rattler.

-You have the feeling the Pens are just going to shift into second gear in next period, and the Habs don't have a second.


x-ine said...

"I wish Crosby would just shut up. Seriously. Does he have to yap like that on every single play? He's like one of those little lap dogs that look so precious when you first see it, but by the end of the day you want to run it over."

I wanted to laugh out loud when I read this. Unfortunately, thanks to my throat infection/bronchitis, I can't. I AM laughing on the inside and couldn't agree more. God, he's irritating.

Anonymous said...

The way they're watching the Pens swarming their own zone, just feels as if I was egging Georges St-Pierre for a fight at the local taverne...

MC said...

What a great win! And the best part is the Pens are starting to get frustrated, which is a very negative emotion, one step removed from resignation (although I doubt they are giving up yet;-). That is one of the things I noticed about the Caps at the beginning of game 7: they seemed sooooo frustrated by the Habs.

Anonymous said...

JT is was actually # 27-not Kunitz but he should be suspended no matter who it is.Gretzky was the same kind of yapper as Sid always whining to the refs...I think the Pens miss Stall more than they would Malkin. After the first series,and what I have seen of Malkin,I'm beginning to change my feeling about Russian superstars.....Semin included..

NorCalVol said...

Grand Larceny!
After weathering the first ten minutes and coming out the other end with only a 0-1 deficit, the Habs somehow found their game that they left in Washington - disrupting the opponent's offensive play.
Forget how much the Habs were outshot - that's Montreal's forte in the playoffs, especially on the road.
On the road? Six games so far in the playoffs: 4 wins. And these wins were at Washington and now Pittsburgh.
Halak - back on track. He looked like a completely different net minder than the one we saw Friday. But I think it was due in large part to his teammates doing today what they could not do on Friday - disrupt and frustrate the Pens in the Habs end as well as on the forecheck as the game progressed.
This team (TEAM) has a lot of heart. They are surviving on their desire, which is translated to a workmanlike approach. This is playoff time - it takes a different tactic against teams with much more firepower. The Habs are willing to do what it takes.
I'm loving the ride.
I can't wait to see what the Bell Center looks like Tuesday - it will be awesome when the Habs supporters, who mind you haven't had the chance yet to see their boys after winning Game 7 last week, finally welcome their heroes back home.
Oh, and Pittsburgh Penguins - your bullying tactics are not going to work - this Habs team is not what they visually look like.
Bring it on.
To all Habs fans who will be at the Bell - TURN UP THE VOLUME TO 10.
Go Habs Go!

DKerr said...

Ha ha...Galley on CBC thinks Gorges will get jittery if the Pens keep hitting him hard.

Maybe Galley is reflecting back on his playing days. Josh doesn't have the skill set that Galley had, but he plays hard every shift and has taken everything sent his way and plays the same way - the Pens won't do anything that someone else hasn't tried already.

Anonymous said...

I was trying to thing what is was in the series against the Caps that reminded me of something, and then it came to me watching the Habs today... Rope-a-dope! Les Boys are playing Ali's game against the hardest hitters; wait for a moment of frustration and then strike when they've lost hope momentarily... brilliant!

Sting like a butterfly, fly like a bee!

Paul B. said...

Wonderful writing as usual but I'm starting to believe that your hate of MAB is unfair. Let's look at some facts.

Hammer $5,000,000 and amongst the 5 NHL leaders in turnovers. Spacek brought in for more then $3,500,000 as a power play specialist (2 more years of this guy who by the way was also amongst the 5 NHL leaders in turnovers. Gill, about $2,000,000. Also amongst the league 5th leaders in turnovers, has not made a single good transition of the year but is very good on the PK.

Markov makes more than $5,000,000 and while he's certainly one of the top 10 D's in the league, has probably only gave the Habs 10 Markov like games, all year. Of course, I realize he didn't play much but as far as I'm concerned, he certainly did not provide a very return on the investment, 1n 2009-2010. Georges doesn't cost much and is very reliable except that his transition game is so well hidden that's it's very hard to see.

While he is a liability on D, Bergeron cost us about $700,000 and is the only one with Markov who knows what a transition game is. Of course, he'll make mistakes while trying to move the puck. But at least he's trying to feed the puck to the forwards.

All in all, I'd keep MAB next season. A PP specialist is much more difficult to find than a PK specialist whose only plus is a 14 foot hockey stick.

Anonymous said...

Can the Habs rehire Bob Gainey?

I understand that playoff hockey is different from regular season hockey but how does the team that couldn't beat Toronto or Carolina knock off the Craps and frustrate the defending Cup champs?

A dream come true would be Habs beats the Bruins in the eastern final and then they beat the Canucks for the Cup and NBC doesn't bother to broadcast any of the games chosing paid infomercials instead, followed by a Bettman firing. Actually, that's a wet dream!

Anonymous said...

AK46 TOI 1:43. There's 3.25 mil cap space for Halak.

J.T. said...

@Paul B.: No. Next year, Subban will be playing with Markov on the PP, and Bergeron will be firing rockets from the point and being minus a million with some other team. I appreciate that he came in and helped the power play after Markov went down, I really do. But he's much, much too one-dimensional for a team like the Habs to carry next year. The Habs don't have any superstars, so they need every player to be capable in every situation. Bergeron can't fit the bill, and the team is playing the price now that's he's forced to step in on D. I love his power play bombs as much as everyone else does, but I look at it this way: He doesn't blast a goal every game, but he WILL make a boneheaded play to give up a good chance or a goal against in every game. The positives don't cancel out the negatives in his case. For the record, I don't hate him. He tries his best. But unfortunately, his best on defence isn't very good.

Paul B. said...

Everything you say about MAB is exact. But if you think Spacek gave the Habs their money's worth, I certainly don't agree. Also, why is Gill allowed to either give the puck away or shoot it at the other end (creating yet another offside) while he is absolutely useless when we're not on the PK ? Markov gave us 10 good games this season for more than $5,500,00. Without Bergeron's performance on the PP, the Habs would never have made the playoffs and possibly wouldn't have won last Thurday's game against the Craps.

I may not know hockey as well as you but for me, a defenceman has to either play physical ( we obviously couldn't know that in Montreal) or be good at the transition game. Once again besides Markov, we're not familiar with that in Montreal.

Before I get rid of Bergeron, I'd get rid of Spacek, Hammer and Gill. That's more than $10,000,000 and more than 100 years of age. This way we could make space for Subban, Carle and maybe replace Ak46 with someone who has his talent and actually likes playing hockey.

Anonymous said...

I also don't understand the problems a lot of people have with MAB...he is not a top three defenceman, this is clear to me, but couldn't he have a spot on our defence for a million a year? All our defencemen make mistakes as well.
Paul B. is right. Spacek, Hammer and Gill also have good and very bad games costing us games in the course of the Bergeron really that much worst than those big salaries? he has advantages: transition game (where is it otherwise?)and a slap shot from hell. He also seems to be very optimistic and willing to help all the time. I would keep him. Yes I'm quebecois but I'm just trying to be objective here. Make him gain weight in the summer! He would be great with 10 kilos extra I think.... Sounds really supid but may just be it....

Otherwise friends, 1-1 in the second-round of the playoffs against Pittsburgh...coming home for two games...and the pride of kicking out Washington from the playoffs...
Is your spring going as well as mine?
Cheers from Europe!
Go Habs go!