Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pens vs. Habs Game Three: Pivot's a Funny Word

Notes on the third:

-Gill and Gorges in the box to start the third. This is the best Pens chance to get up by one. And they do. Damn!

-Eleven shots halfway through the game isn't going to win you very many hockey games.

-A Fleury shutout looms. Funny how saying that never jinxes the other team's goalie.

-In all the excitement of being where they are, I think the Habs forgot to wonder what might happen if Cammalleri stops scoring.

-Great rush by Subban, and Hammer saves his ass when he gets caught.

-When you look at the capabilities of individual players, it's hard to believe none of them can score a single goal.

-Credit where it's due to Fleury, though. He was playing like dirty socks all playoffs...until tonight. Damn you, French goalies in Montreal!

-I'd rather get blown out than lose one like this. Yuck. If I'm deflated, I can't help thinking what the team must feel like.

-I really, really hate the Penguins.

Notes on the second:

-Now I'm afraid the Pens are doing the rope-a-dope thing and letting Jaro get cold for the first period...only to pepper him in the second.

-You kind of WANT to like Crosby because of the whole Team Canada thing, but he's such a little whining bastard you can't. Dirty little crosscheck on Cammalleri after the play, with no call, of course. I wonder how long before he starts whaling away on some Hab's nuts?

-Suck on that, Cooke! The first breakaway Jaro's stopped in about forever is bigger than Ovechkin's ego.

-O'Byrne needs to talk to Subban about how to get his skates sharpened. The big galoot falls down more than a drunken granny in heels.

-Mario in the pressbox looks worried. I hope he looks more worried when this is over.

-Josh Gorges is my hero. No stick, and he absolutely staples Crosby to the boards to break up the play anyway.

-Kostitsyn has returned to his corporeal body for this game. Nice hit at the blueline.

-Anybody who dumps on Plekanec for not putting up a ton of points this round should be aware he's been assigned to shut Crosby down. And he stripped him for the insurance goal by Cammalleri last game.

-Damn...Gill goes down for holding the little whiner.

-I know it's playing into Crosby's game for the Habs to scrum at the end of the period, risking going down two men to start the third, but Gionta facewashing Malkin made me laugh.

-I'm officially on cardiac watch for the third.

Notes on the first:

-Well, if they lose, it won't be because the crowd wasn't behind them. Wow!

-No pressure at all on Subban. Six NHL games and he's already getting his name chanted at the Bell. Watch out kid. They boo just as lustily.

-I don't like the Pens starting this Letestu kid in Guerin's place. The Habs just love giving up milestone first goals to people.

-CBC isolation on Subban on the replay. Isn't it awesome to have a draft pick who doesn't spend a thousand and twelve years in some US college?

-Great PP, except for the no goals part.

-Pyatt is skating like he's wearing a jetpack.

-It always makes me smile when the goalie clears the puck on the PK by himself.

-I'm afraid this is one of those kinds of games in which the Habs control ninety percent of the play and can't score a goal. Lapierre's post and Cammalleri's near-miss worry me.

-What a period. Keep this up and there's hope!


Anonymous said...

What I saw tonight was a Penguin team that wanted it more and outworked the Habs for the last 40 minutes. Also the Pens are deeper up front mainly because AK46 is useless and forces JM to play Moen in his place which means the Habs don't really have a fourth line. All in all the Canadiens can play with these guys and I think they'll even the series going back to Pittsburgh. If only Ak46 had more pride and played top six minutes the Habs could well win this thing.

Unknown said...

The Pens played our rope-a-dope on us. Had the Habs cashed in during the 1st, that wouldn't have been possible. It's standard, is it not, for matching minors for the scrums, yet Crosby and Malkin walk, and our 2 best Pkers (one of whom seemed chosen at "random" by the refs - see postgame interview on HIO) are in the box. Crosby's talents have an even new skill level, not that that's surprising.

Habs offense and PP is predictable to the Pens, so Muller needs to shake it up, because I do not believe that JM is even capable. Why dress Darche for 0 ice time? Why Pouliot on the last PP?

I think Montreal basically threw away this game by refusing to stay aggressive during the 2nd and 3rd periods. Our D is solid, but we need to balance that with a sustain O, and tonight we did not.

Crosby is not going to be able to get both our PKers in the box simultaneously for 2 more games - refs or no refs. Fleury will have to face more than 18 shots at some point. The Pens are beatable, but Montreal is not taking advantage of this fact. If the Pens win this series, the next team they face most certainly will.

Also, could Montreal please get over whatever it is that makes them choke at the Bell Centre during the playoffs? It's a serious injustice to their fans. No wonder every opposing team (especially ones with a French Canadian goaltender) love playing here. They get jacked by the crowd and the Habs feel the pressure.

Anonymous said...

You hit it on the nail: I want so much to become a Crosby-hater for the obvious reasons, but he won our country the gold. Damn him, damn him anyway. The league let's this punk get away with too much. It sickens my stomach.

NorCalVol said...

The onslaught that the Habs poured on the Pens in the first PP - to come away with no goals was a dagger to the chest. But the Habs kept playing like their hair was on fire for the rest of the period. Spellbinding - a real rollicking period of playoff hockey.

The game turner for me was when the Pens took possession of the puck with 1:45 left in the second period - they kept possession in the Montreal end for the remainder of the period - only the last dozen seconds was played with a man advantage. It was incredible will and skill shown by Pittsburgh. When Gill committed the hold on Crosby, the only thing you were happy about was that the bulk of the PP would take place in the following period - the Pens were toasting the Habs at the moment. You have to say that the penalty was a dumb play by Gill - unnecessary. And sure enough, Pittsburgh scored on the PP to open the third period.

Even though the Habs played some of their best hockey of the playoffs in this game, what struck me was our overall inability to maintain possession. We choose to dump the puck into the neutral zone when being forechecked; we dump the puck into the Pens zone when in the neutral zone. Rare is the time where the Habs make three consecutive passes and maintain possession into the Pens zone - either the pass is off target or the recipient's first touch is like they are playing with an iron skillet instead of a stick. Frustrating.

Now we've reached a must-win situation Thursday night. Going down 3-1 to the Pens isn't going to be like being down 3-1 to the Caps. The Pens are far superior to the DC club. It's time for the Habs to somehow improve their 1-4 home record in these playoffs. If they come out and work like they did Tuesday, a bit of fortune might turn their way - the Habs just couldn't make any luck through hard effort Tuesday like they have so far in the post season.

Fingers crossed.