Habs zap Bolts in SO

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pre-game rant:

Now. I know what happened last time I compared the teams on paper so I'm not going to do it this time. Let's just say this:
  • despite stinking big time, the Lightning are looking for their FOURTH win in a row. That's still two more than the Habs can say for themselves (thanks stupid game against Carolina) and considering the losers are in 28th place....they shouldn't be stringing that many wins in a row. You can thank a pathetic display of hockey from Pittsburgh and Florida for those.
  • The Lightning completely embarrassed the Habs in Habsville last time these two met. I personally would like to see revenge taken. And I'm hoping the rest of the team wants that too.
  • If the Habs win, it would go some ways to trying to consolidate their place (4th) in the conference. Let's not forget that the Bruins still have over ten points on us.
  • While the Habs just played last night, the good news is Tampa Bay is a lot closer to Sunrise than say... Newark is. Less travel time is good. I'm still hoping that they'll be motivated to win tonight.

Habs sweep Florida. Kinda.

Well... that wasn't quite what I had in mind but I guess a win is a win. Then again, the fact that the Habs had to go to shootouts against a team ranked 28th in the league is not very nice. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

It was clear that the nice warm Florida weather had done something to the Habs brains from the moment that they stepped on to the nice. They were severely outworked by the Bolts for most of the game. The first period was an absolute mess with both teams taking four penalties. Oh and the plexiglass or whatever it's made of wall things around the arena are clearly not made to stand up to people being slammed into them - I believe it was Tanguay who got rammed into the boards and then promptly didn't show up for the rest of the game - and one fell out 'causing a loooong delay which had me screaming. Actually, what really got me screaming was how awful the Bolts goalie was in the first period. He must have provided the Habs with at least a gazillion chances to score which included losing the puck on a clearly attempt and leaving a WIDE OPEN NET for the Habs to promptly not score in. He gave up a lot of rebounds which no one picked up on either. Of course who lets in the first goal? Why not the terrible goalie but Price! And how does Price let in said goal? You tell me. Malone - aka the guy that Pittsburgh should have kept - takes a shot or whatever... or a pass... which ends up on the stick of Prospal who is standing ALONE in front of Price and a half open net. Score.

Well, no matter. the Habs wonderful offense will get another goal or five and flatten them, right? Wrong. The offensive was sleepy and the Bolts defense was actually good. This resulted in the Habs seemingly being unable to keep the puck in the other zone. I had to sit through forty minutes and forty six agonizing minutes before the Habs finally punished Smith for not so good plays and put the puck over him and into the net. Oh and yes, that was Latendresse who got the goal whith the assists going to Lapierre and Kostopoulos. That was it from the scoring department however. I will say this though, the third period was a lot better for the Habs. A lot better. They had every opportunity to win the dumb game in regulation and OT. They only took one penalty and seemed more focused. Could have had something to do with that goal... See what no penalties and scoring goals does for your moral? You should do that more often!!!!!!!!

Anyway, over time solved nothing and it was shoot out time. Now, given how Smith had been for most of the night - okay, okay, so in the third period he came up with some big saves. Yeah, yeah. - and given the Bolts track record in shootouts (2-6 before tonight), I wasn't completely worried but shootouts give me a heart attack anyway. Memo to self: write up a rant on why shootouts should be gone forever. Jokinen went first and put it past Price in what I have to admit was nice enough goal. Thankfully Kovalev put the cheers from the poor Floridians to rest with a nice goal past Smith. Why couldn't you have done that earlier in the game?! And from there on it was all over for the Bolts. Price stopped Prospal who kind of shot the puck right at him while Lapierre sank Smith and effectively ended the game. Well, okay, so Lacavalier could have been the hero and extended the Bolts chance at winning but Price stopped him too so it was byebye Bolts.

And Carbo and I could finally breath a sigh of relief and be happy that the Habs escaped with this win. Now. Get some rest. And come back and put up a much better effort against the Devils. You're going to need it.

The good:
  • Um... the shootouts? And I guess the effort was better in the third period.
  • I like the effort put worth by the Lapierre/Latendresse/Kostopoulos line. I've heard people talk about how Lapierre makes up for his lack of skill by the incredibly effort he just puts in almost every game. Now, can you imagine what type of team the Habs would be if the "more talented" guys put in the same type of effort?
  • I liked how Markov single handedly stopped a three on one attempt at a goal by the Bolts. Why it was three on one, I'm not sure... but yeah. Yay for Markov.
The bad:
  • I'm too tired to list them all. The whole effort from the Habs for most of the game could have been better.
  • the power play is non existent again. Carbo, please do something about this. I lost count on how many times the Bolts nearly got a shorthanded goal.
  • the penalties hurt the Habbies too.
  • Brisebois. 'nuff said.
  • Tanguay leaving the nice with a possible injury. NO MORE INJURED PLAYERS PLEASE!
The interesting:
  • Someone thought that it would be a good idea to hit Smith. I seriously can't remember who it was. Latendresse maybe? I don't think so. Well, he promptly got beaten to an almost pulp for that. Though I suspect that if the roles had been reversed and someone had done that to Price then they would be in the hospital right now. C'mon... If Plekanec can go insane over the mere fact that someone tried too hard to get the puck off of Price can you imagine what he would do if someone hit him? Yeah. Lights out.
  • I didn't notice this last time but tonight the Bolts seemed to play a very physical game almost Flyers-like. Well okay... not quite.. but yeah....
The very strange:
  • Did anyone see Prospal's reaction when he got that goal past Price? He looked like a guy who had been playing for twenty years and had just scored his first NHL goal. For the records, that was his seventh this season. He must have been so devastated when his shootout attempt failed miserably.
  • Speaking of reactions.... Price pulls a Roger-Federer-at-the-US-Open and displays some emotion after winning! Isn't that awesome?

  • Wings blank Blackhawks. Not good news for that whole outdoor thing but maybe the Blackhawks will put up a better effort, yes? I would hope so.
  • Leafs actually win one against... the Thrashers. Wow. I'm so impressed. Yeah, I get (more) sarcastic at 12:00 at night.
  • Poor Dustin Tokarski - you know, the guy who's one of Team Canada's goalies - just got signed to a 3 year entry level thing by the... Bolts.... well, they could use a good goalie I guess. I haven't seen Tokarski fall on the ice while he was just standing there doing nothing.
  • Bruins skate over Pens. Not very cool but not exactly unexpected. Can someone though, please tell me where Crosby and Malkin have gone lately? The only Pens to score were Sykora and Dupuis (who's goal I saw. It was really nice). I've said this before but for the sake of being uncreative I'll say it again: I'm no fan of Crosby but he needs to step it up if the Pens have hope in hell of not finishing fourth in their division.
  • Team USA routs Team Kazakhstan 12-0. Canada did better.
  • The Hammies aka the Mini Habbies blanked the Baby Leafs the other day. Nyah!


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