Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Home (Not So)Sweet Home!

Newest addition the the Habs' dressing room door

After starting the season with the first two games on the road, the Habs start the 41-game portion of their home schedule tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Roman Hamrlik returns to the lineup. We'll see how much gas he has in his first game action of the season.

I'm going to try something for this game. Not exactly a live blog, but more of a stream-of-consciousness thing: simply, whatever pops into my head during the game. Play-by-play accuracy it won't be, but hey... this IS about one fan's attachment to the Habs, so it'll be experienced through my eyes. If I enjoy it, I'll probably do it for more games that I catch on the tube. Ok, on to the action...

2010-2011 Regular Season, Game Three: Tampa Bay vs. Montreal

Pre-Game Ceremonies:
  • What's the over/under on the number of syllables that AK46 utters during this seasons' pregame ceremonies? With his brother now playing for Nashville, and now only one Kostitsyn on the team, I say that he sticks to the minimum: 3.  
  • Four flag bearers this time. Two with logos, one each with 'Nous Sommes" and "Canadiens"
  • New Captain Brian Gionta on the mic introduces the team. Love the phonetic French!
  • Nice to see the injured Andrei Markov on the ice and in uniform for the introductions
  • The players on the centre circle facing the crowd looked great

    First Period:
    • Giveaway to Lapierre, wrist shot from inside the right faceoff dot. 1-0 Habs!
    • Ryan O'Byrne is his own worst enemy; he often rushes plays even though he has more time than he thinks he does. Cost him a delay of game penalty that time.
    • I've never been a huge fan of the rink lighting in the Bell Centre. I might have to give the subject its own post somewhere down the line.
    • Did someone cover Price's pads in superball material?
    • Like Subban a lot, but at times he's a little too exuberant.
    • 4-on-4, Cammy passes his own rebound to a wide-open Pleks. 2-0 Habs!

      Second Period:
      • Price completely screened on a point shot on the powerplay. 2-1 Habs.
      • Carey with another HUGE glove save
      • Love the Habs' speed so far. If they use it wisely, they should be a treat to watch this season.
      • Lots of bouncing pucks tonight. Rough ice?
      • Josh Georges: not really they guy you want to be your trigger man on a 2-on-1.
      • Good job killing off the majority of a 3-minute powerplay to end the period

        Third Period:
        • Habs kill off the penalty to begin the 3rd
        • They've been doing a lot of sitting back since the 1st period
        • Crap! AK misses one from in close. Bouncing puck, too much traffic
        • Great speed by PK to break up a breakaway
        • Martin St Louis with a fortuitous bounce onto his stick; wide open net. 2-2.
        • Habs answer back right away. Pleks to AK, who dekes Mike Smith out of his jock. 3-2 Habs!
        • The stick tap on the ice works, and the Lightning player drops the puck to him. Sucker!
        • Tampa now with 40 shots. Make that 41.
        • Just over 2 minutes left in a one-goal game, and PK takes a penalty. Not smart, Kid.
        • Damn! Bolts pull their goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage, Price again with no chance. 3-3.

          •  Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. Tampa manages to knock one in off of a scramble in front of the Habs net. Well, at least they got a point.


            All in all a frustrating game that illustrated perfectly the kind of year that Price had in 2009-2010. 47 saves, many huge, no fault on any of the goals, yet he gets tagged with a loss. Frustrating, too, to watch the skaters in front of him: flashes of speed and brilliance, but outside of the first period, no real moments of sustained pressure. Sitting back and trying to protect the lead just isn't going to cut it on most nights.

            Onward (and hopefully, upward) to Buffalo...

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