Thursday, December 30, 2010

Time to stop the bleeding

Visual repesentation fo the Habs' recent road trip

Anybody got a tourniquet?

I don't remember much of what I had to learn to get my boy scout first aid badge, but I do remember that to stop the bleeding you've got to elevate the wound. Elevating their game would probably be the best thing that they could do to turn around their recent road trip. 

If the Habs can play the stingy kind of defense in front of Carey Price that gave them their early-season success, they could very well skate out of Tampa Bay with two points. On the season, the Canadiens are third overall in goals against (86), while the Lightning have had troubles keeping the puck out of their own net; they've allowed 120, good for 29th in the league.

The Habs will be down two defensemen for tonight's game with the usually-reliable Josh Gorges joining Andrei Markov on the sidelines as he gives some rest to a nagging injury. The Lighting have fared better in avoiding the injury bug, as 10 of their players have been able to suit up for every game this season; only five Habs (Gill, Spacek, Gionta, Halpern and Lapierre) have perfect attendance.

Oh, and the Canadiens have that pesky Steven Stamkos to worry about. He's already potted 29 goals. Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri lead the Habs with just 12 each.

Defenseman James Wisniewski, aquired a couple of days ago from the Islanders for a couple of contitional draft picks, makes his Hab debut tonight. Hopefully he brought his first-aid kit.

2010-2011 Regular Season, Game 38: Montreal at Tampa Bay

  • Lots of Hab fans in Tampa tonight, as usual. Ex-Hab goalie prospect Cedrick Desjardins gets his first NHL start tonight
  • And lots for them to cheer about right off the bat. Pacioretty cuts in from the left side and centres a pass for Gionta that goes in off the defenseman's skate. Wisniewski, with the assist gets his first point with the team. 1-0 Habs!
  • Wisniewski wearing #20
  • On the powerplay, the new guy clangs one off the post from the point. Hopefully he'll give shooting lessons to Subban
  • 10 minutes in, and the Habs have already taken two minor penalties. My dog has more discipline in front of the food dish
  • Not a fan of watching games form this arena. The rink lighting sucks for TV
  • Boo! They've taken the assist on the goal away from Wisniewski and have given it to Gomez

Well, whattaya know? A good first period from the Habs, which is great, considering that they've yet to win a game when trailing after either the first or second period. Aside from being up by 1 on the scoreboard, the Habs also lead in the faceoff circle 11-9 and on the shot clock 8-6. 

  • Is it wrong for me to hope that it rains in Pittsburgh on New Year's Day? It would serve the NHL right for shoving Crosby and the Penguins down our throats--again--in the Winter Classic game. The forecast? 11 Celsius with rain
  • A too many men penalty isn't a great way to start the period
  • And they take a SECOND too many men penalty to go down by 2 men. The Lightning don't take long to take advantage, Martin St. Louis sniping the goal from the right circle. Tied at 1
  • After a decent first period, the Habs are playing some pretty jittery hockey
  • Huh? A 4-on-1, and Lapierre decides to shoot from the goal line?
  • Strange play... Spacek was going to be called for tripping, but the puck deflects off of the falling player to negate the delayed penalty. 2-1 Tampa.
  • For my money, Pleks is the best player on the team not named Carey Price or Andrei Markov
  • Looked to me like the Habs just got away with what could have been another too many men penalty

Some horrible indiscipline and a bit of bad luck conspired to take the Habs' one-goal lead into a one-goal deficit in the span of 20 minutes. They've yet to come back to win a game this season, so they'll have their hands full... but they've got no one but themselves to blame. Shots were 8-5 for Tampa that period; faceoffs are split down the middle at 15 apiece.

  • Hopefully they have their heads in the game for this period
  • That was pretty weak to award a penalty shot. And Stamkos pulls a move that by the rulebook shouldn't be allowed, but it'll make it onto all of the highlight packages tonight anyway. 3-1 Lightning
  • Spacek pins Price up against the post, allowing Stamkos to circle behind the net and dump it into the yawning cage. 4-1 Lightning. Ugly
  • I've got to look up the penalty shot rules. I don't think that Stamkos' attempt should have been counted, and Price doesn't, either
  • The poor little Hab fan behind the bench looks like he's had his Christmas stolen
  • Price given the rest of the night off as Auld comes in
  • That should do it. Hamrlik with another Hab penalty, their 7th, with under 2 minutes to play

Another horrible road game for the Habs, as Cedrick Desjardins earns his first victory in his first NHL start, though he didn't have to face many quality scoring chances. Final shots were 38-28 for the Habs. Hey, at least the Leafs lost, too.


James Wisneiwski played 21:48 in his debut for the Habs

Where to start? The Canadiens' road trip from hell continues with another loss, this time by a 4-1 margin to the Lightning. Discipline--or rather, the lack of it--cost the Habs big time as the took another seven penalties, which Tampa Bay used to blow the game open.

A too many men penalty is the sign of a team whose heads aren't collectively into the game, and usually serves as a wakeup call to get their acts together. That wasn't the case tonight for the Habs, who while they were killing off that penalty apparently forgot that they were supposed to be playing shorthanded and got caught for ANOTHER too many men penalty. Down by two men, they gave up the first of four unanswered goals and after that point were never really in the game.

Florida tomorrow night. Will it be more of the same?

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