Saturday, March 17, 2012

Game #73

Close Game Puts Habs Back In Comfort Of Last Place


Date: 17/03/2012
Opponent: Islanders
Location: Montreal

Loss: 2-3 (SO)

Habs Goalie: Budaj (L)
Opposition Goalie: Montoya (W)

Habs goalscorers: Palushaj, Leblanc (Desharnais, Bourque - SO)
Opposition goalscorers: Streit, Nielsen (1, SO) (Moulson, Bailey - SO)

Play of the game

Subban's good play continued tonight and he was at his best on our second goal. After taking a pass from Budaj (who now has as many points as Engqvist, Staubitz, St. Denis and Geofrrion combined; Peter has played 27 less games than those guys combined) he rushed up the ice and caused confusion. A nice pass found Leblanc open in the slot and the kid went against the stream, upstairs with a backhand. It is the type of goal that only a puck-carrying defenceman can generate and is a big reason why I always take notice when PK takes off.

Dome hockey team

The 6 players we're playing in a no changes, do or die contest in the dome


David Desharnais
David played well throughout and scored a spectacular goal in the shootout. Surprisingly he played over 24 minutes of hockey as it has become obvious that the team's goals don't line up with mine.

Louis Leblanc

Leblanc only played 11 minutes and took 2 penalties, but I can't stop thinking about that backhand goal. With 9 points in 33 games I am not sure that he is really going to be the player that all hope for, but when he scores goals like he did tonight it certainly helps to fuel that fire.

Erik Cole
-1 and only 2 shots, but still in the dome, way to go other forwards. Tonight was a chance for guys like Palushaj, White, Bourque or Eller to step up, but again there was nothing. Aarron did score a soft, fluky goal which was long overdue, mind you. I guess there is a reason that Cunneyworth refuses to give ice-time to certain players as they aren't really proving that they deserve it right now.


Andrei Markov
I really enjoyed watching Markov tonight as it makes the games that much easier to sit through. I was also happy to see him back in after missing yesterday's game and wonder if they didn't want him to play two days in a row so soon so sat him yesterday? He almost hit 22 minutes tonight and I am hoping that he stays there for the rest of the year. He has proven he is still elite and is worth hanging on to, so now it is all about getting minutes under the belt; 9 more games then World's please.

PK Subban
Subban has taken all year to get to this point, the point where I feel he is playing some of his best and most consistent hockey as a Hab. Like the Desharnais line it will be hard for him to miss a dome from here on in. And, like Markov, send him to World's too as I feel that could go a long way in healing relationships with other NHLers (seems like no other players or fans like him at all) which may end up helping him down the road.


Peter Budaj - Game Puck
Since no other player really stepped up and Peter played pretty well this seemed like the right choice for the game puck. I thought that he made some great saves, especially that one on the Bailey partial break where he really stretched out to make a toe stop. 9 more games for the Habs means 3 more for Budaj, I think. Both goalies may also go to World's which, again, won't hurt at all.


Losing in OT when you are unsure about winning or losing being the goal is the worst possible outcome. There is no 'well, at least we killed the other team' feeling, yet you still get saddled with a point. I am not surprised that we are going to OT so much though as teams at this time of the year are very cautious starting at about 15 minutes to go in the third. It seems that most teams are happy to take their chances in the skill contest as long as they are guaranteed a point. I bet that a bad team who was horrible at shootouts would still get 100 points on the year if they 'tied' every game just based on odds. So, you can see why so many bad teams take that route (us and the Islanders have gone to OT a combined 40 times this year, translating into 56 points).

How about a system where coming 9th is better than 15th? Instead of rewarding teams that come last with high draft picks and making fans sit through game upon game that means nothing the league makes finishing higher worth something. No team would rather the first pick than playoffs (if they did, then the current system would still work for them), so, I suggest having 17th get the first overall pick and 30th gets the 14th. Letting Columbus, Edmonton and the Islanders draft high every year doesn't create parity anyway when you think of it. So, how about giving all 30 teams 82 worthwhile games.

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