Sunday, February 04, 2007

Canadiens 4, Penguins 3 (OT)

This one was hard to watch them lose. That's mostly because I'm really starting to not like the Canadiens. I don't think it's to the level of the Flyers or Rangers, but it's getting there.

The Pens lost this one mostly due to their own inability to capitalize on early chances. They had four power plays in the first period, scoring only on the 5 on 3. For the remainder of the game, they scored twice in four chances.

The Habs allowed the Pens to earn a point in this game mostly due to the fact that they're STUPID. I can't remember the last time I've seen more dumb "I'll show you I'm tough" style penalties. Even late in the third period, Francis Bouillon essentially mugged Crosby and, to the credit of the CZs (Clueless Zebras), one of them raised his arm. It may have been that the CZ was just stretching, but the Pens needed it.

On the ensuing power play, Michel Therrien made a great coaching decision. The first power play unit had stalled and was unable to generate many chances. They had a whistle with only about 30 - 40 seconds left in the power play. Therrien had the option of calling timeout to let his top unit stay on the ice. Instead, he opted to let the second unit get on the ice. Less than 20 seconds later, Michel Ouellet tipped in a Ryan Whitney pass / shot. Great move by the coach to have the cahones to bring his top guys off the ice with less than 3 minutes left in the game.

On the game winner in OT, Souray was on a two-on-one with Plekanec. Whitney was in between them, and wasn't able to take away the pass. Plekanec sent it across and Fleury wasn't fast enough to stop Souray's shot, which was a good one. It stings even more that it was Souray, if you ask me.

Next up: vs Nashville at the Igloo on Tuesday. This one will be tough.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

I totally agree with everything you said; now I know I'm not alone on this. Just when I thought I couldn't dislike a team anymore than the Flyers, I'm proven wrong with the Montreal Canadiens. The way they play the game really disgusts me, and what disgusts me even more is that they get away with a lot of the crap that they pull. It was just really frustrating to see the Canadiens win this considering you know how dirty they play. At least the Penguins put up a fight, resulting in them gaining a point -- progress.

First off, there could have been 3 additional penalties called on the Habs within the first 8 minutes of the game -- besides the one that was already called!! Then later when the Pens had their 5 on 3 in the first period, and Jordan Staal was about to score, he gets cross-checked by a Canadien right in front of the net AND a referee! At least he found a way to put the biscuit in the net (or the ‘oven’ as I like to call it when referring to the puck as a biscuit).  With less than 10 seconds now left in the game, Jordan Staal is again socked in the face and nothing is called.

Entering into the second, the Penguins drew a penalty early on and I really believe they played well in this period. They don’t manage to score on this one, but with 20 seconds still left in their power play, Eric Christensen gets cross-checked from behind by Souray (no penalty called again). With just less than 13:00 left, Petrovicky makes a beautiful check on Komisarek, which I think resembled the Colby Armstrong check on Koivu from the Pen’s last meet with the Habs. Then about 30 seconds later, Kovalev has the puck and ends up behind the net, where Gonchar meets up with him. To prevent Alexei from scoring, Gonchar has his hands up in the air and it looks like they’re dancing; it’s hilarious!! :-D

A little bit later, though, with a little over 9:00 to play, Malkin and Ouellet get cross-checked. (Is cross-checking not a penalty in hockey anymore?!) Then with 4:00 left, Petrovicky gets entangled with one of the Canadien goons. I’m not sure if that call should’ve been high sticking, interference, or hooking. I guess it doesn’t matter because, surprise, it wasn’t called.

Towards the beginning of the third period, 2 penalties on Mark Eaton and Malkin seemed to plague Pittsburgh, which allowed Montreal to get 2 goals. If the Pens’ could’ve found a way to be more aggressive defensively, they would’ve been successful at killing the penalties and the Habs wouldn’t have scored. I certainly don’t blame it all on Marc-Andre Fleury; the “Blooming Flower” has had to put up with a lot. You can’t really blame the Penguins too much, though. Montreal really seemed to wear them out in this game with their cheap shots and shenanigans. And the refs clearly weren’t helping. It’s like, by the time the third period came around, they were all out of gas.

I realize nobody's perfect and it's not practical to assume the refs can see every single penalty in every game, but come on. There were some that were pretty obvious that you needed only ONE eye to see. Like when Sidney Crosby gets rammed in the face with one of the Canadien’s sticks in the third period. Let’s just hope they’re rested and have a better shot against the Nashville Predators.