Canadiens Win In A Shootout

Surprisingly, the Habs downed the Pens 6-5 in a shootout at the flightless bird barn, thanks to David Desharnais solving Marc-Andre Fleury and Peter Budaj stopping James Neal, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeny Malkin.

That’s what it came down to after an odd game that saw Montreal win even though Budaj, before the shootout, was often shaky and visions of Carey Price danced through my head.

Lots of scoring from both sides, the boys replied whenever the Pens took the lead, and I’ll take these two points in a New York minute, even though once again, it wasn’t the most impressive display.

Weird and mildly entertaining, but not overly impressive.

Brendan Gallagher broke the ice in the first period following early pressure by the Canadiens, but James Neal tied it when the puck trickled by Mr. Budaj.

Then, when a shot sailed over Budaj’s shoulder for a 2-1 Pens lead, the future didn’t look bright. In fact, I was wondering if backup Dustin Tokarski would be up to the task.

But Budaj stayed in and the game unfolded.

In the second frame, Daniel Briere, playing on the fourth line with Moen and Parros, tied things at two, but the seesaw battle would continue.

Pittsburgh went ahead with Lars Eller was in the box, but Max on the power play evened it again. It was going good. Then P.K. found himself in Michel Therrien’s bad books for about the tenth time this year it seems.

Of course, P.K. screwed up magnificently.
A Habs power play.
P.K. dangling with the puck.
P.K. getting stripped of said puck by Brandon Sutter..
Sutter scoring a shorthanded breakaway goal to put his team ahead 4-3 and PK in the doghouse.

Fodder for Michel Therrien to sit P.K. down for the rest of the game.

But all was not lose. Alexei Emelin, with his second goal of the year, sent a wrist shot from the blueline to tie the thing at four apiece.

And the weirdness kept on coming.

With Emelin in the box on a truly borderline call, the Pens went ahead 5-4, but then Tanner Glass was sent off for five minutes for elbowing Emelin, and Daniel Briere, with his second goal of the night, tied it at five.

After a scoreless overtime, it took DD to end it and give his team two big points.

Was it a good game? It had more stuff, the scoring was there, and they pulled it out. So I suppose, after my whining about lack of effort and no shots or goals, this was a stunning success.

Only seven more tough games in a row to go.

Random Notes.

The Pens outshot the Habs 32-29.

Throughout the five minute overtime, P.K. watched from the sidelines. I think Galchenyuk and Briere too. Galchenyuk was hustling and Briere had two goals and an assist, so the coach’s reasoning is a head-scratcher.

I hate all the freaking so-called lessons Therrien likes to teach different players. In fact, I’m sick of it. Especially when they’re trying to win a big game and these guys have the tools to do it.

In other news, Lars Eller was not Jean Beliveau on this night.

Jarred Tinordi hasn’t made the impact so far that Nathan Beaulieu did in his pre-Olympic stint.

Leafs in town on Saturday. No predictions here. Predictions are for gypsies.



11 thoughts on “Canadiens Win In A Shootout”

  1. Remember the year the Habs lost 8 or at most 10 games all year? Well ain’t gonna happen agin soon!! So 2 points is 2 points is not good for the ticker though. But If we can win a game with Thornbush [ I should say DESPITE Thornbush] behind the bench “teaching” the boys; it’s a miracle in itself!! He screwed Ellar by dismantling the EGG line, play the over the hill gang with their incompetence dump and chase and chase and chase. There’s fresh legs in the youth— would they win? with a coach there we might be in for a surprise. And a alternate stick boy for home games.

  2. Yes, I’m certainly happy about the two points on the road, but you know what galls me? PK made a dumb mistake–it happens. You talk to him, maybe sit him for a shift or two, and that’s it. You do NOT bench your best player for the entire OT. And, then we got to see Gorges and Murray in the OT–really????? Therrien was lucky that DD saved the day for him.

    I’ve really come to detest Michel Therrien……………

  3. How can Therrien bench Subban, but skate the like of Eller or Bourque? Eller was beyond awful last night, so he’s rewarded with the first shootout attempt!!! I’m envious of Bourque. I wished I could do my job so poorly and with such little effort and still pull in a ton of cash.

    OK, upsides, Parros’ presence makes a difference. The Penguins weren’t looking for a trouble as they have been in the past. The first line played like a first line. Murray, with his limited ice time, stays home and helps the goalie on the PK.

    Big game Saturday against the Make-Believes and their CBC cheering section. Hopefully a big win so Healy and Stock can cry foul.

    And I think I hate this schizophrenic team. It’s absolutely maddening to figure out how they can screw up so big and still score six goals against the best team in the east…

  4. Mike, Ian, and Peter, for sure they need an alternate stick boy but they’re taking their sweet time and it’s not right. We’ve seen how Eller was improving big time, especially with the kids, and he’s got lots of skill. But now he seems in a fog and I couldn’t understand why he was chosen for the shootout. Actually, it kind of blew my mind when I saw this. Thornbush (Therrien) is rapidly becoming a very disliked coach, and you guys, and many others, are on the same page about him being one of the main problems. The same with what dra58 said the other day – on the 3 on 3, Galchenyuk should’ve been out there but he sat on the bench. And when you look at the ice time at at their boxscore, you see guys like Bourque and Gionta getting way more than the young legs who are playing well. Not only does it not help the team at all, but it makes for a usually very unentertaining game that people pay big bucks to see and the rest of us at home yawn through. Yes, I’m on the same page with you guys – I’m not a fan of the coach. I hate his punishment tactics – it seems he’d rather show these guys who’s boss than winning games. He seems stubborn. I wonder if Bergevin talks to him about things like that, or he just lets him do his thing. Ian, you’re absolutely right. PK made a mistake and should sit a few shifts. But not the rest. Not when the game is on the line and we need a goal. It’s like Therrien thinks PK doesn’t realize the blunder. He does and wouldn’t make that play again. But no, Therrien sits him and a few others down and plays his favourites. We won the game but it’s not a satisfying win in many ways.

  5. And Dennis, here’s something that I didn’t know until this morning–a lot of people made a big deal over the fact that PK didn’t chase after Sutter on the breakaway (after he gave up the puck). Well, as Martin Lemay said on TSN this morning, PK had been on the ice for two straight minutes by that point, so he had nothing left in the tank. Again, it was a bad giveaway by him, and sitting him for a shift or two would have been appropriate, but not for the entire OT. And, worse yet, PK played his regular minutes for the rest of regulation. So, what kind of message is MT sending to Subban? Mixed signals (at best), and petty vindictiveness at worst.

  6. Thanks Ian. And thanks for pointing out that PK played the rest of his regulation minutes. I didn’t know that that. I thought he was benched after his giveaway. I don’t understand Therrien’s methods at all. You’re right, it seems vindictive. If he didn’t trust PK in OT, why would he trust him late in regulation?

  7. My God, listen to you all, you’re worse than women with all the drama. Bottom line is the report card reads 75% for the last two games. And this, without our gold-medal goalie.

    Remember at the start of the year when all predicted we’d be lucky to be a .500 team? — rebuild, rebuild was the chant, it will take us three to four years to climb out of the Gauthier/Gainey pit. They surprised everyone last year with a finish in first place. As of this morning, we’re in 2nd place in our division.

    Nothing is going to happen overnight, it’s a process and a difficult one because it’s really, really hard to attract star players. But, for the meantime, this average team that seems to love beating superstar teams and tanking to bottom-feeders, got three out of four points after coming back with rust for some and jet-lag for others. Are they boring? God, yes. I think they don’t take chances because they’re afraid to make mistakes.

    PK: I was dumbfounded as to why Babcock didn’t play him much in Sochi, but now, after watching last night’s game, I’m starting to think that coaches in general don’t like the risks he takes. He has a reputation. It IS possible that if he were traded tomorrow that another coach would show the same treatment. It’s very possible that they’re seeing something we’re not.

    I honestly refuse to throw Therrien under the bus after we fiinished in first place last year (with basically the same team we had the year previous to that) and stand in second place this year (considering we have very average players…). Give the man a chance. Breath……

  8. Marjo, thanks for the” balancing” of this discussion but with no ill feelings to you–or others—Thornbush is out. I know we’re where we are in the standings, but we could have as many points or more if the guys would stop dump and chase and NOT get. They put to many people to sleep and the no-shows get ice time. He’s a dictator-like coach, but at least the hard nosed Bowman had rings on his fingers. I was hoping Bergevin would bring some life to the team, but his low profile is starting to worry me also. With some effort they could’ve had Big Bird Larry as assistant coach. I also realize my frustration is leading to rambling so I’ll stop. Appreciate your input into this sight!!

  9. Pete, in my opinion, Eller may have started to fall apart after they cracked the EGG, but that’s no reason to tank the way he has. If he can only play hockey with that line, that doesn’t show him as being a very flexible player.

    As for the dump and chase, maybe that style is suitable for our team because in the neutral zone, plain and simply put, we suck. And if we don’t have big players to move past, how do you expect them to enter the other team’s zone? Dump and chase is extremely boring, but it may just be the solution this team needs do it’s size constraint.

  10. Marjo, per usual, your comments are well worded and accepted ! And I will still cheer the boys on to better daze! Thank you,

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