Ottawa Goalie Beats Habs

And now we wait.

We wait to see how Lars Eller is after being being leveled by Eric Gryba. We wait until Friday night to see if the Canadiens can come out of this with a split before moving up the highway to Ottawa. We wait to see if Carey Price can step it up and be the goaltender he needs to be, as Craig Anderson was at the other end.

And we wait for guys in slumps to snap out of it and start helping out before it’s too late.

Anderson was peppered with 50 Montreal shots on this night, including 27 in the second period alone, and in the end, he and his Ottawa Senators withstood the onslaught, came from behind in the final frame, and won the thing 4-2.

What a sick feeling when enemy goals go in during playoff action. It cuts like a knife. This is why I need a new sport. I’ve looked at cricket but I can’t figure it out. And I sure miss the Expos.

And although it was a first-game home team loss, it was also tremendously exciting, one that featured serious thrills and spills, and overall, the Habs held the edge in play. But there was just one slight difference. The Ottawa guy wearing the pads stood on his head and played like Roger Crozier against the Habs in ’65, while the guy at the other end, who was far less busy, didn’t stand on his head and there will be no mention of Price’s performance on this night when great playoff magic is discussed in future years.

I’m not necessarily putting the blame on Price. I thought he was decent. All I’m saying is, he wasn’t as good as Anderson. And we need him to be.

In the first period, Ottawa jumped ahead 1-0, although Montreal was the better team throughout, and it was a fine time indeed when, in the second period, Rene Bourque tied it on a backhand that would’ve made the Rocket proud.

But just seconds later, Lars Eller took an obscene suicide pass from Raphael Diaz, was clocked at open ice by the much bigger Eric Gyrba, and it appeared that he might have broken his nose, maybe as he crashed down to the ice. Whatever the true outcome will be, the blood was flowing, the doc and stretcher were out there, and there can by no worse feeling than seeing someone in serious trouble, with the hushed crowd, the concerned players, and the rest of us watching from a distance and keeping our fingers crossed that it’s not serious..

It’s bad enough when something bad happens to any hockey player, but when it’s a Montreal Canadien, there’s a bigger bite to it. He’s one of our guys, an important piece of the puzzle, one of our best players. We follow him every game and it’s like we know him. Get well soon, Lars. We’re pulling for you.

What a night for emotions, because less than a minute later during the five minute major to Gryba, Brendan Gallagher converted a Tomas Plekanec pass in front of the net and suddenly it was 2-1 Habs. This was the time, this second period, when the boys needed to rack up the score with the five- minute man-advantage. Make it 3-1. Hopefully 4-1.

But they didn’t. They couldn’t tighten the noose. And the tide would eventually turn.

The Canadiens peppered Anderson, not only during the major but throughout the period, including a 5 on 3 power play,, but they couldn’t bury these Senators. They couldn’t get one more goal, and in the third, Ottawa tied it, went ahead, and ultimately scored the insurance marker.

The depression shouldn’t last long I hope, but for now, I really wish the Expos were playing to take my mind off it for awhile. How I wanted that first game and be off to the races. Now the pressure is on for a serious rebound in game two. They can’t let Anderson get into their heads, which could happen. If he stones them again tomorrow, and then it’s off to Ottawa for the next two, I might decide to hunt for some good, relaxing opium.

Random Notes:

P.K. Subban was unreal on this night. He did it all, at both ends, and his thunderous bodycheck on Chris Neil was a thing of beauty. P.K. was Montreal’s best player, and showed more pizzazz than his counterpart Erik Karlsson, even though the Swedish dandy had a goal and an assist.

I also thought Brandon Prust and Rene Bourque played important roles in this game. Prust added some good old-fashioned jam, and Bourque could have had at least three goals if Anderson was more human. Max Pacioretty also enjoyed several good chances, and I know it’s easy to say, but Max has to start scoring more.

Michael Ryder was invisible.

Total shots on goal – Montreal 50, Ottawa 31. A real playoff barn burner. A barn burning bummer.

Right away, Friday night, they go again. A split is now the new plan.




17 thoughts on “Ottawa Goalie Beats Habs”

  1. Who’s to blame– care less Lars Ellar is hurt and hockey game was 2nd as he lay there. Just hope it,s leading too long term impact of his game. Who can forget his 4[or 5] goal game and his smile as he did his 1st star skate!! Good kid!! Seems the kids are doing alot. With EVERY flurry of action at Ottawa net I just cringed to think of the other end if the play went there—sure enuff, my goalie is not back yet!!! A very heart-breaking loss by some who gave their all and lots who AIN”T EARNING THEIR KEEP . The bums aren’t worth wearing the jersey!! That’s pretty strong wording, BUT no-shows don’t raise the prize!!

  2. I was there and was appalled at the officiating in the game. These are supposed to be the best but the linesman never wanted to drop the puck if it looked like Montreal would win or have an advantage in the faceoff circle. I have a hard time remembering so many players ejected from faceoffs. It was like Tim Peel and crew were on the ice. When Lars went down they wanted to give Gryba a penalty but when they saw the stretcher come on the ice they decided to give him a game misconduct. Also very unhappy with Sens coach laying all blame on Diaz in a week attempt to deflect blame from Gryba and not even offer concerns about Eller’s health. Poor spotsmanship from a guy who will probably be coach of the year. Very upset with DD as he had so much ice time and of all our shots on goal he failed to have any. I think it’s time he either steps up or sits down. What happened to accountability for player performance? As for Price he needs to be better and M/T said so in as many words in his post game press conference by letting all know for the first time this season that an opposing goalie(while very true) outplayed everyone. Maybe he should go see Lars Eller’s mind coach and get his head back in the game. If he can’t get it together soon the fans will turn on him and we will have a Vancouver issue here in Montreal even though we don’t have as good an alternative waiting in the wings. Price needs to be like he was when he was in AHL and was all world early in his career. Nothing seemed to bother him before but I am afraid his psyche has taken a bit of a hit with the Montreal media and fans.

  3. It’s very simple at this point. Montreal has to win tonight. If it doesn’t, the series is over.

    I have been a huge Carey Price fan/supporter throughout his career. Now, it’s time for him to be “THE MAN”. Time for him to win a few playoff games for his team, and maybe a series or two. He can’t keep being the second best goalie in every series.

    I thought that the hit on Eller was clean. Paul MacLean’s attempt to blame the hit on Diaz was pathetic and disgraceful, though.

  4. Losing Lars Eller hurts a lot more than losing this one game.

    Still, the team’s motto is NO EXCUSES. And now it’s time to dig deep and start winning in spite of what happened last night.

  5. Gary Bettman is the one to blame for the severity of Lars Ellers injury. Until the league gets rid of the steel pointed rollerball shoulder pads and elbow pads and goes back to the more traditional pads of the 1970’s someone will eventually die…

    That was a classic suicide pass that has been in hockey for 100 years or more and will always be there, its just a circumstance of the game…
    I thought I heard they where going to soften the pads but it looks like they have not yet…

    Just look at some of the vintage dressing room pics of the Habs and you will see how the shoulder pads have changed….

    On the game …Anderson was great …Price not so…I am quite surprised

    As for my Leafs…devine intervention is required

  6. Last thing, we had a terrific team this short year. Our guys surprised everyone considering where they were last year. If we had the Price of last year, could you imagine a night like last night happening? It’s so disappointing because upfront we have what it takes but behind…I have no confidence in Price. I’m wondering if Budaj will be our Halak.

  7. Marjo, I honestly believe Budaj’s not good enough, even though he had a fine season. He doesn’t seem to be quick enough. Maybe I’m wrong about this. And Price……I don’t know what’s going on with him but we’re going nowhere if he doesn’t start playing like a superstar. He did earlier in the year, and then it all went away.

  8. Peter, it was horrible to see that. I’m hoping for simply a broken nose (which is bad enough) and something more serious. Praying he’ll be okay.

  9. Danno, the Anahim Lake Cucumber wasn’t completely terrible but he definitely didn’t come through when needed. The other guy did and they won the game even though they were outplayed. That’s the kind of thing we need from Price and whether or not we’ll see it again remains to be seen. My faith is dwindling.

  10. dra58, I had planned on mentioning something about all the times the linesman kicked one of our guys out of the circle but as I was writing my post, it kind of slipped away. It bothered me a lot to see this. Desharnais must have been thrown out at least five times. All this in front of Gary Bettman, and I hope he took notes about this. It was all way too ridiculous. This is the NHL playoffs, so just drop the freakin puck already.
    I thought the team played well, but we didn’t have a goalie to get it done when we needed him to. Ottawa did. With poor goaltending in the playoffs, the golf greens aren’t that away. Now we wait to see how Lars is.

  11. Ian, for sure. If they drop game 2, especially due to poor goaltending, the fat lady is pulling out the microphone. I’ve been a huge Price fan too, and I’d like to know what’s going on. Everyone has always talked about how unfazed he is, but maybe he’s not as relaxed as we think. Maybe he has demons. I don’t know, but we’ve seen him much. much better. He’s not even close to the goalie he was. I love your line “He can’t keep being the second best goalie in every series.”

  12. Danno, for sure about Lars. When I wrote my post I felt I should try and give my thoughts on the game, along with talking about Lars, and I hope I balanced it properly. Seeing the stretcher come out was horrible. The blood was shocking. The doctor out there. All that. Now we need the second game. And we need all hands on deck.

  13. Leaf Fan, that’s a great point. The shoulder pads have been brought up before, by Cherry especially, and why does the league wait so long to make a crucial change like this? These pads are especially noticeable in the pregame warmup when guys aren’t wearing their helmets. Their heads look tiny with these things on. It’s pathetic. That and the no-touch icing craziness. The NHL constantly drops the ball and has for years.

  14. I personally feel Dennis that a player concussed by these new shoulder pads and elbow pads have every right to sue the NHL for endangerment of his health for being in bed with the equipment manufacturers to enhance this roller ball hockey to attract the tractor pull fans of the southern states…

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