Solid In Tampa

The Tampa Bay Lightning may have enjoyed a decent first period, but it was all Montreal for the next two, a completely solid and impressive showing by Les Glorieux, a 4-1 win that puts the boys two games up on the road.

All they have to do is keep doing what they’ve been doing – skate hard, constantly forecheck, get scoring from guys who don’t always score, look confident with the puck, enjoy each others company, dispose of the Tampa Bay Lightning as soon as possible, get some rest, heal some wounds, and watch players in other series pound each other into the ground.

Am I getting too far ahead of myself? Enjoying the moment.

Rene Bourque shone with two big goals that included barging in and sneaking it in beside the post, and a great play where he swung around the net and banked it in off Kristers Gudlevskis who had  replaced a yanked Anders Lindback.

Carey Price was back to the Carey Price we know and love after a slightly disturbing performance in game one. He was in control, it showed from the beginning, and it was a different feeling watching him from the the previous game. I think Stephane Waite had a good chat with him.

Just proud as punch about what’s transpired. Both games in Tampa won. My hears soars like a Joe Bonamassa guitar solo.

The game began with a Lightning team that was alive, but so was Carey Price. And at the other end, Lindback stopped Brian Gionta and Max, both of whom barged into the clear but were denied.

But the beginning of the second period was the beginning of the end for the home team. A power play goal that saw David Desharnais deflect a P.K. blast. Rene Bourque would notch his first. And Brandon Prust would plant fist onto the hairy face of Radko Gudas, with Prust scoring on the punch clock.

Ray Ferraro said on the radio before the series began that Habs fans will very quickly learn to hate Radko Gudas, but so far, he’s just another small bump in the road that hasn’t slowed the Habs tank down one bit.

The second was a much better period for the Canadiens, and in the third it was all them again.A goal by Brendan Gallagher and that was it for Lindback. And Bourque’s wraparound made it 4-0 and there was no way the Lightning would catch up, although they managed to make it 4-1 on a late power play with the goalie pulled.

Imagine if Bourque, Briere and Eller put it all together for the next while like they have for these two games. With them and the rest going, with Price at the top of his game, and with me wearing the same socks for as long as they win, the sky’s the limit.

Alexei Emelin was thumpin’ and bumpin’, Max was full of vim and vigour, P.K. and Gallagher too, and it was a truly impressive showing by all the guys in Florida.

Tampa and their fans know now they’re in a bit of a pickle.

Random Notes:

Tampa outshot Montreal 27-26 but definitely didn’t outplay them.

The Lightning also have a goaltending problem on their hands. The problem of not having a number one for the entire series.

Game three at the Bell on Sunday night and preparing to take a stranglehold. Ain’t life grand!

 

 

29 thoughts on “Solid In Tampa”

  1. Yup you wonder how this series might be different if Bishop hadn’t hurt himself. That’s part of the problem when you are fighting down to the wire, sometimes guys get hurt and then can’t play. After surviving the first 10 minutes or so that was as complete a game as I’ve seen this team play in a long time. Not a passenger out there tonight!

  2. I’m hoping Joe’s guitar solo serenades all those Mountain lullybye birds I keep hearing about. Hockey heaven last nite—boys play a dandy AND the Wings shut out the the goon squad—hear Lucic pulled a Lucic. We should rent John Scott for a few gamesso as to rid the league of the nut-cracker. Road wins are GREAT, but oh how The Bell crowd needs some games like that. Got my headphones ready!! Good on Gally to pot a goal after getting wiped out–he ain’t quitting just yet. Did you hear E. Friedman rebuke PJ for his questioning Price’s ability to win the big ones? Quiet, firm words–BUT —the eyes made Stockie wilter!! To his credit P J ” took back his opinion” during the first break, So my question —–does the credit for these wins go to the boys getting it together OR—oh dear me —-to coach Thornbush? You will need STRONG evidence to sway me over to Thornbush’s corner but I will listen to reason.

  3. Peter Hab, let me ask you, is the fact that we made the playoffs not sufficient evidence to you that MT is doing a great job? When Bergevin was hired and we had finished in 30th place, most agreed that it would take the Canadiens some good years to re-build. Patience was urged by the organization to the fans. Yet, we finished in the top ten ONLY two years later (not to mention making the playoffs last year). Were you one of the fans hoping they would hire Hartley? Muller? Lest I remind you where they finished last week.

    Whatever MT is doing, he must be doing it right. I for one will never criticize the coaching staff when we are at the top. They need our support AND the decisions they make are based on the fact that that they more information than we do. Trust and believe in who leads.

  4. Before I get to my thoughts on the Habs game, did anyone else see any of the Red Wings-Bruins game? Milan Lucic was up to his old (dirty) tricks, once again spearing an opposing player in the privates. Let’s see that clown try to deny it this time.

    Okay, about the Habs: I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out that the last three times that Montreal has won the first two games of a playoff series on the road (1996 against the NY Rangers, 2006 against the Carolina Hurricanes, 2011 against the #$@*#@!! Bruins), it went on to lose those series. My only point is that we as fans should not get overconfident (and hopefully, the players won’t, either).

    THAT SAID, so far this seems like a very different Habs team than the one that went so meekly into the night last year against the Ottawa Senators. It seems focused, driven and even Rene Bourque has shown up to play! In fact, I don’t think that it’s inaccurate to say that he’s been one of the best Montreal forwards on the ice for the first two games. In Game Two, PK Subban and Carey Price found their form again, and you could tell that Price was in the Lightning forwards’ heads as the game wore on.

    I wonder, who starts between the pipes for Tampa in Game Three? Will Ben Bishop make his return (that would make a world of difference for the Lightning)? Will Lindback get one more chance, or will Kristers Gudlevskis get his first ever playoff start?

  5. I watches the last 8 minutes of the DET/BOS game and was thrilled when Datayuk scored (and what a beauty). I missed Lucic’s poke. What a weirdo!

    I agree Ian, we are seeing an entirely different Habs team this year and EVERYBODY is stepping up to play. To make it better, we are scoring tons! Come what may, yes, we don’t want to get overly confident only because going from an ultimate high to down below would suck but in the meantime this is FUN, FUN, FUN!!!!

  6. I couldn’t help myself, Danno–I posted a comment in response to the YouTube post. I’m sure that Bruins fans will have plenty to say about it………..

  7. You know what? I’m glad Lucic did that because the refs probably saw the clip by now and they will have no mercy with him going forward.

  8. Why Lucic’s spear doesn’t get more attention is frustrating. Why don’t these commentators start talking about lucic they way they trash Subban. Chicken shit pj stick and the rest of them. Scared to stick their necks out. I’d like to hear a commentator step outside their comfort zone and criticise lucic.

  9. I’ve seen this video of Lucic spearing Emelin more in the past few hours than when it occurred.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nssGVSiNYU#t=22s

    Where was the outrage and demands for suspension then? Why does it take a repeat occurrence to a Red Wing for everyone (outside of Montreal and Vancouver) to realize what a disgraceful bunch of goons they Bruins are.

  10. Marjo, you make somewhat of a case for MT. But I say he doesn’t use the kids thru encouragement. he ABUSES P.K. publicly, benches him for how many times ? I’d prefer some balance that way with other boneheaded plays we seen from ALL of them this season at various times.Seems the lines have no consistency for the most of 82 games, if it’s THAT HARD to play on the opposite side of the natural shooting side , I’d prefer he give Emelin that chance. Just some thoughts put out there with no ill feelings to folks on this site.

    i’d prefer give Emelin that chance

  11. P.S Did or do I have a replacement in mind—no, I’m not that up on available folks–there’s folks in place to monitor personnel availability, even as the season unfolds

  12. And the joke that is the NHL continues. They fined Lucic, who makes $6M, a token $5K. Relatively speaking, I pay a larger fine when I’m caught doing 110 on the highway.

  13. I like Marjo’s take about the referees watching this goon more closely now that he has a rep as a stick between the legs type of guy. Maybe in the end it’ll work out, although Emelin and the Detroit guy certainly weren’t thrilled about it when it happened to them.

  14. At the risk of sounding wishy washy, I agree with points made by both Peter and Marjo. Therrien does play favourites and there are guys he loves to put in the doghouse and seemingly treat unbfairly. But he’s also got the team going great guns now sp there’s something to be said for that. In the long run though, will his treatment of PK and others damage them, or is all part of being a professional, they suck it up, and move on?

  15. My younger son asked a very interesting question: why is it that Quennville got fined $25000 for touching his own balls while Lucic got fined only $5000 for hitting someone else’s?

    Anyone here watching STL/CHI? Great game. And horrible what Seabrook did to Backes. I say he should be out as long as Backes is, which may very well be the whole playoffs.

  16. I think $5K is the maximum player fine permitted under the CBA. The lockout was so that incompetent owners could guarantee themselves a profit despite playing in a city no one cares about the game. No one bothered to discuss making the fines something relevant.

  17. Unfortunately, as we all know, different rules seem to apply when it’s a Boston Bruin doing the dirty work (remember Zdeno Chara’s “just a hockey play” on Max Pacioretty?).

  18. May I rant? I walked into a friend’s house who happened to be watching Coach’s corner as I entered. The idiot with the flamboyant jacket, what’s his name…highlighted all playoff games played in the last 24 hours with the exception of Les Glorieux. The poor, old, senile fart. Is he REALLY that jealous? Hey, kids out there, careful…this is what jealousy does to you. Turns you into a big, crabby person and eats at your heart and the result shows all over your face.

    I pray to God the Habs make it all the way.

  19. I watched him too, Marjo. These CBC guys, all of them it seems, only talk about the Habs as an afterthought. The Canadiens are going to have to win it all to get proper respect.

  20. Did you see Kadri on the panel of HNIC yesterday. McLean was cooing over him. Cherry goes on and on and on about this guy. Average player at best.

    I can’t understand MT’s treatment of Subban. What other superstar get’s treated like that. Somebody better take Therrien aside and tell him to stop. You are publicly humiliating Subban each time you do that. Talk to him between periods. We are going to lose him.

    What is going on with Chicago. There could have 10 vicious penalties in the last 10 minutes of the game on them. They were starting to look like the bruins. I think they know they cannot beat St. Louis. Whenever Boston knows they can’t beat a team they try to maime them.

    I hope Detroit beats Boston.

    We were right. We finally signed a star (Vanek). Since he came the Habs have been fun to watch. They are scoring goals. Now all three lines are chipping in. We have got to sign him in the summer and try to woo one more RFA that knows how to score on a consistent basis. Then we could challenge our own record of 5 Stanley Cup.

  21. I agree Frank, about Chicago being nasty. I haven’t seen them play yet but I saw highlights of the Seabrook check and Duncan Keith waving his stick like a sword. Very unlike them and maybe you’re right, they’re feeling edgy because they know they’re in tough. Imagine another Bruins-type team. Kadri wasn’t even well-spoken and I don’t know why he’d be there except for the fact he’s a Leaf, which they all love at CBC. And as far as PK goes, he’s been treated poorly at times and it’s up to him to elevate his game. He won the Norris last year and isn’t close this year and I don’t know if everything is related or not. But if they re-sign him and he becomes a truly solid, mistake-free defenseman, maybe Therrien knew what he was doing after all.

  22. Ian, the beat goes on. Bruins players managed to stay free from suspensions. It’s amazing.

  23. Marjo, you write “I pray to God the Habs make it all the way.” I second that emotion.

  24. Dennis, I’m sure that it has nothing–nothing at all–to do with the fact that Colin Campbell, the father of Bruins forward Gregory Campbell, is a senior executive with the NHL.

    And then Claude Julien whines more or less constantly that his team is singled out for negative treatment by the league? Heck even most Bruins fans I know thought that Lucic should have gotten at least a short suspension for his latest spear to the groin on Dekeyser.

  25. Right Ian. And I think their owner Jacobs has some serious pull. The beat goes on with the bruins, their bullshit, and getting off with a wrist slap.

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