After blowing the game in
As they often do the Habs then disappeared, outshot 24-11 in the last 2 periods, but it looked like they were get away with it and head towards another overtime… until the Flames scored the game winner with 1 minute left in regulation.
Calgary 1-1: Just when the Habs are starting to think about how disappointed they are with the prospects of being up only by one after a period in which they had many chances to build up more of a lead, Calgary comes out of nowhere in the last minute to tie it up. Bouillon gets hooked behind the net, no call, it leads to a turnover and two Flames end up alone on Theo… he makes the first stop but the second guy finishes the job.
The faceoff is to Theo’s right, and Julien decides to pull Ryder off the right side and put him on the left with Zednik to have them both rushing towards Leopold at the point since the play is set up for him to take the shot. During this time Quintal has gone to take Ryder’s place at the right side of the circle near the boards, lining up with Gélinas. And so the stage is set, and now everything that could go wrong goes wrong.
First Koivu loses the draw to Conroy, and then Ryder & Zednik don’t get to Leopold on time so he gets the shot off. On the other side, the second the puck is dropped Gélinas goes around the 2 faceoff men and heads towards the net while the much slower Quintal has to go around the same two but from the opposite side. By the time the two meet up again on the other side of Koivu & Conroy, Gélinas had already had the rebound come right to him and netted the game winner.
It’s all about X’s and O’s and execution, and the Flames had the Habs beat in both respects. There is no need for Quintal to lineup in Ryder’s spot, he only puts himself further away from the net he is supposed to protect… and it gave the much faster Gélinas the chance to beat him to the net. That’s the X’s and O’s part. As for execution you have Koivu losing the draw, the wingers not getting to the defenseman in the time to prevent the shot, and Theodore who gave up a big fat rebound right to the front of the net on what wasn’t a very hard shot from the point.
The saddest part is that Yvon Pedneault on the RDS telecast singled out Souray as the guilty party on that play. The fact is Souray was the ONLY Habs player who didn’t contribute to that goal being scored. He was checking his man in front of the net, saw Quintal’s man coming in unchecked but he couldn’t go over to him because he’d be leaving his own man open. Souray couldn’t know which way the rebound would go. You can’t go blaming someone for not doing someone else’s job, that’s just stupid.
– Here’s a stat you don’t hear every day… all 12 of the Habs shots in the first period were on the power-play. Another weird thing happened, the Habs didn’t allow a goal on the PK and scored a PP goal of their own. How often does that happen with this team? Like, never?
– Audette suffered a seperated shoulder in the 1st period, no word on how long he’ll be out of the lineup.
Habs’ hero: Gotta give it to Craig Rivet… a rare appearance for him on this side of the hero/zero ledger. He gave the tone by finally protecting Theo early and dropping the gloves, then he scored the Habs only goal on the PP… making his coach look good.
Ribeiro & Perreault created a lot of scoring chances… although need to convert them more often.
Habs’ zero: No major zeroes on this night. There’s Bouillon for the turnover the lead to the first goal. Yes he was hooked, but if he’s gonna let it make him lose the puck he has to sell it better than that. Markov is a master at it, he would have sold it and gotten the penalty call.
Then I’ll name all the people who were at fault for the winning goal: Koivu for the faceoff, Ryder & Zednik for not getting to Leopold, Julien for not having Quintal in the right spot at the faceoff or using Perreault to take that faceoff, Theo for the bad rebound.
The Habs have no luck, they just happened to visit
But that doesn’t excuse them for coming out flat for the last two periods.
And it gets even worse on Saturday, when they’ll meet an Oilers team with an “extra-strength” version of home advantage with a 60k crowd on hand… and possibly newcomer Adam Oates, who I would not be surprised to see join the roster early just so he can be part of this special event. Hell, the way