I’ve had Spin Doctors “Two Princes” stuck in my head for I am NOT kidding you, four straight days. I’m hungover. LETS DO THIS.
We have a lot to talk about. I suppose I will get it out of the way off the jump
A Tale of Two Hitties
I will go on the record (that no one asked me to go on) saying I thought Gryba’s hit was a legal but devastating one. For those opposed I asketh thee this: “What gentlesir/madam was Gyba supposed to do instead of lay that hit?” Was he to step out of one Montreal’s best forward’s way? Delicately poke check the puck off of his stick? That was a trolley track pass from Diaz a la LaRose + Skinner = Cowen that we saw in Jared’s first game back. Like the Cowen-Skinner hit, I call it the Andy Sutton Special. “Five minutes for being humongous.” Eller is no shrimp but examine Gyrba’s positioning. I’ve seen many a head hunt and I cannot call that one of them. Hockey’s an incredibly fast game to the point that the NHL has added A WHOLE OTHER REFEREE to keep track of it in recent years…also O’Rourke is a terrible referee. I am willing to accept that in the moment at ice level that hit probably looked dirty. Eller laying knocked out in a quickly growing pool of his own blood did nothing to help anything. Fine. Gryba gets the gate. What I find laughable is now with the advantage of multiple angles of replay that he’s still getting a hearing with the Shannahan. Rediculous.
You know what hit was not so clean?
I don’t like how Subban jumps into the boards and I don’t like how his elbow goes right to the head of Neil. But that hit makes the highlight’s package and PK is celebrated for “being fired up tonight” why? Because Neil pops up like nothing happened. What am I trying to say here? I’m saying optics play a huge role in how a play is perceived apparently. If you’ve ever worn a hockey elbow pad you know how hard they are. If Subban concussed Neil and knocked his teeth out he gets the gate. Fortunately, he appears fine after the play (though I didn’t think he looked quite right after) and life goes on. I never, ever relish seeing a player get hurt. I think it’s terrible what happened what happened to Eller. I hope he makes a full recovery but much like fighting after throwing a hip check I’m confused by the aftermath of this thing. In a game this fast with players the size of Gyrba or Sutton or Chara I say this: Players. Will. Be. Hurt. On. Clean. Plays. I point the finger at Diaz for a very stupid play that endangered his teammate.
NOW ONTO THE ACTUAL GAME:
So good things and bad things. Let’s start with a few quick bad points.
-Ottawa looked HORRIBLE in the second period. In my mind this game had the potential to be a blow out. They are not going to get away with 20 minutes that bad very often. That game lived and died to the play of Craig Anderson. The goals surrendered to Bourque and Gallagher we’re beauties. Craig Anderson was the game’s hero. I was worried he’d be shaky after taking that puck the grill but he remained Steady Ruxpin in the crease. Hail Andy.
-The Sens gave up 50 shots BTW…on the heels of praising Anderson’s play…bros, don’t force your goalie into making 48 saves. Good God.
-And that power play. Forget trouble setting the table there was one power play that was pretty much played exclusively in Ottawa’s zone. Just unacceptably bad. There were a lot of thing’s I am not feeling great about considering this is a 7 game series.
-Latendresse scored SUCH a troll goal. The only person laughing more than me when that went in was Latendresse himself. Those are the kind of Flugly goals that Lats is going to have to score if he’s going to be a factor against such a speedy team. That one had to hurt for Habs fans.
-You have to love that Marc Methot had the same stat line as Erik Karlsson last night. I actually thought EK had a few shaky moments to be honest. He had a goal and an assist, played a ton of minutes was a plus three…all good BUT I actually think he can play better. Which is ultimately great news for Ottawa.
Can you believe Mika Zibanejad is a rookie? I mentioned this yesterday but I cannot get over the chemistry he has with Silfverberg. I like their line with Latendresse.
Am I A Terrible Human Being For Even Mentioning This?
Hit controversy aside, how huge a loss Lars Eller is for Montreal? When the smoke clears on this thing that is not a player you want to see get injured in game 1. Not only one of their best players but one of their biggest.
The Price is Wrongderson…or whatever.
Tonight will be another goalie battle. Regardless of last night’s result, each game is a new one. A blank slate. Keep in mind Ottawa got their asses kicked in 4-2 by the Rangers in game 1 last year and bounced back with a 3-2 OT win in a much, much tighter game 2. I still don’t take Price lightly but if the Sens can get to him early that will be massive for momentum. The interesting thing with the Bell Centre atmosphere is that yes, undoubtedly it is the most electric building in the league…but if stuff starts going wrong I think it can also be the quietest. That’s the trade you get when you have fans as emotional as the Canadiens’. After that Silfverberg goal last night you could really feel the air exit that building even on TV. Of course the other delicious possibility is that if things go really shit for the Habs that base of passionate fans have a tendency to take out their frustrations on their own guys. After all this is the team I’ve seen boo their own side for not converting on a powerplay against one of the league’s best PKs in a game THEY WERE WINNING. Two home losses would be crushing for them. Especially after a game as frustrating as last night’s. With back to back games it’s not like Ottawa’s powerplay is going to miraculously get awesome overnight. I basically think we’re going to need yet another masterful performance from Anderson and continued scoring to pull this one out. If they can do that it would be beyond huge for the series but Montreal is going to come out trying to win one for Eller. Ottawa’s going to have to keep it calm on their side and take them out of it early.