Friday May 3rd, 2013
Game Recap: Canadiens channel their emotions to win a game for Lars Eller and demand a measure of respect.
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: Best of 7 series is tied 1-1.
| MONTREAL CANADIENS
2nd seed East
7th seed East
|2||2||4:13||EV||MTL||11 B.GALLAGHER(2)||27 A.GALCHENYUK(2)||8 B.PRUST(1)|
|3||2||8:16||EV||OTT||9 M.MICHALEK(1)||4 C.PHILLIPS(1)||61 A.BENOIT(1)|
|4||2||18:57||EV||MTL||73 M.RYDER(1)||17 R.BOURQUE(1)||76 P.SUBBAN(2)|
Shots on Goal:
SA : 34
SAVES : 31
- Habs starting six: David Desharnais, Travis Moen, Gabriel Dumont, Andrei Markov, P.K. Subban, Carey Price
- Scratched: Lars Eller, Max Pacioretty, Brian Gionta, Tomas Kaberle, Davis Drewiske, Mike Blunden, Alexei Emelin, Petteri Nokelainen, Nathan Beaulieu, Yannick Weber, Greg Pateryn, Michael Bournival, Louis Leblanc, Dustin Tokarski, Robert Mayer
What you need to know:
“You cannot force a person to show you respect, but you can refuse to be disrespected quote.” – Anon.
Following Game 1 on Thursday night, Michel Therrien was busting at the seams. He managed to make it through the post-game presser referring to the Lars Eller injury by saying, “We all saw the hit.The league will review it. I’m not allowed to make any comments.”
On Friday, Therrien found a way (with the help of the Canadiens media relations department, no doubt) to vent the bubbling cauldron inside. He went after Senators coach Paul MacLean for his comments, ones Therrien determined were disrespectful to Lars Eller and his family, and to a lesser extent Raphael Diaz. It was with the theme of respect that the Canadiens entered Game 2.
With three of the Canadiens top-10 scorers out of the lineup, they needed to play a smart, unified game and channel the emotional buildup since the dangerous hit that sent their teammate to the hospital. The Habs responded with a strong team effort with players like Ryan White and Rene Bourque having their best games of the season.
White played with controlled aggression even managing to pick up the opening goal of the game. Bourque had an assist on the Canadiens’ insurance marker and delivered heavy hits to Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson. Brendan Gallagher assumed the mantle of offensive leader with a goal, four shots and caused havoc in front of the Ottawa net.
But this night belonged to Carey Price. After giving up one questionable goal in Game 1, he came back to shut the door and lock it (to borrow a phrase from P.K. Subban.) Price was the Habs best penalty-killer and the best player on the ice for either team. It was a night where he earned a measure of respect from skittish fans who were prepared to abandon the Price ship.
Price was assisted by teammates who filled the shooting lanes blocking 34 shots. Jarred Tinordi had another strong game blocking three shots, handing out four hits and earning nearly 16 minutes of ice-time. The often-maligned Josh Gorges was solid blocking five shots in 21 minutes of work. P.K. Subban chipped in with an assist and another five blocked shots with a team-high 24 minutes TOI.
Tomas Plekanec proved his effectiveness in a shutdown role and was out for every important faceoff winning 16 of 25, a dominating 64 percent clip. Jeff Halpern won 58 percent of his faceoffs and surprisingly had five shots on goal. Brandon Prust didn’t disappoint with six hits and an assist. Colby Armstrong had six hits as well.
The game also saw the Canadiens willing to go to the net something they didn’t do in Game 1 — the mythological infallibility balloon of Craig Anderson was burst. The 50-shot buzzword tossed around after Thursday’s contest was not indicative of the Canadiens dominating the game, nor a goaltender having a performance of the ages, it was simply a team taking a lot of low-percentage attempts and not getting to rebounds left in the crease. That changed on Friday night.
In all this good news there was some disappointment. With the absences of Eller, Pacioretty and Gionta, David Desharnais was given center stage to prove that he is indeed the top-6 forward that his disciples believe. Unfortunately, he failed miserably. Apologists will point to a couple of nice passes and complain about his linemates (welcome to Lars Eller’s world) but the bottom line is he spent most of the night getting knocked off the puck and was irrelevant.
In two playoff games this season, Desharnais has zero shots on goal. When the Canadiens are firing 50 shots alone in Game 1, how does an “offensive” center come up empty? Even stay-at-home defenseman Tinordi had three shots in that game.
With emotions somewhat subsiding for Game 3 on Sunday, the Canadiens will once again need a strong 60-minute effort. While ‘respect’ was the theme for Friday’s game perhaps ‘no passengers’ should be the mantra in Ottawa.
- Rene Bourque was injured when he collided with Colby Armstrong in the third period. Bourque spent some time in the dressing room, returned to the bench but did not play another shift.
|NHL Three Stars|
Coach Michel Therrien:
- “I’m not going to ask [my team] to bounce back. [I told them] play the same way. As a coach this is the only thing I ask.”
- “[My emotion] was not about the hit. The NHL dealt with that. It was about the comment, the lack of respect. That’s why I was upset.”
- “By the way, the number 61 is RAPHAEL DIAZ (said with emphasis.) Just in case sometime they don’t know.”
- Therrien answered a brief “don’t know” when asked if Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta will be back on Sunday.
- “That’s the thing about [Carey Price], when he decides he’s going to shut the door, he shuts it. And he locks it.”
Senators coach Paul MacLean:
- “We turned over pucks that ended up in our net. Any time of the year that’s a recipe for not winning.”
- “For us, I thought that the power-play was working better. But we didn’t get results. We really could have used something from our power play tonight especially in the first period when we had three opportunities. I think that was a huge part of the game.”
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