To say things got chippy in the third is an understatement. This game recap won't be overly detailed as I am utterly disgusted at the effort put forth by the team that I love. On the heels of a character win at home on Friday night, the Montreal Canadiens put up a real stinker for the first away game of the series. The Ottawa Senators now lead the series 2-1 and things sure aren't looking good.
For a team that had been relatively dominant through the first two games, the first period on Sunday night was abysmal. The Habs just looked slow and Ottawa took it to them. Daniel Alfredsson opened the scoring by banging one in on the power play and things were definitely not looking good to start. But the Habs responded. They managed to put on some pressure of their own and get a power play of their own. Rene Bourque squeaked a wrister through Anderson on assists from Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta, evening the score. At the end of the first I turned to my buddy at work and said: "This fucking game is going to OT, I bet." I couldn't have been more wrong.
The second period was rather inconsequential, save a weak goal by Jean-Gabriel Pageau that Carey Price probably should have stopped in my opinion. The teams seemed rather even and the Habs actually outshot the Sens in the period. Craig Anderson was solid when he needed to be and the Habs were unable to solve him. At this point in the game I was convinced in my head that we would either lose by the 2-1 score or get one late to force overtime. The teams were looking rather even, and while Ottawa surely looked slightly better overall, I was sure we'd be seeing one of those good old Habs third frames. But... Nope.
I will spare everybody a lot of grief by not doing a detailed recap of the third period. It was a complete clusterfuck and I was pretty much shaking my head throughout its entirety. While it was already terrible, it may have had even more casualties for the Habs than the score alone. Unfortunately, I think that Bourque is probably going to get suspended for his elbow, as he does have a history. I also agree with theactivestick's contention from last night's top six minutes that P.K. Subban and Ryan White may be getting calls from the league as well. I'm not predicting it, but it's not unthinkable. In summary, if I had a DVR that could fast forward live TV, I would have totally done that on the third period, then puked at the final score: 6-1 Senators. Pageau finished off a hat trick for the sixth Sens goal just so we could have some insult to go with the injury, watching hats litter the ice at Scotiabank Place.
Now, I'm going to give credit where credit is due. I was not alone in expecting Habs fans to dominate Scotiabank Place on Sunday night, but the Sens fans proved this belief to be completely wrong. I don't know if they gave away free tickets or something, but that crowd was far more intense than I expected and I believe their team was energized by it. Here's hoping the strong road team we saw all year shows up on Tuesday night and not the embarrassing group we saw last night.
Michael Ryder and Max Pacioretty both need to be better than they were last night. I understand that Pacioretty may be playing hurt, but if that is what's affecting his game, he needs to take a seat and heal properly. Ryder had a decent game two but last night he looked pretty bad for most of the game. These two guys need to be better if we're to win this series. I'm not going to jump on Subban for his actions in the third... PK has been the best player on the Habs all series and he was great through two periods again, so he gets a pass from me.
And...Now, I'm going to try and find something good to talk about, which is not easy, but here goes. Brendan Gallagher is still amazing and its hard to believe he was a fifth round pick. The kid shined in a 6-1 loss and was one of the few Habs that didn't seem to lose his marbles. Brendan Gallagher is officially my favourite player. Lost in the brutal defeat is that the Habs still outshot the Sens 34-30. If not for stupid penalties and a couple of weak Pageau wristers getting through Price, this game could have been different. The stats don't point to a blowout, and maybe this makes the Sens over-confident? We'll see.
One thing I've noted throughout the year is that the Habs can't win games in which they try to goon it up with their opponents, as evidenced by the losses against Toronto. When the Habs get frustrated and try to play the goonish style of game that some teams are very good at, they not only lose but fail miserably at the goon part of the game as well. Michel Therrien needs to sit his team down and tear a strip out of them. This team should play with pride and integrity and last night's tilt displayed neither of those things. I'm ashamed of that game, and the players wearing the CH should be too.
The only silver lining for me is that this series is not over. While a 2-1 deficit concerns me, I still believe in this team and what they are capable of. You may be wondering why I chose not to include stats for tonight's game and it's simple: the game was absolute garbage. The Sens weren't good enough to deserve a 6-1 win but the Habs handed it to them by playing like complete morons. My only hope is that this team can get their heads screwed back on and come out flying on Tuesday night.
They had better because a 3-1 deficit is a whole different ball game.
If you want to see Sens fans gloating, go to Silver Seven. But, if you're like me and have a temper then maybe don't. If you do, lets show the class that our team failed to show on Sunday night.