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Canadiens vs Lightning Top Six Minutes: Exercise in Futility

A brief and sarcastic take on the Canadiens final regular season game versus the Lightning.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports


  • Depressing  pregame stat: Steve Stamkos has five goals versus Montreal this season, Montreal has scored five total goals versus Tampa.
  • Is there a reason to get eager about a game versus Tampa besides waiting for the team to fall behind and see Subban go into "doing whatever I want" mode to try and get Montreal back into it?
  • Habs do get a break tonight with both Tyler Johnson and Jason Garrison injured, but this also gives them even less an excuse to screw it up as well.
  • Andrei Markov is the Habs Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy Nominee, no one on the team is more worthy. I think we need him to win just so he can go up on stage and deliver the sternest acceptance speech in awards history.

First Period:

  • Habs open the game and spend a whole 2 minutes without icng the puck, which by their standards is a great start.
  • First good chance of the game goes to the 4th line, but no dice.
  • Desharnais with a shot, but takes too long to wind up. But at least the Habs are in the right end.
  • it was a party in Tampa's crease ut no one could find the puck. Those never, ever seem to go MTL's way.
  • Torrey Mitchell with the "I didn't do nothing" to the ref, hooking call and Habs go to their best special teams unit for generating offence, the PK. (that isn't good)
  • Missing the clear twice is practically begging for a goal but the Habs 2nd unit gets away with it.
  • It's a kill!
  • Galchenyuk almost had the clean breakaway but sadly no dangles for us.
  • At some point the team is going to figure out that whoever gets paired with Emelin quickly declines yes?
  • Eller with some power moves in this period for sure. I predict a goal.
  • DLR to the sin bin, ugh. And please could people stop crashing into Carey? My cardiologist is worried about me and I'm 31.
  • The Habs clearing attempts are an adventure tonight. Only they could hit a ref rather than clear the zone.
  • The penalty kill is all Price right now. Yeesh what kind of strategy is this?
  • 5 on 3 for Tampa, that isn't dangerous...
  • Vezina, Hart, Order of Canada for Carey.
  • Habs finally stop giving free passes into the zone on the PK, cool.
  • Finally back to 5 on 5, now let's try not taking a penalty guys.
  • 10-1 for Tampa on the shot count, penalties hurt but still...
  • Price with the scramble save!
  • Did Weise just end up on the top line again?
  • Yes he bloody well did. Hope that isn't permanent.
  • Eller is easily MTL's forward tonight, just drew a penalty where he will spend no time on the man advtange for his team...
  • Habs allow a SH chance, not a PP without doing that.
  • Will give credit though, for the Habs this has been a pretty good power play, actually cycling and getting some chances.
  • Why do you have Emelin out in the last minute of a period?
  • Eller is MTL's best skater in this period, not even close.
  • It is ridiculously nice to have Eliotte Friedman as an in-period analyst.

Second Period:

  • Am I misreading it or does Sportsnet always try to play up Bishop like he's Price's equal?
  • Habs start the period wtih their typical strategy, which is icing the puck for no reason.
  • Subban with the defensive play of the game right there.
  • Ignorant dump into Tampa's zone and Habs are absurdly caught out of position for that goal, great pass by Bishop though and a quality finish by Namestnikov. 1-0 Bolts.
  • Bishop sold that but that was horribly irresponsible by Weise by taking the Unsportsmanlike for protesting the call. Media would crucify Subban if he took that.
  • And Drouin walks behind the entire Habs team to completely destroy every last bit of momentum they just earned. Good finish, 2-1 Tampa.
  • My father and I are debating whether or not the Habs understand that Tampa's bench is the one close to their zone in this period.
  • Tampa lets their defencemen skate in when they see a chance, Montreal could learn from that. They easily have the lineup to do it.
  • Taking the timeout to give the boys a rest, given they were dead tired and on their heels, probably an apt move.
  • PK and Markov have been out for what, 2 minutes and counting?
  • Habs completely ovewhelmed in this period. Penalties against aren't helping but yikes, how can they hope to beat Tampa in a series?
  • Whenever someone says "Habs are a great defensive team", Nick Lidstrom kills a unicorn.
  • My father is more upset with the Habs zone exit strategy than I am, which I didn't think was possible.
  • Habs are making a ton of mental errors tonight. Painful.
  • PP is back to being feckless.
  • Seems like the only way a goal will happen tonight is if Eller's on the ice. Only guy pushing the play for MTL.
  • Habs zone clearing strategy strikes again, blind clear along the boards and Tampa has a gift-wrapped setup for a goal. 3-1 Bolts.
  • Pretty bad night for 76-79 overall though.
  • It would appear Therrien has fired up the line blender towards the end of the period. What will we see in the 3rd?
  • Habs outshot 18-6 in the period, Therrien should just give Jon Cooper his lunch money.

Third Period:

  • Will there be life in this period? Habs best chance is Tampa going to sleep here.
  • Being outshot 31-13 after only 2 periods would be acceptable if Tampa was playing Buffalo. But MTL isn't Buffalo.
  • JEFF PETRY!!! FIRST GOAL AS A HAB! The lead is cut down to 3-2.
  • Habs really think Price is lonely or something the way they keep allowing guests into his crease.
  • Beaulieu-Subban is a pairing I'd like to see for the next ten years. Pure skating clinic between the two of them.
  • Hot damn, the Michel Therrien line blender seems to be working out.
  • Sexy move by Galchenyuk but alas no reward.Hope he gets rewarded for his wheeling tonight.
  • Interesting how the Habs offensive zone cycle improves when you put your best left wing, your best right wing and your best centre on the same unit.
  • And the momentum fades away as quickly as it was acquired. 4-2 for the Bolts. Ugh.
  • Where the hell does Tampa keep finding all these Russians anyway?
  • Not often you can say this but I think MTL got overcharged when they paid a 7th round pick for Mitchell.
  • Subban hobbled, of course why not make me hate this game more than I already do.
  • Late game PP opportunity to make it close, I'm already anticipating them screwing it up. But it's the Habs PP so I think that is allowed.
  • Crazy thought, maybe that high-flying Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gallagher line should be on the PP?
  • SUBBAN!!! Habs make it close once more but not exactly a lot of time left to get it even...
  • Gallagher making friends!
  • Tampa should be at a disadvantage after that nonsense.
  • Habs pull Price with over 2 minutes on the clock. Smart move as truly, nothing to lose.
  • Of course the crossbar...
  • Icing not by the Habs, so that's what it looks like.
  • Dump-ins are giveaways, that's all they are.
  • That's it... Stralman blasts away and seals the deal for Tampa. 5-3.
  • Habs tried to come back here, but the series sweep was deserved. Tampa has built a roster and strategies that just crush them every time they meet.

Three Stars are coming soon.

1. These guys are reading MT's thoughts.

Therrien imitation

2. This sums up how I feel about this refrain from the blind loyalists


3. Hockey analysis through Haiku is not something you get every day.

hockey haiku