Habs vs Canucks
The road trip ended with 3 points in 3 games. That's not horrible but before they embarked on this western Canada road trip I had thought that the Habs would be happy with four points. Now let's dig into that fiasco of a game in Vancouver.
The powerplay continues to struggle, and once again it was held off the scoresheet on the road. Therrien refuses to change up his strategy with this, and it reminds me of the definition of insanity; which is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. There are more than enough options to mix things up, so is it sheer stubbornness that makes him put out his defacto first line every powerplay?
Once again the Habs allowed their opponent to score the first goal of the game. This can't be a recipe for success, but at the same time it does breed a certain resiliency in them that will pay dividends when things get tough. All the scoring is coming when they're at even strength so just maybe they can beat the odds and continue to rack up points while falling behind... it would be nice to see them play with a lead though...
Let's address the first of a few elephants in the room. Burrows late, high hit on Emelin was exactly the sort of thing that they're trying to get out of the game. He was in a vulnerable position and he no longer had the puck. Burrows is an agitator who has racked up a considerable amount of fines but no suspensions. He's not a first time offender. The refs are guilty of allowing that play to continue and it would be nice to see the refs show some accountability but instead the Habs took that goal on the chin. Those who say he embellished are simply fans of the Canucks who are too close to their own team to view this situation with a little clarity.
Now that second elephant is the one in overtime. Considering the game would have finished 2-1 for the Habs without that Burrow's cheap-shot, we'll ignore that for now and take a look a the picks. I actually agreed with the refs when they called Gilbert for interference. I've been complaining all season that the refs won't call any interference penalties that allow skilled players room to move, so I can't complain when it's called against the Habs. Ummm... that's all fine and dandy, but to ignore not one, but two instances of picks that were worse... well that is inexcusable on the refs part. Even Kerry Fraser (the ex-ref) says that the refs were wrong not to call both picks. He even agrees that they were actually worse than the one that Gilbert got called for. The problem is that the Habs can't seem to draw a call these days, but they sure can get calls against them. The stats are something like 3rd most penalized and 6th for fewest powerplays. The zebras are not siding with the Habs, any doubter can check the stats for themselves and shut their yaps.
In case any Canucks fans come here and mention the no call on Gallahger goal, take a close look at the tape again. It was your D-man that pushed him into Miller to try to draw the call. Refs are supposed to allow goals when your D-men purposely creates contact with their own goalie. Call me a homer if you like, but the shove was late, and that wasn't a defending the crease type of action. It was a ploy to draw a call.
Here's the players I want to single out after the game;
Alex Galchenyuk - He's the best forward we have. Bar none. Give the kid some time at center and some minutes to go with it. He's the real deal.
Carey Price - Without him the Habs come back from this road trip with zero points.
P.K. Subban - Has anyone else noticed how he's playing really well defensively? Everyone always raves about his offensive prowess, but he's a stud on the back end. People need to take notice.
My final thought from this game was simply resignation. The zebras stole a point, but the Habs didn't score enough to take that kind of power out of the refs hands. I don't expect the Habs to win every game. I wish they would, but the odds are that's not going to happen. What I can expect is that eventually they'll get some more puck luck and a little more love from the refs. I don't need favoritism, I would just like fewer missed calls and maybe a bounce or two.
Final score 3-2 Habs lose in overtime.
As always, feel free to comment,
thanks for reading,