Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!

Game 2 recap- Jennifer Berzan Cutler

May 4, 2015, 9:39 AM ET [1196 Comments]
Habs Talk
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
“It's the same old story
Same old song and dance, my friend” - Aerosmith

By now it is sounding like a broken record. The Montreal Canadiens inability to score, be it even-strength, on the powerplay or even on the penalty kill has truly caught up with them. The Canadiens are clearly frustrated and they are reacting in the worst possible way by taking unnecessary penalties and leaving their one saving grace Carey Price, hung out to dry. It was only a matter a time before Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay powerplay would find the back of the net and boy did they ever on Sunday night.

Game 2 started with so much promise for the Canadiens as they came out flying and hard, dictating the pace of play and trying to take advantage of tired Tampa legs. With Desharnais’ last minute scratch due to the flu, the fans were treated to the reunion of the EGG line, one that many have been clamoring for. Then, for only the second time in these playoffs, the Habs opened the scoring courtesy of Jeff Petry’s first career playoff goal. What seemed like a harmless shot found its way behind big Ben Bishop. The Canadiens continued to press for a second, had the tide finally turned? Unfortunately the answer would be a resounding no.
Brandon Prust started the seemingly endless wave of penalties displaying a clear lack of discipline on the Canadiens bench. We can play a whole game of what if’s: What if Torrey Mitchell was able to score shorthanded to give the Habs a 2-0 lead? What if Carey Price sees Filpulla’s shot and makes the save to keep it 1-0 at the intermission? What if the Canadiens actually scored a powerplay goal? What if the Habs could control their emotions? The thing is, playing “what if” won’t solve anything. In his postgame comments, Brandon Prust accused referee Brad Watson of having a vendetta:

"He kept provoking me," said Prust. "He came to the box and called me every name in the book. He called me a piece of you-know-what, a mother-effer, a coward and said he'd drive me right out of this building. I kept going, 'Yeah, okay. Yeah, okay. Yeah, okay.' He kept on me. He kept on me. I kept saying, 'Yeah, okay.' I wasn't looking at him. He teed me up. That's the ref he is. He tries to play God. He tries to control the game and he did that tonight."

Even if Watson said all that, it still doesn’t change the end result. The Canadiens were clearly undisciplined while Michel Therrien looked on, cool as a cucumber. What message was he sending his players? It almost seemed like he was waving the white flag, allowing the players to continue their downward spiral. The Habs even had a golden opportunity to get back into the game early in the second period with two powerplays. Except when the Habs failed to score, the life in the Bell Centre quickly got sucked out as Steven Stamkos finally scored his first of the playoffs and Tampa would go on to score two powerplay goals before the period would end.
The disastrous night would continue into the final period, with the Habs penalty kill units allowing another powerplay goal to go with J.T. Brown’s lucky bounce. Gilbert’s second of the playoffs would mean nothing. Prust can talk all he wants but his tripping penalty on Bishop was completely unwarranted and only made him look foolish. The once very strong Canadiens penalty kill has disappeared these playoffs. While so much focus has been on fixing the powerplay, have the Canadiens been neglecting their PK units and taking Carey Price for granted?

The Canadiens have dug themselves in a deep hole losing games 1 & 2 on home ice. While game 1 was one of the Habs best games of the entire year, game 2 had to be the worst. The Jekyll & Hyde act of the Montreal Canadiens is getting hard to watch. Throughout the season, the Canadiens have showed resiliency and an ability to bounce back after poor performances. However the Habs are now 0-7 against the Lightning this year. An optimist might say the Canadiens are due for a breakthrough. While nothing is impossible, and over the years we have seen the Canadiens come back from series deficits, there just doesn’t seem to be that extra gear right now.. The Canadiens are going to have to find a way to score more than one goal a game and also give their goalie all the help they can muster. Carey Price deserves better than the embarrassing play of his teammates in game 2. He knows it, the players know it, and the fans do too.

3 Q’s going into Game 3:
Are the Habs ready to play desperate hockey for 60 minutes? Game 3 is an absolute must win situation for the Canadiens. Do they have anything left?
Who will step up and lead the charge in game 3? Last year against Boston P.K. was let loose and made his mark in round 2. While Subban’s play this year was overall his best ever, it seems like he needs permission to go up that extra gear. Is Markov’s shaky play this postseason making Subban a little too conservative? The problem is, who else are you able to play with P.K?
Will the Canadiens be able to score another powerplay goal before their postseason is over? In games 1 & 2 against Tampa they would actually start off well with clean entrances and moved the puck well. As the games progressed though the frustration would settle in and the old habits creeped in. Against Ottawa Devante Smith-Pelley was able to get in Anderson’s way and provide screens. The two goals the Habs scored on Sunday were both from the point. Ben Bishop is big like Craig Anderson. The Habs need someone like S-P to get to the front of the net and make it hard for Bishop to track the puck.
Join the Discussion: » 1196 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Habs Talk
» Heartbreak> Brian Bannan
» Game 3 Preview: Brian Bannan
» Will the Real Habs Please Step Forward? by Andrew Wright
» New Habs Blog> M.R. d'Awe
» Double Habs Blogs on Game 1. Andrew Saadalla and Brian Bannan