-Ottawa overcame a 2-0 deficit in the third along with their own poor play to rally and beat Montreal 3-2 in overtime. There was no repetition of the fireworks of game three, although the game was physical. Craig Anderson made 26 saves for the win, while Mika Zibanejad , Cory Conacher (who was awful most of the game and largely responsible for the second Habs goal), and Kyle Turris scored the goals. There is controversy over Zibanejad‘s goal, where he clearly directed the puck into the net with his skate, but without a distinct kicking motion it is a good goal (Eric Engels is among those who see the motion, but I don’t). There have also been complaints about a couple of icing calls at the end of the game, but it’s so nitpicky I don’t take it seriously. Here’s the boxscore.
–Mark Parisi offers a recap of the game where he continues to be unhappy with Milan Michalek‘s play. Ken Warren‘s recap includes what I see as unfair criticism of Peter Budaj whose allowed goal was deflected in by his own defenseman (Diaz).
-Speaking of Budaj, he played in overtime because Carey Price was injured; Brandon Prust was hurt as well and the Habs are starting to run out of bodies.
–Daniel Alfredsson talked about the team’s poor play for most of last night:
It was not our best game, as far as execution, for the first two periods and then some. I did feel we got skating in the third period and were able to get some pressure.
–Scott has the scoring chances from game three at 20/11.
–Stu Hackel talks about the series:
One thing Therrien may want to change is his own demeanor, which is starting to remind observers of his more volatile younger days coaching the Penguins and his first tenure behind the Canadiens’ bench. Once overly-emotional, Therrien was thought to have reformed, but he’s getting agitated and suckered into a war of words with MacLean, who is probably very happy to see his counterpart come a bit unhinged and is not adverse to assisting in that effort by, for example, calling a timeout to set up his team’s power play with a five-goal lead and only 17 seconds left in the game. Therrien’s displays of anger seemed to spread to his players, distracting them from their task. They, too, grew unhinged as the Sunday [game three] rout wore on.
I agree entirely that Therrien’s personality infects his team for the worse in the series. Hackel’s other point, that the Gryba suspension was an indication that the NHL might be more strict in punishing head shots, has already proven unfounded.
-Everyone’s favourite CSI investigator Eugene Melnyk was talking again and Nichols offers the highlights. You can try to follow Eugene’s explanations there, but I think Nichols is right that it seems as if Melnyk’s study isn’t about Cooke‘s guilt, but rather a broader study on player safety.
-It’s a common sentiment that it’s always better for your team to make the playoffs and battle it out in the post-season, but for Vancouver (or any team swept in the first round), I have to wonder how true that really is. Are the Canucks better off having been swept as opposed to simply missing the playoffs?
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)