Regular season game #19
If this one didn’t have a familiar tone to it, you have probably successfully repressed the last 15 years of Habs hockey from your memory (what’s your secret?). Over the last decade and a half, the Habs did a lot of their winning by letting their goaltending do more than its fair share of work, and hanging around long enough to pot a couple of opportunistic goals. Tonight, it was the depleted Sens that clung to life thanks to some terrific work from Ben Bishop and his goal posts.
Let’s also not forget that the Senators were 8-1-2 at home going in to the game, so it’s not like the Habs had a guaranteed win in the bag just because the Sens are missing some key pieces to their puzzle; they’re rolling right along without Karlsson, Spezza and Anderson.
The Habs dominated the game from the beginning and there’s really not much use in dwelling on the obvious. Bishop stole two points for his team by being better than his counterpart in regulation, in overtime, and in the shootout. Maybe we could have expected the Sens to sag and give up the ghost after Markov evened the score with just 3.8 seconds left in the second period, but that just didn’t happen.
We’ve seen this before. Whether it was Jeff Hackett, Jose Theodore, Cristobal Huet or Carey Price, the Habs had become so weak that the only way for them to win any games at all was to look like a facsimile of the Sens tonight.
So that’s it. Nothing more to say. The Habs played well, and did all of the things you’d want a team to do except score goals. They remained disciplined throughout, won more faceoffs than they lost, and limited turnovers. Sometimes the bounces just don’t go your way, and tonight was an example of just that. On to the rotten Leafs on Wednesday in Toronto, where it would be ideal for the Habs to start improving their in-division record and exacting a little bit of revenge.
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