Call of the Wilde: Habs run out of steam
Brian Wilde, CTV Montreal
Published Friday, March 7, 2014 7:42AM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 7, 2014 1:14PM EST
- PK Subban had his first really good game since returning from Sochi. The Olympics was supposed to be a launching pad for more confidence but he played so little that he lost some jump. Got it back in Phoenix as he wanted the puck and jumped into holes well. He didn't help Tinordi out of a jam on the fourth goal but still a strong night. He sure made the Coyotes pay for their courage to block shots. I actually think in a seven-game series by the end any team would be thinking twice about getting in front of a Subban shot. In a war of attrition, the puck never feels pain but to players sure would.
- Mike Weaver played over 15 minutes in Phoenix. The Habs lost 5-2. Did you notice him? Me neither. Perfect. Well done.
- Gallagher had about 5 chances to score but it wouldn't fall for him. Some nights are like that. We know they'll come with that many chances.
- We don't say this much about Habs goaltending but Budaj couldn't make a save when he needed to. Weak night. Five goals on 23 shots isn't going to cut it, especially on the road.
- Tinordi on the fourth goal. Big giveaway at the blue line was the turning point to the game but just that moment stood out poorly. On the overall, Tinordi continues to show he is an NHLer.
- A hilarious exchange on Twitter began recently between blogger Andrew Berkshire of EOTP and Arpon Basu of LNH.com where they note all of the plays Rene Bourque "almost" does well. The key here is the almost. By night's end, many were joining in noting the many almosts and Bourque was the owner of two nicknames - Almost and Presque. Look Madame Marois, ici on parle the hockey.
- Another goat was just simply the schedule. Everyone goes through it. After the huge win in Anaheim that was emotionally draining there was just not much in the tank for Phoenix. No one's fault. The Coyotes were waiting and rested and they had the better jump, got the lead and won. On another night the Habs will be rested and waiting for their opponent.
- Shut that damn Coyote up on the PA. I bet attendance would go up if they promised fans they would mute that thing. They even have the PA howling when the game is on. That is just sacrilege. The game is on.
- Completely unfair to put Vanek in either the horse or goat category. It was a whirlwind time for Vanek. A time of upheaval doesn't usually produce a fast start and we didn't get one. Vanek did a couple things right though. He had chances that didn't fall for him and clearly he is a goal scorer. On the powerplay certainly when his mates get used to the right handed shot on the left side there will be some excellence there. All in all, one can see the future with some goals in it though it did not come to fruition in Phoenix.
- Lars Eller. Such a wildly ranging view of this player right now. Some have completely given up in him. Certainly the offensive stats are pitiful in the last 20 plus games. And I think it is in the numbers that we get the reason for the wide range of opinions. For those who believe that Eller is supposed to be contributing 20 to 25 goals and 60 points because he's a first rounder, they are going to be extremely disappointed. For those who are not looking at the scoring sheet with an expectation there are Eller positives. He is a big body who is tough to take off the puck. He is defensively responsible. He is one of the team's go to options in shootouts. The wide ranging feelings on Eller are all about expectations. If you have a future of Eller as a defensive shutdown guy who eats a lot of minutes and carries a good plus minus then you're going to be okay with something resembling this with slightly more offence. However, if you think that both Eller and Galchenyuk are first rounders and both should eventually be scoring studs then you're going to always dislike Eller. There isn't going to be a breakthrough 70 point season for the Dane. There is going to be though a capable solid player who has the ability to be a part of a great team with the right role. He's a third line centre. He and you and the organization recognizes it, then he can be part of a winner.
- As much as the minutes and usage at times is hard to understand from Therrien, the team is passionate about hockey under him. The reaction on the bench in Anaheim was engaged and excited - all of them standing in the shootout. The players are into this big. Dislike Therrien as much as you want, they're behind him and they're in it together. A good coach is more than just Murray's mysterious minutes. They're in 3rd in the East. That's a good position to do something come playoff time.