Call of the Wilde: Big herd of goats in Tampa loss
Published Tuesday, April 1, 2014 10:39PM EDT
Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban (76) ties up Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18), of the Czech Republic, after a save by goalie Carey Price during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
- For 20 seconds midway through the first, Carey Price stopped six shots. They only credited four but there were six and Price kept figuring out how to perfectly track a frantic bouncing puck to keep Tampa off the board. And just for perfect contrast, inside a minute, Ben Bishop gave up a needless and horrible rebound allowing Gallagher to get the vital first goal. Price is the only horse. He showed why he is one of if not the best goalie in the world with some amazing saves that were squandered.
- Emelin can't get beaten to the outside for speed so easily as he did on the first Tampa goal. Callahan ripped past Emelin and truthfully that should never happen.
- Everyone is a goat. Too much sun. Not enough hockey. Everyone who skates for a living was bad.
- Murray because that was a vicious hit and he made it because the player Kostka was about to go around him and his instinct to not be beaten got the best of a player that usually doesn't take penalties. Murray targeted the head and I expect a suspension. Kostka showed the fencing response indicating a concussion. Tampa has already gotten a Bishop concussion wrong this year when he got a skate in the head in Ottawa. Let's see if they mess this one up too. This player should not see the ice for at least a week.
- The head coach who I hesitate to criticize because the Habs made the playoffs and are high in the standings has to at least get criticized for Subban playing 18 minutes in the biggest game of the year while Emelin who had a terrible night led with 22 minutes. Subban should see 27 to 30 minutes when it is all on the line. I remain confounded over his perceptions that his Norris winner is a weak player.
- A lot of fans and media are down on Lars Eller and I defended him recently in this space so I won't go on too much here, except to say Eller works hard. He is obviously struggling at offence and has for a while but he is responsible defensively and that is why he isn't in the coach's dog house, nor should he be. His work rate is why he doesn't deserve the vitriol while Bourque's work rate is why he does deserve it. I will take the contrarian view on this player. Any drastic move here would be an organizational failure on the future. I feel this is his lowest moment for years right here. Not suggesting he becomes a scoring machine but he will be better both offensively and defensively. To abandon this player now is a mistake.