Call of the Wilde: Habs' game 5 score doesn't reflect the game
Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) stops Montreal Canadiens centre Tomas Plekanec (14) during second period of Game 5 NHL first round playoff hockey action Friday, April 24, 2015 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Published Friday, April 24, 2015 10:05PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 24, 2015 10:56PM EDT
Before we begin, the score is not always the game. Most of the time it is but on some nights the goalie wins. Anderson was just too good and as Pierre McGuire likes to say on some nights, call the game of hockey the game of goalie because no matter how much you dominate, you can get goalied. Anderson did just that. Look at the shots - domination with 46-25. Look at the scoring chances. They were around 20 to 7.
- Lars Eller somehow got less than three minutes in the first period. Don't know what the coach is doing with this player. He's one of the best and never can get any ice time. He chased down Stone in the third period to stop a breakaway. Stone didn't even get a shot. Eller went to the front of the net the entire night and was a mess for the Sens D to handle.
Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) keeps his eyes on the puck as Montreal Canadiens center Lars Eller (81) and Ottawa Senators defenceman Marc Methot (3) battle in front of the net during first period of Game 5 Friday, April 24, 2015 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
- Tomas Plekanec could have turned the game around with a breakaway shorthanded but he could not best Anderson. He was the second best centre on the night.
- Galchenyuk finally around the puck a lot in this one. Had a clear cut chance alone and couldn't find net. On another time he had it bounce over his stick for a goal. A third time he made a move in tight and it rolled off. A strong night with zero to show for it on the board. Galchenyuk was simply outstanding. This was the game for me that convinced me that the Habs must change their mentality about this player. See below for more on that.
- Brandon Prust had a great work rate and played a strong game. Laid the body out and made things annoying for the Sens D. Prust was also very much in the right to stab back at Anderson late in the game. Craig was chopping down a tree without a rebuttal.
Montreal Canadiens right wing Brandon Prust (8) knocks down Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) as Ottawa Senators defenceman Patrick Wiercioch (46) moves in during third period of Game 5 Friday, April 24, 2015 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
- Gallagher was another guy with chance but the puck would not bounce for him during scrambles.
- Pacioretty seemed to get a bit of shoulder anger back. He seemed angry and engaged. First step after you’re tentative with the injury that we dare not speak its name.
- David Desharnais didn't get the match up he wanted in this series. The Sens are physical and big and he is not. Just not a good series for Desharnais. The hockey is different in the playoffs. Everyone knows this. It is time for this player to take less of a major role with the Habs. Long maintained that strength down the middle is vital. Desharnais has to go to the wing to make way for Galchenyuk to finally take his rightful place and the Habs to go forward and vie for a cup. Four centres again, if you're new to the Call, are Galchenyuk, Plekanec, Eller and De La Rose as win the middle and win the game.
- What Markov was doing on the fourth goal is beyond me. What the two of them were doing standing beside each other at that position on the ice is also beyond me. Why would they be doing a cross over and a pass in front of an opposing player as last man back? The winners are often the ones who can keep their logic in check in front of intense emotions. This play in the heat of the moment was illogical. It reminded me of the Kovalev slash that allowed Murray to score an OT winner against Boston when Souray was hung out to dry. Simply an illogical moment. Now the two need to recover from it and not be angry at each other for it.
- Price did not worry me until the fifth one. First three screened. Condra good breakaway move but the fifth, he was squaring himself up after like he didn't know what happened.
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price removes his helmet during third period of Game 5 against the Ottawa Senators in Montreal, Friday, April 24, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
- Now the coach needs to go to work. He needs to settle his team. He needs to keep them focused on execution. He must not get their focus on emotion. They were the better team. They doubled the Sens in shots. They had clear ownership of the ice. They had a gigantic advantage in scoring chances. What they didn't do was solve the goalie. They must keep at it and not lose their focus. When you lose it is odd to think that you must not change much, but apart from that God forsaken power play, the Habs should not change. They should play the same but this time convert with that lopsided ice in their favour.