Rabid Habs

March Of The Penguins

Sidney Crosby

“Every time Sid the Kid is in town, it’s always a challenge.” – PK Subban

The Penguins marched one by one into the Bell Centre Tuesday with pride. In their last ten games the Pittsburgh Penguins had won all but one, while the Montreal Canadiens had gone 7-1 in their last eight games. Both teams had been playing extremely well, which means the Penguins and the Canadiens would be putting extreme pressure from both ends of the ice. The Pens were looking to continue their overall success, while the Habs just finished their sixth straight victory on Sunday over the Detroit Red Wings and were looking for their seventh. It was a good challenge for the Canadiens to face the Penguins, considering the Penguins are a quality team and it gave the Habs a chance to challenge themselves. But with a hot team like the Penguins having won 9 out of the last 10 games, could the Canadiens keep up and get their seventh straight win in a row? They couldn’t afford chasing Pittsburgh, they had to dictate the flow of the game, but the Pens weren’t running out of ink this time.

Pittsburgh dominated Montreal in the first period with two goals from Beau Bennett (wrist shot at seven minutes and 46 seconds) and Steve Downie (wrist shot assisted by Kris Letang and Beau Bennett at nine minutes and 43 seconds). The Habs were looking lethargic, tangled up, and if only that whistle wasn’t blown, we would have seen the Drayson Bowman goal that could’ve taken the Habs to the top.

The second period saw domination once again for the Penguins as Brandon Sutter (wrist shot assisted by Beau Bennett and Steve Downie at 58 seconds) and Sidney Crosby (wrist shot on power play, assisted by Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist at 19 minutes and 29 seconds) killed the Canadiens spirits, leading 4-0. Too many giveaways and not enough pressure came from the Habs side, but there was hope that the Pens leading would give Montreal that spark they needed to get back into the game.

The Penguins kept the pressure going all the way through the third period and ended it the same way they ended the second, dominating the Habs with a 4-0 lead. It was truly a sad ending for the Montreal Canadiens six game win streak.

Here are my thoughts about last night’s game.

  • Those last two seconds Drayson Bowman had to get the perfect goal killed me. Okay, it didn’t really kill me, but it hurt me right in the heart. Who knows what could have happened if the whistle hadn’t blown. Could Bowman’s goal have motivated the Habs to get their energy back and take the lead in the game? Would his one shot past Marc-Andre Fleury have been enough to throw Fleury off for the rest of the night? I guess we’ll never know.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury is a fantastic goaltender. He’s pretty much the French version of Carey Price, which is why I’m not surprised that Fleury ended up with a shutout. My issue is that the Montreal Canadiens went out on the ice tonight with a high headed mindset and came back beaten down. Yes, you won six games in a row and that is fantastic, but if you all of a sudden think that you’re just going to be anyone (let alone the Pittsburgh Penguins), then you’re going to face some consequences. The Habs looked lost during the second and third period and even though they seemed to be trying to crack down on the Pens, the impression they left on the ice is that they really didn’t want to win. My advice to the Montreal Canadiens (not like they’ll ever see this or take my advice), would be to leave your personalities at the door and off the ice. Stay motivated but don’t act like you’re kings of the castle. And when you’re suddenly caught off guard because another team have been practicing and studying you in order to beat you, don’t take it so personally to the point where you let it control your game strategy.
  • The Montreal Canadiens get an A for effort. It’s hard to keep up with a fast paced team like the Pittsburgh Penguins – it’s like facing off with your own self on the ice.

The Montreal Canadiens face the St. Louis Blues at the Bell Centre on Thursday.

Find Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures