Rabid Habs

Rocket Men

Habs vs Flyers

“His courage and determination are to thank for where he is today.” – Michel Therrien on David Desharnais

With two back to back wins giving them a regular season series sweep, the Montreal Canadiens were ready to take on the Philadelphia Flyers at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night. Therrien’s troops would be in search of a third straight victory while the Flyers would be looking for sixth straight win. Philadelphia has won five of their last six games and are also in the hunt for a postseason berth (the Flyers currently ranks fifth in the Metropolitan Division, nine points back of the last possible playoff spot in the Eastern Conference). While Philadelphia has struggled on the road this season with their 8-15-4 record away from the friendly confines of the Wells Fargo Center which ranks them 25th in the league, the Canadiens are 18-7-2 at home. While this is a slight advantage for the Habs (as well has taking just four penalties over their last four games and being separated by 17 points), the Canadiens will find that discipline will be key against a team which arrives in Montreal with a 23.7% power play efficiency. Despite the Canadiens winning both previous games against the Flyers in October and November, the Habs should play aggressively, focused, and hard as they have in their last two games in order to make the teams’ last meeting of the season go out with a bang.

The Canadiens were taken by surprise as Matt Read (assisted by Wayne Simmonds) gave Philadelphia their first goal of the night and a one to nothing lead just 51 seconds into the game. While the Flyers were looking for more, the Habs seemed to struggle with keeping the puck out of their zone and putting on the pressure. Unfortunately for the Canadiens, despite their efforts, they just couldn’t put pucks past Ray Emery and the Flyers took the lead to the end of the period.

The Canadiens had a lot of great opportunities to put pucks in the net but despite their efforts, the Habs just couldn’t seem to catch a break and the Flyers still held a one nothing lead until the end of the second period.

With seven minutes and 22 seconds left of the third period. Tomas Plekanec (assisted by Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher) gave the Canadiens the energy and hope they needed to beat the Flyers one last time. Even though the Habs struggled for most of the game when it came to pressure on the forecheck, aggressiveness, and pucks on net, Therrien’s troops were now getting back into the groove while the Flyers were attempting to take the lead once again. The great pressure coming off of the Habs served them well as they were able to keep the Flyers out of the Montreal zone until the period ended, taking the men to overtime.

David Desharnais became the overtime savior with one minute and 33 seconds left, leaving the Montreal Canadiens with yet another win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Here are my thoughts on tonight’s game.

  • There’s a lot of things that bothered me about this game and I won’t list every single little thing the Habs could’ve done to play better. However, what bothered me the most was that if it were not for Carey Price, the Flyers would have made the game two to nothing within the first five minutes of the game and I guarantee you the game would’ve ended (maybe) four to one. The Canadiens played so well the past few games but they need to realize that they have to keep playing well in order to play a great game. A win is a win, and I’m happy whenever my Habs win, but it’s not the same when you know the reason they won is because their goalie saved their butt. I will say though that Jacob De La Rose played a fantastic game out there tonight. We definitely need this young man on the ice all of the time.
  • I have a question and maybe some of you Habs fans can answer this for me. Why did Marc Bergevin grab Manny Malhotra only for coach Michel Therrien to sit him out? This guy is a fourth line player. He’s no Wayne Gretzky or Max Pacioretty. With that being said, he’s not a horrible player and when it comes to faceoffs he is the king of them. For certain teams, winning the faceoffs against them matters and I personally feel that the Canadiens could’ve used Malhotra out there.

The Montreal Canadiens play against the Edmonton Oilers at the Bell Centre on Thursday at 7:30pm.

(Purchase your Canadiens tickets here. | Achetez vos billets des Canadiens ici.)

Follow Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures.