Game of the Night

2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 6: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens @ Bell Centre
3-2 Final

With their season on the line, the Habs try to repeat what they did in the Washington series and push for a game 7 agains the current Stanley Cup Champions.

I don't understand this, but what is up with the Canadian teams and their dwindling blueline?  Yeah, there are only two teams, but out of those two teams, a lot of the big defensive names are out because of injuries!  At least tonight, the Habs got Jaroslav Spacek back, but we are without Hal Gill and Andrei Markov still!

Like I've said before, elimination games are the hardest to play, but will the Pens be able to kick that bucket?  If Montreal had anything to say, they weren't and the game 7 will be played.

I am still quite pissed at the reffing in this year's playoffs.  Not just this series, but in all (or 90% of them) series.  But in this series especially the poor officiating is most evident.  I'm not complaining just as a Habs fan (or a non-true Pens fan); I'm complaining as a hockey fan.  There's one thing to let the guys play hockey, but it's another to not make the important calls.  Take a page from Bill McCreary's aged book, MAKE THE CALLS!  Let some of the rough stuff go, if it's minor, and blow that damn thing on your finger if it's a low blow!  And also, don't make a call if it doesn't look like it should be.  I know it comes with experience, but a lot of these refs have been in the NHL system for a couple of years now!  What the deuce is up with the refs?  Dude, Bettman, GET BETTER REFS!  Or you can quit and get a commission that understands both the business and the sport!  This is why the NHL is getting out of hand and also why you are the least viewed profession sport in North America (more like, America).

Now that I'm done that, the Habs have elevated their game for this possible season ending game.  Kind of getting sick of tooting the goaltending horn, I'm going to toot the horn of the offence today.  Michael Cammalleri has eleveated his game to a whole new level that I didn't really expect him to reach.  With very minimal playoff experience, he has been a large contributor and leader to get the Habs to the point they are at now.  His composure after scoring a goal or after a blowing lost is essential in a player and the fact that he continues to play like the score is 0-0 is how I like it.

But it's not like the Pens aren't doing anything.  Hell, they've been out-shooting the Habs all night!  But, according to statistical history, the Habs play their best when being out-shot.  And tonight history is proven correct and we continue on our winning ways!

I didn't say anything about not tooting the defence-horn!  The defence from the Habs was as big as you could ask for from these guys.  Even though Markov and Gill are gone, that doesn't mean it's time to give up.  The defence, that has dwindled to its hinging fibres, stepped up to fill in the big shoes and kept the Pens limited to just 3 goals on 37 shots.  The clogged up the passing lanes, filled in most of the shooting lanes, and killed centre ice in their zone!  How many real good chances did Jordan Staal, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin have?  Not as many as they usually get, I'm telling ya'!  And the PK!  Mind blasting!

For game 7, expect brilliant goaltending at both ends of the ice, a more hungry Pens team, a striding Habs team, and defence closing in on each other. The emotion from both teams will fly high, considering that Crosby is more than frustrated (catch the end of the game?) and the agitators on both teams are more than willing to get under each other's skins.  And let's cross our fingers that the reffing gets a LOT better.

3 stars:
1) Michael Cammalleri
2) Jaroslav Spacek
3) Jaroslav Halak

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