Game 81 – Montreal Canadiens @ Detroit Red Wings – Larked and Loaded

I miss the kids already. Hicketts and Svechnikov I think are both good enough to be on this team full time next season, and I hope we do get to see them here.

The Good

Tyler Bertuzzi is a much better hockey player than I expected him to be. Most importantly, he is a significant improvement playing with Zetterberg over Abdelkader. He functions in the same role with better play making abilities that Abby does. Once again here he is in good positioning to accept a pass from Zetterberg and bury it.

Larkin of course is the only true difference maker when the rest of the team is throwing odd man rushes around like candy on Halloween with a slick drop pass to elite finisher Darren “Danger Zone” Helm who snipes it through a Habs screen to put us back within one.

The Bad

The first period was painful. Maybe losing the kids dimmed the fire in the team, I’m not sure. I don’t think they’re doing it on purpose. But the powerplays were abysmal and I noticed a lot of our players diving for pucks in passes that were just not close to the mark. Lots of pucks in the feet. First powerplay didn’t even get a shot off. We got our first shot a minute in and the next almost 14 minutes later. It was a dark period.

Blashill made another of his classically bad challenges in the 2nd on a powerplay chance by Bertuzzi. The call on the ice was a clear no goal since you can’t push the goalie into the net to get the puck in, and that’s clearly what happened. But instead, we blow our timeout on a useless challenge. I swear, NO ONE makes the same level of bad challenges as Blashill does. It’s crazy.

The second also had two terrible odd man rushes. One was a complete blown play in the neutral zone leading to a 2 on 0 break in that Coreau had absolutely no chance on. The second was a play that he definitely should have had the shot and he completely blew the shot five hole. Good for the tank, bad for the team. That’s a save he’s got to have.

Then at the beginning of the third we still don’t have our shit together because we get a 3 on 1 and the Lehkonen scores again to put the Habs up 4-2. Thankfully Larkin once again gave us a bit of a bounce back, but then again we just crumpled in the third. Sank again by huge mistakes tonight.

The WTF

Here’s your reminder that Larkin can break the game if he wants.

https://twitter.com/DimFilipovic/status/982049063389442048

Look at those jets! He cuts through FOUR Habs and then scores a good ole Datsyuk backhander on Niemi. This is the best goal he’s scored all season, hands down, but it also shows again I think the leadership he has. Larkin is dragging this team forward tooth and nail, as hard as he can. He’s not on board for this tank nonsense. Larkin is going to do everything to get us into the playoffs next season and that is captain material right now.

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