Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Game Review - Habs/Blackhawks

The Habs have clinched a playoff spot in what had to be one of the most exciting games of the season. Their 2-1 OT victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks was definitely one for the books.

The 1st period was clean, with the first penalty coming later rather than sooner. Crawford, the Hawks rookie netminder (and a native of my hometown, Ch√Ęteauguay) completely stood on his head despite self-professed pre-game jitters at the prospect of playing in front of his friends and family at the Bell Centre. If he was nervous, it didn't show, as he managed to stop all 12 of the Habs shots on net. Price stopped the Hawks 9 with relative ease.

Cammalleri was in fine form, opening the score board early in the 2nd period. His goal was soon after answered by Hawks Patrick Kane, who tied it up a few minutes later. The latter portion of the 2nd was heavily dominated by Chicago scoring chances, as they outshot the Habs 14-12. It was clear the boys in the bleu, blanc, rouge needed to regroup.

The 3rd period was do or die. Carey Price was absolutely outstanding, stopping all 20 Hawks shots, including some spectacular, gravity-defying saves that enabled his teammates to generate scoring chances in front of him. Crawford continued to keep his team in the game, stopping 9 Habs shots.

As the game headed into overtime, it became a matter of who wanted it more. The Hawks were fighting to keep their playoff dreams alive, while the Habs were looking to clinch their playoff spot. PK Subban drew a penalty on Jonathan Toews early on, and fired a one-timer from Kostitsyn that Crawford had no chance of stopping. The Habs won 2-1, and clinched their playoff spot.

As playoff season approaches, and the magical air surrounds us, remember that anything can happen in the post-season. I dunno about you, but to me, it feels a little like '93 this year...

Video: "Feels Like '93" by Annakin Slayd

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