Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Game 37: The One With All of the Challanges

Game: 37
Opponent: Montreal
Score: 3-4 (SO)
Thoughts:

Well that was a bit of a flashback. Let's see:

The Lightning outplayed Montreal for most of the game, but lost.
There was a questionable goaltender interference situation.
Dale Weise was predominantly involved.

Are we sure this wasn't a replay of a game from the 2014 playoffs?

The Lightning played pretty well on Monday night, but blew a 3rd period lead to the reeling Montreal Canadiens in a shoot-out loss to Atlantic Division leaders (well they were after the game). It was a fun game to watch as the Lightning fired 39 shots at the Habs and their back-up goalie Mike Condon.

Condon, looking like a weird hybrid of Dominick Hasek and Patrick Roy, turned aside 36 of the shots to pick up his first win since December 1st. For the team overall it was their first win since December 12th, a span of six games without a win. While the Lightning are fighting for a playoff spot, the Canadiens are trying to right a sinking ship to stay atop the Atlantic Division.

The game itself was interesting as both teams fought back from deficits, there were two disputed goals and there was 3-on-3 overtime which is almost always fun. Early on it did feel like this was going to be one of those games that the Lightning played well, but ended up losing 2-1, like they have roughly 45 times already this year.

Tomas Plekanec and his magic turtleneck got the scoring started as he tapped the puck past Ben Bishop off of a nice feed from PK Subban. Speaking of Subban, can we all agree that it's time to stop not-liking him? He is a joy to watch on the ice, does nice things off the ice and actually has a personality. Sure he showboats a little bit, but doesn't the NHL need more players like that? God love Sidney Crosby, but he's boring as shit.

Down 1-0 in the second period the Lightning picked up a goal on the power play. I'd like to say that MY BOY NIKITA KUCHEROV scored a power play goal, but it was more along the lines of he tried to pass the puck to Steven Stamkos and Condon kicked it into his own net. Doesn't matter – he scored, tied game.

Five minutes later Alex Galchenyuk falls down, gets up, finds the puck on his stick and slings it past Bishop. The Lightning are down 2-1 halfway through the game and that creepy feeling started settling in as Condon kept making saves, leaving juicy rebounds, making more saves and watching pucks hop over Lightning player sticks.

Then the third period rolled around and things got a little wacky. Instead of bombing his shot from the blueline as he normally does, Jason Garrison skated in with the puck, shot it, followed up his rebound and scored on a wrap around, finding some open space under Condon's pads. It was pretty.

Ryan Callahan found himself open after Valteri Filppula's pass missed Cedric Paquette in front of the net. Callahan buried it into the empty net and scored his first goal since Luke Skywalker was rumored to be Kylo Ren. Montreal was so surprised that Callahan scored a goal that they had to challenge it. Paquette got his stick tangled up with Condon a bit, but the refs got together to say that it wasn't interference. Whatever. I'll take it. Lightning up 3-2.

See his stick touched his stick and then it was in the goal.



Turns about fair play. Less than two minutes later Dale “F'n” Weise is along in front of the net and fires it at Bishop. KICK SAVE AND A BEAUTY! Or was it? Review time. The refs conclude that the puck crossed the line before Bishop flashed the left pad out.

Wait, wait, wait says Coach Cooper. While the puck was in, Weise ran into Bishop on his way out from behind the net. Let me challenge it! I'm a lawyer! Review number two. Refs look at the NHL approved iPad and say..... good goal!

Sorry about the arrow in the way, but you can see the contact there.  You can also see Weise get inside position on Stralman.



Now look, I'm sure there are Lightning fans out there that were very upset this was called a goal. Weise obviously bumps Bishop on his way through the crease, but..... Bishop kind of brings this on himself (as he is wont to do). Whenever the play is behind the net he likes to swing his stick on the ice to break up any passes, it's good, but it also leaves him in the position of getting it stuck on a players skate.

Weise comes through tangles with the stick, bumps Bishop and gets set for the puck. Bishop, rocks back, but also looks to his right (no puck there) before snapping his head back around to find the play. In that split second the puck is on and off of Weise's stick and into the goal. I say it's a good goal.

Not much happened in the overtime, Anton Stralman got a good chance that was denied. In the shootout, Valterri Filppula scored, but no one else on the Lightning did. Brian Flynn (who) and Max Pacioretty score for the Canadiens and they get the win and the extra point.

The Lightning have to settle for one point and the fact that they gained a bit of ground in the extremely crowded Atlantic division. With the season almost halfway over they need every point they can pick up.

Did Matt Carle Score a Point:

No. Mr. Carle was a healthy scratch as Coach Cooper went with six defensemen. With all of the forwards coming back, he might keep that strategy going for the foreseeable future, which leaves Carle as the odd man out.

Toe in the crease! Wait, what? That's ok now?  Damn. Guess it was a good goal. (photo by Scott Audette NHLI/Getty)



1 comment:

supportingtheminnow said...

I have a handful of cards from your want list (so far).
2012/13 OPC Hockey 501 Orr, 27, 184 Datsyuk
1983 Topps George Brett (in good condition but has small ding on one corner)
Let me know if you're interested in a small PWE trade.
Trevor