The Diachronic Barber Pole Observations of a Recovering Hockey Exile

Tampa Bay Musings, In-Game Scribbles

March 26, 2009, by Homme De Sept-Iles

Tampa Bay 2 at Montreal 3 (OT)

First Period

Price starts again. Gainey announced that they will be running the same lineup as Tuesday. Except Andrei Kostitsyn is replaced by Matt D’Agostini. Very interested to see how much ice time Laraque will get in the playoffs. If there are playoffs for the team.

Tanguay creates the first quality scoring chance, a pause-and-pass to Kovalev. Shot from the top right circle is handled by Karri Romo.

Lapierre line is creating havoc for Tampa. Lightning are already in trouble. Just over five minutes elapsed.

Another quality chance from the Koivu line. No quality chances from Tampa Bay so far.

Will Lecavalier become a Canadien this summer? We see Tampa GM Brian Lawton several times.

Montreal will go to the power-play. He was hooking Metropolit.  No score on this power-play and some trouble getting established and holding the puck in Tampa’s zone.

Dandenault gets taken down rather tumultuously and Montreal goes back to the power-play. Thanks to Ryan Malone (and Rick Tocchet)

Tanguay finds Kovalev cross-ice on a lizard-tongue pass; sssgglipp!

1-0, Montreal.

Finally Lecavalier makes his way to our net. A leaning back-hander going leftward is slightly off the mark. First real chance for Tampa as the captain shows his great acceleration.

Sergei follows with a slot-shot after Plekanec shows some good swivel in the corner.

Now Tanguay swoops in behind the net to keep the five-on-five looking like a man-advantage.

This line is heart and pulse. Half-moon turn and standing backhand control shown by Tanguay at the tip top of the high slot. Then Koivu shows some of his own circular in the neutral zone. Ligne Internationale. Flags flap. More goals to follow.

And they are getting more ice-time than Carbonneau gave his line one. And this line is starting to dominate. Fans get audible and the puck-cycling and Markov shot-punctuations are syncing.

Demers will be pleased.

A gold moon is eclipsing. Crimson. Lightning take another penalty.

Lightning now start some roughwork at the period’s end. This is now a Rick Tocchet team.

Montreal’s 11-2 shot advantage is arresting in its rarity as for its delight.

First Intermission

Demers says it’s a must to keep Tanguay.  Bouchard concurs and restates Tanguay’s great vision.

Francois Gagnon is a gentleman.  Ties (bland) tonight. Tieless is for Tuesdays.

Second Period

Jack Layton is at the game and he’s wearing a very nice sweater. Perhaps a Rogers Edwards.

Remaining 20 seconds of the power-play is controlled but no real shots. And then, Kostopoulos accidentally trips an opponent. He didn’t even notice as he did it.

Higgins and Hamrlik head down together on the PK but no shot on goal. Tampa Bay cannot set up in the first minute. And it continues into the second.

Then Stamkos hits the post from the blue-line. Price was beaten and screened.

Plekanec finds D’Agostini alone along the right board and sends him in for a partial breakaway. No goal but Tampa Bay commits a slashing offence.

Tanguay gets a great set-up and hits the post. Open net. Great start to the attack.

Ramo has to make a difficult save off the following face-off a deflected point-wrister from Markov.

Schneider blasts one and it drops to Koivu who bangfires it. Great save from Ramo. Left pad flash.

Another doorstep stop. This time on Sergei. Same side. Tampa is surviving and have Ramo to thank.

Another shot. Brisebois. Pressure continues. Montreal’s sustained power-play is going to fuel their confidence. One last round from Koivu’s Internationals.

Kovalev to the right and Tanguay to the left. Koivu takes a point-shot to the head. He’s ok. Visors. Wear them.

Still thirty-one seconds left in this seemingly lengthy power-play. More good control but no more chances as the opportunity closes. For now.

Ramo’s mask-top looks like a brain. There appears to be more chatter than usual as the camera scans the Montreal bench. Kovalev yakking and Koivu with someone else. Montreal continues as if they are on a man-advantage. Their five-on-five looks poised. Tampa is helping with their warm play.

Gorges is selling out again. I’m liking it. Tocchet looks like Matt Strand.

Metropolit and Higgins create a very dangerous opportunity. Dandenault is important in the sequence as well as Markov. Team is playing right through. As Gainey has hoped.

Internationals melt more lightning.

Montreal could be up 4-0.

Montreal is just setting and shooting. Setting and shooting. Passing a shooting. Skating and shooting. It’s all quite lovely.

Is this the Gainey Vision? Skate and swoon hockey. And another quality chance. This time from Lapierre’s line. I’d say Montreal has more quality chances in this game than in the four prior to Tuesday. It’s close, anyway.

Montreal power-play again. I’d like to Maxim Lapierre as a lone insert on one of the power-play line. His digging is the best. He can control the puck for long periods. Not Bonk seconds but close.

Brunet says Montreal should be up three or four goals. Rick Tocchet has such an unsavoury look about him. Not a fan.

Everyone is hitting. What is this sweet contagion? Montreal is really gaining confidence. My god. What a sequence of control and pride.  The chances are coming too quickly to document.  Last segment of the power-play. No scoring.  Tampa is surviving. The hang-man is distracted. Could be the difference as their roped wrists struggle.

Higgins is using his size to maintain control and he bumps and shoots going in on his backhand. Ramo stops it.

A big ’Bay brute is angered by Koivu. Nothing comes of it.

Kovalev has his problems getting into the zone consistently. It’s best to let Tanguay do it.

Tampa Bay puts pressure and there is a whistle. Komisarek is his happy hell-bale self. Arm-fighting. No penalties.

Another Tampa penalty. Malone busies himself trying to get someone to retaliate. Bad decision. Montreal controls with Price out of the net. Long time, too. Finally a white jersey dude touches the puck.

Montreal power-play. Only one of five despite the many quality chances.

Kovalev from his comfort pocket. Left of Ramo. But nothing.

Then going to the back of the net, Koivu uses his weight wisely. Shoves a defender off the puck. Small guys have their tricks. And then Schneider hits the post.

The period ends soon thereafter. Montreal is outshooting Tampa Bay 24 to 8.

Third Period

Feels like we’re up 7-0. Hockey rewards its best performances like Jack Adams rewarded his best players.

Latendresse gets a good chance. Ramo is in good position moving left to right.

Tampa Bay takes a roughing penalty. Ramo. Behind his net in a collision. Tocchet wants to blame someone other than his team. Yelling at the cop while he writes.

Tampa Bay is lost. But Montreal’s quality shots are not going in. They are singlets this time and less likely to pierce. The quick passing must return.

Sergei on now with Hamrlik, Brisebois and company.

Power-play ends without consequence.

Higgins now stopped from the slot. Release was delayed somewhat. (Where is Francis Bouillon?)

Dandenault’s fierce speed creates a lone shot for the winger. A slapshot. Rolling puck. Ramo.

And finally. Montreal scores. Latendresse on a driving wrap-around. Hanging on, hanging on. And around and in.

2-0, Montreal. Critical goal.

Montreal could be up 14-0. What a collection of quality chances. Thor and Odin.

Higgins. What a player he can be. Comes in on two Lightning and retains the puck this time. And then creates a pass to a trailing teammate.

Goalmouth. Scramble. Tampa Bay Lightning. Koci. It’s a game. On the scoreboard, anyway.

2-1, Montreal.

Crowd exhorts team.

And then Tampa Bay takes yet another penalty. Their eighth. Philadelphia hockey is not welcome in 2009.

Montreal power-play gives up a two-on-one, the two Titans, St. Louis and Lecavalier but St. Louis can’t reach Lecavalier’s pass. Montreal resumes their control of the game.

Now Plekanec is stopped on a sure goal. He loses some control going forehand to backhand at the side.

And another great chance. Montreal, Montreal.

Tampa Bay gets a deflected shot from the point.

2-2.

Really unfortunate. Who said hockey was fair? It deflects off Schneider.

Now how will the team respond?

A Wile E. Coyote ending. And still not over. And still 2-2. More Montreal. But again, no goals.

We go to overtime.

Overtime

Higgins and Koivu are the first pair. St. Louis is like Skywalker in Stormtrooper headgear.

Captain K puts it away. Scramble in front. This one lasts too long for Ramo. And Koivu gets in a sideways backhand that ricochets in.

Dominating performance. Frugal scoreboard and hockey universe.

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