Senators vs Canadiens Game 5 Recap: “It sucks. It’s not a good feeling.”

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(Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

Thursday May 9th, 2013

Game Recap: Thanks to an upper hand in depth, size and coaching, Senators take the series in five games.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: Senators win best of 7 series 4-1.

MONTREAL CANADIENS
2nd seed East
OTTAWA SENATORS
7th seed East
MontrealCanadiens  Ottawa_Senators_logo

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6

 FINAL 1 2 3 OT T
 Canadiens 1 0 0 1
 Senators 2 1 3 6

Top Scorers:

 CANADIENS SENATORS
teamlogo_canadiens
  • P.K. Subban 1G
  • Tomas Plekanec 1A
  • Andrei Markov 1A
teamlogo_senators
  • Cory Conacher 2G 
  • Erik Condra 1G 2A
  • Zack Smith 1G
  • Daniel Alfredsson 1G
  • Kyle Turris 1G

Scoring Summary:

G Per Time Str Team Goal Scorer Assist Assist
1 1 2:17 EV OTT 15 Z.SMITH(1) 28 M.KASSIAN(1) 3 M.METHOT(4)
2 1 12:26 EV OTT 89 C.CONACHER(2) 22 E.CONDRA(2) 44 J.PAGEAU(1)
3 1 19:45 PP MTL 76 P.SUBBAN(2) 79 A.MARKOV(1) 14 T.PLEKANEC(4)
4 2 11:29 SH OTT 7 K.TURRIS(3) 22 E.CONDRA(3)
5 3 6:22 PP OTT 11 D.ALFREDSSON(2) 55 S.GONCHAR(4) 65 E.KARLSSON(5)
6 3 12:27 PP OTT 89 C.CONACHER(3) 93 M.ZIBANEJAD(3)
7 3 16:12 PP OTT 22 E.CONDRA(1) 44 J.PAGEAU(2) 28 M.KASSIAN(2)

Shots on Goal:

 FINAL 1 2 3 OT T
 Canadiens 17 11 6 34
 Senators 10 8 11 29

Goaltending:

CANADIENS SENATORS

BudajPeterPeter Budaj
LOSS

Record: 0-2
SA: 29
SAVES: 23
Sv%: .793

Anderson CraigCraig Anderson
WIN

Record: 4-1
SA : 34
SAVES : 33
Sv%: .971

Lineup Notes:

  • Habs starting six: David Desharnais, Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty, Andrei Markov, P.K. Subban, Peter Budaj.  Backup: Robert Mayer
  • Scratched: Brandon Prust, Carey Price, Lars Eller, Brian Gionta, Ryan White, Tomas Kaberle, Davis Drewiske, Alexei Emelin, Petteri Nokelainen, Nathan Beaulieu, Yannick Weber, Greg Pateryn, Michael Bournival, Louis Leblanc, Dustin Tokarski

What you need to know:

“And then depression set in.” — John Winger

A Canadiens win, was being billed by some, as a miracle — perhaps that was true of a comeback to take the series being down three games to one.  But the Habs should have been able of winning one game in their own building to extend the series. While hope sprung eternal among Habs fans prior to the game, it didn’t take long to figure out, it wasn’t to be on this night.

Montreal came out forechecking and forcing the play. While their urgency was to be applauded, patience and determination would have helped to take advantage of their scoring chances.  As coach Paul MacLean pointed out, “They were a little tight. I think they missed at least two real good opportunities.”

He’s right.

(Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

At the same time all the Canadiens needed was average goaltending to stay in the game. They didn’t get it. The book on Peter Budaj is that he can be mentally fragile, struggling in big games. That proved to be true on Thursday night where five of the six Ottawa goals were stoppable.

Post-game Michel Therrien said, “It seems like every time they got…” and then caught himself realizing he was about to bury his backup goaltender. After a pause, he continued, “They capitalized on their chances, let’s put it this way.”

The special teams battle was easily won by Ottawa with the Canadiens getting their only goal on one of their five power-play opportunities and giving up a short-handed goal. The Senators went 3-for-5 with the man advantage against a woeful Montreal penalty-kill that has been a major weakness all season long.

Rene Bourque perhaps was the most dangerous player but that wasn’t saying much. Once again the Habs got nothing from David Desharnais, Michael Ryder and Max Pacioretty (who has been playing with an injury.)  Montreal managed only six shots in the third period and no goals — meaning they did not score in the final frame in any of the five games of the series.

With impact players like Lars Eller, Brian Gionta and Brandon Prust in the sick bay, and pretenders like Desharnais and Ryder not producing, the load was left to the young players. Beyond Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, the lack of depth of NHL-ready players in the organization was exposed. Better update your resume, Sylvain Lefebvre.

Craig Anderson made a couple of good saves early on rushed shots and then coasted. While Anderson received much of the praise for the series win Penguins scouts would be scribbling notes about the poor rebound control. Canadiens forwards were unable or unwilling to take advantage of second and third shot opportunities that were served up on a platter for them.

Pacioretty said, “Anderson’s a great goalie and he played five great games, but we made it easy on him. We didn’t get enough bodies to the net. That’s where a player like me has to do a better job.”

Michel Therrien’s post-game 1 rant probably went a long way to helping his team notch an emotional win in Game 2. But overall Therrien was thoroughly out-coached by Paul MacLean. Therrien’s stubborn use of underperforming personnel and his inability to make adjustments in-game and to his game-plan were a major factor in the series.

Injuries. Depth. Size. Coaching. They each played a part in Thursday’s game and in the series. Sadly, officiating has to be added to the list. With the exception of the latter, Marc Bergevin will now begin an evaluation of the organization to address the deficiencies and prepare for the draft, free agency and some difficult decisions ahead.

As for the progress made during the season, Josh Gorges summed it up best saying, “I’m extremely proud of this group. We did a lot of good things this year — a lot of good things.”

Injury/Roster Report:

  • Max Pacioretty revealed that he was playing with a separated shoulder since Game 1 of the series.
  • Tomas Plekanec admitted that he has been suffering with a groin injury for the past month.

 NHL Three Stars
NHL3stars
  1.  Craig Anderson
  2.  Cory Conacher
  3.  Erik Condra

 Post-game Chatter
(Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

Coach Michel Therrien

  • “Even though we were missing a lot of players we approached the game with the right attitude. We were trying to dictate the game.”
  • On Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk: “For their first playoffs, they did really good. They are a big factor to our team.”
  • Regarding Peter Budaj: “It seems like every time they got… They capitalized on their chances, let’s put it this way.”
  • “Series is over. Paul MacLean did a good job. He is a good coach.”

Max Pacioretty

  • “It sucks. It’s not a good feeling. I feel like personally I’m a big reason why our team lost. It’s a pretty bad feeling.”

Josh Gorges

  • “We did play well for a lot of the series, but that just goes to show that in the playoffs, one shift, one period, that’s the difference. That’s something that we’re going to have to realize next year.”

Andrei Markov

  • “Yeah we played hard and sometimes we played better than them, but the final score is we lost the series. We can only blame ourselves.”

Francis Bouillon

  • “It’s never easy to play when you’re missing so many impact players, but there are no excuses. The way we played today, we would have really liked to end on a good note and play a solid game. It was a hard series for us, but we stuck together. We deserved better than this.”

Senators coach Paul MacLean

  • “We beat the Montreal Canadiens. That’s huge. I gotta call my mom and tell her we finally beat her team.”
  • “I think that [the rivalry] has certainly started. And that’s exciting!”

Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson

  • “This year, with everything we went through with the injuries, I don’t think a lot of people gave us a chance. We proved them wrong,”

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1 COMMENT

  1. Hello Rick, you are right on brother. Injuries, depth, size and surprisingly the coach all had to play a part in the playoffs fiasco. The CH certainly have a lot of work to do regarding depth and size. Injuries is something that can hardly be controlled and the vast majority of teams have to deal with this from year to year. Certainly wonder if the Habs would have made the playoffs if this would have been a full season. The results of the last few games of the regular season certainly gives us something to ponder.

    Anyway, the Habs have to get bigger if they hope to get rid of the monkey that is on their collective backs. They are a small, soft team and much work needs to be done. I hope to think that Bergevin will be able to do something worthy this summer. As for Therrien, I am going to blame his less than stellar performance on the fact that this was his first year as the storied Habs coach. I sincerely hope that he learned his lessons for years to come.

    Let’s enjoy the rest of the playoffs. Hard to believe but I now stand behind the Leafs against those nasty Bruins. Have to cheer for a Canadian team first.

    Cheers.

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