Game 6 Review
AKost / Pleks / Kovy
Higgins / Koivu / SKost
Begin / Smoke / Kostpls
Streit / Lapierre / Dandy
Markov / Komi
Hamrlik / Brisebois
Bouillon / Gorges
Shots, from timeonice:
Lucic / Savard / Murray
Sturm / Krejci / Kessel
Axelsson / Metropolit / Nokelainen
Schaefer / Sobotka / Thornton
Chara / Ward
Ference / Hnidy
Stuart / Wideman
Murray started on the top line, but he and Kessel switched spots late in the 1st. The Bs 2nd line with Sturm, Krejci and Kessel looked good.
Julien was less rigid with his matching this time around. The Savard line saw mostly Pleks, then Lapierre. The Krejci line saw mostly Koivu, Metropolit was used in more of a checking role against Pleks, and Julien did well to keep Sobotka out vs. Smoke. Chara was matched Kovy again, of course.
Carbo seems to be having some trouble trusting his 3rd pairing LD. We're seeing Markov and Hamrlik play almost the whole game on the left side, with Komisarek, Brisebois and Gorges rotating on the right. He's trying to make sure at least one of Komi, Markov and Hamrlik are on against the Bruin 1 & 2 lines.
It is noteworthy that AKost/Pleks/Kovy were on for half of the final 10 minutes last night. All three late Boston goals were scored on one of their shifts or as one of their shifts was ending. The two Montreal goals during this stretch were scored by the Koivu line.
The PP has been an utter failure. I think it's safe to say that if it had produced at half its regular season rate, this series would be over.
The other aspects of the game have been OK. After outplaying Boston at EV in games 1 & 2, 5 on 5 play has been a dead heat. This is a positive for the Habs, who were not a good EV team through the regular season while Boston was average. The Boston PP / Mtl PK has been pretty positive too. But we've seen *nothing* positive from the PP, despite the fact that they're facing the 27th best regular season PK. I don't think it's been a cold streak, because they're not even getting shots and chances.
I hate to say it, but Cherry might be right. It always seems in the playoffs that there is a rise in the proportion of goals resulting from point shots. With the harder checking in playoff hockey, conventional shots are harder to come by. Go for the simple play, take advantage of the chaos in front of the net. Deflections happen.
Here's a table providing the gory details of the PP suckitude:
Sorted by their playoff PP TOI per game. The Reg. season rates are for 5-on-4 PP time only, making the playoff rates (which include some 5-on-3 time) that much uglier.
Kovy's 4.0 pts/60 is OK, but only half the rate at which he produced in the regular season. The whole shebang has been miserable. Only Brisebois has pulled his weight on the PP.
I also included the EV scoring rates. The numbers support the consensus that Smoke/Begin/Kostopoulos have been Montreal's best at EV. Not only has the top line failed to produce on the PP, they've been sub-par at EV too. I wonder if this is a case of Kovalev (who is the least productive EV producer on the top line, by the way) "trying to do too much?"