Sens 6, Habs 1, Refs 236
It appears Eric Gryba's drive-by on Lars Eller was just the opening salvo.
What Le Club de Hockey Canadien thought it was doing by getting sucked into a physical game is anyone's guess. This isn't the 1976 Habs, who could stand toe-to-toe and blow-to-blow with Philadelphia's Broad Street Bullies. This is PK Subban pummeling Kyle Turris. Kyle Turris! Kyle Turris's mother could pummel Kyle Turris!
Subban had been clipped and nicked all night by the Senators, who decided to make the 28mins per game he's logging more of a challenge. Basically, it worked. The Habs' defenseman took unnecessary penalties and was clearly thrown off his game. About the only thing he did right was get in teammate Max Pacioretty's grill about a 'Hey Buddy!' pass that almost got him a bed beside Eller in the local infirmary.
The reality is that was as close as Pacioretty came to a notable pass all night. His second-line brothers-in-arms weren't any better. Dave Desharnais and his four-year,$14million contract have yet to register a shot on goal in this series, and Michael Ryder is giving fans reason to buy a program so they can confirm that he's actually out there.
Ottawa is hardly a ground and pound team, but they came out of the gates with chippy intentions and the Canadiens played right into it. They cannot win a physical series, even against a mildly physical team. Even Habs coach Michel Therrien was innoculously clueless, claiming Sens coach Paul MacLean was "classless" for calling a timeout with 17 seconds remaining in a 6-1 game.
Right. Only the incredibly naïve were buying that one. 236 PIMs with no additional ambulance calls were pushing the envelope far enough.
And this series is only two games old!
Expect Gary Bettman's hall monitors to be out in force for the balance for the remainder.