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McKenzie: Despite injuries, Habs keep Malkin, Crosby in check

Bob McKenzie
5/11/2010 9:25:19 AM
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Some thoughts from the NHL on TSN on Monday night:

While Sidney Crosby got on the board with his first goal of the series in Game 6, the Montreal Canadiens continued to do a great job of shutting both he and Evgeni Malkin down.

People were wondering how long could the Habs contain Crosby, and when he scored early in the first to collect the first even strength point for either of the Pens superstars, it appeared that their luck had run out; but in the third period, when the game was on the line and Crosby and Malkin were put together on a line, but to no avail.  The Montreal Canadiens' defence, P.K. Subban, Josh Gorges and company did an amazing job to keep them in check.

Sidney Crosby played over 26 minutes in this hockey game, while Malkin had almost 21 minutes of ice time.  At the end of the game you could see their frustration boiling over.  Crosby was going at it with the Canadiens players and he was going at it with the referees. 

The Canadiens have the Penguins right where they want them, going to Pittsburgh for Game 7 - in a game a lot of people never thought would materialize.

For the Habs to be able to shut down the duo of Crosby and Malkin, they deserve a lot of credit and it is a testament to their effort with guys like Andrei Markov and Hal Gill out with injuries.

Pressure Shift

While Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo had all the pressure placed on his shoulders in Game 5, a lot of that pressure has shifted to Blackhawks sniper Patrick Kane for Game 6.

This all goes back to the Olympics when jokingly or not, in the handshake line after the gold medal game, Luongo said to Kane: "See you in the playoffs."  Well, now it's 'see you in Game 6' again.

Everyone remembers what happened last year in Game 6 in Chicago - Kane scored three goals and the Blackhawks blew the Canucks away. 

Fast forward to this series.  Kane has been okay in this series (he scored early and has been getting a few assists) but his forte is as a goalscorer, so he's going to want to take centre stage.

In Game 5, I thought all of the angst was out of Luongo's game, which was true of the entire Canucks team. They seemed so cool, confident and composed. The Blackhawks gave Luongo a snow shower but it was no big deal.  They bumped him and again, no big deal.  Also, Luongo was not giving up any big rebounds.  I think he looked as calm, cool and collected as he has in all of these playoffs.

Bob McKenzie

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