And with a little patience...
I guess now the 'most knowledgeable fans in hockey' will be calling for the Jack Adams in Montreal?
Interesting though, that the 'system' that no one saw in game one completely took the Buds out of the game. Backstopped by Theo playing the way he has to play for the Habs to be successful, the team played practically a perfect trap. The third period was vintage '86 Habs - or equally a nice imitation of the present-day Devils.
Perhaps, in the future, fans can stop making snap judgements after one game because, really, it's kinda sad.
Look at the shift chart for the third period from NHL.com. It's a thing of beauty with equal shifts all across the board.
Theo: All-star type game making the big saves and keeping us in it. When he plays like this, he's top five in the game.
Hainsey: Significantly less playing time because Markov and Rivet weren't benched, and played much more within his means.
Breezebois: With less TOI and less responsability, he plays an infinitely better game. Now he's doing exactly what he should be, and played another really good game.
Quintal: Invisible, and that's what you want from a defensive defender. He did his job and didn't make mistakes.
Souray: Nerves have gone now, and he was infinitely better in his own zone. Nice goal is a bonus for the team - what he really brings is that physical element and strong defense.
Rivet: Much better game. While he's not really a #2 guy, he can certainly fill in fairly well when he plays within his means. Also nice to see him healthy and able to take the body more.
Markov: Started the game putting pressure on himself, once he started just playing, though, he showed why he's by far our best defender. And I still think it was only just an average game for him.
Higgins: Nice to see him in there, but the coach was careful with him - a little too careful for my taste, but he didn't want to break the rhythm we'd attained by the third. (Good coaching.)
Ward: Worked hard and did his job. His 9 minutes plus is the kind of time he should expect at this level.
Dwyer: Great job showing restraint, and certainly played hard for his tiny time.
Bulis: Strong game, particularly defensively, yet still showed some good offensive flair and good speed. I think he alone has more blocked shots in two games than the entire team last year.
Juneau: Looked much better tonight - but I think that's a function of having Bulis at his side.
Dackell: Strong game again. Terribly underrated by Hab fans in general.
Perreault: Went to the net a couple of times which was nice to see and even laid out the body once or twice, but other than that is still a one trick pony. Nice to see that trick so effective, though. (17/19)
Audette: I saw him give a bodycheck and almost missed the next five minutes in shock. Played a *shock* two-way game within the system and still managed to be an offensive pest and create things. I hope he can keep this up!
Ryder: Offensively dominant, quite frankly. I want to see him beside Koivu. Woke the family on his goal (I had to tape the game and watch it overnight).
Hossa: Much better along the boards and decent in the offensive zone. Perhaps a switch with him and Ryder so Sax can play with Zed and Ryder...
Zedder: That defence is molasses and Zed showed them up continually. Add to that a very responsible defensive game, and he was the dominant player from last year.
Ribeiro: I did not expect this from him at all. He's going to make a very strong #2 centre if he keeps this up.
And a well-coached game to boot. We've seen two Hab teams now, but I suggest to you that the latter will be the one we see far more often this year. The key for them will be playing from behind. Obviously they can play well with the lead - what with the trap and all - but what will happen if they get behind and have to open things up a little?
Now, add in Sax, Kilger, Langdon and Begin, and I think we are looking infinitely better than in the running for Ovechkin. Of course, who do you take out? Higgins, for sure, Dwyer loses out to Langdon. Begin? Does he step in for Dackell? I'm not sure I'd like that. Kilger has to take Ward. But there's also the possibility that Perreault finally gets benched...and that wouldn't bother me in the least.
Interesting days ahead.
A concerned fan.
A good coach can make adjustments from one game to the next. What we saw was a thing of beauty. I hope this keeps some of those "Julien Won't Last" threads quiet for a while.
The whole problem with thursday nights game is that MTL was never allowed to implement their system. We all know that they played like crap but you cant play your system when ur down 3-1 after 1 period.
Last night they played very NJ and Ottawaesque and I for one am quite pleased to see that. That is how they are going to play for the entire year. Not a lot of shots were allowed and when there were shots, Theo stopped them. They played amazing on the PK and even scoring a goal. They got one in the second game of the season. Didn't they only have like 2 all year last year?
They listened to their coach and did what they were told and it wasnt a boring game aside from the third. And like I said to my friend. If they do play this type of hockey in the Stanley Cup winning game, I won't care.
As for Julien and the Jack Adams? It's possible. If they have an amazing year then I would say he could win it but only if they have an amazing year but it's way too early after 2 games.
I thought it was more of the leafs playing so bad then us playing good. The leafs need to be physical, where was Nolan, Sundin, Mogliny? Their bigs guys weren't hitting, they didn't create much on offense, as they spent way way too much time in the box.
Theodore still looks shaky to me. I still feel like every shot could go in. But he did get the SO. He made a few big saves, but wasn't tested much.
The defense did play a lot better. Why? The leafs aren't as fast as the Sens who exposed our slow forwards. Souray I was impressed with last night. He seems faster. He must play physical above all else. Great to finally see someone clear the Damn crease. Markov also was better and made some nice passes. Brezzy should play less and less it suites him. If Hainsey learns to use his size more and react better in his own end, he's going to be in the NHL a long time.
Our forwards were great in the 3rd, dumping the puck. I don't think there's a better team in the NHL at dumping the puck cause we have so much pratice at it. Ryder was a force as it was great to see him working hard, going to the net, and getting scoring chances. Ward looks good on the PK with Bulis. Higgins did good for his first NHL game, but it's bull ****, he should have gotten more ice time. Dwyer does little, I hope Langdon replaces him. Audette is a waste of 3M, and should not get so much ice time. He doesn't work hard and seems to give a half assed effort unless he has the puck on offense. Perreault I still don't like plain and simple. I look forward to next year when he's gone (with Audette and Brezzy I pray) Juneau and Dackell played ok, but it's going to be a long season for them. They are outmatched physically, have lost a step, and bring little on offense (although Juneau's had two nice passes). Zednik is selfish and lazy at times but I would try Bulis on his line, they seem to play well together. Bulis I don't think should be on the 1st line, but I like his speed, skating and size (which he must use more, he needs to be more physical) Hossa was ok, but I wonder if the AHL is in his future. Ribs I must say looks faster and stronger, but he's still going to be in a lot of trouble in his own end. He has made some great passes, but his defensive zone coverage will continue to be exposed for his lack of strength.
The special team was much better. The PK played well, and the PP looked more NHL like then the night before.
I believe that you are only as good as the other team allows you to be. Therefor I think that TO looked very sluggish/bad beacuse MTL was frustrating them all game and they never found their groove. On the other hand OTT made us look bad on thursday and because the system didn't seem to work players weren't sticking to it.
This should be a big confidence booster for MTL as the players have seen that they can win if they all pull their own weight and play the system and they will also have more trust in their coach.
But I agree that we didn't play as well as the commentators would have you believe. Theo was very good, but not spectacular. He didn't seem very confident in the 1st, but I wouldn't say he was shaky. I don't consider the save against Mogilny to be a spectacular one. Mogilny missed that shot. The two right pad saves with a lot of trafic in front of the net were the nice ones. But if those shots would of been high, Theo was beat.
Overall, I would say the habs had an average 1st period a very good 2nd and a safe 3rd (in context, they played the 3rd well considering the point of being safe was to protect the victory). Some of our players played very well while the rest didn't make much mistakes.
Man.. it's too funny reading this board lately. From one game to the next we see how "we're going to tank the season" to "we love the system, Julien and Theodore".
Ah well, I guess it all makes for an interesting read in the end.
As for my own opinion, it won't be formed until I've seen them play a few more games. I've liked what I've seen so far but don't think it's enough for us to reach much in terms of playoffs. We are lacking a strong finisher in our lineup for that to happen.
I've really enjoyed watching the team.
Ribeiro really shows some nice skills out there. I hope he continues to get stronger and works on his speed and acceleration. Lots of talent here.
Ryder has also been excellent on the ice. I really like his shot. It's quick and precise.
Ward is doing what is expected of him (which for those of you who think it's 1st or 2nd line duties.. well, wake up). I can definately see him as a good 3rd or 4th line player so far. Who knows, maybe someday he'll prove otherwise but I'm still not sold. I really like the energy he brings to the team though.
Audette is probably the one player who is disappointing me most. Still too early to tell but he's not providing much to the team other than a wasted roster spot. He tries hard but his size and lack of a finishing touch (so far) has limited his use. I hope he keeps working hard though.
That's all I want to comment on for now as I have no idea how people manage to put out feedback on 15 players in one game. You can't seem them all at once. :)
If the Habs had lost the game Ribeiro's 4-15 faceoff record would pop up like a jack-in-the box. He also did poorly on faceoffs in the exhibition games.
well said.....I'm Theos biggest critick and he made the saves whwn he needed to even though he wasn't tested oftem he came up big when needed. I hope he can continue and not fall back to game 1 performance. Although Audette played ok ..I still think he needs to go to give guys like Ryder and Ward more icetime. As for Ribs if he can keep up that type of play your right his a bonafide number 2 centre ( I have my doubts he can do it over a 82 game season). Until he shows he can't do it that line stays the way it is and I play Koivu with Bulis and Ryder and moving Ward up Perrault and Audette. My top 3 lines are
Bulis Koivu Ryder
Hossa Ribiero Zednik
Ward Perrault Audette
Langdon Juneau Begin
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