PGT: Habs squeak one out in the shootout against Blues
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11-17-2008, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Originally Posted by
Well for one, Montreal doesn't have the luxury of having two franchise forwards that can change a game regardless of which lines they're on. So for Detroit and Pittsburgh, it's a simple question of spreading the wealth or making one lethal combination. With the Habs, You have forwards with skills but it's apparent that work ethic is missing and I feel that there was a hell of a lot more of that in this game. Say what you want with his weird combinations but the bottom line is the team is leaving St. Louis with 2 points.
It's not just the two points. Carey Price didn't have to steal the game, either. Personally, playing the second of back to back games less than 24 hours apart, on the road, I thought the effort was good. The two goalposts on good shots during powerplays were unfortunate, because they could have broken the game open for Montreal.
As for the line juggling and the "two franchise forwards", it's clear from three years of Carbo watching that his two franchise forwards are Koivu and Kovalev, and uniting them on some rare occasions is one of the moves in his arsenal. He sent a clear message who his top three forwards are by the move last night, and they don't include Plekanec or Higgins. But putting the two speedsters together with a workhorse did make for a second line that hustled and had chances. Uniting the brothers also put some jump in their game, though I don't think Lang was all that great, despite his very important goal. On the other hand, sometimes talented players will score in situations that less talented players won't and Lang scored the needed goal, so I'll cut him some slack for now.
The fourth line was full of energy. Dandenault fought through checks and used his speed to pressure the Blues, Begin hit anything that moved and Latendresse got some hits in as well. I do think in the long run, Kosto ends up back on the fourth and Gui gets back with better scorers but it's no biggy for a night or two.
The combinations really weren't all THAT weird. If Carbs wants to keep the Big Three together, and eventually move Kosto back down, I would try this:
...Fourth line adapted to game needs
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