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10-12-2003, 08:34 AM
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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 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.

Guy! is offline