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10-25-2003, 10:47 PM
  #51
Guy!
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ottawa
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The score was not representative of the game that was played tonight, in fact one could have called the Habs unlucky to have come out of the first period down, if not even ahead. One goal off a skate, another off a terrible play by Rivet countered by our goal and a shot off the post...

I thought we played a very spirited game until the fifth goal and that it was arguable who was the better team. We are showing a speed and intensity that this club hasn't shown in years. As for those who think we are small and weak, well I don't know what to say. We weren't pushed around, and when something combative happened, I thought we pushed back just as firmly.

I would call this a game of inconsistencies in terms of players performances. Some on the board called Markov brutal and I just didn't see it that way. However, we all see the game in our own way.

As for the real reason we lost - it wasn't bad defence, it was rank stupidity, pure and simple. That many PP gifts to a team like that and we deserved to lose, quite frankly.

~~

Notes:

Theo: Well, one can argue that 6 goals against is brutal, but when one is off a skate and another is from the stick of Havlat who is so wide open that he could have taken lunch before scoring, well, we're down to four already. Two shots were lasers into corners that few goalies would have much chance against, and the final two are stops that you hope he makes in his best games - he didn't tonight. B

Bouillon: Small, but plays huge comparitively. Sure, he gets knocked off the puck, but he's smart enough to know to get rid of it before he gets knocked. B+

Brisebois: If you compare this game with just about any game from last year, it's a stellar A+++. Compared to the way he's been playing recently, though, I just can't go that high. Still, it's nice to see him keep to basics defensively, but contribute offensively as well. A

Quintal: Hi there Havlat, want some tea? But aside form that, it wasn't nearly as bad as one might have expected from a defender who was outclassed in terms of speed rather handily. B-

Souray: Power shot, stalwart defence and great transition. He put all his best elements into one game and showed us what a full-time healthy Souray can look like. A+

Rivet: Looked stupid on the deke where he played at stick's length, but still managed to make a few defensive plays that were sorely needed. However, against a team like the Sens, he looks even farther behind than usual. C+

Markov: Most assuredly not his best game - that blown pass that cost the fifth goal was a killer. However, I'm not sure what game people were watching when they say he was terrible. Numerous times he thwarted the rush by knocking the opposition out, and he regularly won fights along the boards. He made more errors than usual, though, perhaps everyone is just focussing, I don't know. B

Ward: Mostly invisible, though had a couple of good shifts early. I find it frustrating when people say he should be in the top two lines, but that would be so counter-productive to what we're accomplishing these days. B

Begin: Another in your face game, though he didn't create anything offensively like last game. The hit on Spezza was only a penalty because it was Spezza. It was at the same time as the whistle, and it should never have been called. B

Sundstrom: First shift was good. Mom told me only to say nice things about people. I don't usually, but I'll try here. C-

Juneau: Better than what some said, not as good as what I would have hoped. In the first two periods, he was great, but by the third, I think he was either tiring, or trying too hard to make things happen. B

Dackell: On the one hand, he was creative offensively tonight, on the other, he was making mistakes and blowing coverage frequently. I'm seeing a trend here - when he plays well in one direction, the other suffers. Time to combine the game. B-

Bulis: Another hard working game where he had chances but could still not find the back of the net. The thing that pleases me most is his continual improvement in the defensive zone. B+

Audette: Sorry mom, but though he seems to try hard from the blue line in, from the blue line back to his own net, it's like he's not even there. D+

Perreault: Fascinating the comments on him. You know, this was his best defensive game ever? Sure, he was nigh on hopeless offensively, however he was covering back and putting out full effort in our own zone. I saw him at our net breaking up a play, saw him chasing hard across our own blue line to prevent access. B+

Ryder: Another good comeback game. He was much stronger and created plenty of chances for himself and others. Furthermore, he was gritty and dealt out some nice checks. I really appreciated how he played tonight. B+

Zednik: Better game, finally. Seems word has tricked down that he should pass the puck occasionally. Still, there's an element of his game missing from last year - he's not going to the net and getting in position in the slot. Not gonna score nearly as much being a perimeter player, Rich. B

Ribeiro: Wonderful periferal vision. Stellar offensive game control. Good effort defensively. I could have jumped on the ice and kicked his butt around the rink myself in the third for giving up. I *hate* that. Where he would have corralled passes in the first two periods, by the third they were bouncing off his stick and he was only half-heartedly going for things. He needs to take a good look in the mirror after that period. B-

Hossa: Another strong game, and I still see improvement. He's gaining in confidence so much that he's challenging his brother on the ice and even won a couple of board confrontations with him. Worked well in the offensive zone tonight and created nicely. His passing is improving game by game as well. Defensively, he has to learn to move the puck quicker, but at least he's in the right position. B

~~

I was leery about coming to the boards after the game tonight, figuring most would have just read the score after the game and decide that, contrary to what they saw, the Habs must have sucked eggs. I was quite pleased to see that there were more than a few who saw that they played fairly well.

In fact, there were times I thought we were the better team tonight. Certainly, despite the score, we were the better team in the first, and that's a good sign. We out-hustled the Sens completely, and I don't think they had a bad first either.

However, we'll not win many games at all if we can't stay out of the penalty box. Rivet, Audette, Sundtrom: all three players had brutal penalties, and against a team like that, it's almost always going to sting us. The fact that we killed off the first three was stellar as it was.

Off to Philly, where the defence is molasses and the forwards and massive. Which means speed kills them, and neutralizes their size, to a great extent. No Koivu, so we shouldn't have to listen to the whiners complain about him taking his rightful spot on the team for a couple of days, but that also means we're still without our best offence. And Sax plays well against the Flyers.

A concerned fan.

Guy! is offline