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10-29-2003, 03:30 PM
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Excellent job as always, jl roberts! This is quickly becoming a main 'feature' of the board!

Keys for the Habs:

- Matchups - the Habs have been eaten up on the road largely due to poor matchups. The Thornton line has been dominant, and the only Canadiens line that can play against them with moderate success is Juneau's line and Souray's pairing. These two will see an awful lot of ice time as Julien needs to get them on versus Thornton.

- The forwards need be stronger along the boards and specifically in the neutral zone! The Habs D has looked miserable of late. Why? Because forwards aren't in good position in the neutral zone for pass reception, or to support their D in the transition game. Too many times the opposition is gaining the Habs blueline with speed, exposing Montreal's defense's lack of mobility.

- Forwads also need to become more aware in the defensive zone. In the first 6-7 games, the gap control between defensemen and between the D and forwards was excellent. Of late, the opposition is able to make cross ice passes in the Habs zone for one timers that are impossible to stop for Theodore. They've also been able to skate into the slot with relative ease. If the Habs are to make this one close, gap control is a necessity.

- Ribeiro - he's the only playmaker on the Habs, and he needs to get back into a groove and find open ice. This Bruins team is big, but the D is inexperienced. There's no reason he can't find some open room with Hossa on his wing. In order for the Habs to win, he needs to be productive.

- Zednik - he can be a physical presence out there. Needs to start driving the net, rather than taking the long route behind the net, and tossing a weak backhanded wrap-around. These are weak plays. There's a reason he's never scored a goal doing this, despite 2-3 attempts each game.

Mike8 is offline