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11-08-2003, 07:26 PM
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Fun game tonight. This is precisely why Koivu is one of the better captains in the league, in my opinion. Very strong game in all three zones from him.

Both teams were fairly sloppy, but the Habs maintained good positioning and were tight in the neutral zone. Good to see.


- Sundstrom and Bulis are looking good out there together. Sundstrom is returning to his form of last season where he was strong along the boards, able to keep the puck deep and create plays. Finally Bulis is getting a chance to shine with someone that can feed him the puck and keep it deep. Juneau looks out of place.

- Brisebois has got to cut the cross ice passes out of his game.

- As we all know, Audette just doesn't have it anymore. This was one of his poorest efforts. More often than not when carrying the puck in the neutral zone, he'd give the puck away on a tape to tape pass to a Sabre. In the offensive zone, he's rubbed out of the play with too much ease and is holding back any line he's on.

- Not a fan of how Markov and Hainsey are being developed and treated here. I don't know who's responsible for this. I wouldn't necessarily place the blame on Julien; after all, it's Rick Green who's responsible for defense. But it's also Julien's responsibility to intervene if he feels players aren't being played properly on the blueline. Gainey's also responsible for ensuring his assets are being treated and developed properly. We'll have to see how Markov and Hainsey's ice time looks over the next 10-15 games, but if it doesn't improve, then there's cause for concern.

With Sundstrom's strong play, Dackell is redundant. The only real weak link up front right now is Audette.

Ribeiro is starting to look slower out there. Easier to push off the puck. I would expect him to get increasingly worse and get replaced in the lineup by Perreault.

Juneau just doesn't fit with this club anymore. I hope Higgins or Plekanec take his spot by season's end. I feel both are ready for it at this point.

Is anyone else pleased by Hossa and Ryder's play? These two are dominant along the boards. Two big bodies on Montreal's second scoring line. When was the last time we saw this? Once they gel some more and gain more confidence, we'll see the duo crashing the net and learning to move the puck off the sideboards better, rather than simply dominating the sideboards but being hesitant to move off of them. Sticking a player like Begin or Ward (someone who plays with reckless abandon) with them might rub off nicely on these two.

Mike8 is offline