Habs @ Canucks - November 18th, 2003 - TIME TO STAY UP LATE!
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11-19-2003, 03:52 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Originally Posted by
I have to say, watching the 'Nuck-Nucks with those jerseys was fun, though my memories harkened back to the days when the Habs would destroy them with those shirts. No such luck these days! Love the retro games, and especially those 'Nuck-Nuck shirts. Oh, and the refs were pretty as well. *snorts*
Taking a point from where we should have expected nothing should make this seem more like a victory than an overtime loss as it ended up. Anyone who thought the Habs had any serious chance of winning against a) one of the best defensive teams, and b) one of the best offensive teams could probably have been called crazy and no one would have blinked. The fact that they marched into Vancouver, played one of the best games they've played all year, *and* scored goals should be considered one of the high points of the year and then hope it augers well for the future.
The emergence of Koivu can be directly attributed to him gaining back his synchronicity after being out for so long, but can also be attributed in no small part by both an impressive game from Ryder and a coming out party, of sorts, for Zednik. Bonus round that Ribeiro was also dangerous tonight because it meant the 'Nuck-Nucks had to stay alert for three lines instead of two. Furthermore, Hab fans should rejoice at Markov's goal and his play afterward which smacked of confidence for the first time in ages.
Notes: (effort marked)
Theo: Lots of goals scored against him, but I'll bet money the only one he wants back is the winner. He played an excellent game, kept the Habs in it, and only at the end finally faltered. It's a shame to have to end the game like that, but when a goalie makes a mistake, it's rather noticeable, and Theo might not have made more than that one. A-
Bouillon: Trying to be feisty to stay in the lineup so had a thing going with Matt Cooke all night long, and the Habs ended up paying for it with penalty kill situations. There was one point where Bouillon completely ignore the puck at his feet and went after Cooke on the ground behind him leaving the 'Nucks to collect the puck. Fortunately the whistle went. Enjoy the view from the press box next game, Francis, you roundly deserve it. C+
Rivet: He was sharper than he's been lately, but still, he doesn't have it. His puck movement is painful starting with his outlets, which are either dumps for icing or risky passes. Confidence is low and it shows. Having said all that, he's still working hard and he was more physical tonight than in recent memory. B-
Brisebois: For the first time ever (I think) he had the opportunity to do a cross-ice pass in his own zone and *shock* decided to move it up the boards instead. I almost missed the next five minutes of the game whilst in shock. His play is immeasurably improved since he went to the basics and started playing smart and efficient hockey. He may not be worth his pay, but at least he's worth more than that bag of used pucks many Hab fans were praying he'd be traded for. B+
Markov: Not a good first period as he made more than a few rookie errors. In fact, I'm surprised he wasn't benched, but I guess his confidence was about as low as it could go. Still, he had a better second, then after he scored in the third suddenly started doing things we haven't seen in ages. At one point he ever did a remarkable spin-o-rama on the side boards and his check went zipping into the ether. Markov emerged unscathed with the puck and proceeded to move it out with a crisp tape-to-tape pass. B
Quintal: In no way imaginable was that last goal his fault. He kept his man to the outside, pure and simple. A perimeter shot was all Bert had, and that's what I call stellar defence. No, Zed kinda blew it on that play. In fact, I thought Quintal played a strong defensive game except for the one goal that Morrison scored on the PP - however that was more a mis-communication between he and Dackell. B+
Souray: Thank the hockey gods he was on his game tonight, or this might have been a rout. He was extremely strong in his zone and made some excellent defensive plays. Equally good was his puck movement and I like the fact that he's the one defender who really knows when to pinch or not. A-
Sundstrom: *shrug* Did he play much? His penalty kill was okay but his regular shift was virtually invisible - even though his linemates were more active. C
Begin: Limited time, maximal usage of that time. I think one shift in the third epitomized his game for us since he's arrived. He was the sole forechecker at this point and went from player to player, hitting each and causing no end of trouble for the opposition. A
Langdon: He'll be disappointed with only a handful of moments on the ice against his former buddies, but tonight Julien did a good job at line matching, so from a team perspective, it was the right call. In what little time he managed (mostly in the first) he still worked well. B+
Kilger: Well, if he isn't benched in favour of Hossa, then Hossa really must be on the trading block and being held out until the deal is finalized. Kilger was dismal to horrendous, depending on the shift. He had no energy and the two hits I saw him manage to unload were more love taps than anything intimidating. He was removed from the second line late in the game in favour of Bulis and, at times, Begin, and I would suspect that the Kilger days in Montreal are nearing there end. If I were to guess at who might be moved first in the Gainey era, this is it. D
Ribeiro: Not a bad night at all considering he was severely outmatched physically most of the night. Another point looks good on him and he earned it with his play. However, the biggest hurdle he'll face as his career continues is the following: picture Bertuzzi with the puck, barrelling down the right wing side, Ribby trying to clutch, grab, hold or tackle the big man any way possible. With one half arm swing, Bert basically said "Get off gnat", and Ribby was gone. B+
Audette: He scored last game but played better in this game...at least in the first half of the game. After he took that double minor he went missing and, in fact, you could say that the sixth teammate, Mo Mentum, went missing after that as well. In the first half of the game he was winning battles and even put out another hit (that makes two this year!!!), but in the second half is was back to his floating game. B-
Bulis: Strong game, though his opposition was tough. Trying to work against that Naslund line is a difficult assignment at the best of times. Still, Bulis played a good enough game that he was promoted to the second line to try and create something when the Habs got down. A-
Juneau: While many still cling to the belief that Juneau is hopeless, old, and more than a step behind as well as soft and poor at both ends of the rink, he still managed to hold that line in check and come out even at the end of the night. Totally underrated and underappreciated by Hab fans and yet an absolutely vital part of our game, and the reason we aren't blown out far more regularly. When oh when will respect come his way? A-
Dackell: Good strong game at both ends of the rink for him. I love the way he's able to protect the puck against anyone, sometimes two or more, when he's got control and is facing the boards. It's a talent that few have in this league, but it's one that he's got in spades. His work on the checking line was tireless tonight, and after nineteen games so far this year, I can honestly say I'd rather him than Sundstrom. B+
Ryder: Exactly the kind of player that Sax needed on his wing. A tirelessly working grinder who also has a deft touch with the puck. This is exactly where he should be, and he proved it tonight. He showed strong play down low, was able to control opponents and protect the puck regularly, and made some fine passing plays, as well as taking a few excellent shots in what I would call his best game to date. A
Zednik: Figured it out, perhaps? Watched a Brett Hull game or two in the intervening days between the Ottawa contest and this one? Because tonight, Zed was moving...constantly. When you're putting in that extra effort, getting into the positions, someone with his shooting ability will always get chances in every game when you have an elite centre sending pucks your way. A
Koivu: Frustration gone. No more dealing with a Zed working at half speed, and another winger who plays just the way a Koivu winger needs to play. They complemented him perfectly, moving into position so Sax could do his thing with the puck, getting it to them numerous times for them to fire away. The tying goal in the third was all Sax, with the rebound going to an eagerly waiting Ryder, and you could see Koivu's joy at his pumped reply. Caught him standing at the bench rallying the troops a couple of times in the background of the play on more than one occasion as well. A+
Three points out of four against arguably the two best teams in hockey is a feat that can't be scoffed at ever. Sure, the loss was a disappointment insofar that in overtime anything can happen, but in reality taking a point on the road at this crucial stage in a long road trip is something the Habs really needed. Besides that, I don't think there are too many out there who would call this game dull. The first period was choppy and I have my doubts as to how long that puck was frozen beforehand, but all in all, this was a fast game with good action.
On the other hand, we're not going to get away with playing that way (away from the system) much longer. On we go to visit Calgary and a Flame team that could surprise more than a few this year. It's a good point to get back to 'our' game and challenge ourselves to shut down Iggy and his linemates completely.
Here's to JL.Roberts and his gamethread in two days.
A concerned fan.
Guy good job, but where do you get your ratings from???????????
If the habs lost how can the lowest mark be a D???????????
It's like if i go write a test and get an F but the teacher gives me an A+ for effort... It just doesn't happen dude!!!!!!!!!!
Someone must be at fault or at least a couple players for losing the game, i give Kilger an F and also give FBoullion and Audette all F minus !
Audette was horribly in what he did, two high sticks! Come on dude!!
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