Habs vs. Rags - Showtime in Broadway - Dec. 10th. 2003
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12-10-2003, 09:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
I don't know if it's Madison Square Garden, if it's my dislike of the Rag$ or if it's just how I feel coincidentally when we play them, but I just found the game utterly boring and virtually without merit. The Ranger$ are a team of bratty millionnaires and the Habs played like a bunch of gomers tonight - the game was about as fun as getting your teeth pulled. It was more a matter of who didn't want the game less than the other.
I love the way the refs called the game the way I like having my limbs cut off - I don't thin kthey were even present for half the time, and it's a shame that the NHL has to be sullied with performances such as the one we saw from the offials tonight.
Notes: (marks as compared to what each player can potentially bring)
Theo: He looked good and had no real chance on the goal scored by the Rag$. Yet another game where I was confident from the beginning that our goaltender was going to hold us in the game, rather than make us pull out hair out. A-
Bouillon: As every other skater did tonight, he made a few errors, but he also made a few good plays. Then again, for the most part, I found him basically invisible in terms of the overall play tonight. B-
Rivet: I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like he's turned a corner, and instead of making error after error, he's making smart and simple defensive plays. I like this new Rivet and hope he stays with the club rather than the other who makes me want to gnaw off my left arm. B+
Brisebois: Another good game, and what's that? Ten in a row? It's a miracle and we'll take it. He's starting to take chances again in the offensive zone, but instead of taking low percentage chances which get him caught and cost the Habs, he's taking much better ones and making good plays. B+
Markov: I haven't seen any comments yet, but I assume there's going to be a plethora about him missing that one play where he was beaten cleanly. Nothing like focussing on a single play to categorize a player, because other than that he was excellent again tonight. B+
Quintal: Oy. A show of hands, how many would have preferred to see Komi in the lineup. Show of hands, how many would have preferred me in the lineup. Thought so, unanimous. Quintal stunk tonight, and was behind each and every play. In fact, I liked the coaching on the other side by Sather who matched Quint against Simon regularly and the latter kept winning battle after battle. D+
Souray: Can't complain, in fact I like the fact he takes things into his own hands and supports the attack on occasion, though I'd like to see him do it more often. It seems in the last few games that he's been a little more cautious about moving into the play and instead seems to be concentrating on being solid defensively. Even when he has space he hangs back most of the time. Not going to win any defensive scoring titles that way!! A-
Langdon: Once again with the silly penalty. It's starting to cause me headaches seeing him play well only to cause the team lots of pain as he heads to the box to purge another gaffe. C+
Kilger: He was invisible until he filled in for Begin who got injured early on. Once he made that third line, I felt he played his best game in about a month. I don't know if I can ever say it enough, but he's such a disappointment - when he plays that way, he can be sooooo good. Then again, I'm glad he did it against the Rag$ - a team that covets him. B-
Perreault: Was he on the ice? I think I only noticed him once or twice. Shame, because I thought he was really coming along with his efforts the last few. D
Dackell: Good game. He created a few things, played well in his own end, and was intelligent on and off the puck. Not much more you can ask from him. B
Sundstrom: Until Begin left, I was still in awe about his play....then he went back to what he'd been doing since the beginning of the year. What a complete shame, but I guess he has to have a really fired up centre to be an effective player. I'm not sure exactly what that says about him, only that it can't be good. C+
Begin: He was great. Then he was injured. Two shifts, I think it was. *sigh* Hope it's not a major thing. (N/A)
Dagenais: On two or three shifts he was wonderful, but for the rest of the game he was basically invisible. This is the problem with a player like this, he's got enough talent to make a play or two, but not enough to really be a consistent NHLer. C
Zednik: Unimpressed, to say the least. If he's on a line with Daggy and Ribs, he has to be far more assertive in order to properly assist that line. He started the game with a couple of good hits, then faded away like so many pansies. It didn't help that his line didn't get deep very much, but I think part of that responsibility has to fall on his shoulders. C+
Ribeiro: You know what, he played a consistent game and was by far the best player on his line. He seems to be a player who's very much affected by confidence in terms of his effort, and tonight you could see he was a pretty confident guy. He was the only one on that line creating anything and made a few solid plays that really helped generate attack when they had no right to do so. I still think he can bring more to the show, but that's a game in a half in a row, and that's a record for him. Fingers crossed that he keeps it up. A-
Bulis: A typical Bulis game where he seemed to be everywhere. He completely made up for that goal the other night against Philly with a couple of defensive plays that saved the win for the Habs. I like that he took his goal scoring shot quickly and didn't wait - it's a sign of confidence. B+
Ryder: Brilliant pass to Ribby and really, who out there woulda thunk he coulda done that? He's playing strong games now, and I think because of how he's made it this far, he doesn't seem to really take shifts off. Sure, he has shifts where he doesn't get involved, but I think that's more a matter of where the puck is rather than where he is in relation to the puck. He's been more than solid since his benching, and I think we all, as Hab fans, can honestly say we actually have a Calder candidate in our midst. B
Koivu: His deft touch pass to Bulis is a play that I think two people on the Habs could have done - him and Ribs. It's the kind of play that puts that kind of player on a different plane in terms of reading the play and seeing the game. For Koivu, though, he also works like a madman every shift and he's such a strong player all over the rink. You can see the confidence Julien has in him when he plays the final minute and a half of the game - and completely ties up players six inches and 30 pounds heavier. A
Okay, I gave good reviews and good marks to Ribs, so I don't want that much bashing! LOL
Then again, I didn't do it just to stop the bashing, I did it because he deserved it. Honestly, the reason he gets that A- rather than a B+ is because he went to the net and scored, but he still played a good game. It's this kind of work that all our smaller players have to give in order to succeed. Fingers crossed that both he and the rest of the team can keep it up.
I have to be honest and say that, at the end of the game, I was surprised to see the Habs had won. I mean, I knew the score, but the game was such a snooze-fest and mistake-ridden affair, that it was hard to awknowledge any winner. That said, I'm perfectly pleased to take home the two points.
Off to the state of Florida where the Habs have always had problems. First up, on Friday, are the weak Panthers. I think we have to go in there expecting to win this game - not overconfident by any means, but we have to believe that a loss is close to a disaster - those are the games we have to win if we're to make the playoffs.
And one game over .500! Zowie, zesty, zingy! For a team many were bashing relentlessly for so long, this must be the most pleasant of surprises. Amazing what a strong system will do for a weak team.
A concerned fan.
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