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12-12-2003, 08:25 PM
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I will dispute vehemently with anyone who says that we played a good first period, despite the score. The fact of the matter is this: while the Panthers were unlucky to come out of the first that way, they were the better team all night. They were first to the puck, the passed accurately, and the received passes astutely. The Habs did none of those things tonight. Worst though, was the effort - the Habs were lucky to get a first effort on some plays where the Panthers had two and sometimes three efforts on a play.


And this was a team we should have beaten. Now we have to go and play a *much* better team in the Bolts tomorrow night. Sure, there were some thing that can be taken from this game with a grain of salt, including the fact that had the officials had *any* clue whatsoever about what hooking, holding, and obstruction were, Montreal would have been on the powerplay for about 80 minutes. Sure, Theo played a solid game and really held a team that didn't deserve to even be in the rink in the game. And sure, Juneau came back and looked much better than he did when he left and led the best Hab line all night. But I don't think Montreal was in Florida for a few moral victories.


Notes: (performance)

Theo: "Dear Theo, we're sorry we left you alone, but we thought you were missing rubber." A

Bouillon: Tough to say this, but he was one of the better defenders. He still couldn't pass the puck to save his life tonight. C

Rivet: Pack it up and go home. You know, the *real* pro athelete would have admitted to his coach that he was just not in the game and should either be benched so as not to hurt the team or used only in places where he wasn't going to cause problems. F

Quintal: See Rivet. Downgrade the mark if necessary. F-

Souray: "Dear Souray, we wanted to see how you'd do by yourself on defense tonight. Nice try." At least he was physical and brought something to the attack tonight. B

Komisarek: Covered Souray's butt once, but there was still a goal against on the play - since he had to leave his own mand to take his partners. He's getting beaten a few too many times on one-on-ones, but I think that's part of the learning curve. At least he wasn't beated on effort, since he was one of the best Habs out there. He's doing a little better with speedster's out wide, and his footspeed is increasing, but there's still a way to go. Then again, he was the best we had on the right hand side. C+

Markov: Two assists does not a good game make. Too many bad outlet passes tonight. He was still decent down low and consistently tied up his man, but it seemed he was a half step out of it mentally. B-

Audette: Is there anyone in the world who can explain why he replaced Ryder on the top line in the waning stages of the game? Ryder was demoted to line two and Dagenais was sent to polish the wood at the end of the bench. Ryder was best of the three, Dagenais second best, and Audette should have faked a shoulder injury. He had good jump skating-wise, just didn't do anything with it. C

Perreault: Perhaps if we paint the defensive third a fluorescent orange he might be able to find it. No? I didn't think so either. Still, that mullet he's working on must raise his grade a little. Let's see, he played three quarters of a good period. Um... D+

Kilger: And whaddaya know, I give the guy who rarely puts in 60 minutes of effort the best mark on the line. He actually worked and threw the body tonight. I appreciated his efforts. B

Dackell: Awsome game. Not only was he stellar defensively tying up his man time after time, but offensively his trio worked the puck wonderfully and were the only line to apply constant pressure in the offensive zone. A-

Sundstrom: Two weeks ago I called him Invisible Man. Guess he was insulted, because in every game since, he's gotten better and better. I should start the name calling for everyone else tonight. Strong game in all three zones, but he was particularly effective on the attack - mostly because his line didn't have to defend much because they had the puck so long. B+

Juneau: Well, as much as most of us didn't want him back on that third line, I don't think there's anyone who can disagree (if you're honestly with yourself) that he came in and did a fine job. We missed Begin, for sure, but less than Brisebois tonight. B+

Zednik: He scored a goal-scorer's goal when he went to the net on the first, and it was great to see him do that. Of course, I guess he decided that it was to be his contribution for the night, because he immediately left for Tampa and gave his sweater to some dude in Section 15, Row 12. C+

Dagenais: Tonight he really fit in. When the bulk of the Habs went to sleep as Florida started hitting, Dagenais came out to play and actually carried himself well throughout the affair. He was the best on his line and really didn't deserve the demotion late. B+

Ribeiro: Oh, I could just hear the wails of delight from all his supporters as he made that play for the first goal - though no doubt it was spectacular. Unfortunately, I have a feeling they let it rose-colour their glasses for the rest of the game when Ribs failed to do much else. I've noticed that if the play is in his own zone, he's utter crap, but when the Habs, and particularly he, has the puck, he looks good. Problem with that is when the Habs rarely have the puck. C

Bulis: Well, he was working hard, but it was one of those games where nothing went right for him. The puck was bouncing over his stick (did anyone tell the Florida guys that this was supposed to be a hockey game and not a basketball game 'cause that puck was a-bouncin') like there was no tommorrow, and his decisions were just not what we've gotten used to with him. B

Ryder: He impresses me more by the game, and thank heavens Julien benched him, because, you know, late in the game when you're down by two, it's always good to have your most offensive players filling water bottles. Okay, he held on to the puck too long and it resulted in a goal, but when he's creating more than everyone else... B

Koivu: I don't think he was expecting to play a team that worked, because a number of his passes would have been brilliant against, say, the Rag$ who don't know what work is. Tonight, though, they were picked off regularly. Again, with Sax, it wasn't a matter that he wasn't working hard, because I think he was working as hard as ever, it was his mind that was perhaps slightly out of synch with the rest of himself. B


Pretty sad. Half effort in the first and none for the rest of the game. It's going to be a serious uphill climb to reverse that horrid effort tomorrow night. Somehow they have to come back, forget all about this, and work for 60 minutes, and that's always tough when bad habits come into the play.

Tampa, while not having the best of times recently, is a much better team than is Florida, and if the Bolts see the game tape, it's pretty easy to determine that the game plan will be hit, hit, hit, work, work, work. Coming to the peninsula this weekend, I would have expected to see three out of four points considering who we were playing - that would have given me cause to call it a successful weekend. Now, we'll be lucky to get two.

I think the power of the pretzel is long gone.

A concerned fan.

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