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01-04-2004, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Guy!
Two in a row, what else can you say? I think a lot of cradit for this has to go the the coaching staff, and particularly Julien, who put Koivu on the point for the PP, thus allowing the Habs two have two bonified passers to feed the snipers. It has made such a huge difference and has the Habs steadily climbing the tables. The PK deserves as many if not more accolades since the game in Calgary, as since then they've been fantastic. Tonight was yet another example of perfection, and in fact there was the added bonus of Juneau's goal - there's life in those old legs yet!

Koivu looks like a man possessed. His game has risen more than just a notch and he's making plays I haven't seen him do in years. The six-game point streak aside, it's his movement with the puck, his play off the puck, and his extremely deft - and more aggressive and confident passing - that's really caught my eye...and his work ethic has really rubbed off on Ryder whose game has gone from good to great.



Theo: Not much to say since he makes it look so easy when he's positioned well. He wasn't on that shot from the point that went in - you could see he was favouring one side of the net, but it was a quick play and there was plenty of traffic in front. I'm really impressed lately with his rebound control which is giving the defence little to do - a good thing! A

Bouillon: Ends up as a plus three on the game - and he deserved it. Now, it has to be pointed out that the Cap team was basically AHL, heck even Bondra and Zubrus were missing thus leaving them with Jagr, Lang, and Gonchar as the only real threats offensively. However Bubbles played each well when the time came. B+

Rivet: His ice time has been cut down to a level I think the coaches believe he can handle while he transitions his game from high-risk to low. Tonight he played his minutes well, and didn't make any kind of glaring errors. He's still got to learn to use his body more effectively, however it's not nearly as glaring as when he's making the bad passes and stupid plays as well. One thing I have noticed, he's moved to an extremely simple game where he chips the puck out if there's any question whatsoever. He's the only defender that does this at the moment and I have to believe he's been given explicit instructions until his game, and confidence, comes around. B

Komisarek: He didn't get much time out there and I think it's because the coaches were worried Jagr and Lang would make him look silly. I'm a little disappointed in that since this is the exact team (AHL-quality) where he would probably benefit from more playing time. However I understand that he's working very hard with Rick Green at the moment, and perhaps after he's moved over a hurdle or two in the video room he'll get that playing time. B-

Brisebois: A return of the Breezer of old. More than a few times did he sent pucks in front of his own net for little reason. I was not impressed with his game at all tonight and if he doesn't stick to the basics, I fear we're in for a parade of unhappiness. C

Quintal: KISS principle for him works wonders especially against big strong forwards in the Jagr mould. He played his game to perfection and wasn't caught out in any major way all night. I think it really helps playing alongside Souray as well. B+

Souray: Sniper scores again! But again, the best part was watching him do all the little things the right way. He played Jagr very well most of the night, only giving Jarmo a few chances here and there - and I've yet to see a defender play that guy perfectly yet - even when he plays like he doesn't give a damn as he has lately. A-

Langdon: He played a strong game in terms of finishing checks and working the puck. He also did his job defensively and you can't ask anymore of a fourth line player. B

Ward: What's with the laying off of the checking game? Doesn't he remember that's what got him here in the first place? Sure, fine and dandy that he created Juneau's goal, but when you're fourth line you can't play like a second liner and curl away from the hits. I was afraid of this: he's not having very much of an impact at all since the injury - is the AHL in his future? C-

Plekanec: Good speed and great jump. One thing I really like about him is the ability to be at top speed in a few short strides as it gives him that jump on the puck. He's rarely second in a play and is always harrying his opponent. Here's a kid who's taking each and every shift and making the best of it, and it's only the numbers game which will catch him out and have him back in Hamilton. He's going to make the decision to send him back down a real tough one. B

Dackell: If there's one guy who's contract is up at the end of the year yet who may very well be resigned, it's him. He brings so many small things to the team that so few notice. First, he's wonderful on the PK. Second, he does his job on his line and you can count on him to bring the same game night in and night out. Third, he's incredible with the puck in the opponents zone being able to pin it along the boards against two and three opponents for long periods at a time - crucial in terms of changing momentum and PK work. Tonight, while not sparkling, he did his job solidly as usual. B-

Kilger: Shame shame shame shame shame. Too little too late from Shrug. Why he can't play like he did tonight on every night I'll never know or understand. He was mking the hits necessary and was strong at both ends. Well, at least he made a good show for the trade market. B

Juneau: Still a defensive genious. He played the Jagr line well and made more than a few strong defensive plays. The fact he chipped in with a goal is just a bonus. B+

Zednik: For shifts, he looked like the guy who could score 30+ and be a real spark on the team. For other shifts he did his around the net usual and didn't create anything other than an offensive turnover in favour of the Caps. Consistency in that hard working play is the ticket. B-

Dagenais: Midnight is coming and I'm thinking those glass slippers just won't fit. Literally all he can do is shoot. Ribs makes a zone entrance, dishes it off to Dags, and he has a one-timer from...the point? I don't think so. His dump ins are shots, he shoots from no angle... Great scorer in the AHL for these reasons, but a real NHL player he is not. D

Ribeiro: Once that puck was over the Washington blueline, Ribs looked pretty good tonight - as long as he wasn't trying to beat people. When he does what he does best and passes the puck, he's successful, but at this point, everyone is used to him and those dipsy-doodle moves don't have much success. Right now, quite honestly, it looks like he struggles when carrying the puck. He gets in position well and can dish it off nicely, but he's more likely to lose it than do something useful when he retains possession. Defensively he's a wash. B-

Bulis: The only thing that disappointed me about his game tonight was the fact he didn't get a hattrick against his former team. Other than that, business as usual. A-

Ryder: Zowie, zesty, zingy! Can this guy shoot or what? And check out that stickhandling ability! And the hits...and the passing...and...and...and A

Koivu: I did a little stats checking last night and if he'd played the whole season and had his preseason and carried his point-a-game thing like he's doing now, he's top-20 scoring and top-10 centre-wise. His vision is world class, and he's moving faster and faster on the puck now. As I mentioned before, he's also becoming more aggressive offensively with the puck and it's really giving some huge chances out there. Nice to see his defensive game improving constantly as well. A


It's the little things that count: sticking up for each other, working the system well, playing with intensity each shift. There's a reason Julien is starting to get recognition and we're seeing the fruits of his hard labour on the ice. Take one step higher up the chain of command and we can see how Gainey has taken a somewhat fragmented club and has focussed everyone and everything. We're on track and it *feels* like we're watching a strong club now.

Sad to say, but Houle dismantled a strong team. When Savard eventually took over, we were in shambles in most areas. Credit Savard, though, for gathering the pieces of a broken franchise and turning it around. He did it with stop-gap measures while he filled the empty cupboards, and along the way gave a few contracts he shouldn't have, but all in all, I think his work was vital to the turn around of the Habs. Enter Gainey and he's taken the start that Savard gave and is running with it, slowly stamping himself in every aspect and in the meatime using words like:


And when needed:


The Montreal Canadiens are for real.

A resurgent Buffalo comes to town on Tuesday with a healthy Drury back in the lineup. This will be no easy contest, in fact it'll be significantly tougher than any team we've faced since Toronto before Christmas, likely. (Dallas is struggling way too much to call them a tough team.) We do have momentum and we know the team will in all likelyhood show up and play hard, it's just a matter of sticking to the system and taking advantage of opportunities.

A Concerned Fan.

Since I watched the game tonight, I'd like to rectify some of your ratings for I think you were a little hard on some of the boys tonight.

(your rating), *mine*.

KomisarekB-), *B*. Komisarek is a smart rookie; expect him to come out of his shell before the end of the year...solid for a rookie.

Brisebois: (C), *B*. Yeah, I saw the bonehead play ( read back-pass from the corner intented for Souray (I think) in front of net - picked off by Washington and, almost resulted in a goal!), BUT, that's Brisebois. One bonehead move per game but still, a good game all-around.

Souray: (A-),*A* . 'nuff said!

Ward: (C-), *B* . Played his game effectively and contributed in a clutch situation...this guy is not AHL material at all.

Plekanec: (B), *C+* . Didn't play enough to get noticed but you can tell just by watching him play, he's very aware in his own zone (which is great for a rookie), but seems lost when forechecking. Didn't play enough to merit a "B" IMHO.

Dackell: (B-), *B*. Plays solid defensively... game in, game out! I'm glad he's prooving me wrong this year for he was a player I had wroten off at camp...Good job Andreas!

Juneau: (B+), *A+*. That mark is way off, sorry! Juneau played a hell of a game tonight and is playing constantly lately. Not so useless as people tend to make him.

Zednik: (B-), *B* . Played a fair game...not his best but, the effort was there.

Ribiero: (B-), *A-* . Good game by Ribs; he's drawing more attention to himself offensively while being more responsible in his own zone. Ribiero is a great player in the making and still learning I might add.

Ryder: (A), *A+ . 2 goals, 1 assist; and did you see that second goal?...'nuff said.

Koivu: (A),*A+* . What a game by the captain. He prooved once again he's the heart amd soul of this team. Has anyone noticed his PK performance lately...simply awsome!

One thing I have to point out is the fact that Theo is finaly being defended systematicaly when the play gets too close to him (Souray comes to mind)... what a relief!!....That's chemestry my friends and it's so good to see finaly.

How about 3 in a row guys?....been a while you know! MAKE IT 3!


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