Habs @ Pens : 1:00 ET - Jan 10/03
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01-10-2004, 08:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Do not kid yourselves Hab fans, despite the score, that was almost as ugly a game the Habs have played all year. The first period was a dullard affair with virtually zero passion shown in the game. The turning point came when the Habs killed the two man advantage and from then on it was a mildly disinterested Hab team playing an ECHL club (Pittsburgh faded into oblivion after that PK - there was no (team) effort and Caron was left out to dry completely).
I'm sure there will be a plethora of fans saying we have to take victories like this as they come and be happy we get to see them now and again, but in my mind, it was yet another worrysome three periods, making that eight in a row. It wasn't like the Habs were playing well, in fact passes were consistently in feet, receptions were poor, and play was meek-spirited and filled with errors. The problem is, particularly after that PK, the Pens gave up leaving the Habs to play shinney.
Theo: He had to make one or two good saves, his rebound control looked a little better than it did last game and he did end up with a shutout. Still, when the average shot if from a half mile and right at the crest on your shirt, it's not exactly bragging material. B+
Bouillon: Fairly typical game from him and I'm not at all disappointed in his game. B
Rivet: For all the good he's done in the last two or three, this was a giant step backwards. He did practically nothing right, making lousy passes, poor choices on and off the puck, and getting beaten by the ECHLers. A very disconcerting effort. D+
Brisebois: Better than last game when he was making old-time Breezer danger passes, but still not where he was a couple of weeks ago. I found him lazy and non-committal in the defensive zone. B-
Komisarek: He's got to watch the concentration lapses, because about five times per game he whiffs on a pass and causes heart problems. Tonight it wasn't so bad because the Pens had no one who could do anything about it, but it's still a concern. Decent game otherwise. C+
Quintal: Steady, I thought. While he did make an error or two each period, they were minor and I was pleased with his overall game. Of course, his opponents were not exactly challenging. B+
Souray: Tough, tough, tough call. He sure re-wrote the record books and that's great to see, but honestly, think back after the first period and after having seen all the errors he made. How many out there were a little concerned with his game at that point? He gets the A, purely because he shone with the puck. A
Langdon: The goal in games like that must be: feed Langdon. I think he should have been put on the first line and been given every chance. When you have a player who plugs for you every night, it's nice for a little payback here and there. B+
Perreault: On a night where his game should have shone, he was all but invisible. All that space, minor league opponents, and a poor game. Not good. D+
Ward: He had a good hustle game certainly, but once again I have to call out those who think he's got NHL-quality offensive skills. Nice whiffle on the break. *cough* Of course, it could be that he couldn't get a clean break despite his all-star speed. B-
Dackell: Particularly weak game for him. A lack of intensity that I'm not used to seeing has me quite disappointed. C+
Juneau: Looked good and is a good leader. That's how you play every night no matter who you're playing. Same intensity as in every other game, and tonight he was rewarded again. Kudos to one of the few who really put in a full nights work. B+
Kilger: Three in a row where he's looked good. When half the team took the night off, he was still trying to make his point. Not perfectly done, but certainly another step in the right direction. B
Dagenais: Um, isn't this the kind of game where you're supposed to shine? Talk about someone taking the night off and floating because he thinks it's an easy one. That's how you pick up bad habits. I'm not impressed in the least. D+
Zednik: He does have more jump lately and really is varying his game plan in the offensive third. B+
Ribeiro: *sigh* I can't wait to get lambasted again. he gets, what, four points? But I thought he was mostly poor out there. Sure, the PP was good for him, but on his own line, he was doing all those silly dangle things when he didn't need to. Why try and impress the world when you can do the easy play and be a team guy. And why not work hard tonight? Don't want to run up the score to 15? Then play puck control. For the points... B
Bulis: The first period was one of his worst this year. No energy, no hustle, no desire. He finally woke up later on and started playing fairly well, though he wasn't as good in the defensive end as usual. Against this Pens team when they quit like they did tonight, your man shouldn't ever be getting away. B-
Ryder: Julien really hammered it home when he benched him that one time. Other than the last game, he's been Mr. Consistency on the Habs. He continued tonight dishing out hits, playing hard at both ends and fortunately racking up some points. Habs fans shouldn't be just happy, they should be proud of this guy. A-
Koivu: He was a little lax at first, but picked up his game as the contest went along. Deserved more points than he got with some scintillating play on the PP and at even strength, but wasn't rewarded tonight. That's how it goes. On the PK, 3v5, he was again brilliant. This new defensive dimension is great. B+
Games like this require puck control and intensity. The Pens quit and we scored eight with only a half effort. Remember our best games of the year? Imagine the score then. I have to wonder when Caron's lawsuit will be served. I mean, the complete lack of support out there was embarassing.
St. Louis comes to town Tuesday and if we give this effort, I would expect about the same scoreline...the other way. Perhaps it's the mid-season blahs, but the Habs really have to turn it around as the sked is going to get a lot tougher soon.
A Concerned (and ready for a shellacking) Fan
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