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02-25-2004, 11:49 AM
Quick Ben
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 9
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I just thought I'd offer up my two cents as well on last night's game, and the Sens recently.

One, about Rachunek: This is going by memory, so it may be a little faulty, but it should have been a winger covering the point man, presumably Schaefer or Havlat. As there was no winger up there (I believe Havlat was standing on the blueline between the two defensemen), he (Rachunek) challenged the shooter and blocked the first shot.

After that point, I think it was better the way it ended up with Spezza, Schaefer, and Redden down low, Havlat still at the blueline and Rachunek continuing to challenge the point man. I really don't think Rachunek would have been all that useful trying to clear out the front of the net on one leg. Although, none of the other three did much to stop the Habs player from standing unmolested in front of Lalime after the puck went through Rachunek's stick.

Not that he had a perfect game - if you're going to play like Marchment did against Carolina, throwing those hip checks around, make sure you hit the player, and not the boards, like Rachunek did twice. And, if you can't do that, don't put yourself out of position like he did.

Second, about Lalime: I really am disappointed with the way he's played this season. People keep saying he's just in a slump, he's fighting the puck, but really, they've been saying that for all of November, the first half of December (remember him flopping around on a Bruins breakaway?), and then from about mid-Janary (after that Sens-Stars game that also on TSN), to now.

Last year, I missed the first half of the season, but when I came back I remember Lalime having one slump that lasted about three games. It started with a loss to the Islanders, 5-2, after he came in to relieve Prusek who had received a concussion, and ended with a 6-5 victory over Carolina. Then Emery went in against the Panthers, and when Lalime came back he was out of the slump. That hasn't really happened this year, although he was pretty good in the game last night.

Having said all that, he'll be the goalie in the playoffs, and if he can play like he has in the past (in the playoffs), then I, at least, won't care about the regular season. It's only because this has the potential to continue into the playoffs that I'm vaguely concerned - and, despite all the criticism, we're still sitting in second in the East.

Third, about the team in general: I really don't think that there have been a lot of games where they've played a full 60 minutes. Yes, again, that period between mid-December and mid-January was one where they may have come close to doing that for some games, but for November and recently, there wasn't a full sixty minute effort. Again, sitting second in the East, this isn't a huge concern right now, but if they continue this bad habit into the playoffs, it will be.

Oh, and about Bondra - a great pick-up. He still needs to get comfortable on the powerplay, but he was great on the PK and was flying around 5 on 5 last night.

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