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Old
10-06-2006, 09:50 PM
  #1
SOLR
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Opening night comments

We lost in penalty shot, ok so what. Sabres are probably at their best there.

1) Higgins: Best player on the ice in this game, was doing everything right, both ways.

2) Koivu: Doesnt seem to be affected by his eye. He might actually be doing something that he needed exactly = shoot more!

3) A lot of peeps here know that Im not a big fan of Ryder, but I gotta say I widely prefer LIGHT ryder to BIG ryder of last year. Faster. Ok he did yet another brain fart in the last 5 min with a bad bad lazy play and got called for a penalty. Ryder taking a penalty shot is a bad decision, imo. Perezhogin, Pleckanec, Samsonov are all better choices.

4) Sourray: Gosh, dont know where to start, he played...like Sheldon Sourray! Big shot on the powerplay and big brain fart at the end of the game.

5) Komisarek, Dandenault: Great game
6) Niniima: In the stands next game, this guy was atrocious.
7) Lats: Nerve wreck. Didnt get much chances to hit.
8) Pleckanec - Kovalev - Sammy: Played well, just didnt finish. Good line.
9) Perezhogin, played well, he looks stronger and faster on the ice, too bad that 3rd line speed is at the opposite of his. Johnson and Bonk arent rockets. Thats where imo Kostitsyn should be. Would bring some scoring to that 3rd line and hes good defensively. Murray-Downey of this world can go eat some popcorn in the stands for all I care, particularly against top tier opponents where intimidation is less than a factor. Against Toronto, Boston ok, bring downey-murray, Buffalo, without a doubt Kost.

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Old
10-06-2006, 09:55 PM
  #2
Ghost of Saku
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- Huet seemed on his game but his d-men let him down tonight IMO.
- Lats did seen like a nerve wreck and didn't play with his usual intensity, but then again, Carbo limited his ice time severely
- First 2 lines seemed solid as hell. Ryder is finally back-checking and already looks faster
- Niinimaa was good, not great, nor solid

I think that addressed many of our prior concerns about the team

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Old
10-06-2006, 09:58 PM
  #3
Ross MacLochness
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Higgins, Koivu, Ryder- Typical night for them and they deserevd the bounces they got.

Sammy, Pleks, Kovy- Rough night, but each guy had some really good flashes. Still need to gel a bit, they'll be better tommorow.

Perez-Bonk-Johnson- Our most consistant line probably. Very solid. Bonk made a couple gaffs on that one shift. Perezhogin was awesome, but of course no one is going to bring that up

Begin-Murray-Lats- Ok. Looked confused at time.

Markov- Hot and cold night

Rivet and Souray I wasn't impressed

Komi and Dandy were solid.

Niinimaa was ok for a first game. Like him better than Streit.

Huet- Very good, hope he didn't hurt himself on the Briere shootout goal.

Overall- Pretty good road game for the most part. Need to improve on some little things, but I excpected alot worse. If we're not too tired we'll win tommorow.

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:02 PM
  #4
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My take:

Saku's line: Great game, Higgins/Saku have such great chemistry.
Pleks' line: Played well but didn't click. Samsonov looked like he was alone out there while Kovy and Pleks made plays with each other. I think given a few games together they'll produce nicely.
Bonk's line: Bonk had a great game. They played pretty well especially in the first and second.
Begin's line: OK, though Murray looked a little scrambly at times.

Markov: Head was not in it (yet!).
Komisarek: Good game for him, made some decent plays and nailed Peters in the 3rd.
Rivet/Souray: Brutal. Gotta break them up next game
Dandenault: Played a good game
Ninima: Good and bad, this guy is really polar

Huet: Great first 2 periods. His D hung him out to dry in the 3rd.

Carbo: Shouldn't have let Ryder shoot in the shootout, like Buffalo should out our best player Koivu first.

Very entertaining game though. Can't wait until tomorrow...

h

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:03 PM
  #5
Whitesnake
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It's always more depressing when you're sure you'll win and bam this happen....

But we did play a great game but we can't have those letdowns too much 'cause it will going to be in our heads everytime we have a lead. And unfortunately, it happened a lot in the past, we're not the greateset to hold a lead......

On the tying goal and on the Novotny's goal, you saw 4 Habs around 1 guy without touching him......That's unacceptable....

Souray, Rivet and Pleks needs to step it up big time, btu we did play a good overall game....

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:07 PM
  #6
HabuseMoi
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our defense is pipi poor

Rivet, Souray, Niinima were all atrocious

Rivet and Souray are key elements on defense, if they blow so much, we are doomed.

Higgins is really something, he could be huge someday.

Ryder and Perez definately improved from last year

Samsonov was a puck-giving machine

Pleks has great chemistry with Kovy

Streit deserve a spot tommorow, he had a great camp.

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:15 PM
  #7
LesHabsRock
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We had a two goal lead and let it slip away just like that. It shouldn't have gotten to a shootout. I felt Montreal spent way too much time in their own zone at times letting Buffalo shoot at will. Overall I was impressed by our Habs speed and the way they played against IMO the favourites to win it all this year in the Buffalo Sabres. Bonk made too many giveaways. The loss tarnished a spectacular night by Koivu, Ryder, and Higgins line. I agree with all of you who say that the Kovy-Plek-Sammy line was very good with tons of opportunites, but couldn't buy one, particularly the Kovalev play all alone, but couldnt deke Miller. Huet was amazing in net. He is definitely our number one. As I said, the only drawback was our defensive zone coverage or lack there of. Let's get better at that as the year progresses. We should beat Toronto tomorrow. This game was a good measuring stick to see where we stand and I think we'll be fine if we skate like that on most nights.

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:22 PM
  #8
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I like our team so far... ok sure, a few guys, mainly the D, could have played better but it is the first game and it was against one of the fastest and most skilled teams in the league!

The nerves are out of the way now... Gui and Guy got their cherries popped and Samsonov, Johnson and Niinima dressed for the Habs for the rest time in regular season. Plekanec got his first game as second line center out the way and we lead all night against a good team! We scored 4 goals! Koivu looked fantastic and the first line was dynomite!

Huet was good! It was the most entertaining opening night Habs game I can remember in a LONG time!

We lost in shootout.. but we got a point and I'm happy! Now, lets rock the Leafs tomorrow!!

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:26 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Souray, Rivet and Pleks needs to step it up big time, btu we did play a good overall game....
I'm happy I'm not the only one who saw that. Sure he had some flashes, but I think he played a pretty bad overall game. Yeah I think Sammy-Kovy-Pleks can find chemistry, but I'm not sure I like that line anyway. We're abused because Plek is good on the PK, but in fact, he's average to awfull defensively in his zone at 5 on 5. Which I find scary considering he plays with players who have the same flaws... But he,s young and could probably get better in that area.

For the rest, I basically agree with everyone about who play good or bad. Latendresse is young and it showed. He was the illustration of the cliché : 1 second too late on each play.

And I agree with the poster higher : Perez played a pretty good game. In fact, at 5 on 5, I think he's better than Pleks defensively.

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:26 PM
  #10
znk
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Guess I'll move this here
Here are my thought/report card for the game.

+
Koivu (Great game all arround)
Higgins (same)
Ryder (same)
Begin (the warrior)
Komisarek (not great but played good for Komo. Had a nice pinch and a great couple of hits.)
Huet (He was amazing most of the game. He robed buffalo many many times)
Kovalev (was strong on the puck all game long. Nice setup on Koivu's 2nd goal. Could still give more.)
Killing off that 5 on 3.
The PK in general.
The PP in general.

=
Samsonov (nice puck control but needs to shoot more)
Murray (works hard nice feed to Begin who almost scored)
Perezhogin(he was good early on but faded later)
Markov (Not bad...but not great for him)
Dandenault (didnt notice him much)
Niinimaa (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt...but had 2 big giveaways)

-
Plekanec (only because of his faceoff %)
Johnson (pretty much invisible)
Bonk(was horrible way to many giveaways for his role on the team)
Sourray (Started great with his rocket on the powerplay. But lacks focus.)
Rivet (But he still showed guts on that play where he hurt his hand....probably affected his play after)
Lats (This game was too fast for him)
Giving up the lead.
Huet might be hurt??

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:30 PM
  #11
Whitesnake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HabuseMoi View Post
our defense is pipi poor

Rivet, Souray, Niinima were all atrocious

Rivet and Souray are key elements on defense, if they blow so much, we are doomed.

Higgins is really something, he could be huge someday.

Ryder and Perez definately improved from last year

Samsonov was a puck-giving machine

Pleks has great chemistry with Kovy

Streit deserve a spot tommorow, he had a great camp.
Niniimaa atrocious???? Obviously his 2 major braincramps that led to amazing scoring chances weren't that brillant but other than that he doesn't deserve to be placed in the same category than Rivet and Souray.

Higgins could be huge someday, try today, he's huge already, this guy is Habs for life!!!! He should have a 15-year contract.....

Perez was a total different player than the preseason, Ryder is so much faster, that weight loss will be gold for him.

Samsonov is dissapoiting as of yet. I saw a couple of great passes though but I remember him being much more faster than he is now. From Shanahan to Samsonov, talk about a giant step.....

Pleks, while he seems to know that we're expecting a lot offensively needs to understand that he can't let his defensive play be sloppy like that.

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:33 PM
  #12
Hockeymom67
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Yes,a penalty killed us and then some
Our guys gave us a great game

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:39 PM
  #13
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It's the first game of the season, and already, it's been treated like the being under fire at the Arnhem bridge.

Analysis paralysis....

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:40 PM
  #14
David_99
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We'll see how the Sammy-Plecs-Kovy line work out, but I think they may need a grinder in there. Very nice dipsidoodles, not so much fighting and crashing as the first line showed. Hopefully they will develop this or add some grit to the line.

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:43 PM
  #15
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For me the bottomline is taking a point out of Buffalo on a Friday night with only one line really having a good game. I think Buffalo will be near the top, if not at the top, of the Eastern Conference this year. This game should serve as a good measuring stick for what the Habs need to improve to get there too.

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:46 PM
  #16
RE-HABS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOLR View Post
Ok he did yet another brain fart in the last 5 min with a bad bad lazy play and got called for a penalty.
If you watch the replay you can see that Briere should have got a holding the stick on that penalty, not only that the ref closer to them seeing everything doesn't call a penalty, but the ref behiind the play sees a stick at the waist of Briere and Briere is tugging on it so it looks like a hook! Briere sold it, and the closest ref blew calling a penalty to Buffalo too.

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:49 PM
  #17
David_99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewGuy View Post
For me the bottomline is taking a point out of Buffalo on a Friday night with only one line really having a good game. I think Buffalo will be near the top, if not at the top, of the Eastern Conference this year. This game should serve as a good measuring stick for what the Habs need to improve to get there too.
This is true, I had readied myself for a 6-1 loss, but was so proud of our team the way they played. The last bit was lost on pure Buffalo adrenaline. Before the game I would have been happy to get out with a point, but watching I know we could have easily taken 2 out of that building but didn't, so it was a high then a low for me.

I donno, if Toronto comes out the same way they did against Ottawa the other day, we may not be out of the woods yet!

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Old
10-06-2006, 10:53 PM
  #18
SOLR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RE-HABS View Post
If you watch the replay you can see that Briere should have got a holding the stick on that penalty, not only that the ref closer to them seeing everything doesn't call a penalty, but the ref behiind the play sees a stick at the waist of Briere and Briere is tugging on it so it looks like a hook! Briere sold it, and the closest ref blew calling a penalty to Buffalo too.
Wasnt talking about that, Briere should have got a penalty yes. Im talking about the actual penalty to Ryder for Hooking at 15:41. Typical Ryder mental mistakes at the end of a good game for him.

Re: My comment on Niniimaa.

Not only he gave 2 major giveaway in his territory but it was 2 in about 4 pass to go out of the zone, most other stime he was passing the puck to the other D, Dandenault looked frustrated near the end of the game and told niniima to pass it upfront agressively (with a signal using his stick and shouting it). Hes not bad without the puck, but he wasnt good with it tonite at all.


Last edited by SOLR: 10-06-2006 at 11:01 PM.
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Old
10-06-2006, 11:05 PM
  #19
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First game on the road agianst the high flying Sabres in buffalo and they skated with those guys. DIdnt get the two points but saw enough encouraging points to make me satisfied after the game. Still the late goals have killed us time and time again. WHy do we never get empty netters. GOod forechecking teams cause us a problem and Carolina knew that last year. Still I am a happy fan.

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Old
10-06-2006, 11:06 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by znk View Post
Guess I'll move this here
Here are my thought/report card for the game.

+
Koivu (Great game all arround)
Higgins (same)
Ryder (same)
Begin (the warrior)
Komisarek (not great but played good for Komo. Had a nice pinch and a great couple of hits.)
Huet (He was amazing most of the game. He robed buffalo many many times)
Kovalev (was strong on the puck all game long. Nice setup on Koivu's 2nd goal. Could still give more.)
Killing off that 5 on 3.
The PK in general.
The PP in general.

=
Samsonov (nice puck control but needs to shoot more)
Murray (works hard nice feed to Begin who almost scored)
Perezhogin(he was good early on but faded later)
Markov (Not bad...but not great for him)
Dandenault (didnt notice him much)
Niinimaa (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt...but had 2 big giveaways)

-
Plekanec (only because of his faceoff %)
Johnson (pretty much invisible)
Bonk(was horrible way to many giveaways for his role on the team)
Sourray (Started great with his rocket on the powerplay. But lacks focus.)
Rivet (But he still showed guts on that play where he hurt his hand....probably affected his play after)
Lats (This game was too fast for him)
Giving up the lead.
Huet might be hurt??
I agree with most of your assesment but i thought Johnsonw as allright. He did the little things right. He didn't take any chances nor did he make any huge mistakes.

He probably looked invisible because he didn't have any scoring chances. I'd give him an (=) based on your assesment criteria

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Old
10-06-2006, 11:07 PM
  #21
CaptCrunch
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I'm don't agree on some of your opinions but... meh. To each its own I guess

Higgins - Koivu - Ryder

That trio was dynamite. Although Ryder had some bonehead moments (call it anticipation on my part) he was actually very implicated and I liked his effort! Lets hope his last season was a case of the sophomore jinx.

Samsonov - Plekanec - Kovalev

I actually liked this line! I was waiting for a disaster to happen but I saw a lot of nice flashes! I loved Pleks as the pivot and think he brings some very interesting element on this trio. Lots of nice passes, good vision, good hustle. There is a place for improvement but I think its only a matter of letting the players gel together. All the elements are there IMO.

Johnson - Bonk - Perezhogin

Don't think this line will work. Bonk just does too many bonehead plays to be given a spot on your no1 shutdown line. Backward blind passes in the offensive zone that leads to a dangerous turnover is not good for my health.

I like Bonk's start but it just went to hell as the game progressed. 3rd period was atriocious. Either put Begin as the 3rd center, put Johnson in the middle and call up Kostitsyn or put Johnson in the middle and make Latendresse graduate but get Bonk out of there.

Personally, I'd put Begin in Bonk's place. Let the kid play with Bonk (he seems to have a weird chemistry going on) and cut the 4th line's time to cut down on defensive mistakes

Latendresse - Begin - Murray

Latendresse looked a bit lost and slow (its ok, its his first game). I liked Begin and thought Murray had hands of cement (which is perfectly predictable). You have to give them more time to make a judgement.

Markov - Komisarek

Komisarek got a lot better as the game progressed. Markov head wasn't in the game. Fortunately, Markov's talented enough to compensate for a lot of half-assed plays

Rivet-Souray

Absolutely atrocious. Overplaying the puck, bad communication all around, got beat along the boards, lost coverage of the top players around the net... The duo was a disaster and it was used in many of the most crucial situations.

Worst defensive pairing by far. You have two of your worst players right there (Rivet wasn't as bad as Souray though... Souray was in a galaxy of his own)

Dandenault - Niinima

I actually liked this line! I was never worried when they were on the ice, they had great mobility, most of their first passes were good enough. The Yannimal had some tough breaks (gave the puck away a couple of time) but he wasn't the bad Streit-Brisebois hybrid I was waiting for. He actually played a lot like Dandenault (which is not that bad!).

I'll give them time to gel and should know better in 10 games or so.

Huet


There is only so much a goalie can do. He kept up afloat for most of the game and I'm happy with his effort. All in all a good outing.

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Old
10-06-2006, 11:20 PM
  #22
Whitesnake
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I'm beginning to cool down now, but I will still say that though Huet won't be the first to be blamed here, obviously not, if the D keeps playing that way and we can't do anything about it, he will need to be better and make key saves.

Pretty simple why everytime we have the lead, the opposite team keep pressing the zone and we can't do anything about it. To be able to contain the pressure you need fast big d-men capable of puck moving abilities. While Markov has great puck moving skills, he's not big enough to contain the pressure of 2 guys on him. Dandenault might not be big enough, Komi-Souray-Rivet are big but average puck moving skills and Niniimaa well we'll see.....

Having said that, we were playing against a top team in the league, but we were better than them until we collapsed badly. Hope we can pass our frustration on the Leafs tomorrow....

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Old
10-06-2006, 11:37 PM
  #23
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Offence +

Koivu - Hasn’t lost a step, brought his A game showed why he’s our leader
Higgins - Showing he can continue the offensive side of his game from the 2nd half of last season, predict 25goals from him as long as Koivu can keep healthy 70+ games.
Plekanec Line – This line did well Pleks was passing that puck very well, Samsonov was using his speed and picked up on a lot of loose pucks really giving a second effort, Kovy played well but didn’t show up for the whole 60minutes
Perezoghin – Overall played a very good game, wasn’t scared of physical contact, skated well, moved the puck good, was the best player on his line tonight

Defence +

Markov - Was breaking up plays and poke checking well, he wasn’t his best but he showed examples of why he’s our #1 Dman
Komisarek - Jumped in the play, hit and wasn’t a liability with the puck in his own zone which I felt he was sometimes last season
Dandenault - Was really using his speed well, needs to work on his shot accuracy though almost cost us a goal

Offence –

Bonk – He seemed to be trying to much, he gave away the puck so many times trying his Kovalev impersonation


Defence –

Sourray – If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all…..
Rivet – He seemed to make a few mistakes when Buffalo was dumping the puck into the zone, he seemed to miss his player and the puck as well
Ninima – Eh…he was good along the boards battling for the puck, unless that was my imagination still I don’t trust him alone in his own zone, I felt this way about Streit last year

Key Points

Top Line was Dynamite playing like a 1st line should
Huet bounced back from a mediocre pre-season we didn’t win but we didn’t lose because of him, hell he made 4-5 game saving saves that even shut McGuire up (maybe he wasn’t a flash in the pan, Huet would have a case for Monster but Saku…etc) he just didn’t have the defensive help today
Bonk disappointed me like usual
Ryder in SO does not work

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Old
10-07-2006, 12:13 AM
  #24
Sthabs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
I'm beginning to cool down now, but I will still say that though Huet won't be the first to be blamed here, obviously not, if the D keeps playing that way and we can't do anything about it, he will need to be better and make key saves.

Pretty simple why everytime we have the lead, the opposite team keep pressing the zone and we can't do anything about it. To be able to contain the pressure you need fast big d-men capable of puck moving abilities. While Markov has great puck moving skills, he's not big enough to contain the pressure of 2 guys on him. Dandenault might not be big enough, Komi-Souray-Rivet are big but average puck moving skills and Niniimaa well we'll see.....

Having said that, we were playing against a top team in the league, but we were better than them until we collapsed badly. Hope we can pass our frustration on the Leafs tomorrow....

I agree on most of your point
We did this mistake so many times last season, let s face it, we just can t hold on to a lead
it s not by playing defensively and letting the other team build the mometum that we will win, there s only way and it s to keep them off the puck, not always giving them the puck back, but continue attacking, with less risks, but still attacking and keeping the puck.
It was working during the last winning streak we had last season, so i guess eventually we will do it again, but we have to stop playing defensively like that at the end of the game
And i said it in another post before the game, watch Niinimaa bust Souray spot, and i believe Dandenault deserves to be promoted too
not because Janne s much better, because Souray sux right now, but hey remember last year?

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Old
10-07-2006, 12:29 AM
  #25
znk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptCrunch View Post
Samsonov - Plekanec - Kovalev

I actually liked this line! I was waiting for a disaster to happen but I saw a lot of nice flashes! I loved Pleks as the pivot and think he brings some very interesting element on this trio. Lots of nice passes, good vision, good hustle. There is a place for improvement but I think its only a matter of letting the players gel together. All the elements are there IMO.
The played OK. The problem was they never one the faceoff and twice it resulted in a Sabres goal within seconds. They were -7 all because of these 2 faceoffs. We could have won if it wasnt for that. It's strange because plekanec is usualy quite reliable on faceoffs.

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