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Slow Starts and First Goals

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Old
11-07-2006, 10:06 PM
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GoneAway
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Slow Starts and First Goals

DISCLAMER: This is not a reactive post; I have had this on my mind for awhile.


Over the past few seasons (including pre lockout), we have had the opportunity to see our team consistantly improve on the ice as well as off. It truly is an exciting time to be a Habs fan. Although most of the dead wood is gone and our youngblood are blooming, I have noticed a disturbing trend over that has been relatively consistent since the days of Juneau-Dackell and al.

IMO, it appears as if the Habs have a hard time getting into high gear during the first 20 minutes of the game. They seem a little flatfooted, passes don't hit the tape and the overall flow seems to lack a little. The times we do come out hard, it appears we get scored on or take an untimely penalty that takes the wind out of our sail.

On a positive note, more often than not, we come out roaring in the second stanza and dominate for most part.

Am I alone when it comes this observation? I watch and cheer our boys on but it becomes tedious at time to watch that first period.


My second point is in relation to the first goal of the game (as opposed to Lats' first one tonight..hats off to him btw). This season particularly, we have been letting the opposition get the upper hand on us on numerous occasions. We have witnessed a couple glorious comebacks as well as some near misses.

This somewhat concerns me because, as the old saying goes, "If you play with fire, you'll eventually get burnt". There may be times where that one or two goal deficit may be too overwhealming to overcome either due to hot goaltending or bad bounces (see last Saturday Vs the Devils).

Honestly, this two points are my only two serious concerns in terms of our team's performance this season. Thus far, we've been blessed to have seen one of the better teams iced in the past 10 years. I hope I'm not being overly paranoid and that my observations are justified, but I do expect a lot from this group of players!

Go Habs Go!

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Old
11-07-2006, 10:17 PM
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Harry Kakalovich
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I agree. The Canadiens have to get better starts. They have good spurts in the first, but often end up tied or behind. Hopefully pucks will start to go in for them on offense.

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11-07-2006, 10:20 PM
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Strazzobosco
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I disagree; it does happen, but its more of a 50/50 thing. What I don't like is that since the Dackell era, there is ALWAYS one period where the team doesn't show up- not always the first one though. Sometimes its the 2nd (especially with Hackett in nets; he ALWAYS let in the first 2nd period shot in), sometimes the third (holding to a weak lead), sometimes in the first.

I just want 60 minutes of a constant effort. But how do you fix that? How do you identify such an issue to be able to correct it?

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11-07-2006, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strazzobosco View Post
I disagree; it does happen, but its more of a 50/50 thing. What I don't like is that since the Dackell era, there is ALWAYS one period where the team doesn't show up- not always the first one though. Sometimes its the 2nd (especially with Hackett in nets; he ALWAYS let in the first 2nd period shot in), sometimes the third (holding to a weak lead), sometimes in the first.

I just want 60 minutes of a constant effort. But how do you fix that? How do you identify such an issue to be able to correct it?
LOL...what an era that was

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11-07-2006, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Strazzobosco View Post
I disagree; it does happen, but its more of a 50/50 thing. What I don't like is that since the Dackell era, there is ALWAYS one period where the team doesn't show up- not always the first one though. Sometimes its the 2nd (especially with Hackett in nets; he ALWAYS let in the first 2nd period shot in), sometimes the third (holding to a weak lead), sometimes in the first.

I just want 60 minutes of a constant effort. But how do you fix that? How do you identify such an issue to be able to correct it?
That's the ultimate challenge for a coach...How to motivate your players to play a hard, consistant 60 minutes? Its extremely difficult at that level to do so and factor in the constant shifting of momentum in favour of both teams, leaving one heck of a dilemma.

I know when I played a good bag skate or two would go the trick. However this isn't junior; I doubt that would have the same effect.

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11-07-2006, 10:25 PM
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deandebean
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Ahhhh....the Dackell era. Was that before or after the Renaissance Era?

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11-07-2006, 10:27 PM
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Ahhhh....the Dackell era. Was that before or after the Renaissance Era?
Just after the Houle era (*shivers*) and before the Propecia Era

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11-07-2006, 10:29 PM
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Teufelsdreck
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I think in terms of games, not periods. I was appalled by how badly the Habs played throughout most of the 5-4 loss to Toronto. They were badly outshot and didn't wake from their torpor until midway through the 3rd period.

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11-07-2006, 10:32 PM
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David_99
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I agree and also the last 5-6mins of the third, especially if we have a 1 goal lead. Yes, all teams pour it on to get the tying goal, but we seem to buckle under the pressure like the old post 93 Roy days. One goal lead, start to play defensive, dump the puck and turn it over while not getting it out of the zone.

One other thing I noticed is that they are so frustrated sometimes not being able to get the puck out of the zone, but even when they aren't having a tough time, they'd either dump it to the other team, pass it to a guy that is being covered and imediately loses the puck or try for the long pass that fails 99% of the time.

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11-07-2006, 10:34 PM
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Just after the Houle era (*shivers*) and before the Propecia Era
The Houle Era. You mean the Dark Ages?

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Old
11-07-2006, 10:36 PM
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imo, more often than they should, the habs adjust to their opponents and the game pace instead of controlling the game and dictate the pace of the game.

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11-07-2006, 10:48 PM
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It's just to make things competitive and to practice our comebacks. It's all part of the plan.

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