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Some thoughts on last nights game heading into Game 3

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04-25-2006, 08:19 AM
  #1
Netro
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Some thoughts on last nights game heading into Game 3

Big win last night, and heading home for 2 games is great. But I think I recall in 95-96, the Habs took the first 2 games in MSG and then lost 4 straight. This series is far far from over. Each victory is harder then the previous. The good news is the the Habs have a hell of coaching staff and will have the team prepared. They should come out flyin' tomorrow night. Can't wait to see the craziness at the Bell Centre.

Some things last night that were good and not so good.

(1) The comeback:
When the Habs got down 4-3, as mad as I was, it was the first time in the series the Habs faced real adversity. I was curious to see how this team would react. Well, I was really happy with how they played after getting behind, getting 2 quick goals to go ahead. I thought that showed the character of the team

(2) Penalties:
The Habs can ill afford to get into penalty trouble like they did in period 2 last night. Essentially, the Canes' scored 2 5-on-3 goals (Brind Amour's 1st goal came moments after a 5-on-3 ended, but essentially it was a 5 on 3 goal). Yes, there were some awful calls (both ways), and I hate the rule where if a d-man shoots the puck over the glass, it is a delay of game penalty (I hope the NHL reviews this rule) but playing 6.5 minutes shorthanded in a period will always snuff the momentum out of ya.

(3) Traffic:
My biggest concern coming out of last nights game was the amount of traffic developing in front of Huet. As the game wore on, specifically in the third and 2 OT periods, the Canes' got a lot of traffic in front of Huet. Huet had trouble seeing the puck. This was the case on the Canes' tying goal with 1.5 minutes left in the game and there were several occaisions in OT where Huet basically did not see the puck and simply covered as much net as possible hoping the puck would hit him. Thankfully, the Canes kept shooting wide. This is an area where the Habs really missed Souray. If he can't go, I would prefer to go with Simpson over Striet due to his size, but his lack of playing time in the last 4 weeks is a big concern. This will be an interesting decision for BG.

(4) Playing with the lead - first/third:
Once the Canadiens got up 3-0 in the first period, and 5-4 in the third, they played an unbelievable cycling game in the Canes end. Especially the Plekanec line. They really bottled the Canes' in. The only scoring chance the Canes had in the 3rd was the tying goal. Very encouraging style of play for the remaining games, especially if the Habs can grab some early leads again.

(5) Blowin' the lead/Huet:
There were points last night when Huet seem to struggle. He also got some bad breaks and had problems seeing the puck with all the traffic. At times, he looked a little slow with his lateral movement (Brind Amour goal #2). The whole game changed when Carolina got their first goal, which was lucky but Huet seemed too relaxed on the play. A bank shot off Komisarek's skate that grazed off Huets' goal stick and went in. Up to that point, Huet looked unreal. Even made a stand-up save in the first period. Then the Habs got into penalty trouble and the there went the lead. Anyway, Huet was still solid, just not as solid as game #1 and maybe it was fatigue. (Huet had no chance on the Canes' second goal, third goal and tying goal). Hopefully, he takes the day off and gets refreshed for Game #3.

(6) Canes Tying goal:
Lots of stuff happened leading up to this goal
(a) Koivu gets tossed from the face-off, Murray takes the draw. I think BG should have had a second centre out there...hopefully, he will if this situation happens again. Plus, the Habs need to be better overall on the draw - Carbo needs to get on this. The good thing is that Habs are so well coached, they generally know exactly what to do when there is a face-off loss
(b) The Canes got away with some excellent little piques after the draw, specifically Weight on Murray. Just a little pique that was enough to prevent Murray from getting out to the point to pressure Hedican
(c) Koivu, once getting tossed, was a winger on the play and he did not get out to the point. Played it more like a centreman. The Score noticed this.
(d) Higgins had to make a choice in which lane to cover and made the sensible choice because he felt that a d-man would be able to cover the cross-ice pass to the opposite face-off circle
(e) Traffic - Too much traffic in front of Huet, he did not see the pass
(f) The shot - Hey, give the Canes credit for executing and Stillman credit for one-timing a hard pass into the net. Yes, the net was wide open but it was no easy shot. (great feed by Hedican)

(7) Some player observations:
Kovalev: Unreal. You know, in the regular season, we all know he takes nights off. But in the postseason, he actually elevates his game. And the thing is, this makes the Canadiens a much more dangerous team and a much better team then what they were in the regular season
Koivu: Didn't have his usual zip last night. But I am not concerned. Still was critical on the game winner
Plekanec-Perezhogin-Zednik: Not sure words can describe how well this trio is playing. I was hoping Perezhogin would get the winner, he deserved it. The Habs best line last night
Bonk-Sunstrom-Murray: Becoming a valuable checking/energy line.

(8) One other note:
4 of the 5 Canes goals were scored with a manpower advantage (3 PP and 1 with the goalie pulled) The only "even strength" goal was the Canes first goal of the game.

Last night was a great win, I was so pumped, I had trouble falling asleep. I celebrated. I woke up this morning, and last night is last night. On to Game 3.

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04-25-2006, 08:26 AM
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Good Post...

I agree...the amount of traffic in front of Huet has to be a concern for sure. That being said, the defence was exhausted....playing with 5 defensemen for the whole game..going into OT...and it was a real physical game too. Anyway, great game to watch and watching it with some good friends.

In terms of the faceoff with 1.5 mins left, kind of bizarre that our coaching staff missed that one. Kind of mind boggling how Bonk wasn't on the ice. Anyway, luckily we pulled it off.

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04-25-2006, 08:30 AM
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It's evident that Carlina feels they can exploit Huet's lateral movement. The pass across the crease seems to be what they are keying on.

5 on 5 we play very well. Our D is playing great and our forwards are playing hard. Even Sundstrom is playing well.

We have to keep it going, we haven't won anything yet. We of all teams should know that being down in a series doesn't mean you are out. We came back against Boston - Carolina is full of veterans, they won't get down after this loss.

Basically game 3 is a big one. If we can win it then chances are we win the series, but I won't assume anything with the cardiac kids

Cap

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04-25-2006, 08:47 AM
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What a goal!!!! Man we needed that especially with carolina having all the momentum coming back from 3-0 and tying with less than 2 mins in the game!! The OT goal killed all their momentum!!!! I don't see them beating us now!!!

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04-25-2006, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilo82
What a goal!!!! Man we needed that especially with carolina having all the momentum coming back from 3-0 and tying with less than 2 mins in the game!! The OT goal killed all their momentum!!!! I don't see them beating us now!!!
Bilo82 - Anything can happen. Series is far from over. Only halfway there.

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04-25-2006, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netro
Bilo82 - Anything can happen. Series is far from over. Only halfway there.
Exactly. Have to keep it up, Carolina is a good veteran team.

Cap

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04-25-2006, 08:50 AM
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I think the main thing is going to be discipline. 3 of their 5 goals were on the PP and one with a 6 on 5 with Ward pulled, so Carolina could only put one by us 5 on 5. When we weren't in the box we weren't giving Carolina much and I think owning the play for the most part. Definetly can't afford anymore 5 on 3's just hard clean hockey, and I think we should be able to take this one.

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04-25-2006, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddy
I think the main thing is going to be discipline. 3 of their 5 goals were on the PP and one with a 6 on 5 with Ward pulled, so Carolina could only put one by us 5 on 5. When we weren't in the box we weren't giving Carolina much and I think owning the play for the most part. Definetly can't afford anymore 5 on 3's just hard clean hockey, and I think we should be able to take this one.
100% correct imo. They can't touch us 5 on 5. We are too fast.

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04-25-2006, 09:19 AM
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The Russian trio was pretty amazing last night. I used to think Kovalev didnt have good vision but when the playoffs start, he looks like the best player in the league. From what I've seen, him and Elias(although I'm going by tidbits of him) have been the best players in the post-season for the 2 games. He's made little boneheaded plays.

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04-25-2006, 09:20 AM
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Guys, remember 2 years ago, we were down 3-1 and came back.
The Hurricanes can do it, it's NOT over yet. All I see is wow we'r gonna win the series... It's not over 'til it's over....

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04-25-2006, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDamned
Guys, remember 2 years ago, we were down 3-1 and came back.
The Hurricanes can do it, it's NOT over yet. All I see is wow we'r gonna win the series... It's not over 'til it's over....
What? Its actually the complete opposite.

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04-25-2006, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Habsaku
What? Its actually the complete opposite.
Not talking about people were, but people calling Fournier and most of the people that don't know that much hockey.. They think the series over...

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04-25-2006, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDamned
Not talking about people were, but people calling Fournier and most of the people that don't know that much hockey.. They think the series over...
Ah ok, but I thought the comment wasnt in the right place, half the posters we're saying its far from over. Screw Fournier and the gang anyways. Dont they have more "potinage" to do.

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04-25-2006, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netro
Big win last night, and heading home for 2 games is great. But I think I recall in 95-96, the Habs took the first 2 games in MSG and then lost 4 straight.
You can't let up because a series is never over until you've won 4 of 7. The habs probably don't need much of a reminder though... look at what they did to Boston last playoffs.

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04-25-2006, 10:11 AM
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One thing that annoyed me a lot last night was that we let them make the parallel pass in front of the net at moments where they were'nt even making pressure.

Also they need to STOP to play like when they are on PK when they have the lead. COntrolling the puck is a better way to make time pass.


Keep it up guys!

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04-25-2006, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netro
Kovalev: Unreal. You know, in the regular season, we all know he takes nights off. But in the postseason, he actually elevates his game. And the thing is, this makes the Canadiens a much more dangerous team and a much better team then what they were in the regular season
I think that if Kovalev would try every game and wouldn't have been injured, he would have been a 100 pt player. Then again, the plus side to having him take nights off all season is that most opponents underestimate him come playoff time and/or don't expect this kind of in your face physical play from him. Then again, his role in Montreal during the regular season is not to carry the offense on his back, his role is more of a "two-guys-watch-this-guy-so-his-linemates-have-more-space-and-koivu-doesn't-get-checked-as-much" kind of guy.

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04-25-2006, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatnik
One thing that annoyed me a lot last night was that we let them make the parallel pass in front of the net at moments where they were'nt even making pressure.

Also they need to STOP to play like when they are on PK when they have the lead. COntrolling the puck is a better way to make time pass.


Keep it up guys!
I agree, we need to control the center of the ice and cut all passes from one side to the other. Huet can stop all shots from outside the slot and shots which do not require him to make quick lateral movements.

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04-25-2006, 10:21 AM
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Netro, a very perceptive post. My felicitations.

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04-25-2006, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Kerberos
I think that if Kovalev would try every game and wouldn't have been injured, he would have been a 100 pt player. Then again, the plus side to having him take nights off all season is that most opponents underestimate him come playoff time and/or don't expect this kind of in your face physical play from him. Then again, his role in Montreal during the regular season is not to carry the offense on his back, his role is more of a "two-guys-watch-this-guy-so-his-linemates-have-more-space-and-koivu-doesn't-get-checked-as-much" kind of guy.
My wish: Kovalev had linemates comparable to the ones he had in Pittsburgh, such as Lang, who is a sniper as well as a playmaker. In Montréal, he stands out as the leading man and draws a great deal of attention.

By the way, I wonder where all those Jozef Balej partisans are now. Gainey knew what he was doing in the trade as well as in the UFA signing.

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04-25-2006, 11:02 AM
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Game 3 will be the most important game of the series. If we let Carolina win it, they will have the mentality that they are right back in it and can comeback to take the series away from us. Being down 2-1 is no where as devastating as being down 3-0. With Cam Ward in goal, I sure hope Carolina doesn't form a new sense of hope. As we saw yesterday, Ward is beatable. He made some stellar saves, but as the game wore on, he looked average. Game plan for the Habs is pounce on rebounds and I he just seems to be slow on his glove hand.

Netro, I liked you analysis on last nights game and I agree that the penalties are what kept the Canes in this one. Also they just seemed to complete too many lateral passes. Hopefully we can work that in practice.

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04-25-2006, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by habsfansam
You can't let up because a series is never over until you've won 4 of 7. The habs probably don't need much of a reminder though... look at what they did to Boston last playoffs.
Gainey has approached this team with the theory and mindset "one game at a time". He will have the boys only thinking that and that is what you have to do. So far it has worked great.

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04-25-2006, 11:27 AM
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I really like what I am seeing in this thread. We all seem to agree. And I can guarantee that if we see all this, then BG, Carbo and Jarvis have already devised a plan to fix some of the issues.

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04-25-2006, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Netro
Big win last night, and heading home for 2 games is great. But I think I recall in 95-96, the Habs took the first 2 games in MSG and then lost 4 straight. This series is far far from over. Each victory is harder then the previous. The good news is the the Habs have a hell of coaching staff and will have the team prepared. They should come out flyin' tomorrow night. Can't wait to see the craziness at the Bell Centre.

Some things last night that were good and not so good.

(1) The comeback:
When the Habs got down 4-3, as mad as I was, it was the first time in the series the Habs faced real adversity. I was curious to see how this team would react. Well, I was really happy with how they played after getting behind, getting 2 quick goals to go ahead. I thought that showed the character of the team

(2) Penalties:
The Habs can ill afford to get into penalty trouble like they did in period 2 last night. Essentially, the Canes' scored 2 5-on-3 goals (Brind Amour's 1st goal came moments after a 5-on-3 ended, but essentially it was a 5 on 3 goal). Yes, there were some awful calls (both ways), and I hate the rule where if a d-man shoots the puck over the glass, it is a delay of game penalty (I hope the NHL reviews this rule) but playing 6.5 minutes shorthanded in a period will always snuff the momentum out of ya.

(3) Traffic:
My biggest concern coming out of last nights game was the amount of traffic developing in front of Huet. As the game wore on, specifically in the third and 2 OT periods, the Canes' got a lot of traffic in front of Huet. Huet had trouble seeing the puck. This was the case on the Canes' tying goal with 1.5 minutes left in the game and there were several occaisions in OT where Huet basically did not see the puck and simply covered as much net as possible hoping the puck would hit him. Thankfully, the Canes kept shooting wide. This is an area where the Habs really missed Souray. If he can't go, I would prefer to go with Simpson over Striet due to his size, but his lack of playing time in the last 4 weeks is a big concern. This will be an interesting decision for BG.

(4) Playing with the lead - first/third:
Once the Canadiens got up 3-0 in the first period, and 5-4 in the third, they played an unbelievable cycling game in the Canes end. Especially the Plekanec line. They really bottled the Canes' in. The only scoring chance the Canes had in the 3rd was the tying goal. Very encouraging style of play for the remaining games, especially if the Habs can grab some early leads again.

(5) Blowin' the lead/Huet:
There were points last night when Huet seem to struggle. He also got some bad breaks and had problems seeing the puck with all the traffic. At times, he looked a little slow with his lateral movement (Brind Amour goal #2). The whole game changed when Carolina got their first goal, which was lucky but Huet seemed too relaxed on the play. A bank shot off Komisarek's skate that grazed off Huets' goal stick and went in. Up to that point, Huet looked unreal. Even made a stand-up save in the first period. Then the Habs got into penalty trouble and the there went the lead. Anyway, Huet was still solid, just not as solid as game #1 and maybe it was fatigue. (Huet had no chance on the Canes' second goal, third goal and tying goal). Hopefully, he takes the day off and gets refreshed for Game #3.

(6) Canes Tying goal:
Lots of stuff happened leading up to this goal
(a) Koivu gets tossed from the face-off, Murray takes the draw. I think BG should have had a second centre out there...hopefully, he will if this situation happens again. Plus, the Habs need to be better overall on the draw - Carbo needs to get on this. The good thing is that Habs are so well coached, they generally know exactly what to do when there is a face-off loss
(b) The Canes got away with some excellent little piques after the draw, specifically Weight on Murray. Just a little pique that was enough to prevent Murray from getting out to the point to pressure Hedican
(c) Koivu, once getting tossed, was a winger on the play and he did not get out to the point. Played it more like a centreman. The Score noticed this.
(d) Higgins had to make a choice in which lane to cover and made the sensible choice because he felt that a d-man would be able to cover the cross-ice pass to the opposite face-off circle
(e) Traffic - Too much traffic in front of Huet, he did not see the pass
(f) The shot - Hey, give the Canes credit for executing and Stillman credit for one-timing a hard pass into the net. Yes, the net was wide open but it was no easy shot. (great feed by Hedican)

(7) Some player observations:
Kovalev: Unreal. You know, in the regular season, we all know he takes nights off. But in the postseason, he actually elevates his game. And the thing is, this makes the Canadiens a much more dangerous team and a much better team then what they were in the regular season
Koivu: Didn't have his usual zip last night. But I am not concerned. Still was critical on the game winner
Plekanec-Perezhogin-Zednik: Not sure words can describe how well this trio is playing. I was hoping Perezhogin would get the winner, he deserved it. The Habs best line last night
Bonk-Sunstrom-Murray: Becoming a valuable checking/energy line.

(8) One other note:
4 of the 5 Canes goals were scored with a manpower advantage (3 PP and 1 with the goalie pulled) The only "even strength" goal was the Canes first goal of the game.

Last night was a great win, I was so pumped, I had trouble falling asleep. I celebrated. I woke up this morning, and last night is last night. On to Game 3.

great post

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04-25-2006, 11:32 AM
  #24
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Alot of good points.



Most important for the habs: don't get too high, we were in this position 10 years ago and lost 4 straight.



I don't know weather to be worried about Huet or not, we've won 2 games but man did he ever look lost in the 3rd period and OT last night. Both of Cullen's goals in this series were real stinkers. Brindamour's wraparound never should've gone in and Huet completely lost sight of the puck on the 5th goal last night. Game 3 will be a real test with Gerber not around to spot us 3 easy goals. Ward looks weak to the glove side though.



Hope Begin is back soon.

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04-25-2006, 11:55 AM
  #25
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Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck
My wish: Kovalev had linemates comparable to the ones he had in Pittsburgh, such as Lang, who is a sniper as well as a playmaker. In Montréal, he stands out as the leading man and draws a great deal of attention.
I'm sure Gainey will adress the situation this summer with a FA.
Without Kovalev this team isnt leading 2-0 for sure....

And guys, it's not over 'till we win 4 games. We'r only half-way there.

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