HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > NHL Eastern Conference > Atlantic Division > Montreal Canadiens
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie Page 2
Notices

Post Game Thread Game One

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old
04-08-2004, 04:54 AM
  #1
Guy!
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 840
vCash: 500
Post Game Thread Game One

Well, letís be brutally honest about this one: the better team won. The Bruins had better goaltending on this night, they had better containment on the puck and they were infinitely better and making intelligent and crisp plays. The Habs looked nervous at times and played like a team that didnít belong in the playoffs at other times.

Having said that, they were offered a few opportunities to stay close, but Zednik, in particular, couldnít bury a puck to save his live. Raycroft certainly turned up big on this night, but the Habs helped him out by hitting him in the crest, missing the net, and just generally failing to make anything of the limited opportunities they created. You know thereís a problem when Zednik gets into the heart of the slot with no one in front of him then passes the puck to an open wing Ė as he did in the third.

For the Canadiens, this was a game of silly mistakes, poor execution, and most troublesome in some cases, a lack of intensity. That the power play actually looked like it was somewhat dangerous gets buried under the lack of ability on the penalty kill and the complete failure to create any kind of sustained offence whatsoever. If the Habs are to compete they have to attack the Bruins rather than try and skirt around them, avoiding hits. This is the playoffs where sacrificing the body to make a play is expected Ė and someone should have told Breezer that on the Bruins second goal.

Most importantly, we have to have some discipline next game. Thatís critical.

~~

Notes:

Theo: Outplayed by the rookie at the other end, and by a wide margin. Not only was he beaten by a terrible shot in the first period Ė the kind that a playoff goalie has to save if heís to keep his team in the game Ė but he was also beaten twice at the side of his net, once between the legs and another time by a deft deke. Neither left him looking good and one resulted in a goal while the other was cleared off the line by Begin. If every goalie gets one gimme in the playoffs (and Iím looking for excuses with this statement) this is his, he cannot fail the team anymore if the Habs are to make any noise whatsoever. D+

Bouillon: He had some trouble dealing with the big men as was expected, but in all honesty, he acquitted himself fairly well. At least he never shies away from the physical game, and how come itís the 5í8 guy that, when he gets hammered into the boards, just gets up and plays while the massive Quintal decides to go for retribution? He had some solid work with the puck and probably made the fewest mistakes of any of our defenders. For those that donít want to see him in the playoffs I suggest closing your eyes, because as of tonight, heís the best we have. B+

Brisebois: The second goal is proof positive of why Breezer has to learn to be better with that physical game. Instead of wildly swiping at the puck when he saw the Bruin attacker, he should have pulled it in close, accepted the hit, and then tried to make something happen. Instead, he does that hacking swipe and Nylander scores on a brilliant Gonchar set up. It didnít end there either as Breezer made some trademark through the zone passes that probably had many a heart skipping a beat. It is absolutely critical that he take a deep breath, gather himself, then get back to the basics. C-

Rivet: A quiet night, and thatís a good thing. He made a few silly mistakes and sometimes lost containment and positioning, but overall he was the consistent Rivet rather than the Traffic Cone 52 of the early part of the season. As a number four or five defender, he did virtually everything we needed from him. B

Markov: He had a really discreet game tonight, though at least he is willing to take a hit to make a play. In fact, while he wasnít our best defender, he didnít make any high risk plays that could have cost seriously. Iím disappointed that he didnít show more of what he can really do, however I think part of that is a function of how the Bruins were playing. B-

Quintal: It has become clear to me that Quintal should not be playing, despite all the experience he has acquired over the years. I see very little difference in the mistakes that Komisarek plays and at least in our young defenderís case, we can say that playing now would be a huge benefit to the future. I mean, itís not like Q played 22 minutes or something, he was only over 16 minutes Ė which is right where Komisarek was finishing the year. Right off the top of this game Quintal gave up the puck to Samsonov, and thatís no way to start a game. And while he didnít play horribly the rest of the night, Iíd rather give Komi the experience this year and slowly phase out Quintal. I love his heart, but at this point itís time to start looking to the future. C

Souray: Quite honestly, he had a terrible game. He made error after error with the puck and made a couple of really poor choices defensively, not the least of which was the cross check to the face of Axelsson to end the game. Itís been quite a while since Iíve seen him play so poorly and one can only hope that he pulls up his socks and puts together the game he should play for the next time around. D+

Perreault: He didnít play much, and I got the impression that a significant chunk of his time came when he was taking faceoffs and couldnít get off immediately. When youíre a fourth line player, especially on a fourth line with two other players that have some good talent (or in the case of Kovalev, workd-class talent) you absolutely have to make something happen. Perreault might as well have been invisible. D-

Dowd: He takes a minus on the night and yet, of the three on his line, he was by far the most effective and even made a few things happen in the offensive zone Ė more so that his more offensively talented linemates. Defensively he was good, and tonight offensively he was better. I wish we had more room on a higher line for him. B+

Kovalev: Iím not going to say it was his worst game as a Hab, but that was a complete Ranger performance out there. He threw two really good hits and other than that failed utterly to do anything at all five-on-five. He was okay on the power play, but even then his choices were poor and ill-conceived. The clock is starting to tick on the Kovalev experiment and I wonder if he might get one last gasp at a top-two line before he watches a game from the press box. C-

The trio: Poor overall with the one bright spot in the middle. A fourth line is supposed to bring energy at the least, and in the case of this line, they should be more than capable of bringing offence against the opposition fourth line. Sadly, it was Dowd who brought his game and the other two brought cushy seats for their time on the bench.

Begin: If it isnít blatantly obvious to every Hab fan watching that his shoulder is really bothering him, then I wonder if perhaps some might need glasses. How many times tonight did we see him curl away from a situation where he would have hammered a player? He was feisty, for sure, he made things happen, absolutely, but that physical aspect was almost invisible from his game. Did he do a good job on Thornton? Sure, but in reality, after the Bruins had gone up by two, Thornton started to get a nice rest. In fact, Sullivan deserves good credit for not having the Thornton line against Beginís line as much as Julien would have liked. B-

Juneau: For someone with tired legs, he still did an excellent job defensively. The entire line managed precious few shots and were held completely off the score sheet (Knubleís goal was on the PP with different linemates). I find it amusing that those who say Dagenais has his place on the team despite being a one-dimensional player feel that Juneau doesnít have a similar spot. At least when Juneau goes on a goal-scoring slump he can still shut down the gameís best. B

Ward: Good hustle tonight and he even made a few things happen offensively. At least he had his physical game in high gear and he punished the Bruins every chance he got. B+

The trio: They did the job they were supposed to do. Yes, Thornton is still hurting, but he has effective linemates and this trio shut them all down. There werenít even long periods of Bruin control for the most part.

Dagenais: A pretty good game for his first playoff encounter. He threw a couple of hits, made a few nice plays and even got off a couple of nice shots. He was actually a more complete player tonight than heís been much of the season and it was pleasant to see. I didnít feel like there was a giant hole on that line. When you compare what he did tonight to what he can potentially bring to the table on his best nights, this was really good. A-

Ribeiro: He had his moments, but Iíve noticed in recent weeks that more and more frustration is creeping into his game, and I think thatís because the opposition is getting used to him and is starting to rub him out more. He never gave up on anything tonight, made some things happen, and was at least competent defensively. For a first playoff test, he gets a passing mark, though he has to really step it up offensively for the rest of the time. B-

Ryder: Another player who was decent, but not good tonight. I didnít notice the usual edge that he has to his game; he wasnít hitting like he normally does. Perhaps, of all the players who were first-timers, the pressure got to him more than anyone else. Or perhaps this just wasnít his game Ė thatís entirely possible as well. On this night he didnít get into those great positions to make things happen, and when he had the puck he didnít make things happen on his own. When he does those things, heís on his game; tonight he wasnít. C+

The trio: For a first playoff game, they were okay. Okay, however, doesnít cut it in the playoffs. They have to seriously step it up and not create only two or three chances a game, but at least one every second shift. Iím not unhappy with their performance tonight in light of the circumstances, however neither am I pleased. Theyíve a ways to go before they get close to where they were in the regular season.

Bulis: This was just one of those nights when Bulis barely used that speed at all. Iím not sure I noticed him more than a few times all night, and a couple of those had to have been on the penalty kill. He has the ability to bring more, but I feel that each passing day leaves me more and more convinced that his spot should be taken by Kovalev so we can at least attempt to generate more. C+

Zednik: Our sniper skated into the slot, had a clear shot, then passed the puck. Whatís wrong with this picture. On the other hand, he did make things happen, was in the right places to receive passes and had numerous chances to put the biscuit in the basket, however he failed on all to even make Raycroft make a huge save. Heís stepped up his game from the regular season, but he has to bring it up even more. B

Koivu: For someone who played against Thornton quite a lot tonight, he played a pretty good game. Sullivan was very eager to get this match up and Koivu was, on this night, equal to the task despite his smaller stature. Koivu was feisty tonight, made a series of nice plays to Zed, and even created a chance or two for himself to score. It wasnít his best night, but he was the best Hab out there offensively. Again, though, he has to bring it up even another notch. He was, however, used like the best player and was put out in critical situations. B+

The trio: They were good, not great and I feel Bulis let them down somewhat. The other two were the bulk of the offence for the Habs, so that was great, and at least the didnít get pinned tonight. However, goals are needed and these three are on the hook.

Julien: Iím not going to say he was out-coached because Sullivan had the last change, however there were a couple of times where he could have pulled Koivuís line off on a quick change to get out his checking line and didnít. Now, Koivu did well defensively so it turned out okay, but itís something to watch. As to the lineup itself, Iím a little worried. In some ways Iíd prefer to see Langon over Perreault, the faceoffs be damned, and Iím not convinced heís doing the right thing with either Kovalev or Komisarek. However, time will tell, and this was only the first game.

PP: No goals but a ton of control and some fantastic chances that were barely missed. I liked what I saw despite not scoring and with that effort, itís only a matter of time. B-

PK: 2/6 is miserable, though one was clearly a goaltending error. The other, though, was a panic play that failed completely, and itís something that I think the coaches have desperately tried to get out of the game. D+

Team: Quite simply, they were the second best team out there. The transition game was good, therefore the system was adequate, and while they were better as a team than they were as individuals, thereís still a lot to be done and they could have been much better. B-

~~

Thatís it, game one is done, the jitters are gone, the excuses have been used. Time to buckle down and get to work and try and earn a split in Boston. At the very least we have to show up and play a full 60 minutes of hard-nosed hockey, finishing checks and generating offence. Theo has to be on his game and everyone else has to work together Ė thatís the only way weíll ever beat this team. As a first game it wasnít encouraging at all, but then again, itís only the first game and these can be long series.

On to game two, letís pray for better.

A Concerned Fan

Guy! is offline  
Old
04-08-2004, 04:57 AM
  #2
Guy!
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 840
vCash: 500
Oops, didn't see the other P-G thread. Mods wanna move this please?

ACF

Guy! is offline  
Old
04-08-2004, 07:26 AM
  #3
All-Star
Registered User
 
All-Star's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Snake Mountain
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,432
vCash: 500
Excellent post once again Guy!. The guys just didn't seem to be prepared at all for this game. I can understand that there is a lack of experience on the team, but there is absolutely no reason to let themselves get intimidated by the oposition like they did last night.

Boston on the other hand played the perfect playoff game. They were aggressive but more or less clean. Their team defence was tight, and their goal tending was perfect. You could tell that they knew exactly what they were getting into when it comes to the playoffs.

I just hope our boys learned a lesson last night, and they'll turn it up a few notches for Friday's game.

I still have faith!

All-Star is offline  
Old
04-08-2004, 10:00 AM
  #4
Munchausen
Full Time A-hole
 
Munchausen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Stuck in traffic
Posts: 5,330
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy!
The Habs looked nervous at times and played like a team that didnít belong in the playoffs at other times.
Couldn't agree more. If I wanted to be harsh, I'd say that if you don't want to give it all when the playoffs come, why even bother playing hockey? A team like the Habs that come out as flat as they did is mind puzzling. This was not playoff hockey. The Bruins barely had to break a sweat to win this one.

The Habs didn't exploit the one advantage they had over the Bruins, which was speed. On a night like this one, Bulis and Zednik should have been of all the scoring chances. They should have taken advantage of Gonchar's erathic defensive play or Gill's lack of speed and mobility. They just didn't.

I won't say it's inexcusable because quite frankly, it is. the team seemed intimidated and hesitant, obvious consequence of that slump at the end of the season (yeah the cliche's right, the playoffs are an other season, but did people really expect this team to turn on a dime?). That's why you need to get it going before the season ends (there's a lesson to be learned somewhere in there).

Now for the next game however, we'll see if CJ has the smarts to turn around quickly and make the necessary changes. Excuses won't cut it tomorrow. Look at Nashville play, Calgary, San Jose... Those teams are in a playoff mindest, which means talent or not, you leave your heart and guts on the ice. Habs didn't do that in game one, not even close.

Munchausen is offline  
Old
04-08-2004, 10:40 AM
  #5
Dynasty
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,001
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy!
For the Canadiens, this was a game of silly mistakes, poor execution, and most troublesome in some cases, a lack of intensity. That the power play actually looked like it was somewhat dangerous gets buried under the lack of ability on the penalty kill and the complete failure to create any kind of sustained offence whatsoever. If the Habs are to compete they have to attack the Bruins rather than try and skirt around them, avoiding hits. This is the playoffs where sacrificing the body to make a play is expected Ė and someone should have told Breezer that on the Bruins second goal.

Most importantly, we have to have some discipline next game. Thatís critical.
Guy, I think that we can analyse the Canadien's performance to death but what it really comes down to is that the team has to improve significantly in two key aspects of the game, namely intensity and discipline (which you have touched on above). If they can show big time improvement in these two areas then chances are good for positive outcomes.

Dynasty is offline  
Closed Thread

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:51 PM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. ©2015 All Rights Reserved.