Thumbs up: Congrats to the B's for a great series and to their classy fans. I had a lot of fun watching this series, the outcome only made it sweeter.
Thumbs Down: To Kevin Dupont for his article on Joe Thortnon, that he should resign the captaincy. C'mon, the guy played with torn cartledge in his ribs, he is a leader and I'll take him on my team anyday. All he needs to do is continue to mature so he becomes more disciplined. And he is already more disciplined than he was 2 years ago.
Overall assessment: I think that the team that played better won the series. Does this mean that the Habs are a better team? Well, not necessarily, but for these 7 games they were. Game 1 was all Boston, Game 2, the Habs took over in period 2, Games 3-6, Montreal was the more dominant squad and last night, I thought the B's had the slight edge, just because they dominated the 3rd until the Zednick goal.
Bottom line is the Habs speed was just too much for the B's slower d-men in the series and the Habs forwards also showed some strength on their skates as well.
Here is my review of the players performance - Habs with some B's:
Koivu (A) - Played terrific, led this team with his on-ice performance. Was part of the dominant line in the series
Zednick (A) - Tremendous lower body strength became more of a factor as series went on
Kovalev (A) - Jozef who? Was unreal, despite gaff in game 4. Great puck handler, shooter and probably the strongest forward on the puck for the habs. Used his size well
Dagenais (B) - Thought he was ok, tried to use size. Considering his skill set, I thought he performed well
Ribeiro (B) - Played better (and "acted" better) than I thought. He did not shy away from the contact like I thought he would. He needs to be better on the powerplay in the next series
Ryder (B+) - I thought he was great in the series, especially early on. Just could not convert his chances, thanks to great play from Raycroft
Bulis (A-) - I thought he was terrific, with his speed and forechecking. Again, he just did not convert his opportunities
Dowd (A) - What a great pick-up. He is such a smart player, good on faceoffs.
Begin (B+) - Great work ethic, great leadership but sometimes, particularly early in the series, his aggressiveness was costly
Ward (B+) - Before his injury, he impressed me with his forechecking, penalty killing and smarts
Perreault (A) - What else can you say about a healthy scratch in 2 games that becomes such an important factor in the series.
Juneau (B) - Used his smarts well in the series
Langdon (A) - Anytime he gives you a goal, he deserves an A, especially considering the timing of the goal
Markov (A) - Best d-man in the series. Played all aspects of the game at an all star level
Rivet (A-) - Also played a great series but at times got his pocket picked (see game 4 tying goal)
Souray (C) - I thought he was by far the worst hab in the series. His skating was slow and the B's continually got him caught on bad pinches by chipping off the boards by him. Not many people mention that on the game 4 OT winner, he was completely out of position (on the offensive side of Kovalev) To me, he looks like he is playing hurt. I am worried about him with the speedy forwards of T-Bay
Brisebois (A-) - Thought he played solidly all around, didn't notice him much which is a good thing. At times, let Samsonov get behind him
Bouillion (B) - Thought he played very well but gets caught out of position sometimes and game 7, despite the nice rush, was average
Quintal (B) - Thought he played well when he was playing but at times looked slow on the ice
Komisarek (A-) - Rookie comes in and plays 3 solid physical games, though at times last night he had problems with the dump-ins as the B's got their forwards right on him
Theodore (A-) -Games 1-4, he was a B, Games 5-7, he was an A. Stole game 7 for the Habs.
Some B's review
Thortnon (C) - Results were not there but he played with a serious injury. Game 5 lack of discipline was costly. I look forward to his play for Team Canada on the World Cup in the fall
Murray (C) - Yes, I know he got the winner in game 4 but I really didn't notice him too much in the series.
Knuble (C) - Also was important in game 4 but like Murray, I didn't notice him too much
Nylander (B+) - Game 1/2, he was an A but lost effectiveness after that. But he was still damn slippery the whole series. What a creative talent.
Samsonov(A) - Too me, the most dangerous forward on the B's. I got really nervous everytime he touched the puck. Imagine if this boy had some size. Strong on skates, though
Bergeron (B) - 18 years old..wow..good skills, but demonstrated the inconsistencies of an 18yo. At times, looked unreal in the series and at times not noticeable. B's got a keeper in him
Rolston (D) - Had a real tough series, was outmatched in the defensive zone and didn't do too much offensively. I am surprised by his poor performance
Raycroft (A-) - I thought he was terrific overall. Did let in some softies in game 5/6 but overall, I think his play was the reason the B's were not eliminated earlier in the series.
B's Defence (D) - The appeared really slow in this series, particularly Gill, O'Donnell and McGillis. Also, Gonchar became less a factor as the series went on. The series was won by the Habs because of they had their way with the B's D for much of the series. This is the area O'Connell needs to address the most for the B's.
Anyway, this are just my viewpoints, curious to hear what others thought of the performances in the series.
Well im just curious about what ppl think of Boynton's performance... I mean some posters here aid he was mile ahead of Souray (well souray was not great in this playoff) and Markov.. but sorry I dident see that .. I saw a skilled defenseman.. that could be a top 3 on every team .. but not an elite defenseman .... now the question is .. did we see the real Boynton? if yes .. I am not impressed....
Before jumping on me for that, I am not saying that he sucks... but the way people (especially Bruins fans) talked about him I really thought he was way better then that...(and yes i saw him against the habs in the regular season .. and I also was not impressed )
I think the biggest diffence between the two teams was the performance of each teams top line. The Koivu-Kovalev-Zednik line was the biggest reason the habs won, while the Thornton line was the biggest reason the Bruins lost.
Habs things I like:
-Theodore seems to be able to put bad games behind him in a hurry, and really seemed to get better each game of the series. His game 7 performance was great. He will again be a big factor versus the Lightning.
-the KKZ line.
-Rivet and Markov. I though they were our best dmen in the series. Markov has really bounced back from a slow start to the season.
-Komisarek looked pretty good when you factor everything in. When the Bruins focused in on him in game #7, he didn't seem to lose his composure.
-Begin, Bulis, Juneau, Perreault. Some really good performances by the bottom two line guys. Juneau played his best hockey of the year, and Perreault seemed to have kicked his gme up a notch after being a spectator to start the series.
-the Ryder, Ribeiro, Dagenais line didn't seem to be a factor in the offensive zone nearly enough in the series, and in many cases Ryder seemed to be out there by himself alot.
-Souray. He didn't play that bad, but he certainly didn't play like a number 1 dman.
Things about Boston that impressed me:
-Raycroft. I was impressed with him during the regular season, but he played really well the whole series. He is a really good positional goalie who doesn't even seem to get caught out of position.