Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Goalies And Such: The All-Important Game 4

Slow news day. The main news: "The absence of news."

You know what? Today I am proud of Carbonneau again.

He has entered the game.

He's hitting back at John Stevens' ridiculous victim role-play with some mind games of his own.

Of course the Canadiens know who will be starting. They knew 5 minutes after the last game, they knew at lunch yesterday, they knew at all the press conferences. They knew all along. But by witholding their choice they do a lot more than annoy overly anxious bloggers.

He forces the Flyers coaches to brief their players on Halak (time waster?)

And, he temporarily puts their gameplan on hold.

You could ask, do the Flyers even care? My answer is that they should. They have scored their goals largely by exploiting a weakness that someone must have identified in Price (high shots). Evidence for this is not only in the goals they've scored (the ones that weren't deflections) but also in the fact that every time they get a clean shot, he shoots high. Were it not for their scouting (or luck in catching Price at a bad time), they might not be so thrilled with their goalscoring output right now.

Admittedly, it's not the be all and end all to the Flyers plans, and it won't prevent them from sorting out the other deficiencies in their game, or talking about containing forwards or hitting defencemen. But their plan cannot be complete. At least not until the last minute now.

Carbonneau, in making the goalie question linger for 48 hours, has also taken most of the media heat off the players. As the media publish an update every hour about the fact we still don't know who is in goal, they have taken a break from chipping in their usual criticism of Markov, Streit and Plekanec. When you play the same team 4 times in 8 days, and more, you need this sort of media leadership from the coach. I have an opinion about who should start, for certain, but I don't care about when I discover the starter - when the anthems are sung for all I care.

The Flyers care, that's why I'm happy.

Go Habs Go.

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