Thursday, November 13, 2008

Game #14

Brutal Performance, Again

The Canadiens Game in Review

Date: Thursday November 13th, 2008
Opponent: Boston Bruins
Venue: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA

Team Stripes

Final Score: 1-6 - Loss

Habs starting goalie: Carey Price (L)
Opposition starting goalie: Manny Fernandez (W)

Habs goalscorers: Saku Koivu
Opposition goalscorers: Shawn Thornton, Stephane Yelle (2), Marco Sturm (2), Milan Lucic



Play of the game
The play you're straining to see on the press catwalk monitor...

It took me 60 minutes of searching, but right at that point the play of the game was there, and it was obvious. It was the final horn. A pathetic effort by the Habs tonight meant my only pleasure was that I could stop watching.



Game puck
Trophies are for the end of the year, play well in the game, you get a lovely puck...

Andrei Kostitsyn
This was not a great game for any Hab really, but the best of the bunch was Andrei. He led the team with 5 shots and I felt that a few of those were actual quality, he also had a few other chances worth considering. I liked how he competed till the final whistle and how he was using his body the whole game.



Dome hockey team
We're going into the last minute with these 6 (and they're attached to the ice, so they're not coming off)...

Forwards

Sergei Kostitsyn
Sergei showed the most spirit of anyone on the ice tonight. It is difficult to play hard when you are down the whole game, but that is exactly what he did. He didn't get too much going offensively, but his attitude alone is enough for recognition.

Saku Koivu
He scored our lone goal and for a time looked quite dangerous. I am afraid, however, that aside from his goal and a few other shifts he was very much like the rest of the group tonight.

Andrei Kostitsyn
Kostitsyn played well enough that had we won he wouldn't have looked out of place - most of his teammates would have. It was interesting to see him on a line with Sergei to end the game, but I think we all know that for the Habs to be at their best he has to be with Kovy.

Defencemen

Ryan O'Byrne
Ryan was only on the ice for 1 goal against tonight, which put him alone atop the defenceman list. He played with much more confidence and used his body in a more effective way than usual. I was surprised to see him on so much throughout the game, in all he played 21 minutes.

Andrei Markov
Once again no personal mistakes for Marky, but he was hung out there to dry on a couple of occasions by his trusty partner Komi. He got involved in a nice way in the offensive zone this game, especially towards the end.

Goaltender

Jaroslav Halak
Wow! That was bad. Looks like cockiness and arrogance aren't always the key. After a huge win against Ottawa I was hoping for a little more than Carey's worst ever came, but alas I was deceived. He'd better learn to let a bad goal go fast if he wants to survive in this league. The first he let in was bad, and from that point on he was useless. If he ever lets in one bad goal, even if it made the score 1-1 with 2 minutes left he should get the hook, he just can't be trusted at all. If he ever wants to be good this is a quality that he must learn. I can assure him that Hasek, Roy and Brodeur have let in 100s of bad goals and it isn't those that they will be remembered by, it is how they react to them that is the key. So, Carey, get over it, play with some desperation, look worried, just stop acting so cool and costing the Habs. Tonight we needed saves, but we were essentially playing with an empty net from pretty early on. Also, can you please stop handing the puck! You are horrible at it. Tonight you gave it away 3 times and cost us a penalty (and a resulting goal). You don't see Brisebois fighting or Komisarek pinching - certain players must accept their weaknesses and leave them alone.



Eye-Openers
In this new section we are going to try and shed some light on certain plays or events that would otherwise go unnoticed

All they could talk about on TV was how Boston had played yesterday, how they must be tired and how the Habs should approach this game. With the amount that it was mentioned I can only assume the Habs had spoken about this too. Well, guess what it is possible for professional athletes to exercise for 20 minutes (or less) 2 nights in a row. Since when is our game plan dependent on the opposition? I believe that the last time we did this we got knocked out of the playoffs. We are a good enough team now that we shouldn't even care who the team at the other end is, we should view them as a mere obstacle in the way of 2 points.


Overall Comments

Pretty clear what we have to do now - win. We have put ourselves in the unfortunate position of really needing a win. If we lose on Saturday that will be 4 losses in 5 games and I think we could then finally admit there is a problem. If we win it doesn't means things are great, but at least it will show (I thought we already learned this lesson...2 days ago) that we can bounce back from a horrible outing.

Tonight was an embarrassment. I don't think we have played that bad in years, which is shocking for me after watching the game last Saturday. Boston is an OK team, but that is it. They are not a contender, they don't have much talent and tonight they put one of the shakiest goalies we have seen all year into the mix, yet we had nothing. Everything was bad - line changes, passes, checking, breakouts, the works. You rarely see Detroit have games like this, especially not twice in 6 days. I think the Habs have a lot of work to do over the next few weeks if they want to be considered a true top-flight, cup hope.

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