Friday, February 20, 2009

A game of luck.

There is no real good way to analyze this game. The effort seemed shallow but when you start a game only 20 hours after finishing your last one and have to travel to a city 1100 miles away, you are facing difficult conditions. To help matters, you have one of the weirdest referees in the NHL making sure this game will have absolutely no flow.

I will apologize to our readers for this late post and for this bullet point format I’m about to use. I promise to have a better full game review on Tuesday.

  • It was ugly, but for far more reasons that the Habs. Yes, they were facing a bottom of the league team but the conditions explained earlier explain some of the fatigue from the players.

  • Yes, they were 0-10 on the power play but how many power plays were killed by a weird call? 4 from the Habs and two from St-Louis. Out of 10 power plays, only 4 of them went two minutes.

  • Did Keith Tkachuk elbowed three of our players? This is a situation where I would be glad to have Laraque in the lineup. I’d give him a very specific mission. Go talk to Keith, preferable when other players of his team are around, and simply tell him “Next time you elbow one of my players, I’ll elbow one of your superstars”. Granted, with Kariya already injured, there weren’t any superstars left to target but you get my point.

  • A good point from my dad (Big Uncle?): Laraque could benefit from losing his mind on the ice once; enough to make sure the rest of the league sees him crush every player on the ice. Enough to scare. Yeah, he’d be suspended. Yes, he’d be fined. I’m sure his teammates would pinch in to pay it.

  • I was happy to see how the powerplay reacted. They seemed more involved. Breezer and Markov hit the post after some good setup.

  • I usually defend Carbo but the line changes looked extremely weird. Lapierre out? Latendresse on a 4th line with Kostopoulos on the second line? I’ll give him another game or two hoping this was to shake up everybody but both players played well enough in my opinion to deserve better. Breaking the Plecanek line was a no brainer and Lang seemed to play with added motivation tonight.
  • When I said game of luck, I meant it. Kostitsyn was lucky Legace gave him a free goal, Lang was lucky to hit the puck in the air. Hell, Kostitsyn was lucky the St-Louis player didn't steal the puck from him on Lang's goal. But then again, St-Louis was lucky Brisebois and Markov hit the post. Otherwise they could have lost the game in regulation.

  • Again, too many players were idle tonight. Brisebois standing in the middle of the ice as a penalty was closing. Andrei Kostitsyn doing nothing to help Breezer on at least two attempts to get out of the zone. Bouillon and Gorges waiting for a slow puck to arrive, giving time to St-Louis to apply forecheck, instead of going for it. Lang playing in the offensive zone like nobody would come from behind to steal the puck. I’ll give them a break today and put it on the fatigue but honestly, this is something I see too often.

  • Like Carbo said: "Teams are getting ready for us. We have to work harder than that."

Now let's hope this victory will put the team in a better mindset for Carolina.

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