Friday, February 20, 2009

Habs kneel down to the Bruins

source: Habs Inside/Out

Big Brother:

Please someone tell me the Habs were wearing black and gold tonight.

This game review is going to be hard to do without swearing.It was simply ugly. To quote Shaquille O’Neil: “It was Horrawful. It’s horror and awful put together.” While Price was shaky on two goals, he’s hardly to blame. I argued in Rocket’s last article that the Ottawa shutout was a team effort. This 6-1 game was a team gift. Would you believe me if I told you the Bruins had only 3 shots more on Price than Ottawa did two days ago? It didn’t look like it! Nobody played a full game.

Let’s try to find some positive. Andrei Kostitsyn actually played a solid game with Thomas Plekanec. Both worked most of the game, just not hard enough. Kovalev looked a step behind all game long. I am usually a fan of “L’Artiste” but tonight, he looked like a Picasso. And while Lapierre and Dandenault gave everything they had, it clearly wasn’t enough. They did too many costly mistakes. But I feel for those two guys. They have to play PK every shift. Can you imagine what these two could do if there was a third player on that line to help them out?

For the first two periods the L.A. Kola line (Lang, Kostitsyn, Latendresse) was the best one on the ice. Sergei was more involved, Latendresse still impressed me (although I didn’t see his penalty) and Lang played a solid game. It’s the only line that didn’t give an even strength goal. They applied a good forecheck and kept the pressure on the Bruins defense. At least until Kovalev was switched for Kostitsyn. I heard a mention that Kovalev has some knee or leg (let’s call it lower body) injury. It might be a good idea to leave him out of the lineup until he heals to have him back at full strength. Kovalev at half speed isn’t good enough this year. Every single team makes sure he receives special attention.

The Captain worked hard as he usually does but he’ll need his linemates to help. I didn’t see Tanguay all game except for a soft shot that looked so weak Manny Fernandez felt he had to give it back to Saku Koivu. Higgins didn’t do much better and was mostly invisible.

Gorges and Bouillon looked bad most of the night. Komisarek and Markov weren’t close to their usual standards. Hamerlik slept through Lucic goal. O’Byrne was the only defensemen I didn’t find out of place all game long. I still think Brisebois deserve to play Saturday. But based on the last couple of games, I’d send Francis Bouillon in the stands. I’d have Begin play too but I’ll let you guess who I would scratch. (hint: read article below)

Now let’s give some credit to Boston (man that was painful to write). They wanted that game more. They battled and fought for the puck. Stephane Yelle was solid on the PK and managed to score twice. Lucic is becoming a real rivalry player who shines in games like tonight. Hell, even Ryder didn’t look bad defensively. Not that the Habs tried to make him look too bad.

I’ll stop the review right now as I have been able to go that long without going “PG-13” or worst. Now I’ll leave a question to ponder until Saturday. Since the workload of the weekend will probably be divided between Halak and Price, would you put Halak in the net against Philadelphia Saturday or would you keep him for Sunday’s game against St-Louis, giving a chance for Price to redeem himself for tonight’s game and the playoffs?

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