Friday, February 20, 2009

Sens hit a wall

I am barely coming back from the Bell Center where, for the first time this year, the Tricolore showed us why nearly everyone saw them as favourite in the East. It was a damn near flawless game. And as I mentioned in my article earlier today, the best defense is a good offense. And today, the best offense offered their goaltender a shutout, probably trying to redeem themselves for the lacklustre effort they showed in the past couple of games. And this shutout was well deserved by the entire team.

As soon as the first period started, you could see the message Carbo sent his players was well received. They skated harder, they hit harder and at midpoint were leading 11-2 in shots. The powerplay (0 for 4 if I am not mistaken) managed some solid opportunities but just couldn’t bury the puck. Then again, the penalty killing unit was superb all night long with the winning goal, stopped Heatley and his gang four time also and even managed to receive a standing ovation after being more threatening than Ottawa’s powerplay.

As I mentioned, it was a near flawless game. I spotted three things that bugged me. The first one was the younger Kostitsyn. He seemed slower than usual which may be caused by Carbo’s decision to have him play on the fourth line a couple of shifts early in the game. Dandenault, who replaced him on the third line early and took back his spot later, played one of his best game this year.

Consequently, the fourth line bugged me. While I’ll admit Laraque is playing his best hockey has a Habs, he still is a huge downgrade from Kostopoulos, Begin or Dandenault. It’s a shame to see him eat ice time that could go to faster, more reliable players. If at least he was the guy protecting his players instead of Bouillon. I’ll give him that, I didn’t see Chris Neil too often trying to play with Carey Price. MAYBE he is a good deterrent.

Last but not least, Komisarek. I love the guy, but his penalty late in the third was pointless and stupid. He was getting away roughing Dany Heatley but tried to see how much further he could go. It reminded me of a kid in class, trying to see how much it took to piss of his teacher. He does it too often for my tastes.

Beside those three minor complaints it was a great game. Solid from start to finish, the Habs showed they can control the pace and flow, create their chances and limit the opposition. Yes, they allowed 28 shots but very few presented any kind of danger to Carey Price.

I couldn’t ask for tickets to a better game. Now bring on Boston

Random notes:

  • My tickets were 38$. While I didn’t expect great seats, I didn’t expect a ladder and a map to a lamppost.

  • I swear too much for the family section.

  • How many hot babes wearing bleu-blanc-rouge can you fit in a building? Apparently: a lot. I just replaced Angelina Jolie as my no 1 fantasy.

  • The worst thing in the family section wasn’t the kids, but the “entertainers” the Montreal Canadiens put in every section. No. I don’t want to dance. I want to watch hockey.

Until next game…

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