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» 2007 » January

  • Big Win

    On the night they retired Ken Dryden’s #29, the Canadiens got a well deserved and much needed win against the Ottawa Senators.

    Maybe the ceremony was a little long as the Canadiens stumbled out of the gate conceding a goal less than a minute in. Despite that mistake the Canadiens took control and set the pace of the game for much of the first period and then the remainder of the game.

    Had Ray Emery not been so solid early the Canadiens could have put a few more goals on the board. To his credit David Abeischer played extremely well especially late in the third. It’s been a while since Abby put up a W and he looked relieved.

    Carbonneau’s message was heard loud and clear and the Canadiens came out skating and playing hard. When the Habs are skating at full speed they give even the best teams a hard time at keeping pace.

    Special teams were the story again, a powerplay goal and a shorty sandwiched around a great/lucky long pass to send Mark Streit in alone.

    Yes Mark Streit. What a move. He shows glimpses of being a great hockey player and you know why Carbo and Gainey liked this guy so much they even created a spot on the 4th line for him.

    Tomas Plekanec is on a bit of a goal scoring streak. It looks like he’s finally gained some confidence after a very slow start. It’s only good news if he becomes a consistent goal scorer.

    Hard work pays off. Garth Murray dressed again after being put on waivers not too long ago. Did he bitch and moan? No he shut his mouth and worked hard in practices knowing he technically wasn’t even on the team anymore. And he earned another chance. It’s become clear if you work hard and put forth the effort every night Carbonneau will reward you.

    So what is the difference between this team, the team that just beat Ottawa, Buffalo and Atlanta, and the team that gets embarrassed against a floundering Leafs team?

    Who are the real Montreal Canadiens?

    Which team are they going to enter the playoffs as?

  • Time to step up

    So the Canadiens put forth another pathetic effort in Toronto on Saturday, losing to a injury riddled washup Leafs team.

    The once solidly positioned Canadiens who looked at one point to be maybe be able to challenge Buffalo, have faltered and been passed by Ottawa. Ottawa is peaking at the right time and the Canadiens are not.

    Tonight is another huge ’4 point’ game. A loss to Otttawa tonight will widen that gap and might propel the Sens to a point the Habs can’t catch up to.

    The Canadiens are inconsistent. What is most troubling is when they lose they don’t contend. There is no effort, there is no losing in the last minute or battling and coming up just short. When the Canadiens go down a goal you know they are done for.

    If the Habs can’t string together wins consistently they are in danger or falling right out of the playoffs. A mere 11 points separate the Habs from 14th spot. Every team other than Philadelphia still has a realistic shot at a playoff spot.

    The Habs have 32 games remaining. If they can only win 16 of those that will give them 92 points and they’ll likely be in a tight battle for 7th-10th spot. A far cry from 4th which they held most of the year.

    When will the Canadiens ever have home ice advantage in the playoffs?

    Cristobal Huet looks tired. Playing a full season as a starting goalie might be taking it’s toll on him. If he isn’t at his peak the Canadiens and their mediocre offence and lackluster 5 on 5 play are going to have trouble winning their share of games.

    Is a blockbuster trade going to revitalize the team and send them surging into the playoffs? What happens over the next 10 games will give us a better idea if Bob Gainey will pull the trigger or not. If the right deal exists something could definitely happen. Considering all the baggage the Canadiens are carrying. In traditional Gainey style you won’t know what or who it is until it’s all said and done.