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Game 2: Habs/Pens

  • It will be interesting to see how the Habs react to their loss to the Penguins. Adjustments need to be made. The Habs have to do a better job of ‘the small things’ ie: getting the puck in deep for line changes, making good passes in the defensive zone instead of simply shipping it to spots, and keeping the pressure on the Penguins to force turnovers and offensive chances. All the things that Montreal did right against the Caps, the Pens did to them on Friday.

    Rebounding will be made harder by the fact that Montreal’s best defenseman Andrei Markov is in Montreal having doctor’s tend to his injury which occurred in the first period of Friday’s game 1. PK Subban has stepped up admirably in Markov’s absence, but the Kid can only do so much.

    The first goal will be a huge one.. more so for Montreal. Lets see if we can’t get a split boys.

    Go Habs Go!!!

  1. #1 Senet1 says:
    May 2, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Here is a comment I found on the net that I think says it best about our win against the Caps and potential win against the Pens.The guys answered back to an obvious habs hater you just basically said that the habs were lucky to win the series and did not deserver to beat the Caps. I think it spells what they did in first series and how they played the Pens today perfectly.

    Habs were never going to win by matching speed and skill. So what do they do? They play team defence and do what they need to do to, uhm, I don’t know, maybe, let’s see…WIN? Oh yeah they did. The games in this series were not boring neutral zone trap games. They were hard fought, action filled, exciting games with lots of end to end action. And may I remind you the Islanders won 4 cups by dumping out, defending and capitalizing on mistakes and chances. Habs evolved their game to best match up against the Caps and play to their strengths. That’s what I call good coaching, good execution and good hockey. You sound like the kind of person who would never ever ever give Mtl credit. They could finish first and sweep the playoffs and you still would be negative. Give credit where credit is due. They fought hard and battled to a tremendous win.

  2. #2 Donnie says:
    May 3, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Senet, what you say makes perfect sense…it really does. Just can’t figure out why I’m not estatic over this success. Here we are in the SECOND round of the playoffs mind you, just after taking out the #1 seed, and now split with the defending cup champions, on our way home for 2. If you had of given me this 3 months ago I would have snatched it up man. But the fact remains, I’m not overjoyed, I know I should be, and can’t quite put my finger on the reason why.

    I really wanna be enjoting the style thay are playing, but I’m not….it still makes me uneasy to watch my team play for 40+ minutes in their zone, dumping and flicking pucks, with the use of really no skill. Basically, barely hanging on making it seem that we don’t belong there.
    Please don’t get me wrong, I know here in the playoffs it’s the WIN that matters, I know we can’t play run and gun with Pit, and I know it’s this style that got us where we are at…however, I still can’t get on board with how it looks game after game.

    I think it boils down to watching this team play 82 regular season games and watching this style fail time and time again to where it dropped us to 8th place….and I frightned that if this present luck we are having playing like this runs out, I’m always gonna wonder “What if we had of done more?”…..”What if we had of went for that 3rd or 4th goal when we got up 2-1?” Does anyone know what I’m saying? Does anyone understand that although I love my teams success, I am not a fan of how they are doing it? And every single game makes me nervous and queasy for 60 mins when all the action is in our zone. Am I alone? Am I over-analyzing? Should I just shut-up and enjoy the wins no matter how they have been achieved?

    I dunno. I know this all stems from how poorly we were in the regular season on trying to hold leads, and I’m expecting that at any minute this whole ride, this whole system is gonna implode on us, and I’m gonna start wondering what if they had of let our big 3 up front just go for it, score 5 or 6. Geez, Cammalleri has 8 goals and he’s really only allowed to score in the 1st….what if he could go for it, in all 3 periods?

    Anyways, just trying to convey how I feel to you guys….maybe someone feels like I do….maybe someone has a comment or 2 they could make….maybe I’ll do what I say and just shut-up and enjoy the ride. This team is putting me on pins and needle because they are not just rolling over to die as everyone said they would….these crutial win and now filling Habs fans hearts with expectations now…something we never had going in to the playoffs. Now, it would actually hurt if they we to get bounced because they have given us hope again.

    Anyways, I hope at least someone understands where I am coming from. By the way…great move in FINALLY benching the Kost’s……lazy, scared little boys. Keep on rolling Habs…got us all wondering where this ride will end, ikf it does at all. GO HABS GO !!!

  3. #3 Mats Naslund says:
    May 3, 2010 at 11:53 am

    In the playoffs a win is a win, but I was not a very happy camper (outside of the result) on Sunday afternoon. There is a fine line that the Canadiens need to walk between caution and over-kill. I’ve talked about it ad nausea this season about the lack of puck possession that has killed the Canadiens. It is what has resulted in the lop-sided shot totals, and often the late-game meltdowns that were common-place in the regular season. Yesterday we saw a team that made it much harder to win that game than it should have been.

    It all starts with the first pass out of the zone. Often our defenders simply choose to dump the puck into the neutral zone in favor of trying to make a pass to a team mate out of the zone. The result is that we turn the puck over to the opposition who comes right back into our zone. We don’t get line-changes, and we have to start the battle all over again. Then if by chance we do collect possession and skate with the puck out of our zone, our players are too tired to create an offensive chance, and thus must turn the puck over again for a line-change. The result is that we often only get 1 offensive chance for our opponent’s 4. It is ALWAYS easier to play with a lead when you control the puck. You kill minutes without giving up scoring chances, and you are able to dictate line changes when you want them, and not when your opponent does.

    So far Martin’s strategy of all out dump-and-defend has served the Canadiens well – but there are problems looming on the horizon that we got a preview to in Game 1. Martin has shortened his bench so much during the first 9 games of the playoffs that the combination of all-out defense, and tired skaters makes for ugly, ugly results. Luckily the Habs had enough juice for Game 2, but this series wont go the distance unless Martin makes an adjustment that will either utilize 4 full lines, or allow his players to control pucks, line-changes, and tire out the opponent in the offensive end.

    Once the Canadiens take control of the puck, they MUST look to pass the puck first before electing to dump the puck and relinquish possession. The other gripe I have with Martin also relates to this point. I understand why the Kostitsyn’s have been in Martin’s dog house at points during the season, yet I simply cannot comprehend why he would essentially bench them both at this point in the season. Your team struggles to move the puck and posses the puck in the offensive zone – it might benefit you to have one of your top puck handlers, and one of your best shooters on the ice.

    I understand that Martin will not allow players to be passengers in the playoffs, but it was less than a month ago that Sergei was being praised for his fantastic work on the 3rd line with Moen and Moore. It was last series that Andrei had the first Canadiens playoff hat trick in a very long time. These guys seem to take a disproportionate amount of flak in comparison to others. Explain how MAB is a minus-10 yet plays every game. Not that being +- Even is something to brag about, but consider the fact that Sergei was even when he got benched and it makes makes you wonder… especially because Washington had outscored the Habs 19-12 during that stretch! The Canadiens are playing with fire if they think that playing dump-and-defend will get them through 2 series. Not that I want to see them abandon what has made them successful, but they are in deep trouble if they continue to use 3 lines, and let the opposition have chance after un-checked chance.

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