montreal canadiens hockey – habs blog RSS

Game 6: Habs/Avalanche

  • After a LONG wait between games, the Habs will finally get to host (I would imagine their latest ever) home opener tonight. If there was ever a team that needed a solid game tonight it is your Habs who didn’t look very good in their two wins on the road, and looked good in only a few periods of their losses. Things however, could be much worse. If you had said at the beginning of the season that the Habs would be tied with the Bruins after 5 games you may have been overjoyed. The reality is neither team has looked good to start the 09-10 season. That said – the Canadiens haven’t played a home game, and while we can be critical of the team’s play thus far, it is much harder to win on the road. Added to this, Habs fans can take comfort in knowing that as bad as the team has played, they had a good chance to come back in 2 of 3 losses to end the road trip. With 6 consecutive home games, the Canadiens will be in Montreal until Oct 28th which should provide us ample time to properly judge this team.

    By then we’ll know: Do we need to make a move to improve the 2nd line? Will one of the young guns finally step up to fill that role? Can Shawn Belle, M A Bergeron or Yannick Weber plug the huge hole left by O’Byrne and Markov? Can the Canadiens rely on their goaltenders to steal games for them? Can the smurfs make Montreal a playoff contender?

    It all starts tonight against the suprising upstart conference leading Colorado Avalanche. I guess that is as much a reason to relax our concern for Montreal as any right? While the TV pundits fall all over themselves predicting cup wins for Buffalo, Colorado, St Louis, Tampa, and LA, I think we’re all best served by remembering that the NHL season is a marathon – not a sprint. Even so – the Avalanche are playing very well right now and Montreal will have to take them very seriously in order to get the win they need to get the crowd on their side for the next two weeks. 

    Go Habs Go!!!

  1. Other than the Vancouver game we have played fairly well, some bad decisions, weak defence at times and we now have lost four games in a row. We need a few breaks to get back on track. I do notknow what the answer is except to keep working. We need a few more quality shots on goal. Not pushing the panic button yet but this home stand will tell the tale if we need to make a trade?

  2. #2 Mats Naslund says:
    October 16, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Through all of the ups and downs to start the season there has been one thought that I’ve continually had to remind myself: give them time. I’ve repeated this to myself many times through six games as I watch this team make critical mistakes and fail to capitalize on important chances. Last night is a great example of a game that this team WILL win in the future. Some bad bounces, some brutally missed chances and you lose two points in your own building. I bet that by the end of this home stand the Canadiens have most of the kinks worked out.

    Even though I broke many laws racing down the 401 last night to get home to the game, I didn’t get to watch most of it so I have a few questions.

    1. The goals scored against Price looked like pretty unlucky bounces off of our own defenders (save for the last). Did he play well, or was it a matter of our defense keeping the puck out of our end?
    2. The defense was something I was definitely hoping to see. I predicted the Shawn Belle would be a bigger help to the D corps than Yannik Weber due to his speed, physicality and more responsible approach. When I checked the box score he was a -2. Did anybody notice him last night? I noticed that he pinched once, but actually had the wheels to catch back up to the play.
    3. It really seems like the Canadiens are having trouble putting the puck in the net. Did anybody on the offensive end impress last night?

  3. #3 Senet1 says:
    October 16, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Matts, as for Carey and the defence I thought for the most part thye played well, except for the winning goal when I thought that Gomez and I think Belle were playing pay back for the elbow applied to Gomez head that took his helmet off. The seem more engaged with the guy who did it and the balance of the team broke down and allowed the opposition forward to walk right out take a shot and then follow up on the rebound. Carey was left out to dry on that goal.

    I felt overall the Belle played fairly well especially since he was his first game. He definitely gave us a little speed and physical present on the blue line. If my Memory serves me correctly, the one fluke goal went off his skate and over Carey’s shoulder for their second goal.

    The first goal again was a shot across the net that hit our defencemans skate and through the five whole. Carey had every part of the lower net covered but the small little five hole spot and it found the small spot and went into the net. Personally, I thought the game should have been 2-0 or 2-1 for the habs but when teams get those kind of bounces they are hard to beat. It sort of remined me of a PGA event I saw this year when the leader got three or four bad drives kick off of trees and end up in the middle of the fairway. Those of us who play golf know that when we get those kind of breaks we usually have a good round. While Colorado had a good round and we didn’t.

    As far as anyone impressing me from the forward position, our big three played very well as usually but they seemed to be snake bitten as far as getting any quality shots. Three players that did impress me we Plekanec, Latendresse and Pacioretti. Plekanec made some really good plays and both lead to a goal. I thought Latendresse was flying last night, he had a number of good scoring opportunities as a result of hard work and checking, unfortunately none went in the net. Pacioretti I though played his best game as a hab. He was hitting skating and making good plays, I believe he got an assist on Plekanec’s goal. AK 46 seems to be skating well and did get two assists. Overall that line played well together.
    That is how I saw the game anyway.

  4. #4 habknot says:
    October 17, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Big game tonight. Ottawa playing well, the habs not, and emotion for Kovy high.
    I agree that Belle played well for the two periods I watched. I love the way he hits people, they stay hit!
    Plekanec looks like he is close to reaching his potential. He has the skills and smarts to be Zetteberg/Datsyuk-like, but while they’ve had the opportunity to bloom in a controlled environment, too much had been left to the players to figure out by our previous coach and he (and others) never developed the confidence needed to play loose and focussed.
    MaxPax is developing, and I think his level will be much higher than D’agostini eventually. I think Dags is a weak spot right now, you see flashes of ability between long periods of ineffective play. Too one dimensional, he brings little to the team when the puck is not on his stick.
    Latendresse is playing well on the O side of the rink, and you can see he is trying to be responsible defensively, he might take a while to get comfortable with Martin’s responsibility first D coverage. I’d like to see him hit more in our zone, the way he does down the ice.
    Carey’s looked solid. I agree with you Senet. After that first fluke Avs goal went in after a dominating effort, you just had a feeling. Anyway, get the puck at the net, every goal looks pretty on the stat sheet. If I’m coach, Halak starts tonight. We need him confident and he’s been great on home ice. Good thing I’m not coach!
    I think Martin’s puck control game-plan is great, but teams are over their fear of our fast-break game and I think we have to get it back. Just like a long-bomb doesn’t have to work to be effective in football (it forces the defenders to play back a bit, opening things up underneath) we have to try the stretch pass more and the defensive gamble in the neutral zone as well where a forward goes for the pass-cutoff attempt at getting a breakaway. With our speedy wingers, they should still be able to get back to our zone before much damage is done. Those two plays are how Edmonton beat us, even though we out-played them.
    OK, go habs!!!

Leave a Comment