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Game 60: Sens/Habs

  • Circus Day in Montreal is over, for the time being.

    The Canadiens and Alex Kovalev return to the ice and hopefully put a win together to relieve some of this tension.

    Will the Habs be able to focus on the ice? Isn’t it time we all focus on what’s actually important, the playoffs? The Habs are only 2 points ahead of 9th place, and out of the playoffs.

    Although the Senators have put a few wins together, the chances they overcome their horrible season and make the playoffs are slim.

    The same can’t be said about the Panthers, Hurricanes, Sabres & Penguins – all knocking on the door.

  1. Well this has to be the start of a new season tonight, we either play well or we will be in 9th place by the end of the weekend. Carbo has been trying to get the team to be more defensive of late without totally stymeing the offense. We have score 9 goals in the last two games and lost both games so that tells me we need more defence and better goal tending although I thought Price played much better the last two games and certainly could not be faulted on 4 of the 5 goals that were scored by Pittsburg. In the last two games we have gone up against arguably the three or four best offensive players in the game today and could have won both games with a little better defence.

  2. #2 Mats Naslund says:
    February 21, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Shows what getting a good goaltending performance can do though. Halak made key saves and the offense was free to do its thing without having to push to comeback from softy goals. Great game today, now the job is to keep the momentum rolling.

  3. Matts you are absolutely right about the goaltending, Personally and I said it last week had we had good goaltending we would have won at least two maybe three of those games that we lost. Once a tend loses confidence in their goaltender they do not take the chances or make the plays they normally would and therefore, offensive opportunities do not develop. Kovalev is a prime example of this as he struggled to make the proper play instead of letting his instinct tell him what to do. He simply was not playing with the same instincts that he normally played with last year. Now I am not sold on Halak just yet but Ihave to give credit where credit is due and he played a great game. It wasn’t that long ago we were hoping Price would get back soon because Halak seemed to be allowing 1 or 2 soft goals a game. I believe that Price is the better goalie but he has to start to show it again and our goaltender coach has to start working with him more. Speaking of goaltending coaches, I wonder if Patrick Roy would be any good as a goal tender coach. I am not sold on our current coach it just seems he has not helped these two kids that much?

  4. #4 Mats Naslund says:
    February 23, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Well, the good news is that with 24 games left on the schedule, Montreal is showing signs of life. Our offense seems to be back on track resting on the shoulders of the players we had imagined it would at the beginning of the season. Kovalev seems to have found some renewed vigor after his two game time-out. Plekanec has started lighting the lamp for the first time in 60 games. Andrei Kostitsyn has battled recent adversity to become the team’s first 20 goal scorer (now with 22). The win in Ottawa showed that this team has regained some confidence and can win games with their speed, skill and hard work. The addition of Mathieu Schneider to the blueline on the powerplay has ignited the team’s man advantage to the tune of 7-12 since he arrived. The one aspect of our game that so crippled this team’s ability to win throughout the first 55 games has once again become one of its most dangerous weapons. But for as many burgeoning positive signs there are still huge question marks surrounding the team. Can Carey Price regain the confident form that allowed Bob Gainey to trade Cristobal Huet at the deadline last season? Is Jaroslav Halak capable of playing consistently enough to handle the goaltending duties if Price’s play continues to slide? After Andrei’s 22 goals, our next highest totals are Plekanec (15), Kovalev (14), Koivu, Tanguay, D’Agostini, Lapierre (10) – Will the Canadiens have another 20 goal scorer by season’s end?

    Now for the really bad news. For all of the pomp and celebration surrounding Montreal’s centennial celebrations, the team currently sits in 5th place with 69 points. And while that doesn’t sound terrible it is only 2 points from 9th place Carolina. And while there are still many games to play, Montreal’s schedule is very tough. Our next games are against Vancouver, Philadelphia, San Jose and Buffalo – all of which are playoff teams who want the points as much as we do. 13 of our remaining 24 games are at home which is good considering our record on the road has been so terrible this season. It is clear that every point is going to be crucial from this point on. There is no guarantee that Bob Gainey is going to be able to make this team better as we sit 8 days from the trade deadline. Last year Canadiens fans watched Marion Hossa go to Pittsburgh. Gainey isn’t the only GM looking at the small pool of available players and so it will be key that the players already on the roster be the ones who buckle down and turn this season around.

  5. Well said Matts, I could not have put it better. The do think that if we could tighten up our defence a little and stop allowing 4-5 goals a game, then we have a shot at the playoffs and who knows.

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