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Must Win Game #3: Islanders

  • The Canadiens got the job done last night by defeating a very weak Washington Capitals team 4-2 in Washington. They didn’t make it easy on themselves and the game was incredibly painful to watch until a Michael Ryder goal kick started a scoring spree.

    Ryder’s goal ended his scoring drought and the Capitals wall fell shortly after allowing 3 goals in a a couple minutes. The Ryder goal will hopefully be a turning point for him and the team on their way into the playoffs. It seemed a weight was lifted off the team and they exploded immediately.

    The Habs have few goal scorers and Ryder has to be firing game to game to give them a chance on the scoreboard.

    Saku Koivu gave a "no coaches" speech/meeting at practice before the game and apparently it paid off.

    Mike Komisarek got his first National Hockey League goal. Over 100 games and only 1 goal. Maybe he was enrolled in the Craig Rivet school of offense for too long. It was nice to see and hopefully he can keep them coming. Komisarek also rose to the challenge of watching Alex Ovechkin closely while Andrei Markov was still not 100%.

    I was impressed with Todd Simpson‘s debut as a Canadien. Simpson had no problem dropping the gloves on his first or second shift after Ben Clymer tried taking off Garth Murray’s head. It’s nice to see a ‘tough’ defenceman willing to muck it up every time he’s on the ice. Sheldon Souray and Craig Rivet can’t take fighting penalties and Simpson could be of value somewhere down the road.

    Speaking of Garth Murray, this guy continues to impress. I’d wager he’d win a skating contest with anyone on the Canadiens and his fore-checking is fierce. He brings it every shift. He waited until the opportunity came and delivered a thunderous vengeful hit on Clymer and didn’t back down when 6’3″ Johnson came at him. Took a punch and shrugged it off in the box, came back and fore checked like an animal. I love that style of play compared to an underachieving floater like Marcel Hossa. All the Gainey critics should acknowledge when he makes smart moves.

    The win means the Canadiens didn’t lose ground but have not made much progress. They managed to gain a point on Tampa but Atlanta destroyed Buffalo and are still right behind the Habs.

    Every game is crucial now and a win tonight will all but mathematically eliminate the Islanders. The Thrashers, Devils and Leafs all in action tonight to mix up the pot even more. The Habs need 2 points, no less.

     

  1. I was pleased with Gainey’s trade deadline moves. I wasn’t pleased, however, with his decision to leave Aebishcer in net in a game they easily could have won. My criticism begins and ends there.

  2. #2 riser8 says:
    March 21, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    Nice win last night. This time of year it is sometimes harder to play a team that has no playoff aspirations like Washington and Pittsburgh. They dont have the added pressure of a playoff race and this allows them to play a much more relaxed style which can lead to either a loss or close game. Tonight will be another good test as the Isles are close to the end if they dont bank the two points. I expect a good effort tonight from the Habs with a close game and a one or two goal victory. I agree with habs blog regarding Garth Murray. It was a good trade as it allows a different style of player to be in the lineup, as well as adding a nice balance of grit and character to the team.

  3. Well, Atlanta just wants it more. It’s that simple. What a disappointing end to what appeared to be the makings of a very successful season though.

  4. Once again defense doing the scoring. Pathetic! Pathetic! Pathetic!
    I finally know what’s it’s like to be a Leaf fan. 13 years and counting….
    The Patrick Roy trade has become our Harold Ballard.
    Let’s keep a European Captain on “Canada’s team” and souround him with some more Europeans. IDIOTS!
    We use to be winners when the roster was 95% Canadian Heart, not this crap.

    If they lose to the Leafs at home Thursday and Saturday they can go to hell!!

  5. #5 Gumper says:
    March 22, 2006 at 2:04 am

    I’m getting tired of the Euro bashing. It’s irrational. That’s not the problem at all. The team is rebuilding… period. Koivu is a total leader and class act. This guy cares about the team… period.
    If you look at the teams since the Roy trade, it’s likely NONE of them would have made a run for the cup.. even with him between the pipes. He asked to be traded for chrissakes. WTF was the organisation going to do? Keep him? He forced thier hand. No one person should be held higher than a company. Especially if it’s a primadonna whine-ass who asks to leave it.
    The Habs are inconsistent at a time when they should have it together, no doubt about it. But you gotta be realistic when you take a good look at this team. They will get better. Face it, the 4 and 5 in a row “cups” are truly history now. We just got spoiled!

  6. ….and where has our captain been now? right when we need him the most? How many points and goals has he had in the last 2 weeks? He sure showed up for Finland didn’t he?
    No doubt Koivu is a class act but a leader he is not.
    A captain in some cases might not be your gretest player but a guy who leads by example, someone who will bleed for his team, someone who the rest of the players will look for inspiration.
    Clearly at this point in time he is not our inspiration!
    We will see how our “Captain” will lead us against the Leafs, than you can email me back and tell me how great he is.

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