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Penalties Burn Habs

  • The Leafs managed to cling on to what little hope they have left by defeating the Canadiens last night 5-3 in a penalty riddled “game”.

    I’m not sure but I’d wager that during or after the Olympic Break there was a memo from the NHL’s Head of Officiating to all the referees making sure they “enforce” and call the game with strict attention to the ‘new’ rules right down the stretch run and into the playoffs. Trying to send a message and maintain the integrity of the new anti-obstruction rules is not a bad idea but when it turns into a game like yesterdays and like in Philly the night prior, it doesn’t work.

    Regardless if the Leafs or Habs won, there were several terrible penalties called on both teams. Penalty calls took over and turned the game into an ugly mess to watch. The Habs were far more undisciplined and the end result is what they deserved. Even the worst teams in the NHL have a chance to win if they play with the man-advantage the majority of the time.

    The beginning of the game almost felt like a playoff atmosphere until the penalty parade stole the show. It would have been great to put the hurt on the Leafs but the Canadiens are still having a succesful road trip. Fatigue looked like it caught up to the Canadiens and Cristobal Huet in particular. It may be a good time to start Yann Danis against Boston and let Huet relax for a couple days.

    Chris Higgins put up another goal and got a skate blade to the face for his efforts. Hopefully it’s nothing serious but it was a scary moment to see. Oh ya, no penalty on the cross check.

    They’re all big games this time of year but with Boston still banging on the door there is more on the line obviously. Will the Bruins and Habs have the same roster by the time the puck drops? The Trade Deadline is a little more than 24 hours away and the Eastern Conference is closer than ever. The top spots are up for grabs and the teams ranked 6th-12th all have legitimate chances to reach the post-season. One smart trade might make the extra difference for a team on the bubble.

    Whatever Montreal does or doesn’t do, if they don’t continue winning they’ll be criticized heavily. This team should get into the playoffs as is but who couldn’t use a little extra help? It’s up to Bob Gainey now.

  1. If we go by what the hosts of tsn and rsn say, there isn’t going to be many or any huge moves made this deadline.

    Todd Bertuzzi is “out there” but the Canucks aren’t actively shopping him, according to Bob McKenzie. He made a point that it makes much more sense for the Canucks to trade him after their playoff run is done because he is a big part of the team. They’re not going to give him up for draft picks and farm team prospects. A team like Montreal isn’t going to give up what Vancouver wants for him.

    I think Montreal will just end up with a bit of help on the blueline. Nothing exciting but maybe enough to help them win some playoff rounds if Huet (and Theodore if he’s back) play their top games.

    At hockeytraderumors.com there is a post saying that Montreal is going to deal for former hab Eric Weinrich and give Zednick or someone from the Hamilton Bulldogs to the Blues in return. Should be an interesting day.

  2. #2 Manitoban says:
    March 8, 2006 at 10:29 am

    I know, I know—Huet was tired.

    But did anyone flashback to #60 on a couple of the last 9 regulation goals????

  3. I did on a couple.

  4. He most definitely looked like an inexperienced, tired goalie.

  5. Well that may be a little harsh. The goal that bothered me was the puck handling give away. The difference though, was 15 seconds later he absolutley robbed the Leaf in the crease, I think Steen or Ponikarovsky.

    When Theo gives up a goal like that, usually 6 more follow. There’s no game savers from him.

    The Canadiens got another one and brought it back to 5-3 and had half a chance.

  6. #6 kazmojo says:
    March 8, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    I’m not sure why the Habs would need blueline help over anything else. Granted, they’re not very deep (Streit being the 7th option), but they seem to get the job done — witness the full 2 minute 5-on-3 last night. Komisarek has really bounced back, and is playing well with Markov. Souray is also playing better and Rivet is usually steady (except on last night’s first goal). Dandenault and Bouillon provide a decent 3rd combo.

    If anything, I’d think the Habs need a right handed, goal scoring winger for their second line — and give up at least Ribeiro in the process. He was supposed to make Perreault expendable, but the Habs bet on the wrong center to fill their second line.

  7. #7 Gerry D says:
    March 8, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    Jose Theodore never has been and never will be anywhere near as good as Patrick Roy and should never be mentioned in the same breath. Theodore can easily be described as a goalie who had a couple of good years.

  8. oh wow and what has happened to Ribeiro????????????? this is how the media like fans like you,kazmojo. stop hurting the team!!!!!!!!! :(

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