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Sabres too much for Canadiens

  • The Montreal Canadiens gave a spirited effort in a 3-2 overtime loss to the streaking Buffalo Sabres. The Canadiens came out flying and if not for the excellent goaltending of U.S Olympian Ryan Miller, the outcome may have been far different. Cristobal Huet also performed well in the Montreal net and gave the Habs a chance to stay in the game. A miraculous save in the 5-3 O.T was not enough and an unlucky bounce gave Maxim Afinogenov an open net.

    Ryan Miller was great in the net. Where did this guy come from? The Sabres are a real sleeper team in the East and expect them to contend deep into the playoffs.

    The officiating was noticeably bad for the first time in many games. Bad for both teams but worse for the Canadiens. Saku Koivu’s overtime penalty however, was inexcusable. That lead to a 5-3 in overtime against the league’s top powerplay. That usually spells bad news, and it did.

    The Canadiens managed to keep the game close and then Alex Kovalev did what he’s paid to do and buried a scoring chance late in the 3rd to tie the game. The Habs haven’t been able to stay in games for 60 minutes and come back late, which is a great sign. Overall the Canadiens played a strong game but against a strong team and fell a little short.

    Michael Ryder had what appeared to be the go ahead goal on his stick his hand late in the 3rd which could have sealed it for the Habs. Apparently Ryder humped the puck into the net as the gyrations Don Koharski performed with his hips numerous times indicated his opinion pretty clearly. Ryder had to re-enact Koharski’s gesticulations for Jose Theodore on the bench. Maybe Jose’s looking for some new moves to use out in the club.

    The puck did touch Ryder’s glove after rebounding into the air off Ryan Miller’s stick and rightfully it was no goal. A little bad luck.

    The rookies performed well. Tomas Plekanec made a brilliant flip pass after nearly over skating the puck ona 2-1. Chris Higgins buried it. Alex Perezhogin, the kid has some wheels. Perezhogin was a dangerous threat the whole game and you get the impression that it’s just a matter of time before he breaks out.

    The Canadiens remain 1 point out of the 8th spot in the East and travel to Buffalo for another tough game. If Theo gets another chance to start it’ll be this game.

    hockey pads

  1. I don’t want to sound like one of those crazy fans blaming refs for everything, but it sure seems like the Habs have been screwed by a lot of iffy calls.

    Two PP goals by the Leafs in OT, an unheard-of 5-on-3 in OT last night… even the stoic Bob Gainey said a couple of weeks ago that they were getting called for “clipping toenails.” When was the last time he said anything like that?

    Looking at the roster, you would think the smaller, faster Canadiens would be one of those teams that would benefit from stricter calls. Instead, they’re 27th in PP opportunities (303) and are 16th in PKs (338). I bet the number of 5-on-3’s is even worse.

    After Ribeiro’s dramatics in the ’04 playoffs and Markov (who has also been known to embellish) shoving a linesman this year, I wonder if the Habs’ reputation costs them the benefit of the doubt with the zebras?

  2. Despite losing this game, the Habs have been putting a heck of a lot of heart into the last few. They played well last night and deserved the 1 point they left with, probably deserved 2 pts. I agree with the comments; the refs have been making some awfully tight calls agains the Habs and letting the opposition get away with similar plays.
    What really gets me is the guys on the blog who slander Theo’s name. Sure, he’s an overpaid, underperforming bum… he needs to pick up his game and deserves the dishing for his play. BUT – the guy has not been implicated in criminal activity, with Rick Tocchet or anyone else, certainly of late. Cool it guys!!

  3. #3 b1qxza69 says:
    February 8, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    That was one of their best efforts since the begining of the season. Lets not start blaming the refs for yesterday overtime loss to buffalo.When the captian take a lazy penatly like that near the end of game I think he should have to appoligize to the fans. Begin’s penatly was a accident no daught, but Koivu being the leader, well what can I say, bench him.

  4. #4 Habs4life says:
    February 8, 2006 at 5:23 pm

    I didn’t watch the game but I think we got ripped off in this game. I dont want to say that there were so questiable call on both sides, but Ryders goal was in. I saw the replays and I looed at the offical NHL rule book and it clearly states that if the puck gos in by a attacking player off anything but the stck buts not intenional is a goal. So the refs need to get off there knees because their blowing the games.

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