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Thread: The Habs.....So Far

  1. #1

    The Habs.....So Far

    Two games in and the Habs are 1-0-1 as of this post. They looked good, but not great against Buffalo in a 2-1 shootout loss and put Toronto in it's tonight with a 6-1 win. A few observations.

    1. A goaltending controversy is a-brewin. Both Price and Halak only allowed on goal in their starts. I'm still not sure if Price is a 60-70 game guy. That might create some openings and could get the #1 job if Price falters. Both these guys have the skill, a well-timed flash of brilliance may produce a clear-cut #1 come playoff time. If not, oh well, just two strong goaltenders to choose from.

    2. A very different power play. The loss of Mark Streit was catasprophic for their power play, from the back end at least. The forwards look fantastic. Lang and Tanguay fit into that power play so smoothly because they can move the puck around the net. With the usual suspects on the power play from last year. The Habs will be a top 5 power play in the NHL

    3. The defense still needs work. This is what is separating them from being as good as Detroit IMHO. Their defense is not that strong in terms of positioning and playing the man. They can move the puck and can get shots through, but it needs more physicality and smarter decisins in their own end. Komisarek and O'Byrne are pretty tough, but the rest seem to be playing a little soft. Don't be surprised if they make a deal for a two defenseman, one who has some grit and can move the puck.

    I still think that this team is the class of their division and probably the Eastern Conference. Many are predicting a Montreal/Detroit final. I never pick finals until the playoff start but my Final 4 teams are Montreal NY Rangers Detroit and Dallas. Either way GO HABS GO!!!!

  2. #2

    After 10 games

    So the Habs have started the season 8-1-1, which is a great start and a prequisite to attain true contender status. Here's my analysis and rating of the forwards defenseman, goaltending ansd special teams.

    Forwards: So far, it's been great. For my money, the forwards move it better than any group in the league. They have several forwards who can be playmakers and finishers, depending on the situation. Koivu and Tanguay are a match made in heaven!!!! Last year's top line is still intact and starting to get going. Expect lots of goals and lots of excitement. Grade A Not too much more to ask of them s a group.

    Defenseman i've been impressed with them as a group although there have been some dissapointments. Markov is a definate Norris Trophy candidate, Komisarek does what he does but Hamrlik and bouillon have performed above expectation. Gorges has underachieved and Briesbois, after a solid year last year, has reverted to his old ways. O'Byrne has looked good too, and his absence is perplexing. They need work but are better than i initially though Grade B Room for improvement but a good showing so far.

    Goaltending i'm going to be VERY critical because their goaltenders are so talented. Both have been brilliant at times but have underachieved overall. Price and halak have both let in bad goals and the forwards have bailed them out with their fire power. ihaven't given up on either of them but ihope the rust has shaken off. they have the potential to be the best 1`-2 punch by light years but need to get their acts together and be the goaltenders they can be. Grade C+ Only because of their talent. They should improve

    Special Teams As of this post, they are 18th on the PP and 12th on the PK. The abscence of Streit has left a hole but the focus has shifted to the forwards who have to adjust and have been pretty good IMHO. The PK is about where ithough it would be. The PP will improve, give it time.
    Grade B Room for improvement but solid.

    It gets much tougher from here on out with 8 of the next 13 on the road, being played over the next 23 days. They have coasted at times but their talent is undeniable. If Carbonneau keeps them focused and they perform at or near potential, they can climb the standings fast.

    GO HABS GO!!!!

  3. #3

    Price is one of the best!

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Beliveau4
    Goaltending i'm going to be VERY critical because their goaltenders are so talented. Both have been brilliant at times but have underachieved overall. Price and halak have both let in bad goals and the forwards have bailed them out with their fire power. ihaven't given up on either of them but ihope the rust has shaken off. they have the potential to be the best 1`-2 punch by light years but need to get their acts together and be the goaltenders they can be. Grade C+ Only because of their talent. They should improve
    GO HABS GO!!!!
    Hi Beliveau,

    Thanks for your analysis but with all due respect, you can't ask more from Price. He is one of the top goal tenders in the league, even at his young age. Just check his stats including 5th best in save percentage. As for the couple of bad goals he has given, it didn't affect the team any points. If you watch other hockey games/highlights, you will see almost all other goalies giving bad goals including Martin Brodeur (of course before his injury), one of the best goalies ever to play the game also gave a couple of very bad goals this season that cost his team the game. If you consider 5th best as C+, there must be something wrong with your grading scale!

    Thanks,
    MC
    Last edited by mlpcmd; 11-08-2008 at 06:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by mlpcmd
    Hi Beliveau,

    Thanks for your analysis but with all due respect, you can't ask more from Price. He is one of the top goal tenders in the league, even at his young age. Just check his stats including 5th best in save percentage. As for the couple of bad goals he has given, it didn't affect the team any points. If you watch other hockey games/highlights, you will see almost all other goalies giving bad goals including Martin Brodeur (of course before his injury), one of the best goalies ever to play the game also gave a couple of very bad goals this season that cost his team the game. If you consider 5th best as C+, there must be something wrong with your grading scale!

    Thanks,
    Marcel
    Yes, but he gave up very few last year, the Flyers series not withstanding. His team is bailing him out. If they had an offense like the say Canucks or Coyotes, they would be sub .500 team. I am very hard on him and Halak because this may be the last year for a while the Habs have a legitimate shot at the Cup due to the large number of UFAs and they have to be sharp from start to finish. Price is supposed to be a franchise goalie and he needs to play at or past his potential for the whole year. He has Brodeur-like potential (or so they say), he has to show it now. When he's on, he's one of the world's best. When he's off, he's at best an AHL back up.

  5. #5

    At a little past the quarter pole....

    WHAT HAPPENED??? This team has been so damned inconsistent. Posting a 7-5-4 record after going 8-1-1 in the first 10. The schedule did get tougher but what has shocked me is that his team rarely plays 60 minutes of hockey, especially on the defensive end. Price has been very good, not great, but he's hardly to blame. The offense has stunk on the whole, which is shocking considering the firepower. I thought the Ranger game was a turning point. THAT is the team the Habs should be most nights; solid defense, balanced scoring, a team that blitzes their oppponent. Then you have the New Jerdey game where they play solid the first two periods and get outshot 11-3 in the 3rd??? WTF??? Nickels worth of free advice Guy Carbonneau: When you have a skilled team holding a one goal lead, just hang on to the puck. Puck posession is key. You don't have to score, just pressure your opponent in their zone. That's it. you'll win AT LEAST 80 per cent of games YOU HOLD A LEAD, GUARANTEED.

    I don't want to be too negative as their are bright spots. As I said before, Montreal might have the best fourth line in the league and it has looked that way in recent weeks. Lapierre, Begin and even Laraque have given a solid consistent effort and have been rewarded. I also like the play of Matt D'Agostini, out of Sault Ste Marie. A sixth round pick in '05 ,was never a star at any level of hockey he's played but is game savvy and is solid in both ends. If he keeps playing like this, Sergei Kostitsyn will continue to watch games from the press box and may need to get a bus ticket to Hamilton.

    it's not all doom and gloom. the habs are still in fourth in the east, but are 5 back of Boston for the division. it's looking likely that the ortheast division winner will be the first seed in the east. If the Habs play a game like they did against the Rangers, that will likely be a reality. If they play like they did against the Devils, it may be an early exit in the playoffs GO HABS GO

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Beliveau4
    Sergei Kostitsyn will continue to watch games from the press box and may need to get a bus ticket to Hamilton.
    You raise many good points. However, they'll never send Sergei K down to the minors. He belongs there, but they won't send him. Why? Because if he's demoted, there's a large chance he'll hop on the first plane to Russia & play in the Continental league with his fellow countrymen. They also need to hold onto him since his brother Andrei will pout & who he might also decide to head off to Russia if his brother winds up going there.

    The Kostitsyn brothers need to be together in order for Andrei to play well & that's the main reason why Sergei will stay put.

  7. #7

    A Disturbing Hab Trend

    The Habs seem to like to be outshot in the third period, by a lot. WTF??? This year the Habs have been outshot 261-236 in the third period including 20-9 against Carolina where they blew a third period lead, 16-4 against Detroit, although they won and 9-1 tonight agaist Calgary, also a win. Still, this is not good. They are still not playing 60 minutes of hockey. Is it complacency, over confidence in their goaltending or a lack of conditioning. It's perplexing considering their coaching staff. Carbonneau, Jarvis and Muller were workhorses in their playing days and had the ability to be clutch when needed. If I were their coach, I would work them like dogs until I saw a 60 minute effort, win or lose. they take too many periods off. this is NOT a cotender, not right now anyway. If they bear down, they can be.

  8. #8

    Thumbs up My Feelings About Last Night's Game

    Was at the center last night. brought my nephew to his first game. sad to say, that was one of the most boringest game i've ever been to. it was so boring that my nephew was sleeping mid through the 2nd period. once again thank god we have lapierre, kostopoulos and begin. the only players with lots of heart in my books. latendress, what a shame, nothing's going his way. add koivu on the injury list for about 1-2 weeks. the only exciting moment of the game is getting passes to meet the player's after the game next to the dressing room. thank god yesterdays tickets didn't cost me anything cause i'd be pissed.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
    they'll never send Sergei K down to the minors. He belongs there, but they won't send him. Why? Because if he's demoted, there's a large chance he'll hop on the first plane to Russia & play in the Continental league with his fellow countrymen. They also need to hold onto him since his brother Andrei will pout & who he might also decide to head off to Russia if his brother winds up going there.

    The Kostitsyn brothers need to be together in order for Andrei to play well & that's the main reason why Sergei will stay put.
    An interesting prediction from December 2008.

  10. #10

    calling it

    I've written on some cbc blogs concerning the progression of this year's team and I was being negatively commenting by some but so far my predictions are coming true, basically if this team is going to go anywhere this year they should go with the number one goalie and that would be Halak. Pointe Finale.

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