About last night …

Christopher Higgins had a point (as he usually does) when he said the loss wasn’t "a boo-worthy game."

But the dissatisfied fans who serenaded their heroes off the ice had a point, also. The Bell Centre are getting tired of paying heavy bread to watch the Canadiens lose.

Especially when the loss is to a team deprived of its best player – and reduced to 16 skaters. Sidney Crosby stayed in Pittsburgh, Colby Armstrong stayed in the room after one shift and Adam Hall stayed on the bench for 54 minutes.

Dany Sabourin, however, was able to go the distance. The stat sheet says Sabourin stopped 31 shots and La Presse’s François Gagnon counted 15 scoring chances. But I’m less generous.

The Penguins’ defensive scheme, which Michel Therrien probably started devising as Crosby’s feet hit the boards Friday night, effectively clogged the slot and prevented the few Canadiens inclined to go to the net from doing so.

So the shots came from far and wide. Sabourin saw them all and stopped them all. I don’t remember many screened shots, rebounds or second chances.

The Canadiens had 17 shots in the second period. But with a one-goal deficit and the game still out there to be won, the home team managed five shots in the third period, while the Penguins had 11.

Which helps explain the chorus that followed the final siren.

But Higgins is right. Most of the Canadiens played a decent game.

• Mike Komisarek celebrated his birthday with six thunderous hits, four shots and an end-to-end rush that was Moose Vasko Meets Paul Coffey.

• Francis Bouillon blocked five shots, had four hits and did what he could to control his off-season pal, Georges Laraque. His defence partner, my man Josh Gorges, played almost 19 minutes and had two shots (the third line had one.)

• The Tomas Plekanec line had nine of the Canadiens’ shots and continues to flash more speed and skill than we’ve seen since the ’70s. Andrei K is on fire.

• Christopher Higgins had five shots, and his line had its moments.

• Cristobal Huet was excellent.

• Tom Kostopoulos had six hits.

Now the negatives:

• Mark Streit had a rare rough night. Too hesitant at both ends.

• Bryan Smolinski, Michael Ryder and Guillaume Latendresse were useless and played only three shifts in the third period. If Darryl Sutter was kicking tires at the Bell Centre last night, he won’t be requesting a test drive.

• Three-way passing plays are cute – but so are Grade 4 Christmas plays. There was too much Samsonovian perimeter buzzing.

• The power-play needs a tune-up. It’s 0-for its last eight.

• Steve Bégin against Boston Tuesday night? Guy Carbonneau has to get that third line going.

And finally, the Québécois Goaltender Alert:

Martin Brodeur in New Jersey on Thursday, Martin Biron twice in February (if he plays a mid-month back-to-back), Pascal Leclaire at the Bell Centre Feb. 23 and Jean-Sebastien Giguère in Anaheim March 9.

The good news: No Roberto Luongo, Mathieu Garon or – God save us! – José Theodore – at least not until the Stanley Cup final.

 

203 Comments

  1. Yeats says:

    My high school teammates who were all Ranger fans were dying the death of a thousand cuts that year.

  2. Yeats says:

    Whenever we feel a little down about the Habs, we always have the leafs to lift our spirits!

  3. The Teacher says:

    Ahhh, that’s good news!

  4. Yeats says:

    And, the leafs are down 2-0.!

  5. Yeats says:

    Like me in Briarcliff Manor, you are within the proverbial “50-mile radius” though. LOL.

  6. Moey says:

    Or Jerry Springer uncensored.

  7. The Teacher says:

    Yup, we both could go on for pages. It irritates me to no end. When that changes, we might win a Cup again. Not before.

    go Pack!

    All the best to you,
    Adriano

  8. Habs-Kat says:

    I’m so happy :)
    Another Brady Bowl’s on the way!

    I like the Packers in the NFC.

    I guess Packers/Pats in the Superbowl will be like NJ/Detroit in the Cup Finals.

  9. The Teacher says:

    I wish either Tom Brady or Randy Moss knew how to skate. I also wouldn’t mind if Tedy Bruschi or Asante Samuel knew how to either.

    18-0

    Patriots against Pack/Giants?

    Any predictions?

  10. Yeats says:

    Wish we could, but he and I are in the New York City area.

  11. Yeats says:

    It’s just a shame there isn’t streaming video to go with the posts. Could put it on Pay-Per-View, “When Good Habs Fans Go Bad!”

  12. 24 Cups says:

    Does Laurence Maroney know how to skate? If so, then the Habs should draft him this summer.

    The Original 24 Cups

  13. Yeats says:

    Your point about his mates not sticking up for him I could go on for pages about. When Justin Williams knocked Koivu out of that series, it certainly hurt the Habs chances. But, the series was lost when Willians was allowed to leave the building under his own power that evening. Damn, I have to stick a few fresh pins in my JW voo doo doll before the Giants game begins. All the best, Brian

  14. Laffhater says:

    Stop wasting your money on Centre Ice. Get RDS from your cable provider for all the habs games at much lower price.

  15. The Teacher says:

    We can only guess, which we do try on this site ;)

  16. Moey says:

    You’d think the Mickey Mouse CLub would be fast asleep by then, so I blame the parents.

  17. Yeats says:

    Maybe they need to close the bar early or be tougher on “carding” participants after the game.

  18. Yeats says:

    They are all fair points. As I posted above our conversation, I admire him as a player and as a person. I would never boo him or any other member of the team. I don’t even boo opposition players unless they do something filthy on the ice. Even when it comes to the Breezer, I hope for the best, but I do, forgive me, expect the worst. You hit my major concern right on the head, i.e. his apparent “enthusiasm” on the ice. Something seems amiss and I don’t know what it is. It is not only a quetion of the Habs trading him, but does he want out? Players roles do indeed change over the course of their careers. Maybe, he is struggling with his at this point in his career.


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